The illustrious Brian Burke waxed wise on the state of media relations in the NHL the other day. Apparently it shouldn't be part of Phil Kessel's job to talk to media pukes on a regular basis.
If you recall, the Kessel trade was one of Burke's key moves when he was "rebuilding" the Leafs. Burkie seems to think that just because Kessel has been the top scorer on a Leafs team that's missed the playoffs for 8 out of the last 9 years, his "team-building" skills have been exonerated!
Not so fast, Burkie!
Most of your critics who think they could do a better GM job than you do are probably right. Keeping a mediocre team mediocre isn't really a mark of management genius, is it?
Hell, I could do that!
And everybody knows that Burke's one and only Stanley ring had next to nothing to do with Burke.
But here's why Burke will not only survive, but thrive in the front office; certainly not with one particular team, but in general.
First of all, those years as Bettman's bumboy back in the '90's cemented his cred as an old boy insider.
Secondly, but just as important, the NHL is an entertainment franchise, and entertainment franchises need villains!
As any grade 9 drama teacher can tell you, there's no drama without villains, and the NHL needs its share of villains, on the ice, behind the bench, and in the front office.
So, inept as he may be as a GM, Burkie is doing a good job in his villain role. That's why I'm writing about him, and that's why you're reading about him.
Keep up the good work, ya old puke!