Filed under: Ducks, Kings, Maple Leafs, Sharks, NHL General, NHL GossipEvery Thursday, Earl Sleek will conspire with his pen and scanner to bring you another installment of PuckToons. Hopefully you will find these amusing, relevant, well-drawn, or you're a person who is tolerant towards mediocrity.
The drama never stops for the Anaheim Ducks. Even a simple five-day break in the schedule cannot pass without some major news, in this case the stepping down of general manager Brian Burke, who of course had architected Anaheim's 2007 Stanley Cup Champion roster. Burke is probably off to work for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and in his stead right-hand man Bob Murray has assumed the GM duties for the Ducks. This was to be the final year of Brian Burke's contract, so the timing of the departure makes some sense, though it definitely caught this Ducks fan off-guard.
Over at Battle of California, I have begun a series of posts entitled "Burke Week", where I take a look back at the Anaheim legacy of Brian Burke. So far I have talked about three things that I think Burke gets too much criticism for, plus three things that I don't think he gets criticized enough for. Later on in the week I'll look at some of the positive lessons we can learn from Burke the general manager, as well as some downsides to having such a brash and outspoken executive in Anaheim's front office. In addition, I was also a guest on The Rink Podcast this week to talk over some of the ramifications of Burke's departure.
Overall, I can't get too upset with the notion of Burke leaving, though as the cartoon suggests there is some feeling of being jilted. At the very least Burke has left next year's roster in very manageable shape -- lots of contracts expire at the end of the year, so Bob Murray does have freedom to mold next year's roster to his own liking. We shall see how the Ducks evolve over the coming year, but no matter how that turns out, I feel confident that the Toronto media has finally found the right
man for the Leafs GM job.