The Deal Is (Almost) Done: Burke to Toronto

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When it comes to Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs, apparently it's all over but the shouting. Here's Damien Cox of the Toronto Star:

With only a few final details to be sorted out, none of which are viewed as deal-breakers, the deal is all but done.

The former Anaheim GM was forwarded a "term sheet" by the Leafs over the past 24 hours, which included acceptable clauses on the length of contract and compensation.

Burke's deal will include the rest of this season, then a five-year contract that kicks in next season. He made about $1.4 million managing the Ducks, and is expected to see his salary doubled in Toronto.

And so, one saga ends and another begins. But there's just one more detail that ought to be aired before Burke arrives in the first city of hockey. Back when the talk started about Burke coming to the Maple Leafs, it looked like the organization was more or less in complete disarray. When the elderly Cliff Fletcher was appointed to the post of interim GM, a lot of people laughed.

But as Al Strachan pointed out on Hockey Night in Canada a couple of weeks back and Steve Simmons reiterated over at the Toronto Sun last week, Fletcher did more than just keep the seat warm for Burke, he actually cleared out the dead wood and got the team well on the way to recovery. And while the current profile of the team -- lots of swift-skating Europeans with flashy skills -- doesn't exactly fit Burke's mold, it's a damn sight better than the team Fletcher inherited from John Ferguson, Jr.

The Deal Is (Almost) Done: Burke to Toronto originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Tue, 25 Nov 2008 15:23:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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