Rob The Hockey Guy

// A Vancouver Canucks Hockey Blog

Friday Night Fights: Burke vs Gillis, Gallagher vs Suitor


The all holier than though Brian Burke is at it again. In a video posted on the Toronto Maple Leafs official website, Burke at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft tells the camera about a rumour he heard. That rumour involved Mike Gillis offering Alex Burrows, Kevin Bieksa and their 1st round pick in exchange for number two overall pick Victor Hedman.

“Vancouver has made a major effort to get the second pick out of Tampa Bay,” Burke tells his scouts at a pre-draft meeting. “We heard they offered – again, this is all second-hand, so we’re not sure – [Alex] Burrows, [Kevin] Bieksa and their own pick. Those are two pretty good players.”

Isn’t this the same Brian Burke who goes ballistic every time a member of the media prints a trade rumour? If this was something was leaked out by accident, you could give Burke a pass, but this was him talking into the camera, and the video ended up on the Leafs official website! Clearly, Burke is at odds with Canucks management. He was closely linked to the Tom Gaglardi/Ryan Beedie group that tried to buy the Canucks from John McCaw. He’s also probably pissed that Gillis was critical about the team he inherited at his first press conference.

Unbelievable that the NHL isn’t going to look into this, yet another example of Brian Burke tampering. Aside from him leaving the Ducks and joining the Leafs last year in mid-season, his coach Ron Wilson was on Toronto radio telling the whole world how much he liked the Sedin twins shortly before the two were to become unrestricted free agents.

What makes all of this worse, is what a hypocrite Brian Burke is. He’s constantly up on his moral high horse, when in reality, he’s just as guilty as everyone else. Remember how mad he was at Kevin Lowe for putting an offer sheet out to Dustin Penner? Well, that’s within the rules. Leaving one GM post for another in mid-season, isn’t.

What about being completely uninterested in Dany Heatley because he demanded a trade?

“We’re not going to be in on that,” Burke stated.  “He’s a good player but I have certain guidelines on how players ask for trades.”

Well, he had no troubles acquiring Chris Pronger when he was the GM in Ahaheim. Didn’t he demand a trade too?

Gillis, to his credit, has truly taken the high road. He’s voiced his displeasure, but he isn’t going overboard. In fact, he’s not even going to file a formal complaint with the league. Good on him.


Now for a real fight. Did anyone catch Gallagher vs Suitor on Team 1040 this week? Tony Gallagher criticized the CFL in one of his columns, to which Glen Suitor took great offense. Too much offense in my opinion. If someone wants to criticize the CFL, fine. Nobody has to like the CFL. There’s been all sorts of reaction to this, everything from message boards to newspaper columns.

Here’s the part of the column that Suitor was pissed at:

“After all, we are talking about the CFL, where if you somehow manage to scrape into the playoffs, you’re only three wins away from a championship, no matter how bad your record may have been over the course of a season.

And at that championship point, everyone jumps up and down and pats each other on the back and acts as though they’ve cured cancer and declare themselves winners, when in fact somebody has to come away with a trophy in a league that has just eight teams.”

And he’s right! I love the CFL, but 75% of the teams make the playoffs! That doesn’t mean it’s easy to play professional football, but your chances of winning a championship in an eight team league are pretty high! Suitor’s got to realize that the CFL is what it is. It’s a second-rate football league. It’s fun to watch, it’s of high quality, but it’s the second best football league in the world. And it only has eight teams. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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