Brian Burke Responds to Francois Allaire

Brian Burke Responds to Francois Allaire

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Photo: Reuters

Mike Ulmer sat down with Brian Burke to clear the airwaves regarding some disparaging remarks Francois Allaire about the Toronto Maple Leafs organization upon his exit.

“I regret that I have to deal with this matter publicly but I feel the need to respond. Was there interference from the staff as he said there was? Yes. But it was done reluctantly and it was done to change elements of our goaltending that was sub-par.”

The Leafs GM said Allaire’s comments forced him to step away from his long-standing policy of never criticizing a current or past member of his staff and offered his trademark good wishes and thanks.

Burke, who steadfastly defended Allaire throughout media calls for his ouster, then shredded the job delivered by the most famous goalie coach in the sport.

Allaire’s approach with his goalies, Burke said, hadn’t altered even though rule changes meant his insistence on the butterfly technique wasn’t working.

“The position has evolved in the last three to five years,” Burke said. “Nobody plays the classic stand-up any more either. Everything advances.”

Rules to minimize obstruction and limit goaltending equipment prompted the evolution of hybrid goalies who retain the solid elements of the butterfly by striving to be square to the shooter and rotating with pads down and body erect during scrums. Hybrid goalies usually stay on their feet longer and use their hands to snare pucks rather than chance rebounds. Jonathan Quick of the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and franchise goalies such as the Rangers Henrik Lundqvist, Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne are considered hybrid goalies.

Burke said he expected to name a successor within a matter of days.

Certainly, Burke’s goalies have stayed true to the longstanding code of never criticizing coaches.

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