Confidential: Brian Burke’s Summer Vacation Checklist


Anyone with eyes, or access to a radio station, has a fairly good idea by now that Brian Burke’s a busy man. Between lending his presence to charitable causes, managing his NHL team, or working the phones to improve the mediocrity quality of said team, he never seems to slow down.

The man deserves a break.

But of course, those who’ve balanced a similar workload in their life know wickedly effective time management skills are critical for success in such circumstances. So much so, in Burke’s case, that he extends those practices to his time off. That’s right. In order to maximize the relaxation the way he maximizes the trade returns on MLSE’s on-ice refuseLebda, Brian’s generated a checklist to help him organize his summer vacation. His duties and time off overlap incredibly, leaving him with little choice. The Toronto Truculent has, of course, obtained a copy.

A few items have evidently been highlighted by his personal assistants to indicate high priority, or already completed. It’s late July, after all.

  • Obtain a #1 centrifuge trainer from the North American market; have them put Phil Kessel and Nazem Kadri through an intense summer program focused on rapid changes in direction which, ideally, would make Ron Wilson’s in-season, hoarse screaming of “backcheck!” seem like an easy task by comparison.
  • Send a note of condolence to press room whipping boy Howard Berger, and a three year-old fruit basket to his de facto replacement, Steve Simmons.
  • Call Steve Yzerman about…that thing.
  • Shit.
  • Call Lou Lamoriello. Same.
  • Say a brief prayer thanking the Lord for the team’s continued development and growth in the proper direction, for James Reimer, and for the #1 center we just traded f-oh, wait. Ha. Getting ahead of myself. Sorry Lord, not sure where that came from. Silly me. Not sure at all…
  • Host a dinner/mixer in Toronto for senior Leafs management staff. Requires venue with a capacity above 500.
  • Bucket List item#27: Cut sleeves off collared shirt and jacket: legit farmer’s tan.
  • Research the material from which Dion Phaneuf’s new, apparently indestructible injury-prevention leg wrap is constructed (prior to being moulded to the limb, and while it’s still in its natural liquid form). Then, while he’s sleeping, fill Tim Connolly’s pool with it.
  • Visit Cody Franson’s summer home in Sicamous B.C. to convince him, in person, that he needs to report to the Leafs’ training camp in September and all that stuff he saw on TSN earlier in July wasn’t just some elaborate media prank.
  • Have Nonis explain this “Twitter” thing, because being 20 seconds late to every trade rumour sucks. Plus, this @TOTruculent guy is apparently hilarious.
  • Find and bludgeon the hell out of Wellwood, the raccoon that’s likely been eating all the roma tomatoes in the garden out back.
  • Get back to that Rogers mobility rep who called and left a message saying, “We understand that throughout both February and June you’re on the ‘unlimited’ data and voice plan – but even then, you’re sort of abusing the term.”
  • Get back to the Foreign Minister from Namibia, who presented the business plan saying I would likely have better chance of success actually paying to feed the whole damn country than grabbing the number one center I’m generating those oft-referred phone bills trying to obtain.
  • Quit buying so many ties that you have no intention of ever tying.
  • Make a list of all the first-line NHL wingers potentially available and see who has the highest career faceoff percentage. Cross check that against who can skate backwards even slightly, trade for him, and ask him that if he couldn’t play his natural wing, or the opposite wing, is there another forward position he’d consider playing?
  • Call Yzerman to check in again, just in case I nightmared dreamed the Stamkos signing.
  • Check with PR to ensure next season’s batch of blue-collar-inspired metaphors (IE planting crops, plumbers) have been drafted to account for the following scenarios: poor start on account of largely unproven youth, unpredictability of goaltending, sudden injury to the team’s lone offensive threat, or accidentally trading for a star center.
  • Find the current consensus number one North American skater (preferably centre)from the upcoming 2016 draft and convince he and his family to move/transfer citizenship to Russia, which will cause him to drop at least 5-6 places in said draft. Will make it much easier for the Leafs to grab him with whatever mediocre first round pick we obtain for Mikhail Grabovski when the next rebuild inevitably tears this core down.
  • Call Steve Yzerman again. Invite him to the Leafs’ camp in September. On a tryout.
  • Prove a point by booking Steve Simmons on upcoming Caribbean cruises October 6, February 28, and July 1 to see if the media can run itself for a day without him.
  • Hold repeated press conferences to assure anyone who’ll listen that I have not asked Tomas Kaberle to wai….huh? Oh, yeah. We don’t have to do that this year.
  • Find a new beer, because this Molson Sixty-Seven sort of Molson Sixty-Sucks.
  • Should really address the #1 center thing. Cannot forget that again.