Burke doesn’t expect to be active in free agency

Brian Burke Fired
Brian Burke Fired

Brian Burke spoke to reporters out East at the P.E.I. Special Olympics Festival Luncheon on Wednesday.

“With the salary cap and the new collective bargaining agreement that’s coming up, I don’t know what our plans are for filling out our roster,” Burke told the large gathering at Credit Union Place.

“Free agency starts on July 1, it’s a really thin group.

“Teams are locking all these quality players up now, so the group that is getting to the market is thin, it’s shallow. There are really two high-end players and that’s about it, (Nashville defenceman) Ryan Suter and (New Jersey forward) Zach Parise.

“I don’t think we are going to be in on either one of them.”

Burke continued:

“People say if you don’t make the playoffs you are gone. That’s fine. I am not going to do anything short term to make the playoffs and keep my job.

“I want a parade. I’m not interested in making the playoffs – I want to win another championship.

“If that means we go with what we have because the price doesn’t make sense, I’m perfectly willing to do that. I’ve gotten fired before. It’s not fun, but . . .”

Preaching long term thinking with the rebuild and putting the team’s future ahead of your own job security is noble, I just hope Burke doesn’t shy away from offering big money to an elite player only to turn and overpay for mediocre talent like Brandon Prust.

Some late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning links:

-The Calgary Flames traded Jordan Henry and a 5th round pick in 2013 to the Washington Capitals for the rights to Dennis Wideman, who they then promptly signed to a five-year, $26.5 million dollar gift. Wait, what? Did I say “gift”? I meant “deal”. Stupid autocorrect.

-Cam Charron is on some sort of impressive writing blitz this week over at TLN. He asks whether or not Cody Franson can fill Luke Schenn’s role, and then assesses both Nikolai Kulemin’s offensive and defensive games!

-The St. Louis Blues have extended coach Ken Hitchcock. Yeah…winning a Jack Adams will do that.

Ralph Krueger is the new coach of the Edmonton Oilers, and for whatever reason, TSN used an appropriately angry-looking photo on their article to go along with his German-sounding name. “We are not going to be focusing on winning, winning, winning to the point that it suffocates us and we squeeze our sticks,” Krueger said of his upcoming tenure. “That happens in Edmonton anyways, without the focus on winning,” he did not add.

-Donald Fehr revealed the players named to his bargaining committee for the upcoming CBA talks which, despite the terrible looming fear of horribleness we’ve felt in the last year, seem to be off to a rhetorically friendly start with both sides aiming for a resolution. “I can say both sides want an agreement and want to make the talks as painless as possible,” said the Leafs‘ own David Steckel. Which is, of course, just one of the quotes you can prepare to throw back in his face on September 16th when a lockout’s announced and we, as fans, are furiously angry at…well, everyone involved.

-“Claimed to have slipped.” CLAIMED TO HAVE SLIPPED! We have the video, pal. Assuming you avoid jail on the likely assault charge, I hope you never coach again. Not sure why I’m addressing you in the second person.

-The only conceivable reason I’m linking a Rosie DiManno article is because it’s about Mats.

-Via the Globe, Mirtle breaks down the free agent crop. SPOILER: It’s thin. Then, he takes a more specific look at the top UFA defencemen. SPOILER: “Top” is a relative term.