"Two weeks ago, an NHL general manager said that netminder Marc-Andre Fleury was the most important Penguin because he covered for a team that gave up a lot of chances."
"When we started the season last year, the organization was basically empty," Allaire said. "We had one goalie who couldn’t play in the NHL anymore [Toskala], one goalie with no experience [Jonas Gustavsson] and one goalie who was coming out of the ECHL [Reimer].
Brian Burke isn't just a legend of the NHL. He's a fists-up, knock-your-teeth-out gladiator. But when his hockey-loving son came out of the closet and died soon after, he was thrust into a strange new role: advocate for gays in a macho sports culture. He's no cheerleader—he looks like he hates every minute of it—but locker-room homophobia may have finally met its match.
"The Toronto Maple Leafs will vote against this. We think (our league has) the best officials in the world and we don’t need to handcuff them with needless replays."
"The Sun has great value if you own a puppy or a parakeet" — Brian Burke Tuesday on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central.
If anybody should know about icing a team of dogs that was for the birds, it should be Brian Burke.
For a guy who led his team to 29th place in the NHL last season, and who traded away two potential first-round lottery draft picks, perhaps the Leafs loud-mouth GM should criticize his own performance.
But Bombastic Brian loves to talk. He’s got some good lines, too. Scribes love Burkie. Better than a boring GM.
But it’s time to put up or shut up.
This is why Burke is here and whether he likes it or not the Toronto Sun, and our team of amazing sports writers, editors and photographers, is the go-to place for Leafs fans. One thing the Sun, which will turn 39 next month, has never had on its front page is a picture of a Maple Leafs captain holding up a Stanley Cup.
"The deadline is Sunday, and I don’t expect to see anyone’s best cards until probably Friday," Burke said. "That being said, the offers improved dramatically over the weekend. We’re at a double-digit number of teams that are in. Unilaterally, without any phone calls from us, two teams dramatically improved their offer over the weekend. It’s going the way I thought it would go."
Then there were the Toronto Maple Leafs, who signed Colby Armstrong for 3 years and $9 million but weren't engaged otherwise on July 1 according to multiple agents. "Not only were the Leafs not aggressive, but their offices were closed and their GM and assistant GM were not taking calls for part of the day," said an agent.
Another agent said Burke is a general manager "on a high horse," believing that the franchise can sell itself. But that agent said Burke's approach is understandable given the market: "Toronto should be a great place to play. It has everything but the winning."
It's easy to say you accept a gay son. It's different, in a town where you are very recognizable, to take your gay son to the Pride Parade. And as they watched the rainbow kaleidoscope of people spin by that day, Brian Burke made a promise.
"He said, 'I really appreciate you coming out,'" says Burke, his eyes hidden behind sunglasses. "I said, 'Well, next year we'll march in it.'"
Brian Burke is one of the world's better speakers. Some of his pronouncements are practically Shakespearean, blunt and unhesitating and full of powerful and complicated words. But the reason marching was easier is that every time he tries to talk about Brendan, 156 days later, he gets strangled by his heart. Brian Burke can talk about anything but this.