Burke's number on speed dial

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- The calls have flooded in at record pace.

From the moment Anaheim Ducks chief executive Michael Schulman sent a letter to the NHL giving the green light for Brian Burke to pursue other options Friday, the inquiries have come in hot and heavy concerning the availability of the former Ducks and Vancouver Canucks general manager.

But as of last night, it wasn't the Maple Leafs knocking at his door.

Nor was it the Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators or Boston Bruins, for that matter.

No, it primarily has been curious members of the media, who have kept Burke busy for the past 48 hours.

"In my entire life my phone has never rang this much," Burke said last night from Orange County, Calif. "And it has all been from the media.

"So far there have been no teams that have called."

One of Burke's representatives did contact the Leafs, but that was just to inform the team of his client's status and to let them know the door was open for future discussions.

Talks should heat up in the coming days. There will be no shortage of teams kicking his tires, with the Leafs expected to lead the charge.

Burke will not come out and say it, but from the moment he stepped down from his position with the Ducks on Wednesday sources insist the Leafs were the ideal future fit.

Peter Gall, Burke's Vancouver-based lawyer, said the other day that there is no schedule for negotiations to take place, adding that the process "will take some time."

Having said that, talks are expected to heat up this week. If the Leafs are smart and get things done as quickly as possible, the ideal situation would be to see him in place when Wendel Clark's No. 17 is honoured next Saturday prior to the game against the Blackhawks at the Air Canada Centre.

At the same time, Burke is certain to make sure the wording of any contract is in his best interests down to the final dotting of the i's and crossing of the t's.

Burke, who indicated last week he wouldn't mind being employed again by U.S. Thanksgiving, Nov. 27, said yesterday there is no urgency. In other words, the process must play itself out.

"I've never been out of a job before so I'm learning how this all works too," Burke said. "As such, I can't make any predictions."

Here's one he can be sure of: His phone is going to keep ringing off the hook in the near future.


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