GM poised to make noise

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:52 AM ET

When Brian Burke opens his mouth, almost anything can come out.

But what would the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager say if he got away from the media scrums?

TSN is going to find out. Tonight at the Bell Centre in Montreal, TSN has miked Burke in hopes of overhearing what transpires from a management perspective at the NHL draft.

If Burke does pull off the big deal and convinces the New York Islanders to give him the first pick, TSN will pick up some of that smooth talking.

"He has made no bones about the fact that he's wanting to make a splash on draft day, and Burke has always proved to be great TV," TSN vice-president of production Mark Milliere said. "We keep trying to push the limits on it and come up with new stuff."

It's likely most of the framework for any deal would have been done in advance, but there is guaranteed to be intrigue with the Leafs and their draft night.

Provided Burke doesn't know how to turn the microphone off, he could almost end up being a guest analyst for TSN depending on how much he comments to the people around him about other team's selections.

Another new feature in TSN's coverage will be hockey insider Darren Dreger Twittering from the draft floor and updating a blog.

James Duthie will be host of the coverage from the draft stage, where future stars will put on their new jerseys.

A panel of Gord Miller, Bob McKenzie and Pierre McGuire will be dissecting each pick, while reporter Ryan Rishaug will roam the stands talking to players' families.

In 2007, the NHL moved the first round from its usual early Saturday afternoon time slot to Friday night, and viewership improved in prime time. Rounds two through seven are on Saturday and won't be televised.

The draft makes for great TV, being that all 30 NHL teams bring their staffs to an arena floor and many prospects fill the stands waiting for their names to be called.

- As much as draft night promises to be entertaining, the NHL awards night a week ago was one of the worst shows in years.

The NHL took the awards to Las Vegas from its home in Toronto but it had none of the glitz and glamour Sin City usually offers.

Produced by the NHL for CBC, the show had no real host and the guest entertainment was Chaka Khan (who was a big get in 1984, not 2009).

Instead, uncomfortable-looking hockey people were introducing awards in front of an lifeless audience.

Not even Alex Ovechkin could liven things up with his goofy jokes.

Inexplicably, crooner Michael Buble didn't sing but closed the show by saying the awards would be back in Vegas next year.

It seems NHL people are the only ones who can't have fun in Vegas.

- ESPN has added a great feature to baseball telecasts with updated stats as hitters get deeper into counts.

Usually a hitter's average will go up when he is ahead in the count and down when he is behind.

That's not always the case, and it is interesting to see who does the best at a full count. In Canada, this feature can be seen on Sunday Night Baseball on Sportsnet ...

TSN is giving golf fans an inside look at Tiger Woods on Sunday when he plays the Fox Harb'r Course in Nova Scotia. Woods will play a charity round with swing coach Hank Haney and former NBA star Charles Barkley. The crew will follow the trio around during the round, then sit down for an interview with the world's No. 1 golfer.


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