Burke's too young for Leafs

GARY LOEWEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

First came Cliff Fletcher, rejuvenated at 73.

Now the Maple Leafs have a chance to complete the roster for the new version of That 70s show.

Fletcher has managed to rebuild the Leafs this season while improving them at the same time. Hey, Brian Burke, have you been watching?

Leafs upper management -- in a search that has been as thorough as O.J. Simpson scouring every golf course for the real wearer of the glove -- doesn't seem to have made much headway in unearthing a new president for the hockey operations, even with candidates landing at their doorstep.

So, here's the proposal:

Forget about Burke, the long-rumoured saviour who quit the Anaheim Ducks yesterday. Instead, create a new three-headed monster to replace the old three-headed monster of Richard Peddie, Larry (The Mad 'Baumer) Tanenbaum and John Ferguson Jr.

Pat Gillick, 71, fresh off leading the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series, has indicated an interest in working for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd.

Grab him. He'll bring instant credibility, working with the silver-haired professor of Schmaft-ematics on the hockey operation.

Paul Godfrey, who turns 70 next year, is out as CEO of the Blue Jays.

Grab him. He'll work on the business/schmoozing side of the operation, dealing with governments and NHL governors.

Plus, with his background as a chemical engineer, Godfrey might concoct a Cup-winning formula.

Let Burke, who is only 53, go to Boston to get some experience.

The MLSEL board of governors thus would be allowed to focus on building condos, and on scheming to take over the world.

If Rogers Communications doesn't beat them to it.

TV TROUBLE

Some of us can look forward to viewing the Raptors-Miami Heat game on Sunday.

But if you have rabbit ears or Rogers

Cable, no such luck.

A dozen Raptors games are slated to be shown on TSN2, a new channel that Rogers Cable has so far refused to pick up.

A TSN spokesman said yesterday there was nothing new to report in negotiations between the cable giant and the network.

It could a money issue; it could be that other sports networks see TSN as a playground bully by adding a second channel.

Easy solution: Appeal to the Rogers outfit's vanity. Agree to call it Rogers TSN2 (even if they don't own it).

Rogers loves that stuff -- the Rogers Chinese Lantern Festival, the Rogers Centre, the Rogers Blue Jays -- their favourite old-time ball player is Rogers Hornsby.

While we're at it, how about renaming the Buffalo (Overdue) Bills? Call them the Rogers Direct Deposits.

THEY SAID WHAT?

Those nasty Jacksonville Jaguars were making fun of the Detroit Lions on Sunday, en route to a 38-14 win.

"They were cracking jokes," Lions running back Kevin Smith told the Detroit media.

"They thought we were a joke. They said we suck. They were saying that to me, that I suck. And I told them they suck, too. And they said, 'Well, not as bad as (you).' And I said, 'You're right.' (Because) we haven't won one game." It's tough when the truth hits home, Kev.


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