Sundin not expected back: Burke

By MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:37 PM ET

The Maple Leafs held a fancy press conference for Brian Burke's coronation this afternoon but don't expect there to be one for Mats Sundin in the near future.

Introduced as the president and 13th general manager of the Leafs, Burke immediately addressed the Sundin issue - specifically, if the big Swede is destined to land in Toronto again.

Listening to Burke, it does not appear as if the two will be a good fit.

"I don't think we fit the profile he is looking for," said Burke, who, while still employed with the Anaheim Ducks, met with Sundin in Los Angeles several weeks ago.

While Sundin might not fit into the Leafs plans - and vice versa - Burke did stick up for the long-time Toronto captain.

"There has been a lot of criticism of Mats Sundin for not making up his mind," Burke said. "Having been through this situtation before (with Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer), I do not agree with (the critics). I'd rather have a guy who wants to make sure in his own mind of what he is doing, as opposed to a guy who plays half-assed just to collect a paycheck.

"It's not about the money. He (didn't jump) at a $10 million per year offer (from Vancouver).

"He's got $2 US less than God."

Burke addressed a number of issues, including:

- FLETCH LIVES!: Burke praised Cliff Fletcher, saying the former GM is welcome to stay on with the team as a correspondent. "Cliff has a job as long as he wants one," Burke said. Joe Nieuwendyk, a man Burke said he "respects," also can remain, if he so chooses. "Everyone in the front office will have the chance to be with us going forward, should they choose to do things my way," he said

- THUMBS UP: Burke was in favour of Fletcher's acquisitions of Mikhail Grabovski and Luke Schenn during the off-season, even though both cost the team draft picks. "Anyone who criticizes those moves would be, in my opinion, wrong," he said. Burke admitted trying to pry Grabovski away from the Habs and make him a Duck during the summer. As for Schenn, Burke said he did not think Schenn was ready for the NHL prior to the season. "He looks ready right now," Burke admitted.

- NONIS TIME: Burke said he will ask permission from the Ducks to speak with Dave Nonis, one of his closest and most trusted advisers in both Anaheim and Vancouver. It is believed Nonis has a 48-hour window to leave. Expect Nonis to come to Toronto and take the job as Burke's assistant.

- SLOW WINDS OF CHANGE: It is unlikely there will be wholesale changes before Boxing Day. The NHL puts on a Christmas trade freeze from Dec. 19-27 but Burke said he will make no trades starting Dec. 9 and running through the 27th. "I think players should be allowed to spend the holidays with their families and not be displaced."

- BIGGER, BETTER, BADDER: Burke warned Toronto fans to brace themselves for a more physical style of play. "The bigger the better, the quicker the better, the more physical the better," he said, adding Leafs Nation might not be prepared for the rough style of play Toronto will adapt. "My teams have always been like that. I won't apologize for that. It's a North American style...It's important that we have a snarl."

- ANTI-EURO TALK IS B.S.: Burke rejected recent notions that he is anti-European when it comes to the makeup of his team. "I don't care what colour a guy's passport is or where he comes from. All that matters is that he can fulfill a role on the team."

- LESS IS MOORE: Burke rejected suggestions that forward Dominic Moore might be uncomfortable with his appointment, given that Burke was the Vancouver GM when then-Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi attacked Steve Moore, Dominic's brother. "Dominic Moore's role as a player should not be effected by what happened to his brother." Burke added that he might be called as a witness in any Moore-Bertuzzi litigation, but not as a party.

- OLYMPIC DREAMS: With Burke serving as the GM of the American Olympic team, coach Ron Wilson has interest in coaching the squad. "If it was anyone else but Burkie, I'd say "Been there, done that." But with Burkie there, yes, I'm interested."

- IN CLOSING: Burke called his new post with the Leafs "a dream job," comparing it to what "the Vatican is to catholics." Said Burke: "The man who brings a championship to this city will have schools named after him."

Brian Burke Secondary School? We'll have to wait and see if it ever happens.


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