For those who think Toronto is the Centre of the Hockey Universe, Brian Burke is trying to prove that point.
While giving commissioner Gary Bettman a tour of the Maple Leafs’ new practice facility Tuesday, Burke pitched the idea of landing an outdoor game for BMO Field. He also has stated his desire to bring the NHL draft and all-star game to Toronto.
“We’ve approached the NHL asking that we’d like to host (all three),” the Leafs’ general manager said. “We think Toronto’s a pretty important market and we think we could do a good job with those things.”
While BMO Field has a of 20,000, officials claim capacity could be modestly increased for such an event. Burke did say studies involving the ability of the facility to accommodate an outdoor game have been “limited to this point.”
“Part of the attraction of BMO Field are the surrounding facilities. There is underground parking, there are indoor facilities where fans could get out of the bitter cold if they had to ... We think we could put something attractive together.”
As for hosting the draft, Burke quipped: “I just want (Habs GM) Bob Gainey to be booed the way I was in Montreal.”