Team USA, Leafs give Burke his space

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:34 PM ET

CANTON, Mass. — With the NHL’s Olympic roster freeze approaching this weekend, don’t count on the Maple Leafs being active in the coming days.

“I don’t expect anything to happen with us this week,” Maple Leafs senior VP David Nonis said on Tuesday.

Nonis, Dave Poulin and Jeff Jackson are the front men of the Leafs braintrust in charge of running the operation of the team while GM/president Brian Burke mourns the loss of his son Brendan, who died in a traffic accident Friday in Indiana.

Nonis is Burke’s right hand man and will oversee any deals leading up to the March 3 trade deadline. That was always the plan, even before Brendan’s untimely passing, with Nonis slated to be the point man on any trade talk while Burke was looking after his Olympic duties with Team USA.

Now, with Burke handling family matters, both the Leafs and Team USA are in good hands.

“Everything is business as usual with us,” said Nonis, referring to the Leafs. “Brian knows he can take all the time he wants and we’ll take care of things.”

Such was the case Monday, when Nonis and company decided to call up 2009 first round draft pick Nazem Kadri from the London Knights for his NHL debut against the San Jose Sharks after a couple of Leaf regulars came down with the flu.

As for Team USA, co-GM David Poile said Burke knows the house is in order.

“We have everything set and in place, barring a last-minute injury,” said Poile, the GM of the Nashville Predators. “Even then, we have a well-established contingency plan.

“We’re ready to go.”

The Olympic hockey tournament begins Feb. 14 in Vancouver.

Nonis, Poulin, Jackson and Poile all attended the funeral of Brendan Burke in Canton Tuesday.


Videos

Photos