June 16, 2010
Burke gives his vision to the MLSEL board
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Brian Burke gave his vision of the 2010-11 hockey season to the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. board of directors on Monday.
Judging by the fact they let the general manager stay to attend the official opening of the team-themed sports bar in Maple Leaf Square and an adjacent giant retail store, they liked what they heard. Burke detailed budget and player personnel matters for the Leafs and Marlies.
“You will have to ask the board,” a coy Burke said. “But I will say that since I’ve been here (almost two calendar years) I’ve never had a problem with them (approving) something I’ve proposed.”
Richard Peddie, president and CEO of MLSEL, was pleased with the presentation.
“Excellent job. Burke and (Dave) Nonis updated board on strategy and progress for both Leafs and Marlies. Got the $$ he requested and more. Board is very comfortable with direction.”
Buy out Blues
The NHL’s window to buy out contracts opened Tuesday. As expected the Canadiens bought out disgruntled forward Georges Laraque and there are reports that Ottawa wants to cash out Jonathan Cheechoo and that the Oilers might go that route with some or all of captain Ethan Moreau and forwards Patrick O’Sullivan and Robert Nilsson.
Burke says the Leafs aren’t planning such moves, with little used defenceman Jeff Finger due $3.5 million US this year and next.
Players over age 26 can be bought out at two-thirds of the remaining salary, with younger players at one-third. The team gets twice the years remaining on the deal to pay the reduced number on the salary cap.
Burke continues to hear offers for defenceman Tomas Kaberle, but denies reports he’s speaking specifically to the New Jersey Devils and old pal Lou Lamoriello ... Though nothing is moving in talks with restricted free-agent winger Nikolai Kulemin, Burke stressed there was plenty of time for the two sides to reach a common number.