Maple Leafs Notes: Is Bettman Behind the Brian Burke Decision?

Derek HarmsworthSenior Writer IApril 27, 2008

Did Bettman Intervene On The Burke To Leafs Situation?

There are several reports out of Toronto, the most prominent being Hockeycentral at noon, which is simulcast Monday to Friday on the FAN590, as well as Rogers Sportsnet that are stating Gary Bettman may very well be the reason Brian Burke has decided to stay in Anaheim with the Ducks instead of taking the vacant Maple Leafs post.

You can see the video from the discussion at

It appears Bettman feels that having a bright mind like Burke in Anaheim is more important than bringing him to a hockey-mad city that is Toronto.  Bettman's main point of argument was that he wanted Burke to at least honour his contract with the Ducks before deciding any further.

Now, I see Gary's point.  Trust me, I really do.  After all, when Brian Burke joined this team they had missed the playoffs the previous season, picked second overall in the post-lockout draft (on a scary side note; imagine if the Ducks had gotten Crosby?) In two years he went out and got two of the best defenseman in the world, and transformed his team from an also-ran into a Stanley Cup Champ.

However, I am reminded of a few years back, when the Toronto Raptors were in a position of on court peril, similar to what the Maple Leafs are enduring currently.

It was then that NBA commissioner David Stern went to the Raptors brass, and basically told them to hire this really smart guy out of Phoenix.  That guy was Bryan Colangelo, and after being handfed to the Raps, led them to the division title the following year, and two straight post season births.

I realize the difference.  After all, the attendance for the Raps was down, something that will likely never happen for the Leafs.  But still the fact remains that they were a team in disarray, that needed a bright mind, and the NBA commission realized that, and got them the help they need.

Now, hey, this story may very well be way blown out of proportion, I mean, Brian Burke can surely make his own decisions, but if this story is true, it would be a pretty sore subject with a lot of Leafs fans.

After all Gary, Maybe you need to give your former pal, and current NBA commish a call.  Because really Mr. Bettman, Having thirty "healthy teams" has always been important to you.  I think someone just needs to tell you that 'healthy' teams mean more than just profitable ones.

ISS Final Draft Rankings

The ISS released their final rankings for this years NHL draft, set to take place June 20-21st in Ottawa.  The Maple Leafs will draft 7th overall this year.


  1. Steven Stamkos, C, Sarnia Sting
  2. Nikita Filatov, LW, Moscow CSKA
  3. Zach Bogosian, D, Peterborough Petes
  4. Drew Doughty, D, Guelph Storm
  5. Alex Pietrangelo, D, Niagara Icedogs
  6. Luke Schenn, D, Kelowna Rockets
  7. Mikkel Boedker, LW, Kitchener Rangers
  8. Colin Wilson, C, Boston University
  9. Cody Hodgson, C, Brampton Batallion
  10. Luca Sbisa, D, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Toronto Marlies Update

The Toronto Marlies came home from San Antonio with a split and as a result lead their opening round series 3-2 in the AHL playoffs.  Game six goes this afternoon at 4 in Toronto at the Ricoh Coliseum.  Tickets are still available.