Brian Burke is off to Europe. The Brian Burke and Friends Luncheon was supposed to occur on Thursday at Fort William Historical Park. This is for the Special Olympics. It is completely praiseworthy that Burke has decided to give back to the community just as much as he makes his players and coaches do. However, he had to cancel.
The luncheon had 300 tickets that cost $60 each. Unfortunately, due to extenuating circumstances, they have to reschedule the event. The event was also to feature several hockey stars. Apparently, Brian Burke was called away on hockey business.
Before people get too excited, realize this is probably not the Tomas Kaberle trade. He can negotiate the Kaberle trade from his cellphone and still be back in time for dinner. This luncheon did not need to be cancelled for such a thing.
So where is Burke going? According to my sources, he seems to be headed to Europe, though I cannot say where. Apparently, he is going there to negotiate a contract with a prospective player.
The question is what kind of player? I don't just mean the position, I mean is he a prospect, bonafide NHLer or something in between? Well it is hard to figure out, so we'll use past history to try our luck.
Burke has always tried to play a North American style of hockey. He does not hate Europeans (see Sedin twins), but he does prefer North Americans. In fact Niklas Hagman, who was playing a very solid game was dealt out of Toronto, don't be surprised if it was because Burke did not like the European style he was playing.
So it is hard to imagine Burke getting bonafide NHL players because he does not like getting European players. Getting prospects is another issue, Burke loves acquiring solid prospects, no matter how he finds them. This is why he went to Europe to get players like Jonas Hiller, Jonas Gustavsson, Jussi Rynas etc. Expect him to come out of there with a solid prospect everybody else missed.
So Burke is now off to Europe. Only time will tell who he plans to sign there. I for one hope its a top six forward so we can keep Kaberle. After all, we won't need to deal him if we get a good enough top six forward. And let's be honest, Kaberle is one of the best defencemen in the NHL.
With Burke you never know. I may have hoped for a top six forward and expect a prospect but don't be surprised if Burke comes out of there with a defenceman. After all nobody saw the Phaneuf trade coming.