Yesterday was one of the craziest days in Maple Leafs land in a long time.
Let's hope they're not lost in translation, as they still have a game to play tonight.
It all started yesterday morning (Alberta time) when a rumour broke out that winger Jason Blake had been waived by the Leafs. It was a rumour that Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher was quick to deny.
Blake was in fact on the ice in Calgary yesterday for practice. He wore a red jersey and skated on the fourth line. With the Oilers likely dressing Jesse Boulerice, the Leafs may suit up Ryan Hollweg in favour of Blake tonight in Edmonton. Updates on lines and scratches should be available later this afternoon.
Once the waves from the Blake rumours settled, the Brian Burke news spread like wildfire throughout the league. Within a few hours, Burke had stepped down as the GM of the Ducks and slid into a senior advisor's role. The role will allow him to slowly step away from the organization—and according to TSN's Darren Dreger, the Ducks will file a paper with the National Hockey League allowing Burke to seek employment elsewhere in the league.
This, of course, set off the Burke to Toronto rumours again. It appears this is something we will have to live with at least through Christmas.
It certainly isn't a shock that Burke would join the Maple Leafs. While the Leafs have to be considered the front-runners in this situation, there are other teams in the East who may be looking for a General Manager, should they have a disappointing season, or an early playoff exit.
Love him or hate him, Burke is recognized as one of the brightest minds in this game. There is no doubt the Leafs will have competition if they are going to pursue the fiery Burke.
On an interesting side note, there are rumblings from several hockey insiders stating that Cliff Fletcher is a little upset at the Burke news. The insiders maintain that Fletcher is actually enjoying being the GM of the Leafs (and is doing a pretty good job, if I can say so) and doesn't want to relinquish the title.
Still, Burke joining the team is likely—and should Fletcher get the chance, he could stay on in an advisory role.
That's it for now from Edmonton, where the Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers are getting ready to hit the ice soon.
Keep checking here for updates throughout the day on lines and scratches for both the Leafs and Oilers.
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