Brian Burke Part 1:Now He's Here and We Can Talk About It

xx yySenior Writer IDecember 1, 2008

Like any good Canadian, I was watching hockey on Saturday—in fact, I watched the game with my dad while my mom and my girlfriend decorated our Christmas tree.

Something tells me I won't get to watch hockey next weekend, but I digress.

Like any good Leafs' fan, I also watched (begrudgingly) the press conference introducing Brian Burke as the new 'Lord and Saviour' of Leafs Nation. 

Before touching anything, Burke has been appointed the man who's going to rebuild this team; make it bigger, faster, stronger, better, and championship calibre in hockey's self-proclaimed Mecca.

All I could think of though as the presser wrapped up and Burke took his seat for his 'exclusive' LeafsTV interview was that, for the most part, it was all over.

Sidenote: I love the word 'exclusive' because in Toronto (and cities such as New York and L.A. probably), it really means nothing. LeafsTV's interview is exclusive for about 20 minutes, which is as long as it takes Burke to get re-mic'd by Sportsnet or TSN to ask him.

Exclusive has specific times and places it can be used. I don't know if Toronto is one of those places, and if it ever enters one of those time periods.

Aside from a blustering tirade or two (or seven) during the season and a state-of-the-team address, and whatever else Burkie wants to speak his mind about, there's no reason to hear as much from, or about Burke as we have already.

Alright, so we'll undoubtedly keep hearing about him and that may be a little too often for some people, but the point is that this whole 'Brian Burke, will he or won't he, he said she said, tip-toeing tango' is over.

Finally. And I couldn't be more...indifferent.

To be honest, this whole ordeal went on a lot longer than it should have. Burke was one of the 'prospective candidates' targeted by MLSE way back in the summer for the GM's opening. However, all the talk was that Burke was going to honor his contract. One of two things probably should have happened:

A) Toronto and it's media (including some of us here at Bleacher Report) should have dropped the story and moved on, awaiting the day he actually signed instead of reporting whether or not he was pouting or beaming on any given day in the Ducks' press box.


B) Burke should have sought an opt-out or buy-out from his contract right then and there if he was just using the ;seeing it out' line to save face for a little bit instead of tossing the extension he was offered in the face of Ducks' management and moving to hockey's Vatican.

Because all parties involved allowed it to, the Burke-Toronto-Anaheim love triangle became the biggest story based on nothing but speculation.

Ron Wilson was hired, so that meant Burke was coming to work with his best friend. Al Coates was a member of Burke's regime in Anaheim so that had to mean the Leafs' were padding Burke's landing in Toronto. Dave Nonis was rumored to be the GM in Toronto at one point as well, but he would have just been keeping the seat warm for Burkie.

Each and every one of those story lines were ripped apart to no end, and now that Burke is here there's still no proof that the Leafs did any of this for Burke in the first place.

Wilson was hired because the team was terrible. Not just terrible defensively, but terrible overall, not to woo Burke to the 'Big Smoke.'

Al Coates was outgoing GM (although he may still stay on with the team) Cliff Fletcher's right-hand man in Calgary, but there were whispers he could lure Burke here too.

Dave Nonis? Hell, he's still in Anaheim—looks like it'll be Burke luring him to Toronto now though.

So now the speculation will simmer for a little, and the media can concentrate on the important things again (like the game itself) while Burke gets his feet about him and gauges where the team is at right now, and where it needs to go.

Once he does that however, the speculation will start to rise again, but this time it'll concentrate on the moves that Brian Burke will be eyeing to improve the organization that's finally his.

Now the media can have their field day because their quote machine has arrived. Now we can talk about Burke as much or as little as we want because it's all relevant. Now we can finally get back to the team, and ask questions (and get answers) relevant to the on-ice product.

Who's out, who's in, and who's staying put? Those are all questions that will soon have answers.

At least now the man that's supposed to be answering them is in place and we aren't answering them for him.

Bryan Thiel is a Senior Writer and an NHL Community Leader for Bleacher Report. You can get in contact with Bryan through his profile, and you can also check out all of his previous work in his archives.