Friday, July 27, 2007

Brian Burke responds

Like most thinking hockey fans, I like Brian Burke a fair amount. Very good GM—that deal where he got one of the best defenceman in the world for Minus Man and a prospect was pretty good—and generally has a lot of smart things to say about almost any aspect of the game. I trust his opinion, most of the time. But god damn if this wasn't one of the most ridiculous sentences I've ever read: "I don't think it shows a lot of respect for the B.C .Hockey Hall of Fame."

To be fair, Burke makes some good points (namely it's not the RFA offer sheets that are the problem, but the fact that they're so big, which I entirely agree with when I see "$4.3 million," "Dustin Penner," and "Oilers" in the same paragraph).

But seriously: "Am I Showing Respect for the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame?" should be the moral maxim that guides us through this godless, nihilistic time. It's not quite as catchy as "What Would Jesus Do?" but it could still probably fit on a bracelet: "AISRBCHHF?"

SHAMELESSLY SELF-PROMOTIONAL UPDATE: A big thanks to Allen Popels over at Capital Fanatic, who featured me as a guest on his weekly podcast earlier today (I suppose self-promotion normally works better when it happens before what it is you're supposed to promoting, but hey, that's how I roll). We discussed the Penner offer, the Souray signing, the Nylander debacle, and even a little bit of the Katz affair. It was one of the more fun things I've ever done in connection to this blog, and as a bonus it introduced me to Popels pretty fabulous blog, which you'll find added to the blog roll to the right. Watch out, Dan Tencer, I'm coming for you.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was thinkin today about why Lowe didnt try to sign Bertuzzi when he was available. He gets 4 mil a year in Anaheim and is twice the player Penner will ever be! Everything is all whacked with the Oil right now and its not lookin good for a match from Burke...

Chris! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Art Vandelay said...

Burke is on Team 1040 in Vancouver the other morning for the first time in about a hundred years (feud with David Pratt) and one of the dudes asks him how he can justify $4M to Bertuzzi.
"I don't listen to this station so I don't have to justify anything to you guys."
He's basically the white, articulate version of Mike Tyson.

Anonymous said...

Just curious, is Burke Canadian?

Lord Bob said...

He's basically the white, articulate version of Mike Tyson.

"Lowe's no Alexander, I'm Alexander! My style is impetuous! Our defense is impregnable, and we're just ferocious! I want his heart! I want to eat his children!"

I can totally picture Brian Burke saying that. In fact, I can so totally picture it that I'm thinking it was cut from all the reports of yesterday's Burke-speech.

McLea said...

He's basically the white, articulate version of Mike Tyson.

Care to explain? I don't understand this comparison at all.

garnet said...

Burke's objection might be sneakier than a mere complaint about etiquette.
If Lowe calls in advance and says "we're going to sign Penner to an offer sheet," Burke has a chance to do something about it -- talk Penner out of it before he signs, for example. Before the kid signs, Burke can offer him a different deal that works better for the Ducks -- say, a longer term for less per year. This way, he's stuck with the Oilers' terms if he wants to keep the player.
In other words, Burke may be less petulant, and more dishonest and calculating, than he seems.

Chris! said...

Burke's complaint is total bunk. He's known that Lowe was gunning for Penner since the beginning of July, and all he had to do to stop it was sign the guy to his own terms or commit to arbitration. He didn't, and now he's sputtering about the consequences.

That said, it seems unlikely to me that Burke would have dragged his feet on this without reason. It's a possibility that he had no intention of signing Penner to an expensive deal this season with Bertuzzi coming in, so he just sat back and waited for Lowe to pounce with a crazy RFA offer, knowing the value of the picks was more than Penner would garner via trade.

In the end, Burke saves money, gets a sweet top-10 pick and looks like he's taking the high ground. Lowe looks like a madman and bogs down his salary cap with a $4.3-million third liner.

Damn. I think we've been had.

McLea said...

and all he had to do to stop it was sign the guy to his own terms or commit to arbitration.

If your Penner's agent, why would let him sign any contract "on Burke's terms" when you know there's a ridiculous offer sheet coming?

mike w said...

He's known that Lowe was gunning for Penner since the beginning of July

I don't think anyone was necessarily expecting Lowe to sign Penner to an offer sheet; if anything, it was a vague possibility amongst many other theoretical moves.

MikeP said...

mike w, after the Vanek offer sheet, it shouldn't have been a surprise to *anybody* with an RFA forward that Lowe might make them an offer. Burke, of all people, should have been expecting it. He's in tight with the cap, he's in the West, and Lowe owes him a good shot in the nards for Lupul, even if all Burke did was to give Lowe what he asked for. Lowe may claim not to hold grudges, but he's a former NHL dman, for pete's sake. Taking note of numbers for a later facewash or pitchfork in the corner comes naturally to guys like Lowe.

Vic Ferrari said...

Mclea:

The team has the right to file for arbitration as well as the player.

I hope I'm not seen to be implying that you are a weedy dumbass, McLea. That certainly wasn't my intention. I think you're neat.

mike w said...

mike w, after the Vanek offer sheet, it shouldn't have been a surprise to *anybody* with an RFA forward that Lowe might make them an offer.

That Lowe would offer so much for Lupul II is still a surprise, at least to me.

And man, Pitkanen is looking more and more like tantalizing, low-hanging RFA fruit next year, isn't he?

Damn, the Oilers drive me nuts.

McLea said...

I hope I'm not seen to be implying that you are a weedy dumbass, McLea.

Weedy dumb ass? I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Anonymous said...

The oilers are the weakest team in the smallest market in Canada. So tell me why Lowe is driving up the salarys of NHL'ers, when it will spell doom on the small market teams?
When the Oilers move to Hamilton (which WILL happen), Lowe should be blamed. He is not the only culprit, but he certainly is the stupidest one!!!

Alex said...

Can you tell us why the Oilers will move to Hamilton? Even if the EIG did decide to sell, Daryl Katz is waiting in the wings and can afford to keep the Oilers in Edmonton under most circumstances. If you don't know who Daryl Katz is, google him.

Also, Lowe doesn't drive up salaries. That argument is completely bogus. What he does is drive up the salaries for a specific type of player. In this case, twenty-something second line RFAs. But at the end of the day, there is still the salary cap which means the raise for Penner is going to come at the expense of other players. Salaries as a whole won't be inflated, they'll just be redistributed.

mike w said...

The oilers are the weakest team in the smallest market in Canada.

The Oilers are a big market team, 7th in revenue league-wide.

Thanks for coming out.

Kirsten said...

I really don't think Penner is worth that kind of money or draft picks, but who knows. I supposed K-Lowe could be going with the "draft picks don't necessarily pan out" school of thought, but on the other side, sometimes they do more than young NHL players.

Randy in the med hizzo said...

As much as I'd love to hear the "everybody hates Edmonton and everyone's dumb" excuse one more time, an intervention is long overdue. It's high time that K-Lowe was booted upstairs to VP-nostalgia or something, so the team can get on with the business of actually doing something this summer.
Boo-yah Iraqi Soccer!

PJ said...

30 minute interview, your mom must be proud. Of this and your amazing Hot-Off picture.

kwyjibo said...

The oilers are the weakest team in the smallest market in Canada.

The Oilers are a big market team, 7th in revenue league-wide.


Those two statements don't necessarily contredict each other.

Earl Sleek said...

Burke's complaint is total bunk. He's known that Lowe was gunning for Penner since the beginning of July, and all he had to do to stop it was sign the guy to his own terms or commit to arbitration. He didn't, and now he's sputtering about the consequences.

Frankly, I'm not even sure if Burke has complained about the mechanism or the action, just the timing and the inflation (and even that I see as way overblown in resulting media--OMG Burke called someone "gutless"!).

It just feels like so many people were excited for an angry Burke reaction that really no matter what he said writers were going to find the most angry-sounding word in the conference and pretend he said nothing but that.

And as much fun as that is, I suppose I'll just wait around for some real news, not some media-spun non-news, I guess.

Randy in the Med Hizzo said...

Media-spun non-news?
One GM calls another GM classless and desperate to keep his job. That's news pal.
And, if you've actually read the non-news, Burke describes the offer sheet process as a tool that could help some teams. But Lowe is using it to save his own ass rather than help the Oilers.
In general, the Oilers only pick up two kinds of players: has beens who flop and young prospects who the Oilers mis-cast then run out of town to the applause of myopic fans. Welcome to town Dustin.



Dustin Penner

Earl Sleek said...

Media-spun non-news?
One GM calls another GM classless and desperate to keep his job. That's news pal.


I suppose on a slow news day it is, but I meant non-news in that there really wasn't anything there about a decision, which would be actual news.

As for Burke's soundbytes, I dunno, maybe I'm just getting better at tuning out the noise. I'm not sure if he is as angry at Lowe as the stories would have us believe, but damn if anybody would print that.

mike w said...

Those two statements don't necessarily contredict each other.

The implication was that Edmonton was a small market team that will move to Hamilton because of inflated salaries, which is of course not going to happen.

mike w said...

And yeah, I agree with Earl: this Burke thing is overblown.

Randy in the Med Hizzo said...

Okay, K-Lowe calls burke an windbag with a big boozer bulb for a nose. Is that news on a slow day? Besides burke couldn't do any contract business he was in Kelowna at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame diner. Didn't you hear?