Monday, April 28, 2008

Just what is "tampering"?

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special “Hey” goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in.

Leaf Nation is still trying to make sense of things in the wake of Brian Burke’s announcement that he would fulfill the final year of his contract with the Anaheim Ducks and forego any existing or potential opportunities for employment with other clubs around the NHL.

A number of theories are flying around about Burke’s decision – or “about-face” as viewed by some – to remain with Anaheim and not even entertain an offer that was rumoured to be coming from the Toronto Maple Leafs. The latest theory has the NHL intervening to put an end to any discussion or negotiation regarding the issue and potential ripple effect of Burke leaving his current job (in which a valid contract is in place)_ to sign a more lucrative contract with the NHL’s flagship franchise – that’s right THE flagship franchise of the NHL.

The NHL was quick to deny the allegation, with the NHL’s Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly simply stating (via email) that

“Both clubs and employees have a right to rely on contracts, That matter is between the club and the employee -- it's not an issue for the league."

Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment Limited’s President/CEO (and chief architect of the Leafs demise into the abyss) Richard Peddie reaffirmed that the league did not intervene in the matter. Peddie went on to shoot down the notion that the organization would be paying anything near the $5M/year rumoured to be on the table for Burke;; Peddie stated that the MLSEL had not yet interviewed any candidates and that their salary offer to a new GM would be commensurate with what most GMs are currently earning - $1M annually.

In typical MLSEL fashion, they are downplaying (denying) that they had put together, or were even considering, a lucrative offer to convince Burke to leave California to come right the ship in Toronto – was it the worst kept secret in Toronto? Or was it an outright fabrication on the part of the media? Unfortunately it is a tough call as neither side is trustworthy – as with most things of this nature, the truth lies somewhere in between and Leaf Nation gets screwed again. To add insult to injury – as if missing the playoffs for three consecutive seasons wasn’t injury enough – it is being said that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is quietly championing the cause of Colin Campbell to be the Leafs next GM.

With the organization finally seeing the need for a proven GM with a winning background – Gary Freaking Bettman wants someone to give Colin Campbell a chance to succeed as a GM. Thanks Gary, but no thanks – if you want to get rid of Campbell as the league’s disciplinarian, then do it yourself; don’t give him what amounts to golden handshake by dropping him off at our doorstep like an abandoned baby.

So no Brian Burke – it goes without saying that those donkeys that run the show at the ACC will likely hold on to see if San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson comes available, or maybe Doug Risebrough in Minnesota. As bad as that sounds, it is definitely a better option that hiring the likes of Colin Campbell or super agent Don Meehan. It is hard to believe that former Stars GM Doug Armstrong would still be interested in the job with this calamity known as MLSEL.

Forget Harold and Kumar – Toronto has Dick and Gordon Kirke searching for their own White Castle.

So with the 2008 Entry Draft six weeks away – the geniuses at MLSEL have not yet interviewed anyone.

Hands up, those of you looking forward to the 08/09 season? Ugh

Today’s suggestions:

Arizona over Houston – The Dbacks send Dan Haren to the mound against Chris Sampson– good enough for me. Lay $100 on Arizona - $170.

New York over Pittsburgh – Will the real Johan Santana please step forward? Better be tonight against Ian Snell and the Pirates. Lay $100 on the Mets - $220.

Montreal over Philadelphia – anyone who has followed these two over the years knows that the away team normally does very well. The Habs are still smarting from the Flyers “narging” of them (check out Carbonneau’s comments after game two). Lay $100 on the Habs + $115.

That’s it for today gang – the page goes back to being updated daily…like it or not.

Hazel, here’s hoping things are groovy in your world.

I’m Out!


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