When Brian Burke was hired as the President of Hockey Operations of the Calgary Flames early in September, there were a lot of eyebrows raised. After all, the Flames had a general manager already. But Burke professed that he was willing to accept a lesser role. From the Sept 5, 2013 press conference announcing his hiring, here are a few quotes from Burke (from thestar.com):
I know people think I need to be driving the bus all the time…I’m actually a pretty good teammate.
I intend to have a background role. People will believe it when they see it.
I’m not the GM of the Calgary Flames. Jay Feaster is.
Well it didn’t even take a month.
Burke was front and centre on Monday and he tore a strip off prospect Sven Baertschi that made Bryan Murray’s comments about Mika Zibanejad seem like playing with kittens. But the problem is, Burke isn’t the GM of the Flames. Yet.
In a tirade reminiscent of his “Sedin is not Swedish for punch me and headlock me in a scrum” 2002 tirade.
The target of his Monday blast was the Flames first round pick in 2011, who has yet to make a regular impact in the NHL. Some of the quotes from Burke included (from Globeandmail.com):
All I’ve seen so far is flashes of brilliance. Flashes of brilliance are fine if you’re working in the university, but they’re not much good to people in an NHL building.
There are three zones in the ice surfaces in this league. I don’t see that he’s learned to play and compete in two of them. He’s got to learn there’s a clock in this league and there’s so many minutes in the game and that you’ve got to compete through all of it. I see this is a guy who’s focusing on one area [scoring] and even then, sporadically,..So I don’t know what we have.
I’m not ready to quit on a young kid. I’m not ready to throw him under the bus here today and rip him, but I think you can tell from my comments that I see big holes and I see a lack of commitment that’s not going to get him anywhere in my books.
So much for the kinder, gentler, behind the scenes Brian Burke.
If I am Jay Feaster, I am not getting too comfortable. Remember the Seinfeld episode where George Costanza just kept showing up for work and had no idea what he was supposed to do? I think Feaster just needs to find his version of the Penske File. He won’t be around too much longer, and if he is his responsibilities will be little more than conduit.
Any authority he still had after Burke arrived is now gone. Twenty-five days is all it took.