Will it be Burke or will it be Joe??
This is the new question cropping up in Leaf land. With the recent hiring of Joe Nieuwendyk as Cliff Fletchers assistant GM, there are whispers that Joe maybe the Leafs next GM in the next couple of years (if not before the 09/10 season). Mentoring under Cliff for possibly 2 seasons, learning the ropes, everything seems to be in place for him to take over when Cliff has called it quits. Where does that leave Brian Burke?
The Burke rumors have quieted down over that past few weeks. With the hiring of Joe does that mean Burke is no longer who the Leafs are looking at as the next GM? Does it make sense to hire and assistant GM for an "interm" GM, then bring in a new GM a year later and have him stuck with the assistant? Or was this something that Mr. Burke wanted because the plan is still to bring in Burke next season?
There are two ways to look at it. Last month Burke hired friend and former Cancucks Dave Nonis as the Ducks Senior Advisor maybe to sure up the business side of the Ducks operations (right now the owner isn't going anywhere near the team) OR was it because in a years time Burke will no longer be there and the Ducks will be looking for a new GM and who would be better then Nonis. Who I feel was given the short end of the stick in Van city this past season.
I’m not saying that in 2 years time Joe Nieuwendyk wouldn't be a great GM but I thought the Leafs were looking for experience, someone that has been and won a cup? Also I’m not saying that Brian Burke is the answer.... but I wouldn't mind him coming in here and seeing what he can do in a Hockey market that is a lot more nuts about Hockey then down in California.
Personally I think (and its purely speculation on my part) that come August once every team has surd up there line up for the most part, Brian Burke will be let go by the Ducks, Cliff will have done all he has set out to do, and Mats will be back in the blue in white. All because Brian Burke will be the new GM for the Toronto Maple Leafs with Joe Nieuwendyk as assistant GM. Then Dave Nonis will be hired on as the Ducks GM. I find when speculation and rumors are flying in Toronto only half are true, so when things quite down that’s when things happen.
I guess we will have to just wait and see.
Off until Monday…I’ll find something to write about.