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McKenzie: With Burke in Toronto, expect speculation to increase

Bob McKenzie
10/20/2008 6:30:48 PM
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The circus, otherwise known as Brian Burke and the Anaheim Ducks, rolled into Toronto on Monday, so until they depart after Tuesday's game at the ACC, there is going to be a steady stream of Burke-to-the-Maple Leafs speculation.

Never mind that the Leafs this summer dropped interim from general manager Cliff Fletcher's job description. The presumption remains that if the Ducks' GM doesn't sign an extension in Anaheim this season, and thus far he hasn't been inclined to do so for 'family reasons', the Leafs will hire Burke when his contract expires in the summer.

Could that happen? Yes, it could. It's not that far fetched.
But to suggest that it is a slam dunk, that it has already been carefully choreographed, well, that's a stretch.
At this rate, until he indicates otherwise to the Ducks, Burke is going to the managerial version of unrestricted free agency. And there may be a lot more vacancies than just Toronto in June or July. If some teams that are supposed to make the playoffs miss or some teams that are supposed to contend for the Cup go down in the first round, the prospect for widespread managerial upheaval at the end of this season is huge
In the meantime, though, Burke's biggest immediate concern is his under-achieving Ducks, with their pop-gun offence and pitiful power play. The players will get this four-game road trip to work out the kinks and if they don't, there are likely to be some bodies leaving Anaheim a lot sooner than Burke.
For TSN.ca, I'm Bob McKenzie.

Bob McKenzie


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