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Dreger: Burke close to making it official

Darren Dreger
11/27/2008 11:31:40 PM
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Providing Brian Burke doesn't discover any significant issues, he will sign a contract on Friday that will officially make him the president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Sources say the deal is done; all of the major negotiating points have been settled, including a six-year term at roughly 3 million annually and full control over all hockey operations decisions.

The agreement is expected to be finalized on Friday.

Meanwhile, outgoing Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher says no arrangements have been made to meet with Mats Sundin when the Leafs arrive in Los Angeles in preparation for Monday's game against the Kings.

That will be up to Brian Burke.

Under new management, Toronto's focus will be on the future and while Sundin's leadership could be considered an asset for a team intent on getting younger, he doesn't fit the plan and the plan doesn't fit him.

Sundin is scheduled to start skating on the weekend and while he hasn't committed to returning to the NHL, there is little doubt he will.

Sundin will want to resume his career with a team he believes will contend for the Stanley Cup and has the resources to pay him.

Toronto has the resources, but under Burke the Leafs will continue to dismantle while at the same time collecting the pieces that will help build long-term stability from the draft up.

Darren Dreger

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