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Burke agrees to terms of contract with Maple Leafs

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TSN.ca Staff
11/28/2008 10:18:52 AM
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Sources tell TSN the major points of a contract to make Brian Burke the president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs have been settled.

Burke says he's been told the deal is done, however he hasn't reviewed or signed the contract as of yet.  Burke is in Boston with his family for the American Thanksgiving holiday.

Nothing is expected to be finalized until Friday with an announcement expected on Saturday. According to sources, Burke is not expected to make his way to the Maple Leafs' offices before Saturday.

The contract is for the remainder of this season followed by five additional years.  It is reportedly worth approximately $18 million.  One of the clauses is that Burke will have complete autonomy to run the team as he sees fit through the 2014 season, reporting to CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Richard Peddie, and the MLSE Board of Directors. In terms of autonomy, that makes Burke's deal the same as the one Bryan Colangelo got to run the Toronto Raptors.

Burke is set to become the 13th general manager in the club's 92-year history.  He became available after the veteran NHL executive stepped down from his post as general manager of the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 12.

Burke was hired by the Ducks in 2005 and helped build the club into Stanley Cup contenders upon his arrival.

With a promising young core of players that included Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, he added veterans Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne, Francois Beauchemin, Todd Marchant and Sean O'Donnell and hired head coach Randy Carlyle. In 2005-06, the Ducks finished sixth in the West and advanced all the way to the Western Conference Final.

The following summer, Burke swung a blockbuster trade deal with the Edmonton Oilers, acquiring former Norris and Hart Trophy-winning defenceman Chris Pronger. The Ducks went on to win the Pacific Division and defeated the Ottawa Senators to capture their first-ever Stanley Cup.

Burke began his career in the front office as assistant general manager of the Vancouver Canucks from 1987 to 1992. He spent the 1992-93 season in Hartford as general manager of the Whalers before joining the NHL as vice president and director of hockey operations.

After five seasons of working in the league offices, Burke re-joined the Canucks as President and General Manager in 1998.

Under his leadership, the Canucks increased their point totals in four consecutive years from 1999 to 2003. He also pulled off one of the most memorable draft day trades in recent history, acquiring the second and third overall picks in 1999 to select Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

Since the 2001-2002 campaign, Burke's teams have qualified for the playoffs all six seasons, playing in 12 total postseason series. He was named The Sporting News 'Executive of the Year' in 2001 and was named The Hockey News 'Executive of the Year' in February.

 

Brian Burke (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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