Calgary Flames fans can start getting used to Brian Burke's brash and outspoken style.
He joined the Flames front office
Thursday as the new president of hockey operations, vowing a physical and more entertaining brand of hockey.
Captivating sound bites like the ones below can also be guaranteed:1. "Sedin is not Swedish for 'punch me, or headlock me in a scrum.'"
While serving as the general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, Burke blasted the officiating in a 2002 first-round playoff series against Detroit. "I want to point out to the officials that Todd Bertuzzi does not play for Detroit, it just looks like that because he's wearing two or three Red Wings sweaters all the time," Burke said of the power forward, who had been involved in several
incidents with opposing players in front of the Red Wings' net throughout the series. Burke topped off his theatrical rant with this line in defence of twin forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin: "Sedin is not Swedish for punch me, or headlock me in a scrum." 2. "For the colossal stupidity of what the Edmonton Oilers did this past summer..."
After his Stanley Cup-winning season with the Anaheim Ducks, Burke engaged in a lengthy war of words with his GM counterpart Kevin Lowe
. Burke took exception to the inflationary effects of the Edmonton Oilers signing Dustin Penner to a five-year, $21.25-million US offer sheet, which the Ducks declined to match. "For the colossal stupidity of what the Edmonton Oilers did this past summer ... If I had run my team into the sewer like that, I wouldn't throw a grenade at the other 29 teams and my own indirectly," Burke said of Lowe. "So I have no intention of speaking to him any time soon."3. "I told him I'd rent a barn. I picked the address and the time and I'd fight Kevin Lowe."
Burke's feud with Lowe had nearly escalated into a fist fight
until NHL commissioner Gary Bettman intervened. In a 2011 interview, Burke revealed that he had planned a full-scale brawl to settle his differences with Lowe. "(It) got to the point where Kevin challenged me to a fight on a radio interview," Burke said. "So I'm like, that's not really how you challenge a guy to a fight ... I said, I'm gonna be at Lake Placid at the U.S. junior camp. I gave him three dates. I told him I'd rent a barn. I picked the address and the time and I'd fight Kevin Lowe."4. "Pittsburgh model, my ass."
When "pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence
" weren't enough for the Maple Leafs to avoid a seventh straight playoff-less season in 2012, Burke apologized to Toronto fans
as the team's president and general manager. When it was time to take questions, another instant 'Burkeism' was born. He responded to the suggestion that the Leafs should follow the 'Pittsburgh model' of patience and a long-term rebuild: "They [the Penguins] got a lottery. They won a god damn lottery and they got the best player in the game. Is that available to me? Should we do that? Should we ask the league to have a lottery this year, and maybe we pick first? The Pittsburgh model? My ass."5. "Like a two-by-four upside the head to me."
Burke said he was "stunned" when he was dismissed from the Maple Leafs
in January. The team relieved him of his duties just a few hours before the NHL's board of governors approved a new collective agreement to end a lockout-shortened 2013 season. When asked about his future plans, Burke painted a clear picture of just how caught off guard he was by his firing. "I haven't gotten that far yet ... There's sometimes when you get fired and you see the vultures circling and you understand it's coming. You're not sure when you're going to drop dead in the desert, but it's coming and you can see the vultures," Burke said. "This one here was like a two-by-four upside the head to me."
What other unforgettable Burke quotes would you add to our list? Discuss in the comments section below.
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