Burke not interested in Leafs GM job
Brian Burke has ruled himself out of the running for the vacant general manager's job with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Burke, the current GM of the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks, said Friday that he and his wife are happy in California and he has no interest in applying for the Leafs' job.
"I have no intention of going anywhere else," Burke told reporters at a special ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. "I've said this repeatedly to anyone who will listen.
"I'm not sure which part of it I'm not saying in English. We really love it in Anaheim. We work for special people there. We want to stay."
The Leaf job became available this past Tuesday when Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment fired John Ferguson Jr. and announced that Cliff Fletcher, who served as Toronto GM from 1991-97, would fill the position on an interim basis.
Burke, 52, is currently signed to a four-year deal with the Ducks that runs through 2008-2009 and he said he expects to enter talks over a contract extension with the club this summer.
Anaheim owner Henry Samueli said he wouldn't stand in Burke's way if chose to jump to the Leafs.
"I would never stop anyone from doing what they felt was right for their career but hopefully we've provided the environment in Anaheim where Brian wants to spend the rest of his career because he's certainly earned that privilege and that right by winning the Stanley Cup in only his second year as general manager," Samueli said.
"As far as I'm concerned, he's got a job for life in Anaheim if he wants it.
"We'll certainly move very aggressively to extend his contract and hopefully he can continue this winning tradition in Anaheim."
Ever since Ferguson's dismissal, a slew of names, including Burke's, have been bandied about in the media as a possible replacement.
"I'm flattered by all this," said Burke, who served as GM of the Vancouver Canucks from 1998-2004. "It's a great job.
"If you're Catholic, this is the Vatican."
Burke said he remains committed to Henry and Susan Samueli, the owners of the Ducks.
"I'm flattered by all the attention and that someone would think I'm the right guy for this, but I have a job that I love and I work for special people in the Samuelis. I'm not going anywhere."
Fletcher, 72, said he has "no interest whatsoever" in taking over as GM full time, adding that "the position is for a younger person."
A search committee, formed by MLSE president Richard Peddie and sports lawyer Gord Kirke, will be convened to find Ferguson's full-time replacement for next season. In the meantime, Fletcher takes over as GM.
With files from the Canadian Press