Burke steals spotlight; NHLPA turmoil continues: Hotstove
Brian Burke's mouth is getting him into hot water with the National Hockey League, and his comments are stirring the feud between his current and former teams, according to analysts on the Hotstove segment on Hockey Night in Canada.
The Toronto Maple Leafs general manager accused the Vancouver Canucks of complaining to the NHL head office about his alleged tampering with team operations.
It stems from an allegation that Burke spread false trade rumours during the entry draft in June.
Burke said that Canucks GM Mike Gillis should have taken up their concerns directly with him, rather than going to the league.
Burke's comments violate a league-imposed gag order, and he'll likely receive a fine, Hockey Night in Canada's Scott Morrison said on the Hotstove segment.
According to a few insiders, Burke may be trying to deflect attention from his struggling hockey club.
"What would you rather talk about, the Gillis and Burke feud or the fact that [the Leafs] are 0-7-1," analyst Mike Milbury asked. "It's a complete smokescreen. He'll pay the fine."
While the NHL's head office tries to defuse tensions between the Leafs and Canucks management, the players association continues to struggle with problems of its own.
Player representatives from the 30 teams voted to have a four-player committee — Rob Blake, Mark Recchi, Niklas Lidstrom and Chris Chelios — investigate why former executive director Paul Kelly was fired in August.
The 47-year-old Chelios, who is currently skating with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL, doesn't even play in the NHL anymore.
Ian Penny, the NHLPA's interim executive director, sent a memo to the player reps on Friday, and criticized Chelios for his involvement, Hotstove contributor Pierre LeBrun said.
But it appears that Chelios has the backing of some of the more powerful voices on the executive, including Lidstrom.
Penny has also said that he's willing to resign under proper conditions, Morrison said.
"Yet another sign they need a total house cleaning. It's getting a bit juvenile now," Milbury added.
The four-person committee is going to hire outside counsel, and a forensic auditor to review the NHLPA's books as part of its investigation.