Hot Stove Notebook: Bruckheimer comes calling for Burke
Hollywood is calling Brian Burke.
On the heels of, or perhaps in-between, the Toronto Maple Leafs twice asking the Anaheim Ducks for permission to speak with their general manager, now comes word that Jerry Bruckheimer, the famous Hollywood television producer has also asked.
And three times the Ducks have said no, still intent on having Burke honour the final year of his contract
What is interesting about the Bruckheimer call, though, is that he doesn't have a team. Yet. He is keen on putting a team in Las Vegas, which means either through expansion or relocation. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says expansion isn't happening any time soon, and that all his franchises are healthy and content where they reside.
That said, there is no doubting that the likes of Florida, Phoenix and possibly Atlanta are all feeling the pinch to name a few.
Bruckheimer's interest in Burke would be to plant the seed for possible employment down the road, when his contract expires. Of course, if Burke's goal is to move east for family considerations, then Las Vegas isn't quite far enough in the right direction.
Sources have confirmed that the Maple Leafs talked on Friday with former San Jose coach Ron Wilson and that he tops their list of candidates. Wilson is said to be very interested in the job. Another meeting is going to be scheduled for this week.
In other Leafs news, when general manager Cliff Fletcher met with captain Mats Sundin on Thursday, no timetable was set for him to announce whether or not he intends to play next season. Word is that Sundin most likely will play, but the question is where.
The Leafs have not made an offer to the pending unrestricted free agent. Here is how the scenario will play out: Sundin will tell the Leafs whether or not he intends to play. If the answer is yes, then it's up to the Leafs to make an offer if they so desire. It can be a token offer, meaning for roughly the same $5.5 million US he made last years or less. Or they can make a serious offer for anywhere from $7 million to $9 million, which is what Sundin will want to sign. Or they can ask him to pick the team he most wants to sign with, give that team permission to negotiate, then deal his rights before July 1.
Florida will interview New York Rangers assistant Perry Pearn for their coaching job... Atlanta will talk with Chicago Wolves coach John Anderson when he is finished with the Calder Cup playoffs... San Jose has asked permission from Anaheim to talk with farm coach Kevin Dineen. They have him targeted as an associate coach, perhaps to Joel Quenneville if they are able to strike a deal...It's expected that Scott Niedermayer, who was fined $500,000 under the collective bargaining agreement by the Ducks for missing training camp, will not have to pay the fine after all... Ottawa will be bringing Bob Hartley and Craig Hartsburg back for second interviews for their coaching job and may also speak with Kitchener Rangers coach Peter DeBoer.