Leafs closing in on Burke
The Toronto Maple Leafs appear to have landed the man they've coveted since last spring.
While there are still issues to be settled, the Leafs have agreed in principle to hire Brian Burke as team president and general manager.
"The deal is mostly done, but not completed. There's no chance it will be done today [Tuesday]," Burke told CBCSports.ca's Scott Morrison.
The contract is believed to be a six-year deal, including the remainder of this year, at roughly $3 million US per season. The package would also include a signing bonus, along with playoff performance bonuses.
An official announcement is not expected at least until the weekend.
If the two sides come to an agreement, it's expected Dave Nonis, senior advisor of hockey operations with the Anaheim Ducks, will follow his good friend Burke to Toronto.
Messages left by CBCSports.ca for lawyer Gord Kirke, who led the search for the new general manager, and Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment president Richard Peddie were not immediately returned.
Burke, 52, left the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 12 after almost four years as GM. He helped guide the Ducks to the Stanley Cup title in 2007.
The two sides couldn't agree to a contract extension, with Burke using the fact his adult children live in the Eastern time zone as an issue for not wanting to remain in California.
Morrison reported that Burke's Vancouver-based lawyer Peter Gall had exploratory talks with Kirke.
Toronto has been zeroing in on Burke since before MLSE fired John Ferguson Jr. as general manager last January.
Cliff Fletcher is currently Toronto's interim GM but has said Burke would be "a great asset" to the organization.