Friday, November 28, 2008

Burke to Leafs: done by the weekend

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Brian Burke have reached an agreement on a contract, which is still not official because he has not signed it, and he could be presented to the hockey public as the team’s new president and general manager on Friday.

A source familiar with the negotiations indicated that the only thing that remains to be done is to get Burke’s signature on the contract, which is expected to happen on Friday. Burke has been in Boston all week with his family to celebrate the U.S. Thanksgiving and did not plan to travel to Toronto until Friday.

The deal is reportedly a 6-year deal worth $18 million, for the rest of this season and the next five years.

It is expected that Cliff Fletcher will remain with the Leafs as a consultant and that Dave Nonis, who was hired by Burke to be a special advisor in Anaheim. Nonis had previously been the general manager of the Vancouver Canucks and interviewed for the Leafs job this summer.

Burke would become the 13th general manager in the club's 92-year history. He stepped down as Ducks GM on Nov. 12.

His arrival in Toronto will be greeted by a few familiar faces. Burke and coach Ron Wilson are former roommates at Providence College while he and player personnel director Al Coates worked together with the Ducks.

Look for Burke to shake things up as the hapless Leafs are going nowhere right now. Cliff Fletcher has done a great job as an interim GM (except the Finger snnging maybe...) He got rid of rotten players like McCabe and Tucker, as well as bust players like Steen and Colaiacovo.

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