There's a great article up at TSN right now, regarding an interview that Brian Burke had on NHL Live! Some fun clips from that article:
Burke stated that the Leafs had no interest in the two-time 50 goal scorer, largely because of the way he has chosen to handle his trade request.
"We're not going to be in on that," Burke stated. "He's a good player but I have certain guidelines on how players ask for trades."
"For a player to pop off and say he wants out or leak it (to the media), in my mind you are now no longer interested in your team. If you've done that you've handicapped them, you've handcuffed your GM."
While Burke admitted that the Leafs planned to be very active in the off-season and had plenty of money and cap space at their disposal, the 2002 Calder Trophy winner would not be welcome in Toronto under his tenure.
"As long as you are on that team, you owe them to maximize the asset, and once you've taken that step, sorry I don't accept that."
I have exactly one thing to say about that: what a hypocrite.
Let's review the situation: Dany Heatley, an elite NHL player, has publicly demanded a trade from his team - exactly one year after signing a long term contract to stay with them. Ottawa's G.M. is now forced to deal Heatley from a position of weakness.
If only there were some similar situation in recent memory... a situation where Burke showed the same character and class that he does here... wait a second!
Back in the summer of 2006, Chris Pronger, an elite NHL player, publicly demanded a trade from his team - exactly one year after signing a long-term contract to stay with them. Edmonton's G.M. was forced to deal Pronger from a position of weakness.
Brian Burke, of course, had nothing to do with that trade and publicly condemned the player for handicapping his G.M. - uhh, never mind. Burke traded a package of young players and draft picks to his friend Kevin Lowe, acquiring Pronger and winning the Stanley Cup the following season.
Toronto may have no interest in Heatley - but it isn't because of the high moral ground that Brian Burke has claimed for himself. If the Leafs don't want Heatley, it's a hockey decision or a cap management decision. Burke has shown before that if he likes a player's on-ice talent, he has no compunctions about acquiring him - regardless of how that player has conducted himself.