NHL Canadian Corner – January 10, 2013.

Toronto media reaction to yesterday’s firing of Brian Burke as Maple Leafs GM, plus the latest on Dustin Byfuglien, Ryan Smyth, Rene Bourque, Matt Stajan and more.

TORONTO STAR/TORONTO SUN/NATIONAL POST/SPORTSNET.CA/THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Reaction from the Toronto media over yesterday’s surprise announcement the Maple Leafs had fired general manager Brian Burke, replacing him with assistant GM Dave Nonis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have my take later today in my “Soapbox” column.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien deflected questions about his conditioning, assuring the press and fans he’s in shape for the upcoming Jets training camp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: From some accounts, Byfuglien looked slimmer than he did early last summer, when a picture of him looking quite hefty sent tongues a-wagging among Jets fans.

Smyth prepared for reduced role with Oilers this season.

Smyth prepared for reduced role with Oilers this season.

EDMONTON SUN: Oilers forward Ryan Smyth is adjusting to his new role as a supporting player on a young, promising team.

CBC.CA: Montreal Canadiens winger Rene Bourque is looking forward to a bounce-back season after last year’s underwhelming performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bourque’s performance this season could be critical in determining his future with the club. More than a few pundits and fans consider his a potential target for a compliance buyout either this summer or next.

CALGARY HERALD: Matt Stajan, the only player remaining on the Flames in the return the club received in the Dion Phaneuf trade with Toronto, is hoping to push for a top-six role this season.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators stars like Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson are now back in Ottawa in preparation for the opening of training camp this weekend.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Canucks defensemen Keith Ballard and Chris Tanev are hoping to get back up to speed quickly.

3 Comments

  1. I grouped Burkies trades into three catagories:

    BELOW AVERAGE TRANSACTIONS:
    Signed center Tyler Bozak
    Selected Nazem Kadri with the seventh overall pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
    Signed right wing Colton Orr to a four-year, $4 million contract and signed defenseman Mike Komisarek to a five-year, $22.5 million contract.
    Signed defenseman Francois Beauchemin to a three-year, $11.4 million contract.
    Signed Swedish free agent goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to a one-year contract.
    Acquired the rights to RW Phil Kessel from the Boston Bruins for a first- and second- round pick in the 2010 draft and a 2011 first-round draft pick.
    Traded G Vesa Toskala and LW Jason Blake to the Anaheim Ducks for G J.S. Giguere
    Acquired Kris Versteeg and the rights to prospect Bill Sweatt from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forwards Viktor Stalberg,
    Traded F Kris Versteeg to the Philadelphia Flyers for 2011 first- and third-round draft picks
    Signed Tim Connolly to a two-year, $9.5 million contract.

    MEDIOCRE TRANSACTIONS OR STILL UNPROVEN:
    Jan. 31, 2010: Traded D Ian White, C Matt Stajan, LW Niklas Hagman and RW Jamal Mayers to the Calgary Flames for D Dion Phaneuf, D Keith Aulie and LW Fredrik Sjostrom.
    Signed Clarke MacArthur to a one-year, $1.1 million contract.
    Traded Tomas Kaberle to the Boston Buins in exchange for Joe Colborne, a 2011 first-round draft choice and a conditional second-rounder in 2012
    Acquired John-Michael Liles from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Boston’s 2012 second-round draft pick.
    Selected Tyler Biggs with the 22nd overall pick and Stuart Percy with the 25th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft
    Signed Mikhail Grabovski to a five-year, $27.5 million contract
    Selected Morgan Rielly with the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.
    Acquired LW James Van Riemsdyk from Philadelphia for D Luke Schenn.

    ABOVE AVERAGE TRANSACTIONS:
    Traded Francois Beauchemin back to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner and a fourth round 2013 conditional draft pick.
    Acquired Cody Franson and Matthew Lombardi from the Nashville Predators in exchange for Brett lebda, Robert Slaney and a 2013 fourth-round draft pick.

    • Change your name to “I’m Mr. Hindsight” and btw your groupings are wacked.

  2. @ beer goggles

    With what beer goggles has said …..some very poor play from the top players has not panned out either. The acquisitions of key veteran guys has made Burke look foolish which he wasnt when he picked up the players.

    Versteeg of a Stanley Cup winner – Flopped – not Burkes fault he was very coveted by all teams!

    Komisarek could not get over his injuries fast enough and was not at par from his previous years
    not Burkes fault

    Toskala floped he gave up …not Burkes fault , he was very coveted and the best goalie available at the time
    havent been able to recover as young goalies were to inexperienced.

    Wilson did not handle Kadri well …not Burkes fault

    Burkes priority was to rebuild his farm team so he had some progres and a well to drink from …he did this with spades !!! Awesome job !!!At this time he also inserted some new blood into each position with top players for 3 lines …

    Kulimen shit the bed in his second year after a 30 goal campaign …not Burkes fault

    The Leafs let Burke down with there play …..he did the best he could …..

    Some bad moves though that cost lost of money and didnt pan out on the ice are in question

    Didnt utilize Franson on the power play at all …great shot always hits the post or the net Phaneuf is not a power play guy never hits the net !

    Connolly …WTF was that !!

    Should have taken a 1st rounder for Macrthur

    Should have signed Giguere to a two year deal for mentorship and he still can play!

    Needs to trade Kessel in a paakage ASAP to bring in multiple pieces to fill holes and a Franchise tag player!