Brian Burke

Leafs GM Burke: “The rats will take this game over”


A day after making the decision to put little-used pugilist Colton Orr on waivers, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke took to the pulpit today and bemoaned the death of the hockey enforcer. Burke was not only upset about potentially ending Orr’s career — “my admiration for this kid just knows no limits,” he said — but also the current state of the NHL.

“I do wonder where our game is going,” Burke said. “I know the Greenpeace folks will be happy with this, but I wonder where we’re going when Brendan Shanahan’s got six hearings every two days.

“I wonder about the accountability in our game. I wonder where we’re going with it. That’s the only lament I have on this. The fear that if we don’t have guys looking after each other than the rats will take this game over. That’s my fear.

“I see guys that run around and start stuff and won’t back it up and it makes me sick to my stomach.”

It was in 2009 when Burke raised a few eyebrows by signing Orr to a four-year, $4 million deal — a substantial investment in a player with a slim NHL resume…that couldn’t really play hockey.

For his career, Orr has played in 378 NHL contests and registered 11 goals, nine assists, a minus-34 rating and 921 penalty minutes. He’s appeared in just five games for the Leafs this season, though part of that is due to a myriad of injuries, including a concussion that cost him half of last season.

In related news, Orr has cleared waivers and will now suit up for Toronto’s AHL affiliate, the Marlies.

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for assaulting female (Updated)

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward
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Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for assault on a female, per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.

Video: Hextall comments on AHL d-man Pyett, who was diagnosed with sarcoma in leg

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) Defenseman Logan Pyett of the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL affiliate has been diagnosed with a form of cancer and will be out indefinitely.

The team said Friday the 27-year-old Canadian has a sarcoma in his upper leg. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall says the club offers “heartfelt thoughts and prayers.”

Pyett signed a one-year contract with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms after being at the Flyers’ training camp. He was selected by Detroit in the seventh round of the 2006 NHL entry draft. He signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers in 2012 and spent two seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League.