Brian Burke

Brian Burke would make a very Brian Burke-like career counselor


All you wide-eyed kids out there who dream about working in pro sports – you probably won’t.

That’s the wisdom Leafs general manager Brian Burke imparted in a characteristically straightforward article he wrote for the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment website.

First and foremost, I advise anyone attempting to get into this field to be prepared to fail. The number of young people who seek to enter the field of professional sports is vast. However, the number of applicants who successfully find employment in the area of sports is tiny. Therefore, I hereby tender to you the best advice you will get. Assume you will fail, and make sure you have developed expertise in another area or areas. You must be equipped to be successful in another profession in the event you are unsuccessful in finding employment in the area of sports.

For those who weren’t too discouraged to read on, Burke went on to differentiate between the “talent” and “business” sides of pro sports – “Jobs on the business side outnumber those on the talent side by a ratio of 4:1 or better” – and concluded by wishing everyone good luck and confirming he isn’t actively shopping Luke Schenn.

PS — If you’re truly desperate to work in sports, you could always become a blogger.

PPS — As long as you’re cool with being a disappointment to your family.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?