Brian Burke

Burke “inclined” to keep Leafs’ first-round draft pick


Brian Burke doesn’t like being asked about his job security, but will his actions speak louder than words when it comes to the Leafs’ first-round draft pick?

In the midst of a horrendous collapse, Toronto’s all but officially eliminated from the playoff race. In fact, the Leafs have fallen so dramatically in the standings that they might end up with a chance to get the first overall draft selection this summer.

Which brings us to the general manager – would he be willing to trade that pick for immediate help? Because if he doesn’t make the playoffs soon, the calls for his job will only intensify.

“[We’re] inclined to keep the pick,” Burke said, as reported by the Globe and Mail, “but listening [to offers] already.

Not that trading the pick would necessarily be a bad idea – it just depends on the deal. But we all know the heat Burke’s taken for the Phil Kessel trade that netted Boston blue-chip prospects Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton. Kessel’s been good in Toronto, but he only has two seasons left before he can become an unrestricted free agent. Seguin and Hamilton are tied to the Bruins for much longer.

PHT Morning Skate: Remembering 10 years of Crosby, Ovechkin

Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin
AP Photo
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Here’s a detailed look back at Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin‘s first 10 years in the NHL. (

Speaking of Crosby, he’s signed a multiyear partnership with adidas. (Newswire)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play a key role in easing Connor McDavid into the NHL. (Edmonton Sun)

After two polar opposite seasons, the jury is still out on Patrick Roy as a head coach. (Denver Post)

Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys pulling off pranks on his teammates. “I play better when I’m looser, laughing and having fun,” he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Art McDonald, a Canadian who won recently won a Nobel Prize, talked to the committee members about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (SB Nation)

DiMaio named Blues’ director of player personnel

via St. Louis Blues
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The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.

He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.

He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).

In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.

No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?