Brian Burke

Now Burke’s hearing it from business professors


If Brian Burke were managing a company, not a hockey team, his job would be in jeopardy, say a pair of business professors that spoke to the Toronto Star.

“I’d say he’s on the cusp,” said Glenn Rowe, director of the executive MBA program at Western University. “My sense is that in most businesses, when you’re at the CEO or COO level, you get about three or four years to prove your worth.”

Added Ken Wong, a business professor at Queen’s University: “We would certainly not tolerate what we’re seeing from Burke in the business world. He would certainly be asked a lot more questions in a much more adversarial way than the media has asked him. In financial circles, they’d be on him like a flock of buzzards.”

Burke was hired on Nov. 29, 2008, and the Leafs have yet to make the playoffs on his watch. And while the team still makes money, it’s leaving a fortune on the table by repeatedly missing out on playoff revenue. If the business were publicly traded, its share price would’ve tumbled since the Leafs crashed out of a playoff spot.

That Wong says the media is going easy on Burke compared to how the business world would react is also interesting. For all the attention the Leafs get in Toronto, the media’s mostly given Burke the benefit of the doubt that he knows what he’s doing. But clearly that’s starting to change.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.