Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Randy Carlyle Gives Press Conference

Former Maple Leafs GM Burke: ‘Russia should not be awarded another international competition’


Often outspoken, former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has become the latest person to speak out against Russia’s highly controversial anti-gay propaganda laws.

Burke’s late son Brendan came out in 2009. Brendan’s brother, Patrick Burke, is the co-founder of the You Can Play Project – a worldwide initiative aimed at providing “a means for athletes, coaches, and fans to stand up and create an atmosphere of inclusion” in all sports for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.

Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws have angered people across the world, leading to protests and calls for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Burke, according to a report in the Globe and Mail, does not support such a boycott of the upcoming Sochi Games.

However, he does not believe that Russia should be awarded any future international competitions, so long as that country’s anti-gay laws remain.

“People should make it known that this type of bias can’t take place,” said Burke, as per the Globe and Mail.

“But I think a boycott is misplaced. A boycott punishes the athletes. If we say we’re not going in the face of these laws, I think that punishes every Canadian, American, Argentinian athlete that’s prepared so hard for these Games. I don’t think it’s appropriate.

“The appropriate measure should be that as long as these laws are on the books, Russia should not be awarded another international competition. In the meantime, they’ve got to guarantee everybody’s safety.”

Torres suspended pending hearing

Raffi Torres, Cory Schneider
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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.

“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”



Oilers place Scrivens on waivers

Jordan Martinook, Ben Scrivens
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The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.

Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.

It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.

Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.

He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.

Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.

If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.

The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.

The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.