Report: Flames in talks with Brian Burke (update)


Late update (11:20 ET): TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that Brian Burke is “deep in discussions” with the Calgary Flames, but nothing is done yet.


Reports are circulating that the Flames might be primed to hire Burke as the team’s new CEO.

Bruce Dowbiggin cites sources who explain that Burke is headed to the area to roll out the announcement, while Rogers Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that there’s “more than a little fire” to back up that smoke.

Going further, McKenzie recalls that Burke fired down similar rumors in June – he visited Calgary because his daughter lives in the area – but notes that the rumblings haven’t been confirmed or denied on Wednesday.

Update: Fan 960’s Josh Humphries reports that Burke is in town to participate in a charity event on Thursday. Is that all he’s in town for? We’ll see.

While we wait, it’s worth noting a few points:

  • The team was hoping to fill an executive position, even talking with Brendan Shanahan, so it’s clear the organization wants to make a move in the future.
  • Burke orchestrated a big move with Calgary, as he brought Dion Phaneuf to Toronto during his days as Maple Leafs GM.
  • Current Flames GM Jay Feaster is an avowed fan of Burke, as you can see back in this 2009 column for The Hockey News.
  • Maybe the most entertaining consideration: Burke can renew his rivalry with Edmonton Oilers exec Kevin Lowe, with the added bonus of it being the Battle of Alberta.

It all shapes up for an interesting hypothetical situation, but we’ll wait and see if there really is much fire to go with the smoke.

Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight

Taylor Hall
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Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.

Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.

The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.

Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

HKN Sabres Senators
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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.