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Brian Burke: Why His Hire Spells Trouble for Jay Feaster, Calgary Flames

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 23: Brian Burke of the Toronto Maple Leafs attends day two of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 23, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Isaac SmithAnalyst ISeptember 5, 2013

Brian Burke is now the President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames. The move was announced by the Calgary Flames in a press conference held on Thursday afternoon, per Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun.

While the move doesn't come as a surprise due to the Flames' need to rebuild, Burke isn't going to be the short-term or long-term answer.

In fact, Burke will inevitably spell more trouble for both current Flames GM Jay Feaster and the Calgary Flames organization in general.

But before jumping to conclusions about why Burke is bad news for Feaster, fans need to put two and two together about why he won't do any good for the Flames.

 

Desperate Times Do Not Call for Desperate Measures

To initiate a rebuild in today's NHL, the base of the team is usually scrapped in favor of draft picks and prospects. The Flames will be starting from scratch this year, as their long-time captain Jarome Iginla was traded last year and signed with the Bruins for the 2013-14 season.

The Flames will also be without long-time starting goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who apparently retired this offseason, according to the Flames' website, but as of September 4, Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald reported that there was still no final decision. Cruickshank quoted Jay Feaster as saying that "we'll have a resolution before the start of camp" [regarding Kiprusoff].

As the Flames are in trouble in terms of player personnel for this upcoming season, bringing in Burke may seem like an intelligent move.

Unfortunately, this move actually screams "desperate" to anyone who has been following hockey over the past decade.

 

Inheritor Not a Builder

While Brian Burke won a Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Anaheim Ducks, the fact remains that he inheritednot builta winner.

With Burke's one success comes the rest of his failures and stepping down from positions.

Burke has been a GM for the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs. In each of those positions, Burke either resigned after a year or two, did not have his contract renewed or was fired.

Although Burke essentially built the modern day Vancouver Canucks by selecting the Sedin twins in 1999, he ultimately did not get to see their selections come to fruition as he wasn't brought back after the 2003-04 season.

 

The Flames Can't Get Any Worse

Although the Flames weren't the worst team in the NHL last season, they probably couldn't get any worse in terms of talent on the team currently.

It wouldn't be a stretch then to say that any kind of moves that happen under the Burke era in Calgary will reflect well on Burke for having them being made and worse on Jay Feaster for not making them before.

Burke has attained this new role at an ideal time for himself, but not necessarily for the Flames and Jay Feaster.

 

Brian Burke the Babysitter

In the press conference announcing his position with the Flames, via Wes Gilbertson, Calgary Sun, Burke acknowledged his new role by saying that "Jay is going to be the general manager of this team ... He is going to be in charge, but with my guidance."

He later went on to say that "I know people think I need to be driving the bus all the time. I'm actually a very good teammate, too."

But is Burke taking on this newly created position more as a "teammate" position? Some of his comments didn't make it seem like it.

If Burke is actually here to be Feaster's boss, then how long will the rope be for Feaster?

Although the Flames are in the middle of a rebuild, some GMs around the league have been fired in the middle of a rebuild.

 

A Nonsensical Decision

Fans, management and others often forget that while Brian Burke has won a ring, Jay Feaster has a Cup ring too. Feaster's actually came with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 in a non-traditional hockey market.

If Burke's place with the Flames really is in a backseat kind of role, it will be an awkward transition to say the least.

As Harrison Mooney of Yahoo Sports' Puck Daddy stated earlier today:

Burke has never been the sort to take a backseat to anybody, and considering his office basically comes pre-installed with a button that makes the floor under Feaster drop out, Mr. Burns-style, you have to think it's going to be tough for him to remain behind the scenes.

If Brian Burke cannot stay in the backseat for very long, Jay Feaster should be worried about his job sooner rather than later.

Should Burke end up making "the floor under Feaster drop out", then the Calgary Flames will suffer what three of Burke's former teams suffered with him as a GM.

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