home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 26, 2009

Brian Burke


Q. How did it all break down?
BRIAN BURKE: We got offered not from Ottawa, but another team that will probably have a Top-5 pick in next year's draft to offer us a first-round pick for the pick. And Ottawa made an offer, as well, but I wouldn't divulge what that was and we felt very strongly we wanted to take Nazem. We passed on a Top-5 pick next year. We really wanted him.

Q. Can he be a top six forward on your team?
BRIAN BURKE: A lot of that depends on the kid. We think we have a really aggressive development program, and he's in a really good junior program. We'll see. We find him to be a very dynamic player, very creative player, goes to the net hard, he likes to hit, not a big guy but he's physical, and I think he's got a really high skill level.

Q. In your quest to move up, are assets the biggest challenge?
BRIAN BURKE: I'm sorry.

Q. There's only one player that most people consider a major asset right now and that's Schenn, is that your biggest challenge when you try to make a trade of that magnitude?
BRIAN BURKE: Part of what we tried to do was move up and keep this pick. Most of the movie up scenarios we offered did not include this pick. We felt, and again we could have moved down and could have traded the pick but our guys from the get-go said Nazem was the guy we wanted, and most of the move-up scenarios that I presented to other teams involved us keeping seven.
Now, your question, could we have moved up? Easily. We could have done it easily and could have done it two weeks ago and put Luke Schenn in the deal, and for me that's a step back for the franchise. My ego is not that big that I have to get up there in the first two picks every couple years.
For the Toronto Maple Leafs I think we made a prudent decision to keep a kid that I think will be our captain in a couple of years and we added an asset that I think is going to be an important part of our team down the road.

Q. When you mentioned Tavares initially, do you think there is anything else people would be interested in for that pick?
BRIAN BURKE: Well, to try and move up, and I've done this before, you have to overpay generally to do it, and if you write about the player, no one remembers that you overpaid. People forget that when we did the deal for the twins, the price tag was Bryan McCabe in the prime of his career and a first round pick, a horribly expensive deal. But because the twins turned out to be good players. No one ever talks about that.
From my perspective, if we could have moved up, I think John Tavares is going to be a special player. We looked at move-up scenarios to get a shot at Brayden Schenn, but most of those scenarios did not involve moving 7.

Q. How difficult is the balance of stepping back and being tempted to move up?
BRIAN BURKE: It was not tempting when the only -- the Islanders never solicited an offer. The Islanders made it clear they were picking him and never gave us a chance to step up to the plate and swing. And I asked Snowy, is there any point in starting down this road and he said no. So we never got anywhere with that.
As far as the second pick, they made it clear that that pick was available if Luke Schenn was involved, and to me it was a no-brainer, and a no-brainer when they first presented and a no-brainer last night.
I think they wouldn't have added -- as much as I like the player we could have gotten there, turns out we wouldn't have gotten him with the second pick, and we would have been without Luke Schenn] and I would look like an idiot.

Q. How do you think he'll handle the spotlight in Toronto?
BRIAN BURKE: Fine. He seems like a confident young man. I think he'll be fine.

Q. Inaudible.
BRIAN BURKE: I don't give a rat's ass about that stuff. The best hockey fans on the planet are not in Montréal, they are in Toronto. When we host this event in a couple of years and Montréal goes up to pick, this will seem like child's play for the booing they get in Toronto.

Q. Any surprise the Islanders took the No. 1 with so much chatter?
BRIAN BURKE: I had heard that, as recently as yesterday and I heard they were going to take Duchene.
There's no surprise when a kid like Tavares goes first, but given some of the information that I had gotten on the side, I thought they might take Matt Duchene, who is a hell of a player, too.

Q. What happened with the Thomas Lecavalier?
BRIAN BURKE: He was the subject of a trade offer that fell apart, and I'm not going to comment on what was offered because that obviously has stayed with the team involved. The time frame here is, as I've said, I will only trade Thomas Lecavalier reluctantly; he's a good player and good person and has a good cap number. And that said, my job is to improve the team and that means turning over every stone.
The next move will be Baumeister and my phone rings off the hook and see if there's a way to get better.

Q. Do you take a similar standpoint with Pavel Kubina?
BRIAN BURKE: He's a different player in terms of where he is in terms of the salary range and term of contract and everything. But same thing as a good person, good player.
But you know, I think that will be something if it materializes, it will be later in the summer and I think interest in Thomas Lecavalier will be instantaneous once -- already significant, but instantaneous, six, seven, eight teams, as soon as Baumeister moves.

Q. So you don't think you'll have to be proactive, you can be reactive?

Q. What were you offering for Schenn?
BRIAN BURKE: Not much point in talking about it because some of the -- you know, I made it clear that I would entertain just about anything, and so a lot of different assets were put in play. No point in going through them. But I made serious offers, I'll say that.

Q. Inaudible.
BRIAN BURKE: Did you just get here?

Q. Yeah.
BRIAN BURKE: I think he's creative and explosive. They think he's intense and they like his physical play even though he's not a big guy.

Q. Is he a jump-in possibility next year, or is it expecting too much?
BRIAN BURKE: I don't anticipate he'll play next year. He'll need more time than that. Physically, if nothing else.

Q. He talks about being a role model for Muslims, do you like that leadership aspect?
BRIAN BURKE: Yes, he's got leadership skills and if that, in fact, happens, if this has a ripple effect on young players in the Muslim community to take up hockey and further their careers, that's a wonderful side effect. If that increases our player pool and touches a part of society we are not touching enough now, that's great.

Q. Have you been in contact with San Jose about Ryan?
BRIAN BURKE: He is under contract to the San Jose Sharks and for me to say that we have done that would be tampering.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297