Brian Burke Is A Grown Man Who Needs To Grow Up

You’d think that Brian Burke had come home one night and found Kevin Lowe in bed with his wife.


Talk about holding a grudge. It’s been a year now, and Burke, GM for the Anaheim Ducks, has hurled nothing but vindictive poison at Lowe, GM of the Oilers. Burke has behaved like a kid in a schoolyard and the immaturity of it all isn’t lost on most of us, I think.  Because all Lowe did was sweep Dustin Penner from out under Burke’s feet, and did so because he was trying to make his Oilers a better team. Isn’t making your team better the job GM’s are supposed to do?


But Burke took it personally, as if Lowe had some nerve to do what he did. And every interview, every chance since, Burke has gone out of his way to say he’ll never forgive Lowe, and how bad the Oilers will be because he got some draft choices from them, how Lowe had driven salaries up, and what a terrible person Kevin Lowe is.


And it’s never let up. Even last week Burke said he’d never forgive the guy. Such immaturity, it’s hard to fathom. Kevin Lowe didn’t run you over in a car and drive away, Brian. He didn’t trick you into buying the London Bridge. He took a big, young player with some good potential from your team when you least expected it. But it wasn’t illegal. It’s a dog eat dog business you’re in.


Sometimes a person just has to be a man about things. We’re still waiting, Brian.


Finally, the other day, after a full year, Lowe fired back. He said Burke had left the Vancouver Canucks in ruins, that Burke’s a media junky, and that he’s full of himself and the Ducks are a lousy franchise. You know what, Lowe might be right on all four counts.


Business is business in the NHL. If you’re a GM, you win or you’re replaced. So Lowe took Penner to help his club. So what?


Burke has called Lowe a clown, but in reality, the clown is Burke. Because he won’t let it go. He’s told the entire hockey world that Kevin Lowe is a rotten bastard. He’s been unnecessarily childish, and it begs the question, what was he like when he was in grade school? Was he worse or better then?


So good for Lowe for firing back. And in my mind, Lowe has come out the winner in this childish game Brian Burke started.  

5 thoughts on “Brian Burke Is A Grown Man Who Needs To Grow Up”

  1. I agree with you, Dennis.

    Burke really has to let this go. But, you know what, if he does, someone might just notice how little talent he has for being a GM. From Hartford to Vancouver to Anaheim, he inherits something that he somehow manages to dismantle (a la Keenan). The nail in the coffin had to be the unjustifiably idiotic Andy McDonald trade from Burke.

    Finally winning a Cup on the back of good drafting before he got there is getting him a lot of mileage in the media. But in reality, building isn’t his forte, so how would he know the value of a young player.

    In fact, one year on, Dustin Penner’s money doesn’t even look unreasonable. You can’t blame Penner or Lowe for Ryder’s money… And, Kevin Lowe continues to do things differently while amassing an impressive group of players.

  2. I wonder if and when Lowe will intimate the tampering stuff that’s been going on behind the scenes involving Burke and the Maple Leafs. “Hey Brian, don’t you have a pair of NHL franchises to worry about, instead of the endless nattering on me and the Oilers?”

    That’ll shut “Burkie” up real fast.

  3. I agree. Burke needs to let it go. What drives me crazy is that Lowe wasn’t even the first GM to offer a RFA a contract. Philly did it to Vancouver the summer before.

    Lowe played by the rules of the game. He made an offer he was allowed to make. If Burke doesn’t like it, I’m sure there’s a children’s league out there where Burke believes everyone will look up to him. But in the NHL, it’s wearing thin.

    TSN also deserves some of the blame. They’re always asking Burke about it everytime he’s on the air.

  4. DK,

    Yup, Burke’s a kid alright but so what? He’s certainly not alone. He fits right in, is perfectly consonant with the social norm which is roughly 9-13 yrs old which is pretty much what one would expect given that the so-called `leaders’, the `role-models’, aka politicians, all employ the same tactics used by children to such good effect. (Make a list.) These tactics and strategems work so why change? The culture offers no incentive for people to `grow up’, indeed those relatively few who do manage to get past age 13 – emotionally, morally/ethically, psychologically – either have to keep a very low profile or risk being assailed for pretty well anything that strikes the fancy of the kids surrounding him for the `crime’ of maturing. Oh yeah, kids luuuv to prolong conflict, especially when they’re giggling on the sidelines and can safely whip rocks at whomever it is they are encouraging to fight. Yes, Tom is bang on when he points out the toxic relationahip with TSN and this can be extended to cover all the media.

    And, like most kids who throw tantrums, the reason for Burke’s vitriol is transparent – it’s not primarily about hockey but personal betrayal. Things run a certain way, there are codes and rules and dos and don’ts governing all our activities. When somebody `upsets the apple cart’, they are usually labelled a rogue, a cheat, a sneak, a (shudder) non-team player & etc etc. When the `bad boy/girl’ happens to be a friend, somebody with whom the offended party feels they had a special connection then the action shifts from the professional arena to the romper room with a corresponding rise in the degree of enmity.

    Is Burke’s `acting out’ further intensified because Lowe’s actions exposed Burke for the mediocre hockey-mind he is – as pointed out so clearly by topham & Tom? Probably.

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