Tag Archives: NHL General Managers

Behind The Moves

This email came yesterday and although it’s a plug for a book, I thought I’d pass it along to you because the book might be interesting.  We’ve also got a couple of days before the Habs meet the Leafs and this makes good space filler.

The sender of the email says he’s Brian Burke, President of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I’ve never met the man, (although a guy here in Powell River told me he took Burke fishing a couple of times), and this is obviously a generic form letter sent out to legions of people. Somehow I got on the list. So I’m basically plugging somebody’s book for them, but I don’t mind. Maybe Brian Burke will put in a good word to Pierre Gauthier about the stick boy thing.

It does look like it could be a really good read, going behind the scenes of NHL general managers, but I must tell you, it’s not exactly cheap. (99 bucks).

Here’s the letter:

By now you’ve already heard about a book that I am truly excited about, Behind The Moves: NHL General Managers Tell How Winners Are Built Finally, a book has been compiled about the National Hockey League’s general managers, and by an author for whom I have great respect.

Behind the Moves is part encyclopedia, part history book, part manual for would-be managers. And it’s your ticket to the general manager’s office, where you’ll find out all about the trades, the championships, the negotiations with agents, and the day-to-day dealing with owners and the media. You’ll enjoy it, and you’ll learn a lot, too.

NHL GMs are busy guys, but I and 34 of the top GMs all-time have personally invested significant time, energy, and materials into the making of this book, giving you totally unique insight into pro hockey. Behind The Moves is not an outsiders account, it’s an insider’s view of what’s truly involved in being an NHL GM! For me, it has been a true honor to be associated with so many iconic hockey personalities through the making of Behind the Moves ? friends and colleagues like Glen Sather, Pat Quinn, and George McPhee, but also legends whom I was fortunate enough to overlap with like Bill Torrey, Emile Francis, and Sam Pollock. Like each of them, I am proud of our game’s history and tradition and the men who shaped the teams that have excited fans over the years. And because I was so impressed with the concept of Behind The Moves I jumped in and wrote the book’s Foreword.

I believe that the NHL’s general managers have been the brains and the conscience of the game since the league opened for business in 1917. Yet, surprisingly, little has been written about them. But is there a more important job on the team than the guy who puts the team together?

Like you, I’ve always been interested in knowing what other managers thought, so I could maybe learn to emulate certain types and avoid the other kinds. Behind the Moves is that playbook for all managers and those aspiring to get into, or move up in, the game. You’ll hear directly from the GMs who all share an undying passion for the game ? past managers, current managers, champions, tenured veterans, innovators, old-schoolers, educated men and men with diplomas marked “Original Six.”

 Brian Burke

President & General Manager, Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL Powers-That-Be Are Not Rocket Scientists

That sound you hear is the sound of hockey fans all over the world losing interest in the 2007-2008 NHL season.

NHL brainiacs are probably quite intelligent people in many things in their lives. Some might be able to rebuild car engines, others might do complex math equations, while others might be able to fix broken plumbing.

But when it comes to running the show, these same people are really stupid.

It came first when the NHL season was stretched to 82 games. Because already, we know the playoffs are going to go into late spring, early summer.

But now we’ve been waiting since Monday for the first game of the Stanley Cup finals to begin on Saturday. Almost a week later.

Don’t these people understand that with summer comes outdoors stuff? There’s barbeques, beaches, camping, lawn cutting, sitting outside, baseball, campfires, gardens to attend to, things to build, things to fix outdoors, going for walks, sleeping on the hammock.

Hockey goes on the backburner very quickly.

So it’s up to these people to hold our interest because it’s in their best interests. If no one’s watching, then advertisers won’t advertise. Seats won’t get bought. Merchandise won’t be sold. Fans just might go away and stay away.

All because these people, Gary Bettman, Colin Campbell, NHL General Managers and owners, are really stupid.

If they are really forced to stretch this out, then come up with a plan B. Just don’t go away and expect us to stick around. This week, there could have been classic playoff games to watch on regular cable TV. There could’ve been documentaries on the Stanley Cup, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. We could’ve learned more about Evgeny Malkin, Henrik Zetterberg, and Pavel Datsyuk.

They could’ve force-fed us hockey on different levels and forced us to stay interested.

There should’ve been a big build up all week to the final showcase. But nothing. Zero. Except for the usual TSN, Sportsnet spewing.

How can they not realize they’re losing viewers by playing right into summer with big gaps in between? Can they be that stupid? 

It’s fine and dandy for hard-core Detroit and Pittsburgh fans to gear up for the final. But two cities does not make a league, or television ratings.

Surely at some point, these people should clue in. Shouldn’t they?