Brian Burke: Goodbye Anaheim, Hello Toronto?

The arrival of Anaheim Ducks general manger Brian Burke in Toronto this week fueled speculation that he in line to become the next general manger of the Toronto Maple Leafs. His situation is unique; Burke is completing the final year of a four-year contract and can become a free agent at the end of the season.

Duck ownership has offered a contract extension and Burke hopes to have a decision for them by Christmas. The hold-up is all on Burke’s end, as he has some family concerns that need to be addressed before accepting any job offer in the NHL.

The media has speculated that Burke is pondering a move back to the East Coast to be closer to his four children from a previous marriage. Burke’s other concern is his current wife’s broadcast career. They live in Southern California with their children and are trying to find balance between their respective careers.

Toronto’s reaction is “no comment” to all of the rumors. They will interview everyone that is available next spring and hope to hire the best candidate to lead them back to the playoffs. Veteran NHL executive Cliff Fletcher is the current interim head of hockey operations for the Maple Leafs until a permanent replacement can be found.

When asked if his situation is a distraction to the Ducks, Burke responded that his situation is no different than a player playing out their contract to become an unrestricted free agent and it shouldn’t be a distraction because he has communicated the team on all issues pertaining to his contract.

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