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Report: Burke testified in Messier’s arbitration case with Canucks

Aug 5, 2012, 2:22 PM EDT

Brian Burke Getty Images

Larry Brooks reports that Brian Burke “testified on Mark Messier’s behalf” during his $6 million arbitration case against the Vancouver Canucks.

Burke was the Canucks’ general manager from 1997-2004. Messier spent three seasons (1997-98 through 1999-2000) with Vancouver.

Much like Messier, many believe that Burke isn’t a particularly popular man within the Canucks franchise these days.

Brooks passes along the view that the case never should’ve gone to arbitration in the first place, though.

Multiple individuals report the case was black-and-white, and never should have proceeded to arbitration given the clause in Messier’s registered contract he signed with the Canucks in 1997 that called for him to get a percentage of the increase in franchise value upon the team’s sale.

Charles Wang says the case should have been decided by Gary Bettman.

  1. acieu - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Did Bettman shirk his responsibility as he has in not sett,ing or moving Phoenix?

  2. silversun60 - Aug 5, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Oh! This makes sense now. He must have been testifying for the last 2 months straight which is why he hasn’t done ANYTHING to improve the Leafs.

  3. DTF31 - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    For all the good Burke did for the Canucks he is sure making it easy for people to forget

  4. DTF31 - Aug 5, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    And another thing, how did the teams value go up? The teams revenue streams decreased while Messier was there. Merch, ticket sales, etc.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 5, 2012 at 9:40 PM

      The merch sales would have gone up as I believe 97 was the first year the Canucks played in the whale jerseys. Although I’m not a Canucks fan but I really miss the flying skate logo.

  5. sergeikremlin - Aug 5, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Burke likely testified on Messier’s behalf not to slight the Canucks, but because he’s a Harvard Law School graduate and therefore realizes that the clause in Messier’s contract was in black-and-white ink.

    One of the most ridiculous contracts, and transactions all-around, ever, but nevertheless, legitimate.

    Lost a lot of respect for the people involved when Messier wore the honoured number of the deceased Wayne Maki, and also the way the Trevor Linden situation was handled. Never should a player be bigger than the team, and certainly not the team’s entire history. It was ugly and shameful.

    The only reason this case went to arbitration, likely, is to determine just how much the value of the team went up from 1997 to 2000, and also complications arising from Messier being bought out early from the contract.

  6. habsman - Aug 5, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    I wonder how “Burkie” is going to feel in January when he’s called to testify about his role in the ending of Steve Moore’s career.

  7. cowboyscanada - Aug 6, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    Burke and Messier deserve each other. Both classless,,,,

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