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Burke unimpressed with Baertschi

Sep 30, 2013, 2:37 PM EDT

Sven Baertschi AP

New Calgary Flames head of hockey operations, Brian Burke, is none too impressed with one of the team’s top prospects, Sven Baertschi.

Specifically, he’s not impressed with the 20-year-old’s commitment to playing in all three zones of the ice.

“This is a guy, right now, who’s focusing on one area,” Burke said, per Wes Gilberton of the Calgary Sun. “And even then, sporadically.”

“There’s three zones on the ice … and I don’t see that he’s learned to play and compete in two of them.”

Presumably, Burke is referring to the defensive and neutral zones as the two that Baertschi, a talented scorer, needs to play better in.

While Burke may have been blunt in his assessment (when is he ever subtle?), he did say he’s “seen kids that age with those holes that turn into players.” Which is good, because the rebuilding Flames need Baertschi to turn into a player after drafting him 13th overall in 2011.

More on Baertschi’s preseason struggles here.

Update (3:07 p.m. ET): Despite all of the above, Baertschi made the Flames’ opening-day roster.

Update 2 (3:18 p.m. ET): Flames GM Jay Feaster provides more context…


Related: Untouchable Baertschi looking to build on strong 2013 finish

  1. mightymouse316 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Sven was plenty committed to defense in Portland. How was that Phil Kessel trade again?

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      Looks like it was good for both teams.

    • timsabourin - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      you are what the french call ‘le incompétente’

    • lordfletcher - Sep 30, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      How was that Phil Kessel trade again?

      Looks like Phil is doing great in Toronto, so I would say Burke did well. I am sure he realized when he made the deal the Leafs would suck something fierce and the draft picks would turn into very high picks. Trade worked for both teams end of story

  2. hockey412 - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Good to see he’s fading into the background and letting Feaster do the GM work…

  3. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Does Burke ever shut up? Good GM in some ways, but the worst of the worst when it comes to dealing with the media.

  4. tapefolie - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Burke is a ass and it’s unimaginable that he somehow seems to find work in the NHL.

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      Being a nice person isn’t in the job description, nor should it be

    • oquintero99 - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      Watch out. He is going to sue you.

      But I agree with hockeyflow33. It isn’t part of his description to be nice. If the player in question is doing poorly, then Burke can call him out so the player can get his act together. The way he did it is debatable, but well within his rights.

  5. tapefolie - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Doesn’t matter if it’s in the job description or not, I’m just stating a fact.

    • lordfletcher - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      if its a “fact” why say it then?

      Doesn’t matter what you think of him or anyone else. Its all about how his clubs do on the ice. Toronto is turning around (I think they let him go a tad early but I understand it) … Burke is a great guy to have in the management of any hockey club, FACT.

  6. beergold - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    This coming from the same guy that called “One Way” Phil Kessel his franchise player for all his years as the Laff GM. Good luck on your next five years Flames!

  7. gocaps8 - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    …with a dash of truculence. I find Burke’s candor refreshing. And he’s going to be vindicated by the Leafs over the next couple years. Wish he was still available for when McPhee gets canned (Christmas?)

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