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Burke: ‘We all know the Canucks started it’

Jan 23, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT

Brian Burke

Flames GM Brian Burke addressed law students at the University of Calgary in a public lecture earlier this week, but still managed to squeeze in some hockey talk.

“I’m not happy with the [$25,000] fine that Coach Hartley received,” said Burke, per UToday. “Especially since we all know the Canucks started it.”

Burke, who was at the university speaking about breaking into the world of sports law (and to be fair, may have delivered the comment tongue-in-cheek), previously issued a statement saying he disagreed with Hartley’s fine, which came as a result from Saturday’s opening-faceoff line brawl between the Canucks and Flames.

“I am perplexed by this fine,” Burke said, per Calgary’s Twitter account. “I stand behind Bob Hartley completely in this regard and remain confident that he acted properly in every aspect of this game.”

The NHL dinged Hartley for “conduct prejudicial to or against the welfare of the League.”

“We are holding Mr. Hartley responsible for the actions of Flames’ right wing Kevin Westgarth, who took the game’s opening face-off and attempted to instigate a premeditated fight with an unwilling opponent — the Canucks’ Kevin Bieksa,” the league said in a statement.

Canucks head coach John Tortorella, who tried to go after Hartley during the first intermission, was suspended 15 days for his actions.

  1. ibieiniid - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Why’s Burke always look like he should be drunkenly reminiscing about Bill Brasky?

    • cofran2004 - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      I personally think he looks like ron white’s dweeby little brother. Not as funny, either…

    • patthehockeyfan - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      I’m sure when you two look in the mirror, you see Henrik Lundqvist’s or Patrick Sharp’s reflection looking back at you.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        uh-oh. who knew patthehockeyfan was Brian Burke’s mother and didn’t tell me?

        (jussssssst messin’, pat)

      • patthehockeyfan - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        That’s okay, ibie. :)

      • nj666 - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        Marty’s better…

      • cofran2004 - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        Nah, I see Ryan Gossling. I’m a damn sexy man…. just sayin’.

        (not really)

      • patthehockeyfan - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:59 PM

        Cofran, you and ibieiniid crack me up. Thanks for the chuckles. :)

    • ntvd7 - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      I once saw him scissor kick Angela Lansberry #tobillbrasky

      • ntvd7 - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        Burke’s semen can form into a liquid human. Like that guy from Terminator 2 #tobillbrasky

      • ibieiniid - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:28 PM


    • doubles22 - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      In defense of Burke, the pic in the above story is really that of Lloyd Bridges from the movie “Airplane!”

      “Guess I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue…”

    • basedrum777 - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      I really question Burke’s intensity regarding line-brawls.

  2. thailer35 - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    That’s why Wesgarth chased down the rookie after half refusing to fight Bieksa, right?

    The NHL should expand to Quebec or Seattle, name Burke the GM and Torts the coach and call them the Quebec ClusterF’s or the Seattle Sh– Show.

    • elvispocomo - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      Westgarth was the first guy to drop the gloves, but this had to have been a joke.

    • scottybcboy - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      Uhhh….it was Bieksa who wouldn’t drop with Westgarth because he saw an easy target in Smid and jumped him instead…….leaving Lain and Westgarth as the only unmatched guys, and Lain dropped them pretty quick, none of the chasing down you speak of.

  3. deezenucks - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Not sure if serious?

    • patthehockeyfan - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      The story on the UToday link reads:

      “‘I’m not happy with the fine that Coach Hartley received,’ said Burke. ‘Especially since we all know the Canucks started it.’

      All joking aside, Burke brought words of sage advice to law students looking to break into the world of sports law following graduation, an area of the law that is statistically very hard to be successful in.”

      The ‘all joking aside’ phrase was written by the reporter, Ali Abel, and not spoken by Burke. I have a feeling, though, that Burke’s words were said tongue-in-cheek. There’s no way he could possibly be serious.

      • elvispocomo - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        I can’t see how he would have been serious saying that.

  4. bddigger - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    I was there and Burke said it in a completely joking manner.

    • elvispocomo - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      Well, there we go. Wondered if I kept scrolling down if there would be a comment from someone who was there.

    • skr213 - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      Yeah, but more importantly, did he look as drunk and disheveled as he always does on TV and in pictures?

  5. downwithbettman - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    I can’t tell which joke is funnier, Brian Burke or his hair

  6. tampabayirish - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Brian Burke needs a makeover in the worst way.

  7. phxyotes - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Is this clown kidding anyone? Go have another scotch and water.

    • lightning69 - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      Not to rip someone for one bad pic, but adding up Burke’s public comments, the teams actions, more comments, questionable decisions, on top of this crazy stock photo….

      I’d say Burke has been having his scotch sans water for quite some time now.

  8. joey4id - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    So, could this possible mean that Burke subtly or not so subtly influenced Hartley to start his 4th line? Hmmmm!

    • valoisvipers - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      You could be on to something there Joey, as we all know Burke loves his “truculence”.

      • joey4id - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        Yeah! It just seems to all add up. Considering the clear indication that Burke wanted his team to be more truculent since he fired Feaster, Hartley’s lack of desire to engage with Torts from the bench and in the hallway, and now this remark by Burke, things just seem to be pointing at Burke.

    • elvispocomo - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Even if Burke didn’t say anything directly, his previous statements about how he wants the team to play and actually flying to attend the Vancouver game in person could have definitely had an impact on Hartley – especially since Hartley wasn’t hired by Burke.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      Joey I’ll point this out as I’m guessing you’ll appreciate it – the Province game wrap up from Tuesday night included scuttlebutt that Burke told a Maple Leafs scout not to miss the start of the Canucks/Flames game as something was going to happen.

      It doesn’t name names (“Best Puzzle: Which NHL executive told a Toronto Maple Leafs scout..”) but it’s clearly an invitation to arrive at that conclusion.

      At any rate it’s the Province so I don’t ascribe much to it but you can if you want. 😉

      As for Burke’s quote, it seems pretty clearly like a joke to me – not to be taken as proof or disproof of anything in reality, even if it is consistent with the conclusions one has arrived at on their own.

  9. sjsharks66 - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    No, no they did not.

    • nj666 - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      yeah this has only happened to two other teams tortarella was coaching… its just a big coincidence…

  10. steverolley - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Good joke.. here’s an even better one

    Calgary Flames have 41 points and are bottom dwellers again.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      Meh, at least they know what they are, a team that has to work hard every night and catch a few breaks to win because they don’t have the nhl talent to compete right now, however they have several prospects in the pipeline (they’re ranked 13th in organizational rankings as compared to mid 20’s 1 year ago) a high 1st round puck this year, plus another number 1 if someone gets crazy for Cammalleri, and likely another high pick next year, they have plenty or opportunities to turn it around in the next few years.

      The Canucks on the other hand are what the Flames were 3 years ago, an aging team who thinks they’re a contender and are doing what they can to try and surround their rapidly aging core with the parts necessary to win a cup, in reality though the Canucks are nowhere near the level of the top teams in the conference and have the distinct look of a team just good enough to make the playoffs. Meanwhile they’re getting further from the cup every single day as the core of their team continues to age and they lack the prospects to reload by either calling up players or trading them for players to complete the puzzle…which would just perpetuate the problem even more. The Canucks are 1-2 seasons away from having the debate about trading the Sedins to a contender for prospects and picks.

      Hopefully Canucks fans enjoy where they are now, because they’re a slowly sinking ship.

  11. kingcobraman - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Burke your controversial and always stirring the pot…gotta luv it keep it up…. the nhl circus always needs a few good clowns…

  12. drewsylvania - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    The Flames’ fanbase must feel like the Browns’ fanbase at this point. Complete with a revolving door of idiots.

  13. bcisleman - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    Sure BB if by “we” you mean everyone on the Flames payroll. Everyone else knows Hartley provoked it and deserved his fine.

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