Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Burke has faith in city

Winnipeg is up to dealing with new NHL team's challenges: Leafs GM

  • Print

TORONTO -- While some of his colleagues fled from the topic of a potential return of the NHL to Winnipeg for years, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke was never one to cover up his worries about the Manitoba capital.

He always seemed to be torn on the matter -- unfailingly complimentary of his first-hand dealings with chairman Mark Chipman and True North as Vancouver's NHL affiliate for the Manitoba Moose starting in 2001 but wondering if Winnipeg's relative size to other NHL cities wasn't too much to overcome.

Asked Saturday at the NHL's annual scouting combine for his thoughts on True North's deal last Tuesday to acquire the Atlanta Thrashers and move them to Winnipeg, Burke proved he's consistent.

"First, congratulations to Mark Chipman and the Thomson family," were his first words. "They worked very hard to get this done, and very professionally. So congratulations and we wish them well.

"There are challenges in the marketplace. I think there right now is a wave of Canadian patriotism and euphoria that's not realistic. That being said, I think the challenges in the market, in being the smallest market and having the smallest building, having the smallest corporate base, I think those are challenges that can be met in Winnipeg with this CBA."

Burke was asked for his take on Winnipeg's swift and decisive purchase of 13,000 season tickets.

"They could sell 26,000," he said. "I'm not worried about the first five years. They could sell 26,000 today, this week. The key is you need stamina. This isn't a sprint. Having a pro team in a small market, it's a marathon. The question is, what's the stamina, what's the durability, what's the endurance?

"It's not the first 100 days. That's going to be easy for them. The low-hanging fruit will all get picked in the first 90 days. It gets harder after that.

"But I believe Winnipeg can be successful. I don't want to be a negative voice, I want to be a realistic voice. I do believe those challenges can be met there."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 5, 2011 B2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Preview: RMTC's Armstrong's War

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Goslings enjoy Fridays warm weather to soak up some sun and gobble some grass on Heckla Ave in Winnipeg Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 DAY goose challenge - May 18, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 110621 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 -  Doug Chorney, president Keystone Agricultural Producers flight over South Western Manitoba to check on the condition of farming fields. MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
my2011poy

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Where do you think the Bombers need the biggest improvement during the off-season?

View Results

Ads by Google