Brian Burke has stepped down as the GM of the Anaheim Ducks. Senior vice president of hockey operations and assistant GM Bob Murray has been promoted to general manager. Burke will remain on as special consultant to CEO Michael Schulman, but has been given a one week "break" which he can discuss and freely negotiate future employment opportunities as a GM in the NHL. TSN mentions it is now very likely that he will become the new GM and president of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brochu's take: The longest rumor in the history of GM rumors can finally come true. Some in the media continue to speculate that the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks could also be pursuing Burke, but Toronto makes too much sense. It's close to his children, and his wife can easily get a broadcasting job in Canada. Source
It appears Jason Blake is already wearing out his welcome in Toronto, only in his 2nd year of a 5-year, $20 million contract. Blake does not have a no trade clause, but his contract and age essentially makes him untradeable. The Leafs have the option of trading him, demoting him or buying out his contract. Brochu's take: He's untradeable as the writer states. Demoting him would be another option, but I really don't see a buyout considering the Leafs already have Darcy Tucker's dead cap space on the books. Source
Brochu's European rumor roundup:
Kevin Allen of USA Today is reporting that free agent defenseman Bryan Berard is close to signing a one-year deal with Vityaz Chekhov of the KHL.
Adrian Dater of the Denver Post is citing a Swedish source that Peter Forsberg recently had another operation on his oft-injured foot. Brochu's take: He's tried different doctors, and even different skates. Maybe Forsberg should go dip his foot in the waters of Lourdes? Source