Monday, July 20, 2015

Sean Burke Jersey Card

Sean Burke had been quoted as saying he was interested in becoming an NHL General Manager this summer, but the vacant spots have mostly been filled - apart from the three-headed monster over at Toronto Maple Leafs headquarters, which I'm sure he wanted no part in, having to be the lame duck while Kyle Dubas, Brendan Shanahan and Mike Babcock made the actual personnel calls.

Instead, I have a hunch that he may take over for his current boss when Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney inevitably gets canned; sure, Maloney has another assistant who has actual GM experience, but that man is Darcy Regier, who turned the Buffalo Sabres into a joke and cut corners in their scouting and drafting departments large enough that years of futility are still years away from bearing any fruit.

The ideal job for him would have been with the Edmonton Oilers, in my opinion. He knows the Western Conference extremely well, having been with the Coyotes in either a coaching or managerial role since 2008. He's also the goaltending coach who ''made'' #1s out of Ilya Bryzgalov, Mike Smith and Devan Dubnyk, and made Chad Johnson (1.21 GAA, .954 save percentage, undefeated in 4 games with 1 shutout), Jason LaBarbera (2.64 GAA and .918 save percentage over 4 seasons), Curtis McElhinney (1.64 GAA and .944 save percentage), Matt Climie (1.88 and .938), and Al Montoya (2.08 and .925) look the part - and the Oilers kind of need an eye for goaltending, and someone who can provide valuable tips.

In today's NHL, Burke is that guy, ahead of even Patrick Roy.

So I guess it's fitting that I feature him as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes, with this card from Pacific's 2000-01 Private Stock Titanium Draft Day set (card #75 of the Authentic Game-Worn Jersey sub-set, mentioning he was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the second round in 1985):
I'm particularly fond of the back, which specifies that the jersey swatch is from a Coyotes game in 1999-2000; it's also numbered 134/1010.

I've mentioned it before, but Burke was one of my favourite goalies growing up. Roy was the unattainable God, and Burke was the best underdog. Roy may have his (record) three Conn Smythes, and his Vezinas (while Burke has one nomination and three top-10 finishes), but Burke has an Olympic medal (silver, 1992) with Team Canada.

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