Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Brian Burke on playoff rough stuff: “This is like people complaining about the rain at Woodstock”

Brian Burke

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke speaks to the media for the first time since the death of his 21-year-old Brendan on Friday, Feb. 12, 20101, before an NHL hockey game between the Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)


While many fans and media alike are concerned with the dirty hits and suspendable offenses that have gone on in the first week of the playoffs, Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke can’t be bothered with all that while there’s hockey being played.

Burke tells Kevin Allen of USA Today that the coverage given to violent plays that have resulted in injuries and suspensions is overblown. Burke gives Allen his take on things in only the kind of way he can.

“This is like people complaining about the rain at Woodstock,” Burke said. “Yes, there was lots of mud, but it was the greatest music gathering in history.”

As for the legitimately dirty plays like Raffi Torres’ hit on Marian Hossa, Burke tells Allen that vigilance is the best way to combat the problem and get back to watching the playoffs the way they’re meant to be seen.

“I hope we continue to nail the people who are crossing the line,” Burke said. “But this is a small number of incidents, and it’s unfortunate that non-hockey media is focusing on that. But what I see is great hockey. It’s awesome.”

A “small number of incidents” in this case is seven suspensions doled out over the first seven days of the playoffs and that’s before Torres gets the book thrown at him in the coming days. Burke might want to believe that the game should be the main story, but the lack of common sense in punishment and the continued violence on the ice won’t get out of the way to allow it to be.