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Brian Burke pays sixth overall pick Tkachuk the ultimate compliment

Brian Burke

Brian Burke, Calgary Flames’ president of hockey operations, announces the firing of general manager Jay Feaster and assistant general manager John Weisbrod during a NHL hockey news conference Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, in Calgar, Alberta. Burke will serve as acting general manager. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Larry MacDougal)


Brian Burke has delivered an abundance of quips in his time.

One of his classics, from 2002 when he was GM of the Vancouver Canucks: “Sedin is not English for ‘punch me or headlock me in a scrum.’”

Now the president of hockey operations for the Flames, Burke spouted more memorable lines when describing Matthew Tkachuk, the sixth overall pick to Calgary during the first round of the NHL Draft on Friday.

“Kid’s a kind of pain in the ass,” said Burke, as per the Calgary Herald. “We don’t have enough guys who are pains in the ass. And the way I like to play, I like guys who are pains in the ass.

“So, I thought that was a real important pick for us.”

After 107 points in 57 games for the London Knights during the OHL’s regular season, Tkachuk followed that up with an impressive 40 points in 18 playoff games, capped off with a Memorial Cup victory.

For the Flames, the addition of Tkachuk should strengthen a group of young, talented forwards, including Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, who have already established themselves in the NHL.

“Everybody talks about his brawn and his ability to score, but this guy, he’s got an elite mind,” said Flames GM Brad Treliving of Tkachuk.

“He can play with top players, he can think the game at a high level and he plays in the areas that aren’t fun to play in.”