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Burke voices support for Reimer, rips ESPN

Brian Burke

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke looks on during a hockey news conference in Toronto on Friday Feb. 18, 2011. The Leafs traded defenseman Tomas Kaberle to the Boston Bruins on Friday for prospect Joe Colborne and two draft picks. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)


Leafs GM Brian Burke was dying to comment on the CBA negotiations between the owners and players, but like Sabres owner Terry Pegula, he’ll let the NHL do the talking for owners and management.

“I wish I could say more,” Burke said today prior to a charity golf tournament, as per the National Post. “I mean, you guys know me: ‘no comment’ is not something that comes out of these lips easily.”

Burke did, however, speak freely on a couple of other subjects.

First, he reiterated his support for his young, number-one goalie that’s coming off a tough sophomore season:

“We believe in James Reimer. We have said, from the get-go, that if we get the opportunity to upgrade at the goaltending position, we’re going to do it. That’s still the case. But it’s not a frantic search for a goaltender. We believe in James Reimer … We believe there’s no reason why he can’t be ‘the guy.’”

The Leafs are one of the teams believed to be kicking the tires on soon-to-be-former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo.

Burke’s other notable comment was directed at ESPN, which recently ranked the Leafs’ franchise dead last among all 122 in the NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB.

Not surprisingly, Burke disagreed with that ranking:

“I don’t think ESPN knows a single thing about hockey. I think their hockey coverage stinks. I don’t think they know anything about Canada. I don’t think they know anything about hockey.”