How heartwarming to see Brian Burke again defending NHL commish Gary Bettman. After all, what’s a bumboy for if not to sing the praises of an old benefactor?
What got up Burke’s beak was the treatment accorded to Bettman on the occasion of Gary’s indictment (induction, shurely?!) into the Hockey Hall of Fame at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto earlier this month.
Bettman’s appearance at the ceremony prompted the de rigueur cascade of abuse from boo birds, which Bettman took graciously.
But ol’ Burkie wasn’t so sanguine. The Sportsnet bingo caller and longtime Bettman apologist was outraged.
“It’s ignorant. It’s just ignorant. The things he’s done for this game are staggering.
“He’s been a great friend of the teams in Canada,” quoth the Burkster.
And of course he’s been a great friend to Brian, particularly on those occasions when the moist and garrulous booby wore out his welcome with his employer.
Case in point, Burker’s gig with the Calgary Flames. Conventional wisdom has it that Bettman did some twisting of arms to get Burko a gig with the Flames in 2013.
Presto! The Flames created a new position just for Brian: President of Hockey Operations (a position that was eliminated when he left the team earlier this year.)
In his five seasons with the Flames, they missed the playoffs three times and managed to get out of the first round of the play-offs a grand total of once (which turned out to be even more success that he had as GM of the Leafs, from 2008-2013).
Then there was last December’s shit show.
In the event, the Burkinator got massively over refreshed on a DND hockey junket to Latvia, the same VIP flight that resulted in sexual assault charges against his seatmate, NHL goon emeritus Tiger Williams (Frank, Feb. 20, 2018.)
As Williams horn-dogged flight attendants, Burqa consumed the better part of a 40-pounder, then passed out and pissed himself, leaving the beleaguered attendants to extract wet seat cushions.
Burkeman left the Flames a few months later and popped up at Sportsnet, thanks to a nod and a wink from, er, Gary Bettman.