Brian Burke doesn't get it.
Toronto Star reporter Rosie DiManno has a piece today on Canadian fixatation with hockey. Officially, lacrosse is our national sport. But of course it's hockey that animates much of our national conversation.
DiManno talks with Leafs GM Brian Burke (above), who whinges about all the correspondence he gets from fans, many of whom presume to tell him how to do his job.
Burke to DiManno:
I get tons of email every day from people I've never met. Sometimes they run two and three pages. I would never email the general manager of the New Zealand All-Blacks to tell him how to run his team because I assume he knows rugby better than I do, and I played rugby in university. Why does everyone in Toronto assume they know hockey better than I do? I know hockey. [Burke's emphasis.]
Points to Burke for knowing that most Kiwi teams go by the name All-Blacks, a term one seldom hears in these parts. If he can do their Maori pre-game chant, I might even score him an All-Blacks sweatshirt.
But Burke had to know he was signing up for a ton of fan input when last November he became GM of Leafs Nation for gosh sakes.
Burke's not happy with the tone of his fan mail? Well, the Leafs currently have a 23-34 win-loss record. They stand dead last in their division. They have 58 points to the NHL-leading Washington Capitals' 101 points.
So it does look like he could use some help. Or that the Leafs could use a new GM.
The torrent of unsolicited advice is evidence of fans still having faith that Burke can do better. When it dries up, he'll know - or should - that he's finished.