Pretty Darn Close to Factual
The mistake, it seems, was not going back further than seven decades. And not remembering to check the defunct teams.
Turns out Tom Gorman did pull it off back in the 1920s and 1930s. In fact, he did it with three teams - the original Ottawa Senators, Chicago and the Montreal Maroons.
So that made me wrong when I wrote in the Sunday Star that it had never happened.
Go ahead. Let me have it.
Does that make the basic point wrong? Probably not.
Lets face it. Running an NHL team before WWI was a different job than it is now. The idea, really, was to show how difficult it has been over the course of NHL history to translate managerial excellence from one franchise to another.
That point pretty much still holds. If we want to limit it to the post-World War II years, I'm okay with that.
If Burke can hoist the silver chalice with the Ducks and Leafs, it will be an extraordinary achievement, any way you cut it.
What will be interesting to see, given that the Leafs are now on their third GM in 11 months, is if Burke can outlast all the Leaf GMs in the post-expansion era.
Since Punch Imlach left, Jim Gregory has been the longest continuously serving Leaf GM with 10 seasons, from 1969 to 1979.
Next? Gerry McNamara made it through 6 1/2 seasons, from Sept, 1981 until he was fired in February, 1988. Cliff Fletcher was the boss for exactly six seasons on his first tour of duty.
So Burke needs to aim first for seven years - that's going to require a contract extension at some point - then gun for the big one, Gregory at an even decade.
Given the history of this franchise with GMs over the past 40 years, longevity on its own is always worth watching.