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NHL & SOCCER: June 13, 2005

Posted: Monday June 13, 2005 12:02PM; Updated: Monday June 13, 2005 12:07PM
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Brian Burke, vocal and opinionated, will be hired as the Mighty Ducks' GM. Burke, who spent five seasons as the Canucks' GM, will receive a five-year contract at more than $1 million per year, the source said. His hiring is expected to be announced at a June 20 news conference, which will also be used to introduce Henry and Susan Samueli as the team's new owners. The NHL's approval of the new owners probably will come Wednesday. Neil Smith, the GM led the Rangers to the 1994 Stanley Cup, was the other finalist. But Burke had the backing of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who lobbied the Samuelis.
-- Los Angeles Times


One of Burke's off-the-cuff comments may need to be explained to Duck center Sergei Fedorov. Burke had Fedor Fedorov as a player in Vancouver, and when Sergei Fedorov became a free agent in 2003, Burke was asked whether he would try to sign him. "We already have a Fedorov," Burke replied. "That's one Fedorov too many." Sergei Fedorov has three seasons left on a five-year, $40-million contract.
-- Los Angeles Times

Peter Forsberg still hopes to be back with the Avalanche when the league resumes play following the signing of a new collective bargaining agreement, but the looming possibility of a salary cap clouds the picture. The Avs faces some tough decisions, with seven significant players under contract for next season, at about $18.6 million, and a list of unsigned veterans that includes Forsberg, Adam Foote, Milan Hejduk, Alex Tanguay, David Aebischer, John-Michael Liles, Dan Hinote, Marek Svatos, Peter Worrell and Karlis Skrastins. It's expected that Forsberg, 31, and Foote, 33 - along with Joe Sakic, the only players who have been with Colorado during the franchise's entire stay in Denver -- would be unrestricted free agents because of their ages, but even that isn't certain.
-- Denver Post

The NHL and NHLPA will put on their thinking caps and salary caps again today after four days of productive talks last week in New York. There were reports at mid-week that a cap system based on team-by-team revenue had been agreed upon, but Bettman told one team GM that no such cap existed, at least not yet. Other issues still on the table include free agency, salary arbitration, drug testing, Olympic participation and proposed rule changes.
-- Toronto Sun

One issue that remains is what will be done about 2004-05 contracts. Until recently, it has been assumed that those deals would simply go by the wayside, but there are indications the NHLPA will try to have them honored as a transitional rule in a new collective bargaining agreement.
-- Toronto Star

Player-owner Mario Lemieux hopes the Penguins stay in Pittsburgh if he sells controlling interest in the NHL club to a group headed by his friend William (Boots) Del Biaggio. Lemieux confirmed that he would remain with the club if it is sold. "Whatever happens, I'm going to keep a small piece of the team and I'll be involved in the organization," said Lemieux. "Hopefully, we can keep it in Pittsburgh. That's our goal and that's his goal as well."
-- Canadian Press