Monday, July 07, 2008

Now go to your rooms!

"We felt for a host of reasons it was important to bring the parties together and make it clear to both organizations that public comments disparaging the other were bad for the business and would no longer be tolerated,"— NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly on why the NHL told their feuding GM’s to put a lid on their antagonistic ways.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has finally said enough is enough, tired of the bickering between Anaheim GM Brian Burke and Edmonton’s GM Kevin Lowe, Bettman issued a cease and desist order to the NHL’s most colourful if slightly embarrassing feud.

Bettman’s intervention came after Lowe went thermo nuclear on the weekend finally relieving himself of the burden of biting his tongue over Burke’s frequent jabs at his General Managers duties in Edmonton.

To be fair to Lowe, he’s been a pretty patient fellow as the bellicose Burkie has on more than a few occasions taken Edmonton to task for their offer to and subsequent signing of Dustin Penner last season.

In Burke’s world it seems that the move by Lowe was the start of the end of the NHL, while Lowe and more than a few others suggest that it was just another day at the office with the real line in the sand having been crossed much earlier with Columbus’ offer to Rick Nash.

It’s an argument that apparently didn’t sell in Anaheim, as through this past season, Burke has made the occasional jab at Lowe’s ability to run an NHL franchise properly, making for lively subject matter for hockey reporters, who always love a good feud.

As NHL feuds go it’s been a beaut, while Lowe has kept a low profile for the most part, with only occasional contributions, that all went out the window this weekend past when he appeared on an Edmonton radio station, to open up the shotgun with both barrels delivering a withering assessment of Burke’s abilities as an NHL executive

Among some of the more blistering observations that Lowe provided:

He described his Anaheim Ducks counterpart as "a moron" and "an underachieving wannabe"

Accused Burke of being a media junkie who gets his name in the headlines, though Lowe hates the idea of his name being attached to Burke's.

Suggesting that Burke is an underachieving wannabe in terms of success in the NHL, going on to count Stanley Cup rings Lowe tallied up his six to Burke’s one, "He won a Stanley Cup? Great. I've won six Stanley Cups, you want to count rings? Who cares? It's just a little pathetic that he carries on.”

Finally Lowe reviewed some past NHL history and offered up the theory that Burke had destroyed the Vancouver Canucks before he left, leaving successor Dave Nonis with nothing to work. Nonis has since been replaced by Mike Gillis.

With Lowe dropping the gloves on Friday and leveling his most fierce rebuttal yet, Bettman felt that he had no option but to step in today and enforce a little family discipline.

Making for what he hopes will be a more sedate summer season from his two bad boys, a wish that more than a few observers may hope doesn’t come to pass.

Nasty as it’s been, the feud has made for some pretty lively commentary, though judging by the reports over the last few days, more than a few are quite content that Lowe finally took Burke head on, toe to toe.

We found a few of the media highlights over the last few days to provide some colour commentary to Lowe’s play by play descriptions of Friday Night fights…

Edmonton Journal-- Silence is golden only for so long
Orange County Register-- Burke, Lowe ordered to knock it off
Orange County Register-- Lowe fires back at Burke
National Post-- It's about time Lowe fired back
National Post-- Lowe fires back about Burke
National Post-- Lowe's rant long overdue
Los Angeles Times-- Kevin Lowe finally fires back at Brian Burke
Vancouver Sun-- Silly season in the NHL
Toronto Sun-- Lowe levels blast at Ducks' Burke
Winnipeg Sun-- Lowe boils over
Calgary Sun-- Angry Lowe targets Ducks' 'moron'
Globe and Mail-- Gotta love that Brian Burke
CBC Sports-- Oilers GM Lowe fires back at Ducks' Burke
CBC Sports-- NHL orders truce between GMs Lowe, Burke
Maclean's-- Burke v. Lowe: L’il Gary wades in
Sporting News-- Oilers' Lowe unloads new salvo on Ducks GM OILERS' GENERAL MANAGER LOWE RIPS BACK AT BURKE
The Hockey News-- League would be smart to allow Burke-Lowe feud to fester

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