The arrival of Brian Burke in Toronto on Tuesday seemed to provide the same kind of excitement that a papal election might, local fans and media participants watchful of the skies over the Air Canada Centre looking for puffs of white smoke, signifying that a new leader has arrived to guide the guardians of the Maple Leaf through their next phase.
Of course the only trouble with that scenario is that Mr. Burke currently is leading another congregation a pack of Southern Californians seeking to return to their own promised land of the Stanley Cup playoffs, though many wonder for how much longer he'll be directing the choir of Anaheim Ducks, a team which hasn't been on the same page of the songbook at all so far this season.
Burke is considered to be the Leafs first (and possibly only) choice to take over the reins from the semi-retired Cliff Fletcher, who when not overseeing the day to day operations of Leaf Nation, is said to be closing working with Toronto lawyer Gord Kirke on the Leafs search committee. They have been keeping the prospects list close to their vests over the last few months, which leads more and more people to believe that the Burke move is in the bag, and all that remains is the proper timing of the decision and announcement.
With that in mind, Burke advised the Toronto media on Tuesday that while normally a decisive person, he's taking his time to do what is best for him, his wife Jeniffer, his current employers the Samueli's and any potential future bosses, (wherever they may be we guess, wink, wink).
The ongoing saga of personnel changes seems to be a peculiarly Toronto thing, as former captain Mats Sundin does his own introspective examination as to what is best for his career and for his former team.
All this consideration makes one wonder if perhaps a Dr. Phil isn't required in Toronto, someone to gather all the main participants in one spot and have them hammer out their concerns, goals and deepest wishes.
As for the focus of all of Toronto's attention Tuesday, Burke has said that he'll have his mind up by Christmas, making for a nice shiny present we guess for one team and a few lumps of coal for those that have been sending hopeful glances his way.
Globe and Mail-- Burke can't make up his mind
National Post-- Burke still undecided about future
Toronto Star-- Ducks GM Burke promises decision by December
Toronto Star-- Burke in town and ready to answer questions about his future
Los Angeles Times-- Ducks' Brian Burke sets a Christmas deadline
CBC Sports-- Ducks GM Burke unsure of his future
Sun media-- Burke blows off talk of future for now
Vancouver Sun-- Burke won't talk about possible Toronto job
Photo above from National Post website