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Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Brian Burke angered by owners' criticism

By Scott Burnside

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke took exception to some of the public criticism of the league by NHL owners and raised the issue with Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero and Montreal GM Pierre Gauthier Tuesday.

Their respective owners, Mario Lemieux and Geoff Molson, have complained about the league's handling of controversial events involving their teams in recent weeks.

Burke didn't think it was appropriate that the owners took their concerns public, and he told reporters Tuesday a number of other GMs sided with him, including New York Rangers GM Glen Sather. In the end, though, Burke said the response to him was that the team owners could say what they wanted regardless of what Burke thought.

"It was typical Brian Burke. It had no impact but it was entertaining," he said.

The issue of owners speaking out became even more pointed Tuesday when Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk went on at length about the league's policy on blows to the head, insisting that he wants players banned forever for deliberate head shots.

"I'm talking about -- and I'm as far to the right wing on this issue as you can ever get -- you hit a guy in the head, you're gone and I mean gone," he told the Fan 590 in Toronto.