Cross Checks: Sean Burke

PITTSBURGH -- The Goalie Whisperer appears to be staying put.

A source told ESPN.com Thursday night that Sean Burke was close to re-signing a deal to stay with the Phoenix Coyotes as director of player personnel and, of course, goalie coach.

Burke has deservedly been given credit for helping turn around the career of Coyotes netminder Mike Smith, just as he helped Ilya Bryzgalov before him.

Burke’s deal was set to expire at the end of the month.
LOS ANGELES -- The "Goalie Whisperer," aka Sean Burke, aka the hottest commodity in goalie coaching circles in the NHL these days, just happens to be a UFA this summer.

Indeed, Burke’s contract with the Phoenix Coyotes as goalie coach and director of player development expires in the offseason. Burke told ESPN.com that he loves it in Phoenix, so there’s certainly no threat of him jumping to another NHL team. But a decision he is weighing is whether he should spend more time in Portland, Ore., where his son Brendan Burke is a netminder for the WHL’s Winterhawks. Next season is Brendan’s NHL draft year.

Burke said he hasn’t made a decision yet. The focus right now is on the Coyotes, who trail the Kings 3-0 and play Sunday at Staples Center.

Still, interesting to know that the man who helped Ilya Bryzgalov play his best hockey of his career in Phoenix and then resurrected Mike Smith’s career is a free agent after the season.

My guess? He stays put in Phoenix but perhaps GM Don Maloney finds a way to get Burke out to Portland a little more often. Plus, he'd be a great GM someday, being a cerebral guy who has paid his dues.

More on diving


A day after Coyotes coach Dave Tippett accused the Kings of embellishing calls, Kings coach Darryl Sutter was asked about the subject in general as it applies to the playoffs this year.

“You know, in the three series, we’ve usually talked about it, because you want to make officials aware of it, and I think we’ve seen a little bit in the Vancouver series and hardly at all in the St. Louis series, and I haven’t seen it once in this one,’’ Sutter said.

“Quite honestly, the supervisors and/or referees will come over and say, ‘Tell Cam Cole next time not to dive,’ and I haven’t heard that yet this series. So, that really hasn’t been part of it.’’

Cole is the respected Vancouver Sun columnist who asked Sutter about the diving Friday.

As for Tippett, he wasn’t in the mood Friday to get back on that soap box.

"I said my piece on embellishment," Tippett said. "It wasn't geared toward that game last night. I talked about this from the start of the year. So I've said my piece on that. Obviously, there's frustration on our part that we would like to get better results. Our margin for error is very slim when we feel like there's some situations that happen in a game that go against you, we're looking for every little scratch we can find, every little piece of positive we can find to help us get back in the series. When that doesn't happen, you get frustrated with it. But, you know, you give L.A. credit; they've played very well. I don't think we've played as well in this series as we have the two previous. We're down 3-0 because of it.’’

A league source told ESPN.com on Friday that Tippett would not be fined for his postgame comments. Which is good, because a coach should be entitled to vent, especially after going down 3-0 in a series.

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