Brian Burke is on a mission to restore the Calgary Flames to glory and that path will not include Jay Feaster and John Weisbrod. In a press conference where he announced the dismissal of the GM and assistant GM, Burke set forth a vision for the franchise that skews more closely to his philosophies on the game.
"We're not hostile enough for me," said the Flames' president of hockey operations. "I don't like flag football. We want black and blue hockey, that's what we like here in Alberta."
Burke underlined in his remarks that although he will be the team's interim GM, he did not come to Calgary to be the full-time GM. The Stanley Cup-winning builder in Anaheim did indicate that his list of candidates would include both those experienced as GMs and those who have never held the position.
"This is all about having a (Stanley Cup victory) parade," Burke said. "I wouldn't have come here if that wasn't the goal."
Burke expressed his faith in coach Bob Hartley and his staff, noting that no more changes will be made to the team's brain trust this year. Feaster and Weisbrod were shown the door after a 75-day evaluation period by Burke, followed by a meeting with Calgary's ownership group. Burke saw both positives and negatives in this year's edition of the Flames, who got off to a surprising start before coming back to Earth and now sit second-last in the West.
"I really think this is the hardest-working team in the league and I'm really proud of that," he said. "They don't cheat; they're a blue-collar team. I'm frustrated that we keep turning third period leads into losses."
While Burke wants his team to be tougher, he made it clear there is still room for finesse, specifically mentioning dynamic 5-foot-6 prospect Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College.
"There's plenty of room for small, skilled guys in this league," he said. "But you need some beef around them."