Brian Burke is never dull. That's something you have to give the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager. He makes brave trades like two first-round draft picks and another second-rounder for Phil Kessel. He is one of the few GMs on Twitter. He's very outspoken about his belief in fighting.
He has to. He nearly fought one of his fellow GMs.
You might remember the dispute that Burke, then the Ducks GM, had with Oilers GM Kevin Lowe. The two longtime friends found themselves at odds when Lowe signed young Ducks forward and restricted free agent Dustin Penner to an offer sheet.
Burke was outraged, slamming Lowe for an offer sheet that he considered to an overpayment, driving up the price of other restricted free agents. The squabbling deteriorated so far to the point that Lowe challenged Burke to a fight in a radio interview. Burke was ready to make it happen, too. In a barn, no less.
In an interview with The Score, Burke explains the whole situation.
By the way, there is already a Twitter account for the Lake Placid Barn. Oh Twitter, you never cease to amaze.
The fight was stopped because eventually Gary Bettman stepped in and told the two to knock it off or else.
The video also has some truisms about the stubbornness of the Irish and why he was able to hold such a grudge against Lowe. As somebody who is Irish, my wife could confirm the stubbornness.
The context of this, though, is a much more serious tone. The video is part of a story about Burke standing for anti-bullying. Burke has been active in the gay community even marching in gay-pride parades since his son Brendan was killed in a car crash in 2010. Brendan was gay and had been working for the Miami University hockey team at the time of his death. It has obviously had a very profound impact on Burke's life.
Now this is a serious suggestion here. They should put together a charity boxing event on in a barn near where these two guys go three rounds. The proceeds can go to benefit whichever charity Burke would like to give them to in honor of his late son. Beam it on TV in Edmonton and Toronto and tell me people wouldn't watch that.
I'd make the first donation to make it happen. Then maybe we could make the Greatest Fight that Never Happened actually come to fruition.
Video courtesy of The Score