Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MLSE Board expected to vote on Burke

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs' ownership group is expected to officially initiate contract negotiations with Brian Burke today or tomorrow.

According to an NHL source, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president and chief executive officer Richard Peddie was to canvass the eight other members of the MLSE board yesterday in the hopes of securing clearance to begin contract negotiations with Burke.

Approval was not expected to be a problem, considering that MLSE and its two-person search committee of Peddie and Toronto sports lawyer Gordon Kirke called off its pursuit last summer because the Anaheim Ducks refused permission to Kirke and Peddie to talk to Burke.

But that issue was resolved last week when Burke was fired by the Ducks after he refused to sign a contract extension and the Ducks later filed with the league office the necessary paperwork that gave the 29 other NHL clubs authorization to talk to Burke.

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