Leafs host Flyers in wake of hiring GM Burke - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Leafs host Flyers in wake of hiring GM Burke

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Philadelphia (11-6-5) at Toronto (7-9-6), 7:00 pm EST

TORONTO (Ticker) -- A dismal defense and an even worse

penalty-kill unit has called for the Toronto Maple Leafs to make

a significant change.

Such is why the Maple Leafs' game against the Philadelphia

Flyers on Saturday will be drastically overshadowed because they

will announce Brian Burke as their new general manager in a

press conference approximately five hours prior.

Burke agreed to a six-year contract that runs through 2014, and

TSN of Canada's web site reported the deal is worth

approximately $18 million.

Linked to Toronto for over a year through heavy speculation,

Burke resigned from his position with the Anaheim Ducks on

November 12.

Since turning down the Ducks' extension offer, Burke was given

permission by the club to explore other options - one of which

turned out to be the Maple Leafs, who fired John Ferguson in

January. Cliff Fletcher had been serving as the Maple Leafs'

interim general manager.

The architect of the Ducks' 2007 Stanley Cup winning team, Burke

is expected to instill a new vibe for a team that has given up

the second-most goals (80) and is the owner of the lowest

penalty-kill percentage (73.5) in the NHL.

Toronto is coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators

and has dropped five straight (0-3-2).

Philadelphia, unlike Toronto, has been impressive on special

teams. The Flyers have killed off 20 straight penalties and

limited opponents to 2-for-53 in the past 10 contests.

The Flyers, who have lost 10 of their last 13 to the Leafs, had

their six-game win streak snapped with Friday's 3-2 overtime

loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Jeff Carter is among the league leaders with 16 goals for the

Flyers, who have picked up a point in nine straight contests.

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