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Toronto Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke speaks to reporters during the NHL General Managers' annual fall meeting in Toronto, Ont. Tuesday, November 9, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Darren Calabrese

Those who know him say Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke is still fuming about that player poll that slammed his head coach, Ron Wilson.

That would be the poll commissioned by Hockey Night in Canada and the NHL Players' Association which drew response from more than 300 players. When it came to the coach they would least like to play for, Wilson was the winner, just ahead of fellow taskmasters John Tortorella and Marc Crawford, who have both won Stanley Cups.

Getting exercised about this strikes us as odd, since the poll is the equivalent of asking teenagers about their favourite teacher. Odds are the winner will be the teacher who lets the little darlings run riot as opposed to grinches who actually demand they pay attention to the task at hand.

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Burke vented his spleen on Monday with reporters but apparently that did not mellow him out. Those around the Air Canada Centre say he is still angry enough that he's been telling anyone who will listen he plans to conduct his own poll with his fellow GMs when they have their big pow-wow in Florida in March. Our spies say they think Burke is not completely serious but they are not sure.

Categories mentioned in Burke's rants are laziest player, most overpaid player, player most likely to be the subject of a 3 a.m. call from the local authorities, etc. You get the picture.



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About the Author
Hockey columnist

A native of Wainfleet, Ont., David Shoalts joined The Globe in 1984 after working at the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Toronto Sun. He graduated in 1978 from Conestoga College and also attended the University of Waterloo. More

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