I'm a Brian Burke fan. Not because he has ties to Minnesota. But because he's awesome. His no BS, straight-talking, "bring it on" personality epitomizes hockey to me. You get the feeling that every one of his players knows where he stands in Burke's mind at all times - and I have to think that resonates with them.
I can't begin to understand the challenges of going through the adversity he's had to go through recently, and yet he's managed to at least compartmentalize all that and arrive on the scene in Vancouver as pugnacious, truculent and belligerent as ever.
Oh, and he just might have put together a medal-worthy hockey team, too.
You get the sense that playing the underdog is not Burke's ideal scenario. That he'd rather lead with his chin. But that's not to say he's not damn good at it. Like this quote from the great Scott Morrison's CBC.ca blog two days ago:
"We've had a strong military element in our preparation from the start," said Burke. "Who said it was necessary?
"It's part of what we do. We are very proud of the military in our country and it's part of what we do.
"The real heroes in America don't wear hockey uniforms. They wear police uniforms, they wear camo, they wear fire uniforms and we want our players to understand that what we do is small potatoes compared to what those people do."
Go ahead and entertain in your mind what he's saying by omission in this quote.
I know. It blew my mind, too.
If nothing else, only Brian Burke could make Ryan Kesler worthy of cheering-for by Wild fans.
Yep, I'm a Brian Burke fan, alright.
Good on ya, lad.