Brian Burke Media Conference Call

Friday, 07.27.2007 / 8:56 PM / News
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Brian Burke Media Conference Call

Brian Burke spoke to reporters Friday via conference call about the offer sheet tendered to Ducks forward Dustin Penner by Edmonton on Thursday. The Oilers and General Manager Kevin Lowe offered Penner $21.25 million over five years. The Ducks have seven days to match Edmonton's offer. Should the Ducks decide not to match, the compensation from the Oilers would be a first-round draft pick, a second-round pick and a third-round pick in the NHL Entry Draft.

Burke spoke from Penticton, British Columbia, where he is in town for his induction into the British Columbia Hall of Fame.

Here is a transcript:

I will not be announcing whether or not we will match the offer sheet to Dustin Penner. I’m coming back to Anaheim on Sunday and conferring with ownership.

Kevin Lowe has been in Penticton. I certainly think this could have waited until Monday. I think it was a classless move, timing-wise. I was not notified of this until Dustin Penner’s agent faxed it in. I would have thought Kevin would have notified me.I thought that was gutless.

I have no problem with offer sheets. They’re part of the CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement]. But in my opinion, Edmonton has offered a mostly inflated salary for a player, and I think it’s an act of desperation for a general manager who is fighting to keep his job.

Offer sheets are a part of the CBA and I have no problem with that. If you can identify a player and pay him appropriately and make him an offer, that’s fine. At some point, the deals you make, the offers you extend, whether the team matches it or not, impacts all 30 teams, including your own.

It’s a five-year deal for a lot of money. I’ll let you guys evaluate the deal.

It should be pretty clear why I’m irate.

On whether Lowe notified him of the offer beforehand,
He’s not obligated to. I would have done this differently, but then again I wouldn’t have done this. I think some guys would have done it that way, yes.

On whether he and Lowe speak often,
We used to, quite a bit.

On whether that will continue,
I have no idea

On how the possible retirements of Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne came into play,
I think from a tactical standpoint, it’s pretty clear form the steps we’ve taken and the unique circumstance we’re in with two marquee players being undecided, we put ourselves in this situation. We’re aware of that. Did we actually make ourselves a target? We spent hours on that. We felt protecting Scott and Teemu and their decisions and the promises we made to them was paramount. I’m not going to change my position with those two players. I told them they earned the right to take their time with that, and I’m going to stick to that. I haven’t placed a call to Finland [Selanne’s hometown] or Cranbrook [Niedermayer’s hometown].

On whether this stemmed from the trade for Pronger last offseason,
I can’t read his mind, especially when he hasn’t called me. Call Kevin and ask him.

Edmonton made an offer of $50 million for 7 years to Thomas Vanek of Buffalo on July 5.

It’s the second time they’ve done this, and I’ll leave it at that. Draw your own conclusions.

On the negotiations the Ducks have made with Penner,
[Assistant General Manager] David McNab does that for us. I believe he had one discussion with Dustin’s agent and he said he wanted to wait for a period of time.

How re-signing Penner would affect deals with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry next offseason,
That’s a part we haven’t worked through with ownership yet. It’s a concern on a couple of levels, what appropriately to pay them and where we are cap-wise if there is a similar offer sheet next summer.

On how good a player Dustin Penner is,
I won’t comment on that until we decide what we’ll do here. He played well for us. 

On how he learned about the offer sheet,
It was faxed to my office and someone went in and got it.

There is no effort to make a deal for this player. There is just an offer sheet and it’s cut and dried. You either match or you don’t match. There is no sign and trade ability. I believe if you sign a player, you can’t trade him for a year.

We haven’t focused on the [draft pick] compensation. The focus is on whether or not to match.

On what the next step is,
I’ve emailed my boss [CEO Michael Schulman] extensively on what the issues are. I haven’t had a chance to sit down with him, which I’ll do Monday morning. The Samuelis [owners Henry and Susan] have to be apprised and we’ll reach a decision, I’m certainly not going to rush it for anyone’s benefit. If we have to wait until Thursday, we’ll do that. I wouldn’t do it to be spiteful. If there is a decision on Tuesday, then I imagine I’ll announce it on Tuesday.

On how the negotiations were going with Penner,
It was way too early to characterize it. I’m not sure the offer we discussed was presented to the agent or not. You can ask the agent that or ask David McNab that. Was the offer close to the one he got? The answer is an unequivocal and instantaneous “no.”





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