I have to admit, Brian Burke has quickly become one of my favorite features of the revamped Hockey Night in Canada broadcast thanks in large part for his willingness to share his opinion. Now I am sure that we still don't get the completely unfiltered version of Brian Burke we would get if the conversation were to occur away from the camera, but Burke has been very good about sharing his honest opinions even when he knows they won't be popular ones.
On Saturday Burke was tasked with a task that will undoubtedly bring out all of the haters, Burke was asked to create a power ranking for all of the Canadian franchises currently in the NHL. This resulted in Burke rankings from best to worst and as you would expect this made some fan bases a little less than happy. Burke laid out a case for his feelings though so even if you disagree with his views at least he made an effort to support them with some evidence. Burke also added that he had 5 experts help him with this project, former NHL executives and the like, but added that he would not name them so "that their social media doesn't blow up," probably a wise move.
On the broadcast Burke went in reverse order so we will do the same here:
#7 The Ottawa Senators
"This takes guts what they are doing in Ottawa," said Burke. ""=This is a total rebuild I never had the guts to take it all the way down to the chasey. Pierre Dorion has a bunch of prospects coming from the American Hockey League but he's gotta hit home runs with those top two picks in the first round."
"Losing character people has been a problem... They've gotta stop that."
#6 The Montreal Canadiens
"Great playoff experience for them this year, they've got two young centers emerging, they've got three solid defensemen, but they have some work to do. They've gotta get some scoring wingers and they've gotta use their draft picks wisely."
"They've got a whole slew of draft picks in this draft and the next draft.... [Marc Bergevin] has gotta hit home runs on those."
#Tied-4th The Winnipeg Jets
"They've gotta rebuild their defense. I think Travis Hamonic might end up in Winnipeg... but they have to upgrade their defense and they don't have enough secondary scoring."
#Tied-4th The Calgary Flames
"Number one problem goaltender, second they are gonna have to rebuild their defense. They've got a good group of top-6 forwards they are going the right way.
#3 The Vancouver Canucks
"A buyout with Baertschi is likely an they have really nice top-6 forwards. They have the second best one-two punch at center in the West with Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson. They've gotta re-sign Jacob Markstrom in my opinion... they have to re-sign Chris Tanev he is too important to their team.
#2 The Edmonton Oilers
"They've got the best one-two punch at center on the planet but they've gotta upgrade their defense. They've got some decisions to make, the Andreas Athanasiou acquisition was probably a mistake... They've got a little bit of cap space but they've gotta figure out the goaltending position and upgrade their depth at forward.
#1 The Toronto Maple Leafs
"They've got wonderful top 6 forwards and they are set in net, in my opinion. They've got some great things going but their defense has to be rebuilt, they've got to upgrade at defense and not just replace guys.