We likely have not heard the last of this situation between Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk and the Winnipeg Jets but it seems like the general sentiment is turning against Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice, at least that is the case outside of Winnipeg. The latest person to take issue with the comments made by Paul Maurice over the weekend is former National Hockey League executive Brian Burke, who during the live broadcast on Sunday night, shared his thoughts on the issue during the first intermission.
Maurice used words like "filthy" and "dirty" to describe Tkachuk's actions during an incident that led to an injury to Jets forward Mark Scheifele, all this while stating flatly that Tkachuk had intentionally injured his player, but Burke strongly disagreed with that assessment.
"Well it's an unfortunate result, you don't want to see a player like Mark Scheifele on the ice, but I watched this carefully here in the studio, "said Burke during the broadcast. "After I heard Paul Maurice's comments, I respect him very much, I went back and I looked at it again. It is unfortunate but there is nothing dirty or illegal about this place and the league agreed, no suspension."
Burke's comments went beyond disagreement though, the former NHL general manager appreciated the gamesmanship on the part of Maurice, he even joked about having done something similar in the past himself, but suggested that Maurice had gone too far when he accused Tkachuk of deliberately injuring Scheifele.
"Well it's gamesmanship and everyone knows I would never do this in the playoffs," said Burke with a grin. "He was trying to influence player safety and, I respect and like Paul, I think he crossed the line here. He questions the character of a character player, Matthew Tkachuk is not a dirty player... he really crossed the line for me today."
Burke also believes that if the Jets are motivated by revenge and focus on Tkachuk rather than winning this series they will be going home very quickly.
"It better be over. If Winnipeg wants to settle this score right now they will be out of these playoffs so fast. They don't have a lineup that is suited for that."
It has to be said here that Burke was very recently President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames which could potentially impact how he perceives this current dispute between the Jets and the Flames.