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Flames Hire Brian Burke as President of Hockey Operations

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Bruce Bennett

Yes, the rumours are true.

This tweet by Bruce Dowbiggin sent Flames fans and non-fans alike into a tizzy:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>After Shanahan fiasco Flames ready to announce new CEO. Sources tell me new face much more exp. than BS. That y Brian Burke on plane to YYC?</p>&mdash; bruce dowbiggin (@dowbboy) <a href="https://twitter.com/dowbboy/statuses/375401096170455040">September 4, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Visions of Brian McGrattan donning the 'C' and playing 20 minutes per game swam through heads all over southern Alberta and beyond, and then this morning at 10 a.m., the Flames held a press conference announcing that they had indeed hired Burke, who will effectively be sandwiched between Jay Feaster and Ken King in the order of things.

The immediate question that arises from his appointment seems to be: Who will he take over for first? Will Burke become the new general manager, a position he has stated his interest in returning to, or will he eventually take over from Ken King in the way some hoped John Davidson would?

Regardless of what his role will be going forward, it hasn't taken Burke long to begin imprinting his core values on the media and the Flames faithful, restating his belief that "successful teams are big" and that the team intends to get "bigger and more physical."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>&quot;Successful teams in the league are big, we are going to get bigger,&quot; -- Brian Burke.</p>&mdash; Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) <a href="https://twitter.com/NHLFlames/statuses/375653112960151553">September 5, 2013</a></blockquote>

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That sounds a lot like "belligerence, pugnacity and truculence" to me, but I suppose all we can do is wait and see, and give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, we can only serve to learn something from the man who managed to both pawn off Vesa Toskala on another NHL team and fleece Darryl Sutter in the Phaneuf trade.

Of course, there's also the potential for this move to make the Battle of Alberta much more interesting this coming season:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>When is the first Burke/Lowe barn fight scheduled to commence?</p>&mdash; Kent Wilson (@Kent_Wilson) <a href="https://twitter.com/Kent_Wilson/statuses/375659685581291520">September 5, 2013</a></blockquote>

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