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Burke Staying Put in Anaheim

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Toronto Maple Leafs will have to look elsewhere for their new general manager.

Brian Burke put widespread rumours regarding his future to rest Wednesday, announcing he will remain with the Anaheim Ducks through at least the 2008-09 season. Burke's four-year contract with the Ducks expires in 2009, and he and the team will continue working on a contract extension.

``I work for the best owners in sports,'' Burke said in a statement. ``After meeting with (chief executive office Michael Schulman) this morning, we've decided to end all unnecessary media speculation and commit to working together for at least one more year while continuing to discuss my long-term future with the Ducks.''

Speculation about Burke's future ran rampant in recent weeks, amid rumours he would consider leaving the Ducks to take over the GM vacancy in Toronto. Burke repeatedly said his first choice was to remain in California, though he wouldn't rule out the possibility of leaving the Ducks.

That door was officially slammed shut Wednesday _ at least, for the next 12 months.

``Brian Burke is the best general manager in the NHL and we always expected him to return,'' said Ducks owner Henry Samueli. ``Our goal is to sign him to a long-term agreement beyond next season.''

Burke led the Ducks to the 2007 Stanley Cup championship, the first-ever by a California-based team. Anaheim went 47-27-8 this season before losing in six games to the Dallas Stars in the first round of the playoffs.
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