Former Leafs GM Brian Burke defends Rick DiPietro
Brian Burke, the former GM of the Maple Leafs and a Providence native who played at Providence College, was asked Friday morning at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston about Rick DiPietro, in particular about DiPIetro's comments the other day to News 12 and Newsday.
Here is what Burke said:
"He’s a Boston kid. He’s a great kid. When an athlete gets overpaid, it’s never the athlete’s fault, it’s our mistake. I’ve never blamed an athlete I overpaid. It’s my mistake.
"I’ve never seen a loaded weapon in a boardroom yet. So if I pay a guy it’s not because someone has a revolver to my head. It’s because I’m an idiot.
"Rick DiPietro signed a very-long-term deal at a good number. He’s had injury troubles since then. He has not lived up to that contract. It’s not his fault. I believe it’s due to injury.
"He’s one of the most phenomenal athletes I’ve ever met, a natural athlete. And he’s a good kid. But he’s been hurt and hurt and hurt. So my job as the GM is if I have to defend him I’d come out swinging and say if he’s not performing it’s not his fault. It’s an injury thing."