Monday, December 16, 2013

Brian Burke interviews candidates for the Flames' GM job: The top secret transcript

Scene: Brian Burke's office at the Calgary Flames headquarters. Burke sits behind a large desk across from a single empty chair. Behind him, special assistant Craig Conroy is consulting a clipboard.

Conroy: OK Brian. I did what you asked, and arranged for the very best GM candidates from around the league to meet with you today. We've got a pretty full schedule, so we should probably get started.

Burke: Sounds good. I'm ready.

Conroy: OK, so our first candidate is the one everyone's talking about. Former Flames' superstar, already has GM experience, and he's worked with you in the past.

Burke: Sounds just about perfect. Bring him in.

(Joe Nieuwendyk walks into the room and takes a seat.)

Burke: Welcome, Joe, and thanks for meeting with me.

Nieuwendyk: More than happy to. Thanks for the invite.

Burke: So you're obviously a great fit for this job, but I'd like to hear a little bit about what your plan would be if we do hire you. Tell me, what would be the first thing you'd do if you were the next GM of the Calgary Flames?

Nieuwendyk: I'd be looking to acquire a franchise player. Somebody to build the organization around for the next decade. The next Jarome Iginla, so to speak.

Burke: Sounds great. And you'd acquire him by…

Nieuwendyk: … trading myself for him.

Burke: I see.

Nieuwendyk: Maybe throw in a third-liner to get the deal done. You know how it is.

Burke: I think there may be a slight flaw in your plan, Joe.

Nieuwendyk: Hey, do you know any other way to acquire a guy like Jarome Iginla?

Burke: Well…

Conroy (helpfully): You could kick his butt so badly in the playoffs that he begs you to let him join your team!


Nieuwendyk: (glances over at a copy of the standings)

Conroy: Oh, right. Trading it is, then.

Burke: Thanks Joe. We'll be sure to let you know. Craig, who's next?

Conroy: Our next candidate is an experienced GM who says he's worked with you in Toronto and Vancouver.

Burke: Really? Who?

(Dave Nonis enters the room.)

Burke: Uh… hi Dave.

Nonis: Hey Burkie.

Burke: What are you up to these days?

Nonis: Oh, you know, not too much.

Burke (glancing over Nonis's resume): You sure you're not working right now?

Nonis: Um… nope.

Burke: Hm. Surprised to hear that. Thought a smart guy like you would have been snapped up.

Nonis: I know, right?

Burke: So let's get started on the interview. Tell me, what kind of player do you believe the Calgary Flames need right now?

Nonis: A power forward. Somebody who can bang and crash, score a few goals, maybe drop the gloves. A real veteran leader. With lots of recent playoff experience.

Burke: Yes! Exactly! That's what I've been trying to tell people!

Nonis: Like, say, a David Clarkson.

Burke: Yeah, sure, that type of player.

Nonis: Not that type. Him.

Burke: Um…

Nonis: You need to acquire David Clarkson. Today.

Burke: You know, I seem to remember hearing that he signed with some other team.

Nonis: You could trade for him.

Burke: Hm.

Nonis: Let's just say I have a feeling that it wouldn't take much right now.

Burke: I see.

Nonis: I'm begging you.

Burke (suspiciously, into his intercom): Get me the GM of David Clarkson's current team on the line, please.

(A "Money For Nothing" ringtone can be heard from Nonis's pocket.)

Nonis: What a weird coincidence.

Burke: Nice try, Dave.

Nonis: Dammit.

Burke: Next.

Nonis: Would you like to hear about who I think you should hire as head coach?

Burke: NEXT.

Conroy: Our next candidate is a former NHL GM who currently works as a scout for a top Western Conference team.

Burke: Sounds good. Bring him in.

(John Ferguson Jr. walks into the room and sits down.)

Burke: (icy stare)


Burke: (icy stare)


Burke: (icy stare)

JFJ: I'll see myself out.

Burke: Next.

(On his way by, JFJ knocks all the papers off Burke's desk and onto the floor.)

JFJ: Oops, my bad. You don't mind cleaning up this mess that I left, do you Brian?

Burke: I hate you.

JFJ: (kicks over Burke's wastebasket on the way out)

Conroy: Next candidate?

Burke: Yes please.

Conroy (checking his list): OK, this guy has a ton of front office experience. He's also won a bunch of Stanley Cup rings as a player. And he's already working for an NHL team in this very province!

Burke: Wait. You don't mean…

Conroy: Says here he figures he'll be looking for work any day now.

Burke: Please tell me you didn't bring in…

(Kevin Lowe walks into the room.)

Burke: (deep sigh)

Lowe: Brian.

Burke: Kevin.

Lowe: Now look, I know we have some history and we're not exactly best of friends. But hear me out. You're about to embark on a rebuilding process for an Alberta-based team. And there is literally nobody on the planet who has more experience with that than I do.

Burke: That is true.

Lowe: I mean, I've been doing it for 13 straight years.

Burke: You did make the finals that one time.

Lowe (indignantly): We all make mistakes.

Burke: OK, fine, I'll humor you. What's your plan for rebuilding the Flames?

Lowe: Well, it's a simple three-year plan. And to make sure everyone keeps their eye on that goal, I'd bring along my patented Oilers Rebuild Countdown Clock™.

(He wheels out a digital scoreclock that reads "3y:00m:00d:00h:00m:00s". He hits a button, and it begins to count down.)

Burke: Impressive.

Lowe: Yeah. I find it keeps everyone really focused. Builds a real sense of urgency within the organization. No excuses, you know?

Burke: Uh, it just reset itself back to three years.

Lowe: Yeah, it's programmed to do that every few minutes.

Burke: Get out.

Lowe: Would now be a good time to ask about a refund on Eakins?

Burke: Now.

Conroy: Hey good news Brian, I just ran into a candidate in the hallway who I think could be a great fit.

Burke: Really? Tell me about him.

Conroy: Lots of experience. Ten years as an NHL GM. Once took over a team that couldn't make the playoffs and turned them into a Cup champion in just two years.

Burke: Sounds perfect. Bring him in.

(Jay Feaster walks into the room.)

Burke: Well this is awkward.

Feaster: Sorry. I got lost trying to find my way out on Thursday.

Burke: And you couldn't just follow the giant "exit" signs painted in the hallways because…

Feaster: I'm not very good at reading the writing on the wall.

Burke: Apparently not.

Feaster: By the way, somebody just flooded the men's room outside your office.

(From a stall, we hear a noise that sounds suspiciously like JFJ doing the Nelson Muntz laugh.)

Burke: I have a headache.

Conroy: This isn't going well, is it?

Burke: I just feel like there must be somebody we haven't considered yet.

Conroy: Hmm.

Burke: Someone who embodies the very essence of truculence and pugnacity.

Conroy: Uh…

Burke: Maybe a former player. Somebody I have a history with.

Conroy: Wait, did you just hear thunder?

Burke: Somebody I drafted… or maybe even traded for.

Conroy: It's… suddenly so cold in here.

Burke: Or both!

Conroy: There's blood dripping down the walls!

Burke: I think we both know who that is.

Conroy: Don't do it Brian!


(The doorway fills with smoke. Locusts begin to fill the room. The scent of burning sulfur overwhelms them.)

Conroy: Oh god no don't do it we're all going to die!

(The smoke clears. Chris Pronger strolls casually through the door. He's wearing golf pants and sipping a cup of tea. He sits down.)

Pronger (politely): Boo-yah, gentlemen.



Pronger: What? I'm retired.

Burke: Get out.

Pronger: Okie dokie.

Burke: So that's it? We're out of candidates?

Conroy: Well, not exactly.

Burke: How so?

Conroy: There's one left. I didn't want to do this, but I took the liberty of preparing a Plan B, just in case. There's one more candidate on our list.

Burke: Really? Where is he?

Conroy (motion behind Burke): Right over there.

Burke (turning around): What the… oh, it's you. Why, I'd never even considered you for this job. But now that I think about it… yes. Yes, it's perfect! You're hired!

Conroy: I figured as much.

Burke: Get the paperwork, Craig, we've found our new GM!

Conroy: Right away, sir.

Burke: And you… welcome to the organization.

Brian Burke's reflection in a full-length mirror: Thanks, old friend. I think we're going to make a very successful team.

Burke: Oh, I think so too. Very successful indeed...

Burke's reflection: (evil laugh)

Burke: (evil laugh)

Burke's reflection: But seriously, get a haircut.

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  1. Finally a real Down Goes Brown post, been FAR too long

  2. No photo caption? You're slipping DGB!

  3. Yes, and I didn't have to go to Grantland. Yay!

  4. A "Money For Nothing" ringtone
    ROFL. pure gold.

  5. Dire Straits are always relevant, though I thought more of that tune when I heard about Wideman getting that pile of cash from Feaster, or anything Garth Snow has done.

  6. This is so much better than the Grantland stuff. Why did you abandon us, DGB?

  7. Nothing beats pure DGB. Grantland posts are enjoyable, but man, the real deal is amazing.

  8. Another DGB gem. Excellent.

  9. Darcy Regier is still available. I'd imagine milbury still could use a shot. And ditto, non grantland posts are still the best. Flow charts and transcripts are the Hobey Baker of awesomeness.

    1. Wide Right, No Goal, Forward Pass, No Goal 2. Welcome to Buffalo.December 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM

      Oopsie daisy. That was from ur pal. Wide Right, No Goal, Forward Pass, No Goal 2. Welcome to Buffalo.

  10. Hey, don't blame poor DGB for taking the ESPN money. Someone's gotta pay for the therapy sessions resulting from being a Leafs fan.

  11. Just when I was wondering if we would ever again be beneficiaries of a well-timed Pronger reference...


    Comedy Gold as always, Sean

  12. The walls are bleeding...a fitting re-introduction of Pronger...awesome stuff!!