At the National Post, Sean Fitz-Gerald writes about a story that Brian Burke told while at a speaking engagement for business students at the University of Toronto.
Burke talks about how he traded Sandis Ozolinsh to the Rangers in 2006, when he was battling some alcohol issues:
He’d been sober with us, stayed sober with the Rangers and then, the night after they were eliminated in the playoffs, he was arrested on a DUI in Westchester County. Glen Sather, was the GM in New York, called me. He said, ‘I thought you said this kid was sober.’ I said, ‘Well, he was here, he was in counseling.’ And then, it turns out the kid’s got microfractures in his knee, and he needs surgery. Well, we didn’t know about the microfractures, but Slats sends me a bill for $65,000 for the surgery from this doctor in Vail. I sent it back to him. I said, ‘I’m not paying this. I didn’t know he was hurt.’”
Burke then says that when he acquired defenseman Erik Reitz from the Rangers in 2009, he knew that he was acquiring an injured player, but Sather assured him that Reitz was in a walking cast and be okay.
In actuality, Reitz was 24 pounds overweight and had a fractured tibia. Sather offered to take Reitz back, but Burke decided to keep him saying that Burke would pay his remaining salary, $50K, to offset some of the money that Sather thinks he was owed for the Ozolinsh surgery.
Burke said that he wanted to fight former Rangers defenseman and Oilers President Kevin Lowe in a barn.