Burke, Anselmi brush off ESPN ranking

Toronto Maple Leafs rated worst team in pro sports by magazine

Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs was not impressed by the ESPN rankings.  

Count the executives with the Toronto Maple Leafs as unimpressed with ESPN.

Last week, ESPN The Magazine published its yearly installment of their “Ultimate Rankings,” a list of all the professional teams from the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL based upon eight different categories.

Toronto’s NHL club finished last.

The results allow for an interesting mix of fan input and statistical research based upon different aspects of the in-game experience such as parking at the venue, affordability, access to tickets, stadium experience and on-field performance.

Oklahoma City’s Thunder finished first overall. The Maple Leafs’ bitter cross-town rivals Ottawa Senators were the highest-ranking Canadian team, coming in at 42.

Despite their ongoing financial crisis, the Phoenix Coyotes came in at No. 5.

A rude welcome for Tom Anselmi, who was announced as the new president of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) last week.

Anselmi brushed off the study’s accuracy and legitimacy,

“I was confused by the ranking,” he said. “They ranked the owners of the Leafs one place (112th) and the owners of the Raptors (93rd). The last time I checked, they’re the same.”

Brian Burke, the President and General Manager of the Maple Leafs wasn’t as kind as his boss. Asked to comment on the results at the team’s annual charity golf tournament at Glen Abbey, the outspoken Burke didn’t hold back.

“ I don’t think ESPN knows a single thing about hockey,” he said. “I think their hockey coverage stinks and I don’t think they know anything about Canada.”

Not surprising that Burke had harsh words for ESPN, who also rated Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf as the league’s most overrated player back in January.

Anselmi and Burke both tried to discredit the findings of the study, one completed by the Chicago-based consulting firm Maddock Douglas and later revised by NerReflector, an opinion research company from Seattle.

The Maple Leafs finished last in Affordability and Bang for Buck, two of the fan-related categories conducted during the study.

Not surprisingly, in the on-field categories, Toronto finished second last in Title Track and Players, ahead of only the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Leafs highest ranking category was Stadium Experience, coming in at No. 104.

Follow me on twitter @93mand

About this article

By: Manu Mand
Posted: Sep 11 2012 9:07 pm
Filed under: Hockey Sports

4 Comments on "Burke, Anselmi brush off ESPN ranking"

  1. The Leafs will always sellout that ACC. Regardless… It is all corporate companies that continually renew their seasons tickets and luxury boxes. The on-ice product means nothing. The owners- whether it be Rogers or Bell Media or Harold Ballord- it does not matter who it is, the market is too big. they don’t care.

  2. Yes, and if the majority of Toronto people weren’t such morons, they wouldn’t support the Leafs and then the Leafs would be good instead of such losers.

  3. Mr Burke. You are the president of the highest valued hockey team in the NHL. The team that makes the highest revenue. The team that makes the most profit. The team that has the nicest stadium. The team that has sold out every game since the great depression. The team that can afford an unlimited payroll but can’t because there’s a salary cap. The team that sends the NHL over 10 million dollars every year to help support the struggling franchises. Unfortunately you do not get any points for all that. Based on ESPN’s criteria your team should be last. It’s a shame your team is punished for being capable of selling out the arena with $200 tickets, something that 29 other owners wish. And it’s a shame that your team gets punished because they can sell more expensive beers based on the fact the fans can afford them. And it’s a shame that your team gets punished because parking is expensive even though it is expensive during non game days. But I don’t care. And neither should you. I’ll pay for the ticket, I’ll buy the beer, I’ll take the subway. And I don’t need to be entertained during intermission to enjoy my in game experience. Just one thing. Can we please just make the playoffs?

  4. Neverbeenaleafsfan | September 11, 2012 at 10:16 pm |

    Instead of harping on how wrong ESPN is, why not just use the data and move forward at improving that perception. Burke never acknowledges the perception out there that Toronto’s culture sucks. You know what, it does suck. If it didn’t the perception would be a lot better than last place. Admit that!

Comments are closed.