ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -Attempting to quiet speculation that general manager Brian Burke might leave Anaheim for Toronto, the Ducks announced Wednesday that he will remain with the team at least through next season and will continue to negotiate a contract extension.
``I work for the best owners in sports,'' Burke said. ``After meeting with Mike (Ducks CEO 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.''
Team owner Henry Samueli said, ``Brian Burke is the best general manager in the NHL and we always expected him to return. Our goal is to sign him to a long-term agreement beyond next season.''
Burke, whose current four-year deal expires at the end of the 2008-09 season, has put together a team that has won six postseason series in three years, including a run to the franchise's first Stanley Cup title in 2007. The defending champion Ducks were eliminated in the first round this year, losing to Dallas in six games.
Anaheim went 47-27-8 for 102 points in the regular season and finished fourth in the Western Conference.
Burke had been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Maple Leafs' vacant GM job, but he said Tuesday that no team had asked the Ducks for permission to talk with him, and that he had not asked to speak with any NHL teams.

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