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Burke, Wilson and Nonis All Smiling

San Jose out in the first round. Vancouver blasting into the second. Anaheim showing shades of their Stanley Cup champion form.

All three occurences are to the surprise of the naysayers, and the delight of our very own Brian Burke, Dave Nonis and Ron Wilson.

Wilson was labelled as a coach that could develop players well but couldn't lead them to the later rounds of the playoffs. Todd McLellan was brought in to help lead the Sharks to a longer postseason, but it didn't happen this year. Hey, at least they didn't give us any false signs, dropping the first two games of their opening round series against the Ducks.

Those Ducks were built in part by Brian Burke, and though he isn't responsible for the drafting of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, his other moves have panned out well. Current Ducks starter Jonas Hiller is proving his reliability as an NHL starter, while Bobby Ryan is emerging as one of the future 'Big Three' on the Ducks, playing with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Chris Pronger, a free agent signing by Burke, has been a rock for the team.

Burke didn't build the Ducks, but he put them over the edge, and contributed to a solid foundation for the future. So much for his supposed departure from the organization while it was 'in shambles'. To think that people were calling for the Ducks to retool and send Niedermayer or Pronger elsewhere on the trade deadline, and they've knocked off the President's Trophy winner.

Our V.P. of Hockey Operations and ex-Canuck GM Dave Nonis, can be credited with luring Roberto Luongo to Vancouver in lopsided trade with the Panthers that sent Todd Bertuzzi the other way. Nonis also hired Vancouver's benchboss Alain Vigneault, who won the Jack Adams trophy for top regular season coach in 2007.

While Wilson may have been a part of the choking problem in San Jose, he certainly wasn't it's central feature, as demonstrated by this year's first round collapse.

Burke and Nonis certainly take pride in the work they've done with their past clubs, and they can crack a grin as the monsters they created take on a life of their own.