If you haven’t heard today, Brian Burke has been sacked as GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Yes, the Brian Burke, the same guy who’s refusal to wear a tie normally was both endearing yet comical, was relieved of his job just earlier today as reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie on twitter.
When Burke was hired in 08, he was hailed as a savior for his track record of building the 07 Stanley Cup Anaheim Ducks. It also helped when the previous two GM’s were Cliff Fletcher (on his second run and really was a flag barrier) and John Ferguson Jr (not well received in the city) weren’t exactly raising the bar. He’s made some great deals in the past (the hijacking of Dion Phaneuf), some controversial trades (basically turned 2 high draft picks into Phil Kessel) and some crap free agent decisions/trades during his time (hello Colby Armstrong, Komisarek, Connolly,). His decision to fire Ron Wilson was well awkward, his insistence on not circumventing the cap was stupid, and his feud with Kevin Lowe was one of the best front offices feuds in sports during 06-08. It also doesn’t help that the Leafs finished 24th, 29th, 22nd, and 26th during his time.
To say that this firing was odd is saying it lightly. Training Camps open this weekend, we can assume that David Nonis will be the interm/long term GM for the rest of the season, and something tells me that an incident happened in the front office/ownership brass that made there decision a whole lot easier. Was it his style as a GM? was it his unrighteousness towards RFA’s? Was it his defiance against ties? What Gives?
What we know now is that with Burke gone from Toronto, he can now enjoy the simpler things in life, like maybe making up with Don Cherry. Could you imagine a second intermission roundtable with Ron Maclean, Burke, the immortal PJ Stock and Glenn Healy?
Wait, why am I imagining this. Hire him now CBC, do it!