The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired general manager Brian Burke and replaced him with Dave Nonis. Burke will remain with the Maple Leafs in a senior advisor position. Nonis will become the senior vice president of the team as well.
Burke has been with the Maple Leafs since November of 2008 and the club has failed to make the playoffs during his tenure. Other than his in your face and aggressive style with the media, Burke will mainly be remembered for some questionable trades during his time in Toronto. Acquiring Dion Phaneuf was not the big splash that fans, and I’m sure Burke thought that it would be. Burke also traded for Phil Kessel and in the process gave up two first-round picks and a second rounder, which the Boston Bruins have since used to take Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton, and Jared Knight.
The news itself isn’t as shocking as its timing. Burke was an active participant and voice in the 113 day lockout that just concluded, and firing a GM just before a new season is about to start is a little puzzling.
Leaf players such as Mike Brown and Joffrey Lupul were also shocked about the news today, and appeared to not see it coming. MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum was questioned about the firing in New York where he was attending the Board of Governors meetings and said, “it was a decision of the board.”
Although Burke is sticking around as an advisor, MLSE president Tom Anselmi said he will not have any authority over hockey operations.