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Burke said he worked out the deal with Wilson about three or four weeks ago. The GM added it was up to Wilson when he wanted to make the news public.

Ron elected to release it in the last couple of days and that’s fine with me,” Burke said.

Wilson has also coached in Anaheim, Washington and San Jose. Over 18 seasons, he has a career record of 637-546 with 101 ties and 88 overtime losses.

“He hasn’t been out of work very long,” Burke said. “There’s a reason for that. The hockey community believes in this guy.”

While Wilson has yet to win a Stanley Cup as a coach, Burke feels he has Hall-of-Fame credentials.

Ron Wilson is in the top 10 in every category in the history of the league in terms of coaching,” Burke said.

Fans have had a mixed view of Wilson’s performance since his arrival in Toronto.

His future is regularly debated on sports-talk radio in the hockey-mad city. Chants of “Fire Wilson” have also been heard at Air Canada Centre over the years with the Leafs failing to reach the postseason.

However, Burke said there are usually clear signs when it’s time to make a coaching change and he hasn’t seen them.

“You have agents calling you and complaining that the players don’t like the coach and aren’t going to play for him,” Burke said. “You have what we call snipers _ unnamed players taking shots _ and there has been none of that since I’ve been here.

“In fact, I had players come to me last year telling me, `Don’t change the coach.’ So it hasn’t been nearly as big an issue or a debate as it’s been outside the room or outside of our organization.”