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Maple Leafs fire GM Brian Burke as season nears
Question of the Day
The Maple Leafs fired their general manager Wednesday with the NHL season set to resume this month following a tentative settlement ending the lockout.
Anselmi acknowledged that four years without a playoff berth factored into the decision. But ultimately, he added, ownership wanted a different look at the top.
Canada’s largest telecommunication companies, Rogers Communications and BCE Inc., took control of the Toronto Maple Leafs and NBA’s Toronto Raptors after the 1.3 billion deal closed in August.
The new board of directors let Burke go before the Maple Leafs might have had a chance to make the playoffs in a lockout-shortened season. Toronto has not made the playoffs since Burke was hired in 2008. The club last played in the postseason in 2004 and hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967.
Before joining Toronto, Burke spent more than three seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, leading them to a Stanley Cup title in 2007. Nonis worked with Burke in Anaheim and when Burke was general manager of the Vancouver Canucks. Nonis also replaced Burke in Vancouver, compiling a record 130-91-25 as general manager.
Burke’s most debated move was a deal with Boston in 2009 when he acquired forward Phil Kessel for two first-round draft picks and a second-round selection. The Bruins used the picks to select star forward Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight.
Toronto forward Joffrey Lupul called the timing of the dismissal “weird.”
“We haven’t made the playoffs in however many years so the blame is falling right now on the GM,” he said. “He’s the guy the brought a lot of us in and we didn’t get the job done.”
By Michael Widlanski
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