Burke Fired by Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired GM Brian Burke.  They will host a press conference at 1:45PM this afternoon to announce the firing.

UPDATE: Dave Nonis will replace Burke as full GM of the Maple Leafs.  Burke will still remain with the franchise as a senior advisor.   The owners wanted to go in a different direction with the club and they are starting that in the front office.

This is surprising news as Burke is just four years into his six year deal with the Maple Leafs.  In one of the biggest hockey markets, Burke has struggled to put together a team that could win.  He has been scrutinized and been the center of attention of the media.

Burke’s dedication to winning can’t be question as he’s been trying and making big deals since getting to Toronto.  He’s dealt for Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf, and most recently James van Riemsdyk.  He’s also dealt Thomas Kaberle to Boston which was key in the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run.

Burke may be best known for his inability to acquire a top center.  He’s tried many times for several players but the deals didn’t work out.  This list of talented players include Steven Stamkos, Rick Nash, Ilya Kovalchuk, Brad Richards, and Jason Spezza.

Management could have had a decision in his inability to strike the big deal he wanted but could never finish.  They may have wanted to fire him before or during the lockout but waiting until after to pull the plug.  The Maple Leafs may be moving in a different direction now and only time will tell.  Most recently, it was highly rumored that Toronto wanted to trade for star goaltender Roberto Luongo.

Where will Brian Burke end up working next?

More to Come..

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