It is with no surprise that the Toronto Maple Leafs fired general manager, Brian Burke when you consider the fact that the team have missed the playoffs throughout his tenure. What is surprising is the timing of the firing.
With about week to go before the shorten season starts, it is baffling to a lot of people that the Maple Leafs would make such a move, especially shortly after the lockout ended. “There is no good time to do this,” Executive Vice President and CEO of Maple Sports Entertainment (MLSE), Tom Anselmi said in a press conference. He went on to say that the decision to fire Burke was based on a change of leadership.
Burke became the general manager on November 27, 2008.
During his time with the Leafs, Burke was Instrumental in acquiring players like Phil Kessel from the Boston Bruins and defenceman Dion Phaneuf (my favorite player and the captain of of the team) from the Calgary Flames. Unfortunately, it didn’t transpire into a playoff berth within those four years he was G.M.
This year, Burke would’ve been entering his fifth year of a six-year contract with the team.
During today’s press conference, Anselmi introduced Dave Nonis as the new general manager. As for Burke, he is not leaving the organization completely,though. He’s going to stay on in a senior advisory role.
Before the lockout, rumors were swirling around about the Leafs getting goaltender, Roberto Luongo from Vancouver. As a Leaf fan, I wouldn’t mind seeing Luongo in blue and white. The Leafs could use a top quality netminder between the pipes. However, even I know it’s a long shot. When asked at today’s press conference about Luongo, Nonis would not comment on the issue.
Nonis did say there are going to be some decisions about certain players in the Leafs roster. “We have some work to do,” He said.
When asked if he had any contact with other general managers in the league, Nonis said he hadn’t. “I have a hard time getting a hold of my wife,” he said.