The Toronto Maple Leafs made a very surprising move today. They fired General Manager Brian Burke.
Buke has been the GM of the Maple Leafs since 2008. Since that time under Burke, the Maple Leafs haven’t made the playoffs. In 2011-2012 the Maple Leafs seemed set to make the playoffs but then the they started to have issues with goaltending. The collapse then lead to the firing of head coach Ron Wilson.
Burke didn’t seem to be well liked in Toronto. He clashed with members of the Canadian media, mainly Don Cherry. Cherry is very outspoken and gets a lot of attention in Canada with some of his opinions. Goaltending has been an issue with the Maple Leafs even before the collapse in 2011-2012. He traded for Dion Phaneuf which many deemed a steal but even that couldn’t save Burke.
Being a general manager in Toronto is tough. The microscope is on you all the time from the Canadian media and Maple Leaf fans. TSN constantly reports on what the Maple Leafs are doing. Burke knew what he was getting into when he was hired by the Maple Leafs, so I don’t have much sympathy for him being fired.
It’s the timing that doesn’t make sense. If the Maple Leafs fired Burke before the lockout started it would make sense. What is the point of firing him with a 48 game schedule? It isn’t going to effect how the Maple Leafs will play this year. The lockout just ended and according to multiple reports Burke helped with the collective bargaining agreement and with the negotiations. The Maple Leafs opens training camp on January 19th as well so that makes the move even more bizarre.
It would have made more sense for the Maple Leafs, if they don’t make the playoffs this season, to fire Burke. How does firing Burke now make the Maple Leafs a better team? It doesn’t. How does moving Burke to a senior adviser role make the Maple Leafs a better team? It doesn’t.
I just don’t understand things that go on in Toronto.
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