Realty One


Saturday, January 12, 2013


TORONTO - Brian Burke's only regret is that the Toronto Maple Leafs didn't win more games.

The outgoing president and general manager of the Maple Leafs spoke on Saturday about how if his team had performed better on the ice he would still be employed.

"We didn't win,'' said Burke, who was fired by the club on Wednesday after four years in Toronto. "Obviously, your job as the GM is to bring in players that win. We didn't win.

"I can stand here and say 'oh, they didn't like my personality,' but those all become pretexts and excuses later. If you win enough games you can be as obnoxious as you want to be.''

The 57-year-old was surprised by the timing of his release - just as the NHL resolved its lockout.

"There's sometimes when you get fired and you see the vultures circling and you understand it's coming,'' said Burke. "You're not sure when you're going to drop dead in the desert, but it's coming and you can see the vultures.

"This one here was like a two-by-four upside the head to me.''

Burke began the media conference by thanking the current and former owners of the team, as well as his staff, players and former coach Ron Wilson for their effort during his tenure. He also wished his successor Dave Nonis, current coach Randy Carlyle and captain Dion Phaneuf good luck on the season that begins on Jan. 19.

Although Burke's been relieved of his hockey operations duties, he will remain with the Leafs as a senior adviser consulting with Tom Anselmi, the president of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, as well as the team's Board of Governors.

He will not advise the team about on-ice issues.

© CP


Anonymous said...

What else was he going to say ? He couldn't spout off and blame the Leafs because he is now looking for a new job, and he would not want that on his job profile. Please, just keep the arrogant bugger away from Montreal.

Anonymous said...

I hope he gets Bettman's job!

Anonymous said...

Cue the laugh track, but I am a diehard Maple Leafs fan. Brian Burke is on par with Gerry McNamara and Gord Stellick. He is the most overated General Manager in the history of the NHL. Kevin Lowe bit his tongue for years, and finally let loose and told the truth. When you get past all of the blustering and posturing, and gruffness there is nothing there. There was nothing there in Hartford. There was nothing there in Vancouver. Bryan Murray left him a good core in Anaheim, and it fell in his lap. Neidermeyer went there because of his brother, and Pronger went because he wanted out of Edmonton. He had 4 years in Toronto and that team got worse every year.

Read Al Strachan's book Why the Leafs Suck. He goes through the entire history of the team, but goes through Burke's career with a fine tooth comb. There was nothing there, and any team hiring him as a General Manager will be sorry. He says no excuses, well in Hartford it was the Division. In Vancouver it was not being able to spend. In Anahiem he knew he'd be let go there.

He's terrible.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance, youve done nothing for the Leafs since youve been there. But I must admit, he would be a good league president.

Anonymous said...

Like him or not; he is blunt and to the point. Unfortunately for him most higher ups in business have ego’s which they like to have stroked not poked. He will find another gm job because he will present a change and a different style to other gm’s.

mister winnipeg said...

Burke is hilarious. Failed to make the playoffs during his entire tenure with one of the richest teams in sports and blames everybody but himself. Maybe when you're Scotty Bowman you can talk like that, but Burke just sounds like a blustering douche.

Get over yourself, buddy. Have fun in Columbus, Worcester or wherever your next stop is.

Anonymous said...

He smart guy ... Richest team in league doesn't mean anything when there is a salary cap!! Many team pay essentially the max every year.

Anonymous said...

Richest team in the league also means nothing when teams are allowed to sign their stars to 15 year contracts. No big name free agents have been available which could have been signed by the Leafs during Burke's tenure. Maybe some of you should understand how the NHL works before making comments. BTW, those long term contracts kill parity in the NHL.

Anonymous said...

He talked about building the front office. He added one guy who realized what an idiot he was then took off to work in Montreal. That would be Rick Dudley whom I guarantee will help Montreal rebuild faster than anything Toronto is doing. The drafts were poor and nobody cares about what the Toronto Marlies are doing. In fact Dave Nonis has more to do with that than Brian Burke. I hope he winds up in a place like Columbus where he can run up against Detroit and St. Louis and get hammered on all winter.

Anonymous said...

If you mean Toronto's drafts did not relay into immediate success on the ice, then I would agree with you. Time will tell if those drafts are failures or not.

Anonymous said...

Those drafts were failures. He whined the entire time he was in Vancouver about how other teams could spend more money. It was the same line Glen Sather gave while he was in Edmonton. Somehow Sather has survived in New York, but he has some help so I'm not sure how much Sather influences the on ice product in New York.

Burke had every single resource on Earth to build a scouting staff, develoment system, and same with Coaching. He put this group together that didn't do a think. In four years he couldn't find a Center or a Goalie. Phoenix found Mike Smith and Boston got Tim Thomas. Unbelievable.