Nine zingers from Brian Burke's farewell conference

Cam Charron
January 12 2013 01:08PM

Somewhat unorthodox, but Brian Burke was granted the opportunity by the team to have a farewell press conference, where he spoke to the assembled media about the circumstances surrounding his firing, but for the most part thanked fans and ownership for the opportunity to work with the Maple Leafs.

But it's not a Burke presser unless there's some serious snark being turned. I transcribed some of the subtle, and not-so-subtle, zingers Burke used on the gathered media, via the video centre at the Maple Leafs website:

On the timing of his firing:

"I got a cold when I was in Russia and I wasn't able to shake it, so I apologize in advance. It would have been nice to get this notice before I went to Russia."

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Leafs to sign Franson for one year

Ryan Fancey
January 12 2013 10:25AM


Franson's name has come up a few times when discussing the Luongo sweepstakes, and this obviously doesn't change that. If the cap hit is actually just over a million, that's a pretty good deal for a guy who can hold his own on the offensive side of the puck, either for the Leafs or Canucks.

Remember Franson came over as part of the Lebda deal before last season, but perhaps didn't see as much ice with the Leafs as he would have liked. Though, he still managed 21 points in 57 games played.

Franson has spent this season in the Swedish Elite League, where he had 7 points in 26 games played for Brynas IF Gavle.

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Burke firing improves Stanley Cup betting odds for Leafs

Cam Charron
January 11 2013 04:26PM

Nate Silver has theorized that consensus builds models for better forecasts, but even moreso, having a financial stake in the outcome will force people to build better forecasts. Sports odds, by proxy, have a lot to offer.

Basically, sports odds represent the consensus forecasts of people willing to spend money, and they do it well. For a while, I was under the impression that perhaps popular teams got way more favourable odds than less popular teams due to the sheer volume of fans betting on them, changing the line. A quick look at records of Dallas Cowboys games against the spread showed me that, if that was ever a market inefficiency to be exploited by the betting market, it already has been.

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Leafs need to get focused

Ryan Fancey
January 11 2013 08:30AM


I'm quite confident saying that this past week the Toronto Maple Leafs made a bigger headline than the moment the lockout ended. Brian Burke was fired, Dave Nonis hired in his place, and now here we go.

The reasons for Burke's firing probably had something to do with the team being 13th in the conference last year, no clear direction on where things were going, and a number of huge decisions coming up in the next year that I guess MLSE didn't trust him with.

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Brian Burke: Unfinished Journey

Gus Katsaros
January 10 2013 09:53AM

Dave Nonis takes over the captain’s chair. The logical, soft-spoken Picard to Brian Burke’s brash, histrionic Kirk.

The replacement doesn’t change the mindset, the plan or the framework of Burke’s vision, however difference of opinion between the two friends and former co-workers can be addressed now. Nonis can put his fingerprints over the foundation Burke laid out.

Nonis outright dismissed a tear down of the current state of the franchise.  But where is the current team, how did they get here and more important, where are they headed? The clear cut direction isn’t evident at first glance, requiring further thought.

The blueprint for the Leafs tenure behind Brian Burke is similar to the evolution of the Detroit Red Wings, improving in the back offices, scouting and resource staffing, bringing in young players after they finally had that first all important piece, Steve Yzerman.

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