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.
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.
January 10 2013 07:55AM
It may be a few days before we learn what eventually drove Brian Burke out of the trust of the corporate Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. It may be months, or years. All there is left to discuss until the NHL season begins next Saturday is the moves Burke made or did not make that would have saved his job. Burke had many faults as a general manager, but he did care, he took his work seriously, and he wanted to build the Leafs into a winner.
He was a good person, active in the community, and unlike the way Pierre Gauthier, or possibly even Darryl Sutter, left their jobs in Montreal and Calgary, Burke never made a last-ditch, future-killing move to save his job. That very well could have been a deal for Roberto Luongo. It may be days, it may be months before we find out what it was.
However, if Brian Burke was fired because corporate ownership disagreed with him over a hockey decision—purportedly the Roberto Luongo trade—as theorized by Mark Spector, then that's wrong. MLSE hires the hockey staff to make hockey decisions, the sales staff to sell tickets, and the kitchen staff to make overpriced sandwiches at Real Sports.
January 09 2013 04:45PM
Holy crap this is nuts!
I just made a video on Brian Burke getting replaced by Dave Nonis, what it could mean, what could be next, and some history.
January 09 2013 03:48PM
Welly. Welly. Welly. If our old friends at Bodog didn't release the odds of winning the Stanley Cup now that the lockout has ended - a mere 145 months after it began. Good news in these parts up here in Edmonton, because it confirms something we already knew - The Oilers are awesome.