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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Speculation over reasons Burke was fired leaves us wanting

Cam Charron
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.

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Steve Dangle
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.

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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.

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Dave Nonis to replace Brian Burke as Leafs GM

Cam Charron
January 09 2013 12:10PM

via Maple Leafs on Instagram

Tom Anselmi was on-hand at the Air Canada Centre during a surprise press conference Wednesday afternoon that saw assistant general manager Dave Nonis introduced as the 14th general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Anselmi cited a "transition to new ownership, new leadership, new priorities" as a reason for the decision:

"Since the closing of the sale in August I've spent a lot of time working closely with our board as they evaluated our organization and its people and the long term direction of our teams. So part of that assessment involved taking a look at the Maple Leafs and out hockey organization. As a result of that, we've decided to make a leadership change and move into a direction in our General Manager role."

Brian Burke was relieved as president and general manager but will remain in the Leafs organization as a senior advisor to the club.

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