Maple Leafs fire Brian Burke as general manager
Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – The Toronto Maple Leafs have dismissed general manager Brian Burke, three days before training camp starts for 2012-13 NHL regular season.
Tom Anselmi, president/CEO of Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment, announced that former senior vice president of hockey operations Dave Nonis will replace Burke as GM.
Anselmi added that Burke will stay as a senior advisor to the club.
Burke failed to carry the Maple Leafs to the Stanley Cup playoffs during his tenure that began November 2008 when he was hired as as president and general manager.
The first American-born general manager in the history of the franchise, Burke led the Leafs to a 128-132-42 record.
In his early transactions as manager, Burke traded for goal-scoring Phil Kessel from the Boston Bruins in 2009 in exchange for the Leafs first- and second-round draft picks in 2010 and their first-round pick in 2011.
Burke also signed defenseman Mike Komisarek to a five-year contract in July 2009. However, those moves did not help despite Kessel having three 30-goal seasons for the Leafs.
The Bruins, for their part, used those picks to take Tyler Seguin, who helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2011 and then put up 67 points last season, Jared Knight and top defense prospect Dougie Hamilton.
Hamilton played for Team Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championships and is expected to compete for a roster spot with the Bruins starting next week.
The Leafs’ best season under Burke was 2010-11, when they finished No. 10 in the Eastern Conference with 85 points. Toronto was 13th last season with 80 points.
Late last season, Burke also fired coach Ron Wilson and replaced him with Randy Carlyle. Burke and Carlyle were the general manager and coach, respectively, for Anaheim in 2007, when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup.
The Maple Leafs went 6-9-3 last season under Carlyle, who remains the head coach.