The Toronto Maple Leafs are apparently ready to go in a different direction as the season begins, and it looks like that means a major shake-up in the front office.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the Maple Leafs have fired general manager Brian Burke just days before the 2013 season is scheduled to open for business. Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos confirmed the news as well.
Toronto Maple Leafs have apparently fired Brian Burke as general manager. Working on official confirmations.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 09, 2013
Breaking #NHL news confirmed #Leafs Brian Burke done with the Leafs. Details to follow.— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) January 09, 2013
There’s no word yet as to who Burke’s replacement will be in Toronto.
The Rhode Island native had been serving as both GM and president for Toronto. He was hired by the Leafs in November of 2008 after stops in Hartford, Vancouver and Anaheim.
Burke won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007, but Toronto struggled mightily during his tenure. The Leafs are in the midst of a prolonged playoff drought and a couple of questionable deals (the Phil Kessel trade comes to mind for Bruins fans) have marked his time in the hockey hotbed. Toronto failed to make the playoffs under Burke’s watch, and the club hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2003-04 — two lockouts ago.
Burke has also had a checkered history when it comes to the draft, something that obviously wasn’t helped when he traded a pair of first-round picks to Boston in 2009 for Kessel. Those picks both turned out to be top 10 selections, which the Bruins used to draft Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton, two players viewed as franchise cornerstones in Boston.