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Burke 'bad for the brand' in Toronto

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08:05 AM ET 01.10 | The work-in-progress that is the Toronto Maple Leafs will continue without Brian Burke as the driving force of its personnel. The guess here is Burke was fired for one of two reasons. One, at least half of the new MLSE ownership team, Bell, was seemingly prepared to fire Burke during the summer. The boss there, George Cope, reportedly disliked Burke's management style and brash public comments, and thought he was "bad for the brand." Two, both Bell and Rogers are keen on a deal for Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo and Burke was resisting such a move. He said repeatedly of late that he was "90 per cent" certain he wanted to go with the combination of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens.

The Star

Roberto Luongo, Getty Images Roberto Luongo, Getty Images
January 10, 2013  08:14 AM ET

As ridiculously dysfunctional as the Dallas Cowboys are... it could be worse.


I could be a To***to Maple Leaf fan.

January 10, 2013  08:25 AM ET

It took 4 1/4 years to figure this out?

January 10, 2013  08:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

It took 4 1/4 years to figure this out?

Nah...just new ownership.

January 10, 2013  08:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Nah...just new ownership.

I know but it still took the organization that long

Comment #5 has been removed
Comment #6 has been removed
January 10, 2013  09:15 AM ET

actually the big wigsat mlse should just appoint steve simmons and damien cox as co gms. if you all remember it was their bleating in their respected publications that got jurke hired in the first place, now they are bleating about luongo so you know it will happen. c'mon mlse cut the suspense and just do it

January 10, 2013  09:23 AM ET

just wondering which "brand" he was bad for?

January 10, 2013  09:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

And that's all i'm going to say about the past 5 years in Leafland. It's time to move on. It was actually one of the most comical situations in sports - unless you actually care about the team.

In that case get ready to welcome your new franchise goalie.

January 10, 2013  09:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

It took 4 1/4 years to figure this out?

I had it figured out when he was in Vancouver. :-)

January 10, 2013  09:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

just wondering which "brand" he was bad for?

You know Spiny......those lovable cable companies. ;-)

January 10, 2013  09:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

But here the blame almost entirely lays with one man. Burke had two choices when he got here - he could go the Edmonton route, having no intention of being successful on-ice for 2 or 3 years and build through the lottery - or he could go the "speedy rebuild" route in which a few good trades, signings and good drafting lead to sustained success. It's not that this route isn't feasible, and recent examples including Philly and Carolina (assuming they do well this season) prove teams can become threats for years using this model. I think, given his years of experience (and he has had success, no doubt) Burke believed he could accomplish this. But truth be told, he had never needed to build a team that was in as awful a shape at the Leafs were/still are. Combine his cluelessness (5 years of Komisarek? Keeping Wilson around for 4 years? The Trade?) with what the Leafs needed to do to become successful, and Burke wasted 3 years of his job dicking around. Only before last season did we start to see signs of life at this club, and guys who had potential both playing for the big club (Gardiner) and the Marlies proving to be a farm system that could be depended on, and kids like Rielly and Percy are looking like guys who will do great things for them defensively. But he's had four years to find a guy to play centre. Four years to find a goalie. Was there seriously never a plan developed for this? How can you tell me these issues couldn't be solved in four years? American involvement in WWII lasted four years. The worst tyrants in history and their armies were defeated in the amount of time Burke spent patiently waiting for a puck-moving centreman and a guy who can stop the puck from going into a net to fall in his lap. You can say what you want about the timing, or about putting Nonis in to replace Burke again, and keeping the rest of the staff. This had to happen. It didn't really matter when.

Right on Danny but I'll still miss him dearly.

January 10, 2013  09:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

And that's all i'm going to say about the past 5 years in Leafland. It's time to move on. It was actually one of the most comical situations in sports - unless you actually care about the team.

I feel your pain, my friend...

January 10, 2013  09:50 AM ET

Something I posted late yesterday that most probably haven't seen....

A musical tribute to Burkie's time in To***to.

January 10, 2013  09:54 AM ET

The upside for MLSE - now they have another excuse to ask the fans to be patient. I was two years old when the Leafs last won the cup....if I live to 100, will I see another parade in Toronto?

January 10, 2013  09:54 AM ET

Hey, remember JFJ? Good times!

January 10, 2013  09:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

just wondering which "brand" he was bad for?

His cell phone carrier is Fido because he liked the dogs in the commercials

January 10, 2013  09:57 AM ET

I agree Burke had to go, I just don't understand the timing of his firing. Why wait until there is an agreement in place to play this year?

January 10, 2013  09:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

But here the blame almost entirely lays with one man. Burke had two choices when he got here - he could go the Edmonton route, having no intention of being successful on-ice for 2 or 3 years and build through the lottery - or he could go the "speedy rebuild" route in which a few good trades, signings and good drafting lead to sustained success. It's not that this route isn't feasible, and recent examples including Philly and Carolina (assuming they do well this season) prove teams can become threats for years using this model. I think, given his years of experience (and he has had success, no doubt) Burke believed he could accomplish this. But truth be told, he had never needed to build a team that was in as awful a shape at the Leafs were/still are. Combine his cluelessness (5 years of Komisarek? Keeping Wilson around for 4 years? The Trade?) with what the Leafs needed to do to become successful, and Burke wasted 3 years of his job dicking around. Only before last season did we start to see signs of life at this club, and guys who had potential both playing for the big club (Gardiner) and the Marlies proving to be a farm system that could be depended on, and kids like Rielly and Percy are looking like guys who will do great things for them defensively. But he's had four years to find a guy to play centre. Four years to find a goalie. Was there seriously never a plan developed for this? How can you tell me these issues couldn't be solved in four years? American involvement in WWII lasted four years. The worst tyrants in history and their armies were defeated in the amount of time Burke spent patiently waiting for a puck-moving centreman and a guy who can stop the puck from going into a net to fall in his lap. You can say what you want about the timing, or about putting Nonis in to replace Burke again, and keeping the rest of the staff. This had to happen. It didn't really matter when.

I think Burke was doing better the last year or two, acquiring more younger players and first round picks (though in watching the OHL I haven't been impressed with Percy or Biggs). But he did too much damage in the Kessel trade and his inability to attract free agents were his undoing. During his tenure, he was unable to sign any good free agents of any kind!

 
January 10, 2013  10:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

I agree Burke had to go, I just don't understand the timing of his firing. Why wait until there is an agreement in place to play this year?

New ownership wasn't in place until the lockout was a week away. Same goes for the new president of MLSE. So new ownership and the board probably didn't meet and discuss official matters until the lockout started.

Didn't fire him during the lockout because that would have been bad timing, and it wasn't like Burke could do any moves during the lockout. Plus Burke was involved in lockout negotiations between the two sides.

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