Jan 9, 2013, 1:56 PM EDT
As reported earlier, Brian Burke has been fired as president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Burke era began in 2008 and spanned 305 games, with a record of 128-135-42 and zero playoff appearances.
Those are the numbers, but this story is about more.
Much, much more.
Let’s take a look back at some of Burke’s most memorable moments in Tronna.
It’s hard to know exactly where to start. Burke was a perpetual mover and shaker during his time in Toronto, making over 40 trades in what amounted to a total roster overhaul.
But the signature move of Burke’s wheeling and dealing was the Kessel trade, in which Boston netted two first-round picks that would become Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton.
It was his boldest and most contentious move, one that will continue to be referenced well into Dave Nonis’ tenure.
“We require, as a team, proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence,” Burke told the media upon being hired in 2008. “That’s how our teams play.”
It’s the line that stuck with Burke throughout his time in Toronto.
While the strategy reaped huge rewards in Anaheim — Burke won a Cup with a roster featuring Shawn Thornton, Travis Moen, George Parros, Sean O’Donnell and Brad May — it never came to fruition with the Leafs.
The likes of Colton Orr, Mike Brown, Garnet Exelby and Jay Rosehill were acquired in an ill-fated effort to get tough and, in perhaps his most egregious “tough” signing, Burke shelled out $22.5 million for Mike Komisarek.
“He’s a respected competitor in this league,” Burke said upon signing Komisarek. “We know that he will bring his hard-nosed approach to our team on a consistent basis.”
Komisarek only appeared in 45 games last year and was often a healthy scratch.
Today, he’s mostly mentioned as an amnesty buyout candidate.
Burke was nothing if not combative during his four-plus years on the job. Fights, feuds and potential fisticuffs were constant:
– He said the Penguins were good because they “won a goddamn lottery“
– He wanted to rent a barn to stage a fist fight between him and Kevin Lowe
Say what you will about the job he did, or the way he conducted himself — the NHL is going to be less interesting now that Brian Burke’s no longer a part of it.
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million 16
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ 24
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 15
- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 16
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 30
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center 43
- Eric Staal has surgery to repair ‘core muscle injury’ 6
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 16
- Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year, $8.25M deal 12
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 63
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain (45)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (43)
- New Caps regime plans to keep Ovechkin at RW (for now) (42)
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal (39)