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.
Jul 1, 2015, 5:34 PM EDT
Fresh off winning the Stanley Cup with Chicago.
Jul 1, 2015, 4:53 PM EDT
“We are here to build a team that is capable of winning a Stanley Cup. There are no shortcuts to go around doing that.”
Jul 1, 2015, 4:06 PM EDT
23-year-old had 18 points in 29 games last year.
Jul 1, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT
Moves on from Washington, the team that drafted him in 2004.
Jul 1, 2015, 3:38 PM EDT
Penguins GM considers his new winger in the same class as Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos.
Jul 1, 2015, 3:28 PM EDT
So long, Boston University.
Jul 1, 2015, 3:19 PM EDT
29-year-old forward will look to get his career back on track.
Jul 1, 2015, 3:04 PM EDT
Some smaller signings to pass your way…
Jul 1, 2015, 2:57 PM EDT
Still needs to sign a new deal, but Columbus will match any offer sheet.
Jul 1, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT
All the signings from what promises to be a busy day.
Jul 1, 2015, 2:28 PM EDT
The torch has been passed.
Jul 1, 2015, 2:20 PM EDT
Bit of an odd twist.
Jul 1, 2015, 2:06 PM EDT
Both spent the last few seasons playing in Russia.
Jul 1, 2015, 2:01 PM EDT
One of the Senators’ main penalty-killers last season.
Jul 1, 2015, 1:47 PM EDT
One year, $1.25 million.
Jul 1, 2015, 1:40 PM EDT
Former Jets forward scores a big-money deal.
Jul 1, 2015, 1:29 PM EDT
27-year-old never really panned out in Boston.
Jul 1, 2015, 1:22 PM EDT
Having already signed former Canuck Brad Richardson.
Jul 1, 2015, 1:11 PM EDT
Nice raise after playing for $700,000 in Pittsburgh last season.
Jul 1, 2015, 1:08 PM EDT
End of an era in Toronto. A premier goal-scoring winger heads to Pittsburgh.
- Kessel trade shows Leafs are trying to ‘build this thing the right way’ 6
- Green signs with Red Wings — 3 years, $18 million 18
- ‘It’s hard to find players like Phil Kessel’ 30
- PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker 36
- Kassian traded to Habs for Prust; Hodgson signs with Preds 13
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins 125
- Oilers get Sekera for six years, closing in on Letestu 7
- Avalanche sign veteran d-man Beauchemin for three years 6
- Neely was ‘surprised’ that Hamilton didn’t want to sign with Bruins 15
- NHL, Coyotes deny report that team is moving to Vegas 32
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (125)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad, Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Trade: Flames land Dougie Hamilton for package of picks (75)