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.
Apr 19, 2014, 5:08 PM EDT
His goal is the difference in the game through two.
Apr 19, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT
He’s been out since March 29 with a knee injury.
Apr 19, 2014, 3:09 PM EDT
He’s missed three games with an upper-body injury.
Apr 19, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
The Blackhawks look to head home with a split.
Apr 19, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT
He’s aiming to return for Game 3 on Tuesday.
Apr 19, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT
He avoided a suspension for the act.
Apr 19, 2014, 1:29 PM EDT
He’s been out since April 3.
Apr 19, 2014, 12:42 PM EDT
A fine may be in his future.
Apr 19, 2014, 12:23 PM EDT
He missed Game 2 with an injury.
Apr 19, 2014, 11:17 AM EDT
Pulling the goalie with three minutes went over very well.
Apr 19, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
Holding a lead is hard to do in the playoffs.
Apr 19, 2014, 1:57 AM EDT
“We should have been 5-on-3.”
Apr 19, 2014, 1:29 AM EDT
Ryan Getzlaf, Frederik Andersen and Corey Perry “are winning that battle,” he said.
Apr 19, 2014, 12:56 AM EDT
Eventful last few days for the captain.
Apr 18, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT
“It was one individual effort that made the difference today.”
Apr 18, 2014, 11:14 PM EDT
Apr 18, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT
Bolts just needed a spark, he explained.
Apr 18, 2014, 10:27 PM EDT
There was no penalty on the play.
Apr 18, 2014, 10:08 PM EDT
Jimmy Howard had a shutout in the goaltending duel.
Apr 18, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT
Can Dallas build on its late-game momentum?
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