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.
Aug 21, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
He’ll have a battle to make the NHL next season.
Aug 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
He died in the plane crash that killed the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team in 2011.
Aug 21, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
The NHL changed the process for the Draft Lottery on Wednesday.
Aug 21, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT
We know it’s not surprising, but just go along with it.
Aug 21, 2014, 6:24 PM EDT
A Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe in separate years is a nice legacy.
Aug 21, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
No one scored more Pens goals than he did the past three seasons.
Aug 21, 2014, 4:08 PM EDT
Call it an audition if you want.
Aug 21, 2014, 2:39 PM EDT
“He has instructed me to do all I can to facilitate a return to the Twin Cities.”
Aug 21, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT
He was quite good.
Aug 21, 2014, 1:11 PM EDT
“Nor is he very smart to have made untrue defamatory statements such as these.”
Aug 21, 2014, 12:32 PM EDT
“I talked with Todd today, and he never mentioned anything about captains or assistant captains.”
Aug 21, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT
All the first-time NHL head coach has to do is get Pittsburgh to the promised land. No biggie.
Aug 21, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT
Or until a successor is found.
Aug 21, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT
The 23-year-old defenseman may get a real shot this season.
Aug 21, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
They were teammates in Calgary for two seasons.
Aug 21, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
The pressure is on Sid and Geno now after a summer of change.
Aug 20, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
And it was all The Great One’s idea.
Aug 20, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
He can be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Aug 20, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT
Recovery from offseason wrist surgery put things in doubt.
Aug 20, 2014, 7:55 PM EDT
He missed most of last season with a torn ACL.
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