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“I was floored, and I still am stunned,” says Burke on firing

Jan 11, 2013, 1:46 PM EST

Brian Burke AP

Like most observers, Brian Burke was shocked when he learned that he’d been fired as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I was floored, and I still am stunned. I’ve never been fired before,” Burke told the Toronto Star in his first interview since being relieved of his duties on Wednesday. “How am I doing? I’m doing okay.

Despite the shock, Burke had nothing but good things to say about his experience in charge of the Leafs.

“I’m so grateful I had a chance to run the crown jewel franchise of the NHL,” he said. “I’m grateful to have been given the chance to live in Toronto. I love this city and I am grateful for the support of the fans.”

What Burke didn’t provide (on the record, at least) were his thoughts on the people that fired him.

On Wednesday, MLSE president and CEO Tom Anselmi said the move was “more about tone and the voice of leadership than changing gears and going in a different direction.”

It’s since been reported that Bell CEO George Cope (Bell and Rogers own 75 percent of MLSE) was Burke’s main detractor.

Related: Burke era in Toronto: Trades, truculence and tirades

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