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Brian Burke is suing internet commenters for defaming him

Apr 26, 2013, 8:04 PM EDT

Brian Burke Getty Images

You may have read about it on the internet.

Or, perhaps it was sent to you in an email.

“It” was the real reason Brian Burke was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Because it wasn’t because the team he built never made the playoffs. Oh, no. It was because…


Fast forward a couple of months and Burke, who is married, is suing the anonymous internet commenters who wrote he had an affair with, and impregnated, a sports reporter.

Yes, really.

You can read it here.

From the Canadian Press:

Burke alleges online comments published by the 18 people whose identities are unknown to him are untrue.

The online statements claim that Burke was fired as the president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs because of an extra-marital affair with Rogers Sportsnet reporter Hazel Mae.

The civil suit says Burke is suing for losses and damages to his reputation because of untrue the statements and in a news release, Burke says the comments have also hurt his family.

Via, here are the usernames that were listed in the suit:


So if one of those is you…well…actually, we’re not sure.

Maybe log off for a while?

  1. Stiller43 - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Lol what? Good luck actually getting anything from this. Didnt think it was possible for him to look like a bigger douche, but he’s done it.

    • gospitfires - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:18 PM

      lol ya the nerve of this guy to stand up to these losers in moms basement throwing out statements that not one of them would have the balls to say to Burkes face. what a total douche…..

  2. ryanw822 - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Is this bizarro world?

    He should be saying its true and she should be the one suing saying it isnt.

  3. Stiller43 - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:40 PM


    First of all, why wouldnt/couldnt they say it to his face? Lots of people are fearful of stocky, 60 year old men?

    2nd of all, he was fired because he was incompetent at his job, not because of these comments.

    3rd of all, even if you could prove the identity behind the username who made the comments, what is he going to do? Take their house as judgement? Because be lost his job “due to their comments?” Get real

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:55 AM

      The case has nothing to do with his job, the charge is for defamation of his character

    • gospitfires - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:41 AM

      1) please, its not that hes a 60 year old man, he could be a 20 year old woman, cowards are cowards. keyboard warriors who sit around and insult others knowing they have no fear of repercussions are scum . and these men are no exception.

      2) so what? thats what i felt, but these guys had to get “their say” in on the issue, and now they are being sued. maybe these guys will think nextime they open their worthless mouths and try to insult a guy they have never met with made up information.

      3) if you are so dumb u cant even see the implications of what he is doing, should i even bother to fill you in, yes i think i will. his goal, is to have future basement virgins like these 12 guys who make up defamatory statements think twice about coming out with outright lies . if he wins a thousand bucks from each guy, u think these turds will think twice in the future, i sure do

  4. dumbassgreg - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    lmao the were rumors when burke’s first marriage it was because he was getting some on side. just no intenet at time. would not be a surprise burke does comes from people who have problems being faithful to their wives ( mel gibson,martin sheen etc religion ) lmao.

  5. jimw81 - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    he’s citing a user on hfboards? that site has mods that block users if you make a simple joke.

  6. hockeyflow33 - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    I know Canada has different rules on speech; I think it was only a year or two ago that a comedian was fined or had charges brought upon him for a joke he said.

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:57 AM

      No need for the thumbs down, it’s an actual fact:

  7. thedavesiknowiknow - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    let’s see how he feels about positive misinformation: he’s the son of God, and he’s the one who really wrote Star Wars.

    • mustbechris - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:45 AM

      there are people who might see those things as negatives

  8. alicesrightfootesq - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    “I’d like to call first to the stand, Poonerman.”

    • ron05342 - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      This one has got me rolling.

      Pure gold.

  9. tyler4richardson - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Hahahahaha. Hazel Mae. This is a serious drop off from her affairs with the Red Sox players.

    • badintent - Apr 27, 2013 at 2:10 AM

      Back in the day, there were some blogs claiming she was doing group stuff with Sox players. Don’t know if it was true. Any sex video tapes on her out there ? She did marry an ex Sox player.

  10. thehighcountrybear - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    That’s pretty thin

    That’s a pretty thin claim…
    Me, I’d be bragging…

    Without a summary of damages, it’s hard to rate or give merit to the claim?

    From what I’ve seen up here, it’s really difficult to crack the privacy legislation protecting electronic communication without being able to show cause.

    Any criminal defence lawyer would work pro bono just to chase this into the Supreme Court where their names show up under the bright lights of common law.

    And this is a civil matter; good luck showing cause through damages associated with psychological stress in particular. Damages need to be quantifiable…did these communications cause Brian to lose his job, his marriage? Reputation…try measuring reputation in a job where being in the public eye is part of the game?

    Related matter from both the US Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Canada:!/article/515309c993e8e4966507a35a-supreme-court-rules-police-need-wiretap-authority-to-seize-text-messages

  11. thehighcountrybear - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:58 AM

      This is in Canada not the US

      • thehighcountrybear - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:45 PM


        Jurisdiction will likely be irrelevent…think ‘stare decisis’…?

        I view this civil suit as sabre rattling [ I’m a lawyer with unlimited personal resources to put you in Court, you…? ]

        The problem is Burke is suing virtual space. He has to define cause, name those people or actions giving cause and he has to define damages…do you see anything showing those elements in his paper?

        Back to jurisdiction, Canada versus US…

        Burke will have to spend incredible legal resources to simply find the offending partie’s names and addresses; at this stage he’s fighting entrenched privacy law in Canada, and service providers who have to defend their clients, many of which are huge conglomerates with incredibly sensitive material going over encrypted VPNs. Expose a single client to scrutiny through court ordered search, stare decisis plays thereafter.

        Were he to win through, though highly unlikely, the Courts would have to escape the jurisdiction in search of legal guidance because this is all new ground, playing in Canada’s Supreme Court as we go. Hence, need to approach common law in other countries where such decisions have been determined at the highest courts; in my example, the US Supreme Court.

        Read this, it will be worth the effort:

      • hockeyflow33 - Apr 27, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        It has nothing to do with US rulings because this is a different countries and as Brian Burke is a public figure, he’s exempt from many of the protections of private citizens.

        It’s great that you google legal jargon and then cite wikipedia but you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  12. drewzducks - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    I can see it now…Loob, Poonerman and Slobberface are called into court:

  13. jkaflagg - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Is there any chance of tracking these people down and actually getting them in court ? Or this just a way for Burke to emphasize the denial ? As creepy as some people are, I ‘ve always thought that pursuing them in court was hopeless….

  14. m1k3g - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    In a related story, Burke’s attorneys have hired Jay and Silent Bob as consultants….

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:02 AM

      All you motherf*ckers are gonna pay! You are the ones who are the ball-lickers! We’re gonna f*ck your mothers while you watch and cry like little, whiny b*tches. Once we get to Hollywood and find those hfboards f*cks, we’re gonna make them eat our sh*t, then sh*t out our sh*t, and then eat their sh*t that’s made up of our sh*t that we made them eat. Then all you motherf*cks are next.
      Love, Brian

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        Monty Python would have enjoyed this.

  15. drone501 - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    hazel mae is hot. too fine for burke.

  16. withseidelinn - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Hazel Mae is pretty hot, I’d do it.

    • rodeoclowndc - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Mmmmmmm… Motor boatin’…

  17. dumbassgreg - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    shocking an american suing. isn;t that a test to see if you are real american. filing lawsuits for any and everything. lmao

    • hockeyflow33 - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:59 AM

      At least we don’t have the option to file suit if someone says something mean about us

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      How bout that South Park movie about Canada!

  18. canadapackers - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    What I dont understand is that a bunch of people from Toronto were tweeting this – did a google search when I saw this article. Why sue the newspaper in BC when you could sue the tweeter – twitter people in Toronto?????? Is it a legal thing with respect to BC ???

  19. buffalo65 - Apr 27, 2013 at 5:47 AM

    Sad sad sad, “any sex tapes out there”. Hope you got your own tv in that basement.
    Burke should sue Wilson, he’s what got Burke fired.

  20. tackleberries - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    Gonna be tough to track down NCOGNITO.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      Good one.

  21. drone501 - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    i think anyone who saw the tape should sue burke after seeing him naked. that would make me lose some sleep

  22. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Apr 27, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Lol. Burke did a good job of self defamation over the years. Still, I like this guy. He’s a straight shooter. Much better than some of the hypocrites in the game.

    • desertfan - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      And look at where the Leafs are now compared to when he was hired.

      AND look at where Kessel is now vs what was his name??

  23. buffalo65 - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Yah, Kessel isn’t as good….your point?

  24. hazlydose - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Dear Brian Burke, don’t feed the trolls!

  25. banger60 - Apr 27, 2013 at 5:14 PM


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