Maple Leafs Relieve Brian Burke Of President & GM Duties
The Maple Leafs today announced that Brian Burke has been relieved of his duties as President & GM, with David Nonis promoted to Senior VP & GM, effective immediately. Burke will stay on in a senior advisory role to MLSE President & COO Tom Anselmi and the MLSE BOD (Maple Leafs). Burke was "entering the fifth year of a six-year deal, but the landscape with the Leafs ownership, and the immediate need to end seven years out of the playoffs, apparently led to an out-of-nowhere decision." Anselmi: "There's no good time to do this, but once you get to a decision on something like this, it's only fair to act upon it" (THESTAR.com, 1/9). It is "widely expected Burke will only hold" his advisory role "until he found another job with either the NHL's head office or another franchise" (THEGLOBEANDMAIL.com, 1/9).
TSN’s Gino Redo said, “We knew that Brian Burke’s job was going to be in jeopardy because of his lack of success to this point. We thought he would have some time this year had it been a full season.” TSN’s Dave Naylor: “To see this happen just hours from when the lockout may officially be over, and days before the start of training camp and the season, does come as a surprise.” TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who broke the story, said of the move, “It’s a shocking one. Absolutely shocking” (“SportsCentre,” TSN, 1/9).