Maple Leafs fire Brian Burke and name Dave Nonis GM

Dave Nonis is named the 14th general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Burke will be staying with the Maple Leafs in a senior advisor role.

3:41 PM:

  • Darren Dreger via twitter: Dreger was told that Burke was absolutely shocked by the news. Said via text that he can’t talk at this point.
  • Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: “Two, both Bell and Rogers are keen on a deal for Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo and Burke was resisting such a move. He said repeatedly of late that he was “90 per cent” certain he wanted to go with the combination of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens in net and had talked several times about his frustrations of dealing with Vancouver GM Mike Gillis, particularly since he wasn’t sure dealing for Luongo was the right move.”
  • Alex Seixeiro via twitter: “Bob McCown on #Sportsnet: Burke didn’t want to deal Kadri & Gardiner for Luongo. Felt it wasn’t the right deal to make. #Leafs #MapleLeafs”

2:50 PM:

  • Damien Cox via twitter: “Bell/Rogers clearly not comfortable with Burke. Bell, in particular, believed his style was “bad for the brand.”
  • Damien Cox via twitter: “Nonis will ABSOLUTELY make a strong push to get Roberto Luongo from Vancouver. Take that to the bank.”

2:00 PM:

  • Katie Strang via twitter: “Toronto’s Larry Tannenbaum when asked about Burke: “This was a decision of the board.””
  • David Pagnotta via twitter: “Last season, Burke turned down trading Grabovski to Chicago for a 1st & prospect, and rejected a 1st RD pick for MacArthur from another team”

1:45 PM:

  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: “One NHL team executive believes Burke’s reluctance to move on Luongo cost him but I think there’s more to it than that…”
  • Jason Brough via twitter: “Burke: Didn’t address goaltending. Never landed a top center. Poor free-agent signings. Still not very tough. No playoffs. So…yeah.”
  • Brian Huddle via twitter: “I also can’t see a new GM wanting the Kessel trade hanging over him, and almost wonder if he’ll be moved.”

1:15 PM:

  • David Pagnotta via twitter: “Was told in June new Leafs ownership was not going to renew Burke once contract expires, once they took over. Surprised happened now”
  • Bruce Garrioch via twitter: “The reality is Brian Burke should have been fired before he was allowed to hire Randy Carlyle.”
  • Steve Simmons via twitter: “I could be wrong, but I don’t believe the Burke firing has anything to with Luongo. I believe there are other issues at play here.”

1:05 PM:

  • Mark Spector via twitter: “Sounds like Burke did NOT want to make Luongo deal, while many in Leafs org did. Burke a principled man.”

12:55 PM:

  • Ian Mendes via twitter: “The timing of the Brian Burke firing is absolutely stunning to me — unless his contract stipulated he could not be fired during a lockout.”
  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: “#NHL news: Source saying #Canucks Luongo still very much in the hunt to become a #Leaf despite GM Burke relieved of his duties. “
  • Eric Francis via twitter: “Speculation is it’s Luongo related but that’s hard to fathom, unless it was the tipping point of a power struggle. Against who is question “

12:40 PM:

  • Greg Brady via twitter: “I realize this is VERY speculative, but told by a source Randy Carlyle is “not exactly safe”. I trust this source impeccably. Wow.”
  • James Mirtle via twitter: “Several people around league told me during lockout they didn’t think Burke would last the season. Didn’t fully believe it…”
  • Brian Huddle via twitter: “You let the guy sign McClement, draft Rielly, hire Carlyle and trade for JVR, and THEN fire him? #gongshow”

12:30 PM:

  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: “Toronto Maple Leafs have apparently fired Brian Burke as general manager. Working on official confirmations.”
  • Dan Tencer via twitter: “This move could have been made during the lockout to allow a new body to become familiar with players, contracts etc. Timing seems absurd.”
  • Glenn Schiiler via twitter: “Wonder if Burke told the board “Sorry I don’t think Luongo is going to happen.” Then the board said “OK..goodbye then!”Nonis to get it done?”


  1. Galactus

    January 9, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    When Burke was hired, he said : “There are two hands on the steering wheel and they are both mine”.

    I am willing to bet that he was told to trade for Luongo and he refused.

    It’s the only explanation that makes any sense.

  2. John Baines

    January 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    This is the biggest mistake the Leafs could have made. He is turning the corner now and I really hope that this doesn’t mean that we are getting Toronto

  3. hotwings

    January 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    wow, absolute shocker. id preferred he stayed and see this thing thru for another 4-5 years and then hand over to Nonis… i still feel that the kessel trade hung over his tenure like bad cheese. but there are so many positives to burke’s deal making.. ie… the kaberle trade, absolute steals like gardiner and lupul…

    ill miss burke dearly.. he was the ideal gm for toronto… i dont want to go back to the days of lame duck j. ferguson (no offence to him, but it seems his hands were tied)…

    if it indeed came down to whether to trade for luongo or not… i wish it was done… bad contract or not, he is going to get you 10 more points at seasons end, and it may snowball into something bigger if you got everyone playing w/ more confidence..

    sad in toronto.. hopefully nonis is what he is rumoured to be…

  4. I_am_I

    January 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    The trader for Luongo only makes sense if you can steal him from Vancouver. They are going to be in cap trouble this summer (under $9M to sign 10 players) plus Backstrom may hit free agency as well. Minny also has cap issues and has a good goalie in Harding at under $2M/year.
    Nonnis is under no pressure to make the playoffs this year, he’d do better to wait for the summer to trade for Luongo IMO.

  5. hotwings

    January 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    there is no way you can involve jake gardiner in a deal for luongo. gardiner has way too much upside at this point and with another strong season under his belt, you can put him in the same sentence as karlsson in ottawa.

  6. hotwings

    January 9, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    the leafs need to make the luongo deal happen now… something positive to build on this season to counter the organizational drama that will undoubtedly hang over this team for the remainder of the season. you can’t cut the head off the bull and expect it to run hard for you…

  7. Randy Heath

    January 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Vancouver has been demanding a considerable return for Luongo. They asked Florida for Nick Bjugstad or Quinten Howden and a First Round Pick and now they are leveraging Toronto’s desire to make the playoffs by asking for Gardiner or Reilly and Kadri or a First Round Pick. I think Burke was correct by refusing to let go of Gardiner or Reilly. Even a Kadri and a First Round Pick may be too much for Luongo. The Toronto brass was disappointed by the selection of Reilly and seem willing to include him in a trade to Vancouver. If Toronto trades any one of those two defenseman and either Kadri or their First Round Pick then the only team that makes the playoffs this year will be Vancouver. Any trade with Vancouver for Luongo will only benefit Vancouver. Toronto should do like the Islanders did with Nabokov and look for a stopgap until they develop a goaltender instead of sacrificing youth to satisfy the needs of the present. Just ask the Islanders how the trades for Peca and Yashin in the 1990s worked out. They made the playoffs but destroyed their future.

  8. hotwings

    January 9, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Can anyone offer any analysis on the reilly bashing ? Is jacob trouba really that much of a better thing ?