TORONTO - The new owners of Big Blue don’t exhibit a public face, but showed they have a big boot where Brian Burke was concerned.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment’s hierarchy fired Burke as president and general manager on Wednesday and promoted lieutenant David Nonis. Burke will stay on in a yet-to-be defined “senior adviser” role.
The timing of his dismissal was a shocker, given the restart of the NHL in just a couple of days. But behind the scenes, Burke had been nudged toward the brink by MLSE, which used the lockout void to examine the four playoff failures on his watch, his caustic public image and his role in the Roberto Luongo trade debate.