Ex-Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke talked a good game, but couldn't back it up

Toronto Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke (REUTERS)

Toronto Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke (REUTERS)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:21 AM ET

TORONTO - With his larger-than-life-personality and unchecked bravado, Brian Burke was doomed almost from the beginning of his bombastic tenure in Toronto.

It may not have felt like it at the time, but after the players he brought in and the team he created weren’t unable to back up those words, the talk turned cheap and the promises hollow.

By the end, it was that style without substance that likely forced his new employers to end Burke’s stint as Maple Leafs general manager as an incomplete assignment and one of the least successful runs in franchise history.

And who would have predicted that?

In the beginning, Burke was tough to resist, even factoring in skepticism for all his bold predictions and promises. When he talked about working in hockey’s “Vatican” and that the Leafs were “Big Blue” others around the league scoffed. But the hungry audience in Toronto ate it up, willing to be duped into false optimism because it sounded so damn good.

 


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