Maple Leafs simply didn't want Brian Burke as face of franchise anymore

Brian Burke. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency file photo)

Brian Burke. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency file photo)

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:47 AM ET

TORONTO - It was late in the Stanley Cup playoffs when the word began drifting out about Brian Burke.

How he was acting erratically.

How his life was spiraling in dubious ways.

How the new owners of the Maple Leafs, still not officially in place, were not happy with what they saw, what they regularly were hearing, what they believed about their prized hockey team.

It was late in the playoffs and the question was asked almost everywhere I travelled, with too many stories — some false, some true — being spread around late at night: He had become the topic almost every day. The questions being asked: What’s going on with Brian Burke? And how long before the Maple Leafs fire him?

One source told me in June that Burke would not manage one more game with the Leafs. That source proved to be correct.

Another told me he would be promoted to president, with Dave Nonis taking over as general manager. That turned out to be half-true.


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