The Brian Burke era

By kev9
  • Leafs find new GM in Brian Burke

    Leafs find new GM in Brian Burke
    Brian Burke is introduced as the President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, replacing interim General Manager Cliff Fletcher. He becomes the 13th non-interim General Manager of the club and the first to be American-born. He signs a six-year deal worth $3 million annually. "I like the pressure that's put on the team," says Burke. "The pressure that's on the players and the coach and the general manager to me is a positive thing. I'm thrilled to be back in Canada working."
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    The Brian Burke era in Toronto

  • Leafs mathematically eliminated from playoffs

    Leafs mathematically eliminated from playoffs
    After a 7-5 loss to Boston 3 days earlier, the Maple Leafs are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. The Leafs have now failed to make the playoffs for four straight seasons. Toronto finishes 12 points out of eighth in the East.
  • Burke signals Tavares intent

    Burke signals Tavares intent
    The Maple Leafs draw the seventh pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Leafs GM Brian Burke immediately signals to the media his intention to move up in the draft. Burke is desperate to be in a position to draft top prospect John Tavares. "We're going to see what it costs and we're going to try and move up," says Burke.
  • Leafs select Kadri

    Leafs select Kadri
    With the seventh pick in the 2009 Entry Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs select Nazim Kadri from the OHL's London Knights. Kadri is considered a good pick but not the John Tavares or Brayden Schenn, Burke had hoped for.
  • Leafs spend big to sign Mike Komisarek

    Leafs spend big to sign Mike Komisarek
    Toronto signs former Montreal Canadiens defenceman Mike Komisarek to a five-year, $22.5 million deal. The deal will count $4.5 million annually against the salary cap. Komisarek and Burke will go on to be heavily criticized by fans for his poor defensive play and high salary.
  • Maple Leafs sign free agent Beauchemin

    Maple Leafs sign free agent Beauchemin
    Brian Burke continues with his plan to make the Leafs a tougher team by agreeing a three-year deal with former Ducks defenceman Francois Beauchemin. The deal is worth an average of $3.8 million per season. Beauchemin will eventually be traded back to Anaheim after an inconsistent time in Toronto.
  • Leafs trade for Kessel, sign him to contract

    Leafs trade for Kessel, sign him to contract
    After threatening to sign an offer sheet with another team, the Boston Bruins finally trade Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a first and a second round pick in 2010, and a first round pick in 2011. Kessel then signs a new five-year, $27 million deal with Toronto.
  • Burke excited about Kessel move

    Burke excited about Kessel move
    Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke sounds determined as reporters ask questions about the Phil Kessel trade. "Bringing Phil Kessel aboard, it's a statement to our players that we intend to be competitive right away, and I think he gives us a dimension that we need," says Burke.
  • Leafs finally win first game of season

    Leafs finally win first game of season
    Toronto records its first win of the season, 6-3 over the Anaheim Ducks, to end a winless streak that saw them start the season 0-7-1. This is the worst start to a season for the Leafs since the NHL formed in 1917.
  • Burke acquires Dion Phaneuf

    Burke acquires Dion Phaneuf
    The Toronto Maple Leafs acquire defenceman Dion Phaneuf, forward Fredrik Sjostrom, and prospect defenceman Keith Aulie from Calgary in exchange for forwards Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers and defenceman Ian White. The trade is hailed by fans and media as one of Burke's best moves as GM.
  • Leafs find a taker for huge Blake contract

    Leafs find a taker for huge Blake contract
    Brian Burke is heralded as a genius at moving large contracts after the Leafs acquire goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere from Anaheim for netminder Vesa Toskala and forward Jason Blake. Blake is making $4 million a year while failing to provide the goals he was signed for.
  • Son of Leafs GM dies in car accident

    Son of Leafs GM dies in car accident
    The youngest son of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke is killed in a car accident in Indiana. Brendan Burke, 21, dies of injuries sustained in a two-vehicle collision. Burke was a student at Miami University in Ohio. He recently talked openly about the challenges of playing sports growing up while coming to terms with being gay. Burke said in 2007 he came out to his father, who was supportive.
  • Leafs fail to make playoffs for fifth consecutive season

    Leafs fail to make playoffs for fifth consecutive season
    After losing at home to the Atlanta Thrashers 3-2, the Toronto Maple Leafs are eliminated from playoff contention with 5 games still to play. The Leafs are the first team eliminated in the Eastern Conference and will finish last in the east, 14 points out of a playoff spot.
  • Boston to draft second with Leafs first-round pick

    Boston to draft second with Leafs first-round pick
    The Boston Bruins draw the second overall pick at the 2010 NHL Draft lottery. Boston received the pick in a trade with Toronto for winger Phil Kessel. Scouts have still not decided whether Plymouth Whalers right-winger Tyler Seguin, or Windsor Spitfires left-winger Taylor Hall is the number one rated player in the draft.
  • Bruins draft Seguin

    Bruins draft Seguin
    With the second overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the Boston Bruins select Plymouth Whalers right-winger Tyler Seguin. Seguin is drafted with a first-round pick obtained from Toronto for Phil Kessel. Seguin will go on to have a mediocre first season before exploding with 67 points in his sophomore year. Many Leaf fans question whether it was smart to trade the pick.
  • Burke signs MacArthur

    Burke signs MacArthur
    The Toronto Maple Leafs sign unrestricted free agent forward Clarke MacArthur to a one-year contract worth $1.1 million. MacArthur is initially seen as a depth signing but would turn out to be one of the Leafs top forwards, putting up a career best 41 assists and 62 points in the coming season.
  • Burke places importance in goaltending

    Burke places importance in goaltending
    In an interview with reporters, Brian Burke proclaims he has little faith in Jonas Gustavsson as a number 1 goaltender. “We’re not comfortable putting the starting load on him,” says Burke. Despite Burke's fear, Gustavsson will not end up being traded. Gustavsson will finish the season with a 2.98 Goals Against Average and 17-17-4 record in 42 appearances.
  • Leafs start season red-hot

    Leafs start season red-hot
    Toronto defeats the New York Rangers 4-3 in overtime to start the season 4-0-0. The Leafs have not won their first 4 games to start a season since 1993-1994, when they won their first 10.
  • Kessel hints at troubled relationship with coach Ron Wilson

    Kessel hints at troubled relationship with coach Ron Wilson
    Stuck in a 10-game goalless drought and facing pressure from fans and media alike, Leafs winger Phil Kessel’s frustration finally boils over at practice when asked by a group of reporters if Ron Wilson has offered any advice given his struggles. “No, me and Ron don't really talk, so that's all I've got to say about that," says Kessel.
  • Leafs acquire Lupul, dump Beauchemin

    Leafs acquire Lupul, dump Beauchemin
    The Toronto Maple Leafs send defenceman Francois Beauchemin to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Joffrey Lupul, prospect Jake Gardiner and a conditional pick. The move is greeted warmly by fans as Lupul is a past 30-goal scorer, and Gardiner a former first-round draft pick.
  • Burke places faith in Reimer

    Burke places faith in Reimer
    Leafs GM Brian Burke names James Reimer his starting goalie for the 2011-2012 season after Reimer posts a 17-8-4 record in 31 games. “We believe he [Reimer] is, and we think he’s got that temperament, personality and work ethic to be a number one without letting this little run go to his head.” Reimer will start the next season well before suffering from a concussion in October. He will finish an inconsistent season with a 3.10 GAA and a 14-14-4 record in 34 games.
  • Maple Leafs playoff drought continues

    Maple Leafs playoff drought continues
    Toronto is eliminated from playoff contention with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals. Toronto continues to hold the second longest playoff-drought streak, second only to the Florida Panthers. Neither team has reached the playoffs since the NHL lockout. The Maple Leafs are tied with the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues for the longest drought without a Stanley Cup victory.
  • Bell, Rogers team up to purchase stake in MLSE

    Bell, Rogers team up to purchase stake in MLSE
    Weeks of rumours concerning an ownership change finally are confirmed, after telecom giants Rogers and Bell Canada team up to buy a majority stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment for about $1.07 billion. MLSE owns the Leafs of the NHL, the NBA's Toronto Raptors, Major League Soccer's Toronto FC, the Toronto Marlies of the AHL and the Air Canada Centre. The deal brings the total value of the company to just shy of $2 billion.
  • Leafs give coach Ron Wilson contract extension

    Leafs give coach Ron Wilson contract extension
    Ron Wilson announces via twitter that he has agreed to a 1-year contract extension which is confirmed by GM Brian Burke hours later. The Maple Leafs sit sixth in the Eastern Conference, just one point above the eighth-place Ottawa Senators.
  • Leafs looking good to finally make playoffs

    Leafs looking good to finally make playoffs
    After dropping only 3 points from their last 8 games, the Toronto Maple Leafs sit sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Leafs will eventually plummet to 11th place and five points out of both a playoff spot and last-place in the 15-team conference by the end of the month.
  • Leafs, Red Wings to faceoff at 2013 Winter Classic

    Leafs, Red Wings to faceoff at 2013 Winter Classic
    Brian Burke announces that the Toronto Maple Leafs will face the Detroit Red Wings at the 2013 Winter Classic. The game will take place in the 109,901-seat Michigan Stadium. The match will see the biggest audience to ever take in a hockey game. HBO will also do a 24-7, featuring the two teams leading up to the Classic.
  • Burke denies any offer on the table for Rick Nash

    Burke denies any offer on the table for Rick Nash
    Despite pressure to acquire a big name forward before the trade deadline to jumpstart a rapidly deteriorating season, Leafs GM Brian Burke states in an interview “we do not have a firm offer on the table for Rick Nash." Nash would end up staying at Columbus for the rest of the season.
  • Leafs remain quiet on trade deadline

    Leafs remain quiet on trade deadline
    In a move seen as a vote of confidence in his team rather than inactivity, Leafs GM Brian Burke sends defenceman Keith Aulie to the Tampa Bay Lightning for right-wing prospect Carter Ashton. Burke once said about Aulie “I wouldn't have made the Phaneuf trade if Aulie wasn't included.”
  • Ron Wilson let go as coach of the Maple Leafs

    Ron Wilson let go as coach of the Maple Leafs
    With only 1 win in 11 games and currently sitting twelfth in the Eastern Conference, Brian Burke decides to fire long-time friend Ron Wilson as coach of the Maple Leafs. "I want to thank Ron for all of his hard work and dedication to our organization over the past four seasons," says Burke.
  • Burke turns to Carlyle to help ailing Leafs

    Burke turns to Carlyle to help ailing Leafs
    Toronto GM Brian Burke goes with a familiar face in hiring former Ducks boss Randy Carlyle as the Leafs new head coach on a three-year contract. Carlyle guided the Ducks to their first-ever Stanley Cup in 2007. “We’ve got a guy behind the wheel that can get us where we need to go,”
  • Burke appears on public service announcement

    Burke appears on public service announcement
    Brian Burke and his son Patrick appear on a public service announcement during the broadcast of the Boston Bruins-New York Rangers game on NBC Sports to promote You Can Play. The two along with 30 National Hockey League players support the project, an advocacy program to change homophobic culture in sports dressing rooms.
  • Burke hangs up on Toronto radio host

    Burke hangs up on Toronto radio host
    Leafs GM Brian Burke hangs up at the end of an interview with NewsTalk 1010 host John Moore on Tuesday after the host asks a question about job security. Burke felt it was "a nice little cheap shot before you get off the air.”
  • Leafs miss playoffs for seventh straight season

    Leafs miss playoffs for seventh straight season
    A run of 19 losses in their last 24 games sees the Toronto Maple Leafs miss out on playoff hockey for the seventh straight season. The leafs are mathematically eliminated after a 3-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at the Air Canada Centre, leaving them sitting fourteenth in the East with 5 games to play.
  • Brian Burke apologizes to fans for poor season

    Brian Burke apologizes to fans for poor season
    Toronto GM Brian Burke caps another disastrous season by apologizing to fans for failing to make the playoffs. The move followed an open letter to fans from Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum that ran in newspapers and on the team's website, asking for forgiveness. "We have the best fans in the National Hockey League and all of pro sports and we need to deliver more," says Burke.
  • Burke encouraged by Leafs future

    Burke encouraged by Leafs future
    Brian Burke remains defiant at the year-end press conference despite criticism over his record as Leafs GM. “I think there a lot of things we can be excited about," says Burke. "I'm trying to build a championship team here and that's very hard to see today. But the building blocks, the keys that you need—the Phil Kessels, the Joffrey Lupuls, the Jake Gardiners, the Dion Phaneufs, the second line—all those things have been put in place."
  • Burke only looking for championship

    Burke only looking for championship
    Brian Burke tells a media gathering, “Championship is the goal. Not to get in the 8th spot and get your ass kicked.” The remarks are in response to questions about the lack of activity from Burke during the trade deadline.
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