The Maple Leafs fired general manager Brian Burke on Wednesday, with the NHL season set to resume this month following a tentative settlement ending the lockout.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment President Tom Anselmi said at a news conference that longtime Burke assistant David Nonis will fill the job. Burke will stay as a senior adviser.
Toronto has not made the playoffs since Burke was hired in 2008. The club last played in the postseason in 2004 and hasn't won a Stanley Cup since 1967.
New corporate owners took over the Maple Leafs in August, and Burke's outspoken and brash approach was not a smooth fit.
“Brian had a style, and we knew what we were getting when he was hired a number of years ago,” Anselmi said. “This is really about a change in leadership voice and leadership direction.”
Anselmi said the four years of missing the playoffs factored into the decision, but ultimately, the new ownership group wanted different leadership. Canada's largest telecommunication companies, Rogers Communications and BCE Inc., took control of the Toronto Maple Leafs and NBA's Toronto Raptors in a deal worth about $1.3 billion.
“Brian, when we were talking this morning, said, ‘I get it; ownership is changing,' ” Anselmi said.
Before joining Toronto, Burke spent three-plus seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, leading them to a Stanley Cup title in 2007.
Ex-Red Wing won't pay
Former Detroit Red Wings player Kevin Miller denies he owes a $1.6 million judgment to an insurance company for a hit during a 2000 Swiss league game that ended a player's career.
Miller's hit on Andrew McKim caused the Canadian to suffer a severe concussion and neck injuries.
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