Brian Burke’s time in Toronto was very clearly a failure. The team posted a 128-135-42 during his four seasons as the team’s general manager, never coming close to playoff contention.
In hindsight, it was very clear that the Leafs needed a full-on rebuild to overhaul their mediocre roster and no amount of retooling or patchwork could fix what ailed the organization. While Burke’s time in charge will ultimately be looked back as spinning tires in the mud and delaying the inevitable, he actually made quite a few excellent deals that deserve praise.
Burke will always be remembered for his desire to add truculence to the lineup. It was something he spoke about in his first-ever press conference as Leafs’ general manager when he outlined what his plans were for the team. Ironically, some of his best moves were ones that went completely against this mantra.
Burke was officially named general manager in November of 2008, replacing Cliff Fletcher who was running the ship with the interim label after John Ferguson Jr. had been let go in January of that year. After years of mediocre drafting and trading away top picks (like …
Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation