- Tim Wharnsby via twitter: Brian Burke was fired because he couldn’t get along with the new members of the MLSE board.
- Tim Wharnsby of CBC: Burke and some new members of the board did not see eye-to-eye. Burke did not react kindly to some free hockey related advice he was getting from some new members. After several meetings with him, they decided it was time to part ways.
The official word from Anselmi was the new ownership group wanted new leadership. But again, the new set of directors didn’t need seven months to determine they wanted new leadership. They simply learned over this time they needed somebody willing to work with them.
It was not, as some speculated, a difference in opinion in whether the Maple Leafs should make a serious pitch for Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo.
Burke wanted to make a trade for Luongo.
- James Mirtle via twitter: Reliable source said that Burke’s firing had nothing to do with his personal issues, although they are there.
- James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail: Within days of the meeting Burke for the first time, the new board members had already began formulating a list of possible replacements.
According to a source in the room, Mr. Burke offered few solid answers for why the losses on the ice kept piling up. Nor did he explain why his four-year rebuilding effort had failed to solve two key issues for the hockey team: finding a first-line centre and stabilizing the Leafs’ goaltending situation.
Executives of BCE and Rogers Communications, who together control 75 per cent of the sports franchise, found Mr. Burke defensive and brusque – difficult to work with, the source said.
A source on BCE and Rogers board members almost immediate dislike for Burke’s outspokenness:
“New ownership didn’t like him,” the source said. “Fundamentally, they wanted a GM who would listen – for better or worse. They said they want a corporate guy and fired a Harvard lawyer.”
- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Garrioch believes that new Leafs GM Dave Nonis will make the call to Canucks GM Mike Gillis. It could take Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri and a 2nd round pick, or some variance of that to get Roberto Luongo. Garrioch notes that that Burke was afraid to pull the trigger on the deal, and he wouldn’t be surprised if Nonis pulled the trigger on this quickly.
- Jimmy Murphy via twitter: A reliable source said that prior to the Burke firing, the Flyers would be the 3rd team in a 3-way trade that would land Luongo in Toronto.
- Chris Botta via twitter: Canucks GM Mike Gillis said that Brian Burke’s firing doesn’t change the Roberto Luongo story.