Former Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke made sure his outgoing press conference would be long remembered. He was open, honest, and a little bitter about how things happened suddenly this week.
In the end, it all boiled down to not winning enough.
“We didn’t win,” said Burke. “Obviously, your job as the GM is to bring in players that win. We didn’t win.
“I can stand here and say ‘Oh, they didn’t like my personality,’ but those all become pretexts and excuses later. If you win enough games you can be as obnoxious as you want to be.”
As for being fired (seemingly) out of the blue on Wednesday — just days before the NHL got back to work — Burke didn’t have any answers.
“I did not get a satisfactory explanation for that,” he said.
One possible explanation for the sudden firing could be from a report saying the team’s new owners didn’t care for Burke’s “tone and voice.” Burke casually explained his view of the potential difference of opinion.
“Maybe the new guys don’t like that brand,” Burke said. “I’m Irish, I’m stubborn. I’m not going to change. I have to find someone who likes that brand.”
Chances are good that another team will like his brand in the near future.