Brian Burke

Burke says he wasn’t given a “satisfactory explanation” for the timing of his firing


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.

After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.