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How Shocking Was The Burke Firing?

from Damien Cox of The Spin,

Shocking in that there were no rumours it was going to happen, and the timing is downright bizarre, with the 113-day lockout having just ended and the season set to start Jan. 19. Why throw the entire organization into flux now?

But not shocking because of all the rumblings on the street.

The guess is here is Burke was fired for one of two reasons.

One, at least half of the new MLSE ownership team, Bell, was seemingly prepared to fire Burke during the summer. The boss there, George Cope, reportedly disliked Burke's management style and brash public comments, and thought he was "bad for the brand."

Two, both Bell and Rogers are keen on a deal for Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, and Burke was resisting such a move. He said repeatedly of late that he was "90 per cent" certain he wanted to go with the combination of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens in net, and had talked several times about his frustrations of dealing with Vancouver GM Mike Gillis, particularly since he wasn't sure dealing for Luongo was the right move.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Comments

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One, at least half of the new MLSE ownership team, Bell, was seemingly prepared to fire Burke during the summer. The boss there, George Cope, reportedly disliked Burke’s management style and brash public comments, and thought he was “bad for the brand.”

That THIS is the #1 concern for MLSE is why the Maple Leafs lose and will continue to do so. If they were in a weaker market, this thinking would be fatal.

The Blue Jackets thought the exact same way for years, marketing first, product quality second. That just isn’t gonna work in sports.

I mean, if they didn’t like his trade or drafting record, or got sick of not making the playoffs, the move, if not the timing, would at least make sense. That his personality is bad for the brand? Terrible reason to fire the guy.

Posted by larry on 01/09/13 at 02:53 PM ET

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That THIS is the #1 concern for MLSE is why the Maple Leafs lose and will continue to do so.

What should be more important than how a GM manages his team?

And I would bet that if the Leafs had made the playoffs under Burke it might be different.

Let’s not sit here and pretend that a guy who was doing everything right got screwed by the moustache-twirling owners.  He took a team that sucked and miraculously transformed them into a team that still sucked.

Posted by Garth on 01/09/13 at 03:11 PM ET

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What should be more important than how a GM manages his team?

Posted by Garth on 01/09/13 at 03:11 PM ET

I don’t think anything is more important than how a GM manages his team (my word would be assets), so I don’t know why you’re asking me this question instead of Bell.

Bell, according to Cox, thinks “brash public comments” and “style” trump any performance concerns.

Posted by larry on 01/09/13 at 03:22 PM ET

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disliked Burke’s management style

Maybe you missed that in the section you quoted?

Posted by Garth on 01/09/13 at 03:25 PM ET

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He said repeatedly of late that he was “90 per cent” certain he wanted to go with the combination of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens in net,

If he really said that, he was begging to get a pink slip.

On top of that, the Kessel trade was a fireable offense.

On top of that, his forwards are a mess.

On top of that, he has 2 mil in cap tied up in buyouts to other contracts he flubbed.

And on top of that, he acts like a jackass.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 01/09/13 at 03:44 PM ET

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disliked Burke’s management style  and brash public comments

Maybe you missed that in the section you quoted?

Posted by Garth on 01/09/13 at 03:25 PM ET

No, you just aren’t grasping what Cox is saying. I’ve bolded and underlined the relevant parts of the quote, since you don’t seem to understand that this isn’t an indictment from Bell on Burke’s performance or record.

This is Bell objecting to Burke’s arrogant swagger and crooked ties, not how well or poorly the Leafs are run.

Posted by larry on 01/09/13 at 04:09 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by
     
    larry
     
      on 01/09/13 at 04:09 PM ET

So by saying “and” he couldn’t possibly have meant “in addition to”?

It couldn’t have been his management style in not getting proven netminder?  Or waiting however long before he fired his BFF coach?  That’s not part of his style?  I think people would say part of Kenny’s style is catering to veterans.  So it seems within the realm that in addition to him being so brash, which I imagine makes it hard to draw UFA’s to a club that inexplicably has a hard time already, Bell also doesn’t care for the decisions he’s made as a GM because of his own personal “style”?

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/09/13 at 04:24 PM ET

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It couldn’t have been his management style in not getting proven netminder?

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/09/13 at 04:24 PM ET

No.

Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger

“New guys didn’t like his style,” source close to Burke dismissal offers as cause.

I don’t know how to make this clearer. When a suit says they don’t like an executive’s “style” they’re talking about optics and personality, not about whether he’s doing a good or bad job.

Posted by larry on 01/09/13 at 04:37 PM ET

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This is Bell objecting to Burke’s arrogant swagger and crooked ties, not how well or poorly the Leafs are run.

Ah, so me readng the actual words doesn’t make sense, but you infering your own meaning into the actual words DOES make sense.

And, if we’re being technical this isn’t Bell doing anything, this is something that “reportedly” happens, according to the sources who are responsible for Cox’s pristine record for breaking news.

Again, this would be shocking and stupid if Burke didn’t have a terrible record of zero improvement in four years.

If Burke was the GM of a team on a four-year Stanley Cup championship streak then there would be no excuse to fire him, but the team is as bad as it was when he took it over, so how can there be any defense for keeping him?

Posted by Garth on 01/09/13 at 04:45 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

again, we’re debating the meaning of style.  You seem not to think and means in addition too and that suits talking style means only how something appears and not the results of operations particular to someone in particular. I don’t know how to make this any clearer.  Maybe the new guys didn’t like his style of 4 years without playoffs and keeping the same coach until the end of last season.  It’s not that I don’t see what you’re saying, so move past that.  I’m saying I think it’s limited and short sighted and arrogant to assume you know exactly what they REALLY meant when they said what they did.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/09/13 at 04:47 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

It couldn’t have been a cordial way to say we don’t like what he’s done to the team.  Couldn’t possibly have meant that.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/09/13 at 04:50 PM ET

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Ah, so me readng the actual words doesn’t make sense, but you infering your own meaning into the actual words DOES make sense.

And, if we’re being technical this isn’t Bell doing anything, this is something that “reportedly” happens, according to the sources who are responsible for Cox’s pristine record for breaking news.

Again, this would be shocking and stupid if Burke didn’t have a terrible record of zero improvement in four years.

If Burke was the GM of a team on a four-year Stanley Cup championship streak then there would be no excuse to fire him, but the team is as bad as it was when he took it over, so how can there be any defense for keeping him?

Posted by Garth on 01/09/13 at 04:45 PM ET

You are really bad at trolling. You try it with PSH, nitpicking typos and such. It doesn’t work. Just makes you look dumb. You try it with Evil Pens. Works a little better, but you still look dumb for even engaging.

And now you try to troll me by saying that, in focusing on the literality of words that I even underlined and bolded for you, you managed to find this:

“If Burke was the GM of a team on a four-year Stanley Cup championship streak then there would be no excuse to fire him, but the team is as bad as it was when he took it over, so how can there be any defense for keeping him?”

in the citations by Dreger and Cox, despite it not being there.

I’d say you need practice trolling, but you’ve had plenty of that and it hasn’t done you any good to date. Not sure why I should think you’d get less terrible at trolling with even more practice.

It couldn’t have been a cordial way to say we don’t like what he’s done to the team.  Couldn’t possibly have meant that.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/09/13 at 04:50 PM ET

No.

Cordial way of saying:

-dispute on course of action, budget size, project timeline, executive compensation, executive job title, workload, long-term approach to product
=
“philosophical differences”

-product sucks and we’re blaming the guy we just fired. It may even be his fault
=
“brand/product performance did not meet expectations”

-guy wasn’t trying hard enough to appear to be paying attention in meetings, was not dressed how we wanted, had smug look on his face, took too long to answer e-mails, we thought he was a jerk, etc etc.
=
“did not think his management style was a good fit”


It their problem was the first two things, telling reporters in a media hotbed the problem was the third thing just makes MLSE look shallow and uninterested in the product. It creates a needless controversy.

If you’ve fired Burke because the Leafs “did not meet expectations” while he was there, nobody bats an eyelash.

Posted by larry on 01/09/13 at 05:22 PM ET

shazam88's avatar

Larry, you’ve got to be kidding, right?  Do you really think anyone is going to read that wall of what I assume to be further cognitive dissonance and rationalizations for your assumptions?  Helpful hint btw, the real world isn’t all black and white.

Oh yeah, arguing isn’t necessarily trolling, and Garth’s comments didn’t come close to crossing that line.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 01/09/13 at 05:46 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Now Burke will be on TV snake

Posted by Evilpens on 01/09/13 at 06:09 PM ET

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Larry, you’ve got to be kidding, right?  Do you really think anyone is going to read that wall of what I assume to be further cognitive dissonance and rationalizations for your assumptions?  Helpful hint btw, the real world isn’t all black and white.

Oh yeah, arguing isn’t necessarily trolling, and Garth’s comments didn’t come close to crossing that line.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 01/09/13 at 05:46 PM ET

Hockeytown asked me a question. If you don’t like the answer or the “wall of text” (filled with plenty of use of white-space, I might add), you don’t need to read it. Reading it, then telling me you don’t think others will want to read it doesn’t serve any point. That’s for them to decide.

And yes, Garth is trolling. His thing is to nitpick other people on technicalities. In my case, he misread a quote, told me I can’t read, then told me it says something it doesn’t, while insinuating that Cox and, I guess, Dreger are lying without saying why. I call that trolling.

That he frequently nitpicks people wrongly, is why he’s bad at it.

Posted by larry on 01/09/13 at 06:18 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

Posted by larry on 01/09/13 at 05:22 PM ET

Stunning.  Are you really trying to say that the primary metric of his job didn’t influence the decision?  If Burke is riding a 4-year playoff streak this doesn’t happen, regardless of his style and the optics.  Furthermore, implying that only a select few phrases that you approve of could be taken to mean that his job performance influenced the decision is not only arrogant, but downright moronic.  Obviously multiple people on this blog alone think that the phrase “management style” could be synonymous with “actions as manager.”  So, it’s quite possible that those quoted in the original article might also believe the same thing. 

I’ve bolded and underlined the relevant parts of the quote,
Posted by larry on 01/09/13 at 04:09 PM ET

As the self-proclaimed arbiter of the English language, you might want to figure out WTF “underline” means.

 

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 01/09/13 at 06:24 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar


   
    Posted by
     
    WingsFaninCO
     
      on 01/09/13 at 06:24 PM ET

+13

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/09/13 at 06:38 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

If you’ve fired Burke because the Leafs “did not meet expectations” while he was there, nobody bats an eyelash.
   
    Posted by
     
    larry
     
      on 01/09/13 at 05:22 PM ET

Except Burke, who it was meant to be cordial too, not me or you.  They’re keeping him in the orginization and he’s got Bettman’s, it’d be prudent to be cordial.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/09/13 at 07:33 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Bettman’s ____ fill in the blank.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/09/13 at 07:34 PM ET

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