Former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke was sthocked when he learned Wednesday that he had been fired.
Burke was on his way to the airport to catch a flight to New York for an NHL Board of Governors meeting when he was called back to the team's offices.
"I was floored, and I still am stunned," Burke told the Toronto Star. "I've never been fired before."
Two days after the announcement, Burke said he was doing OK.
"I'm so grateful I had a chance to run the crown jewel franchise of the NHL," he said. "I'm grateful to have been given the chance to live in Toronto. I love this city and I am grateful for the support of the fans."
Burke, 57, plans to remain in Toronto and work as a consultant to his replacement and former assistant Dave Nonis, previously the team's senior vice president of hockey operations. Burke's contract with the Leafs runs through next season.
"I think I can help," Burke said. "I've been at this for a while. I have my name on the Stanley Cup. I'll do whatever I can. I wish Dave and the Toronto Maple Leafs all the success in the world."
Burke came to Toronto in November 2008 after winning a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. The Maple Leafs haven't reached the playoffs since the 2004 season.