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Former GM Burke caught off guard with firing by Leafs

The SportsXchange

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.

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