Brian Burke Was ‘Stunned’ by Firing, But New Freedom May Allow Him to Attend Patriots Game Sunday


Brian BurkeBrian Burke was fired Wednesday morning by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Just a day later, he was doing something he hadn’t done in years.

The now former Maple Leafs general manager took in a weekday matinee movie on Thursday, proving that he’s not totally broken up over his dismissal after four disappointing years in of the game’s most scrutinized positions.

“It was great,” he told the Toronto Star as part of his first public comments since being let go. “First time in my life I’ve ever been to a midweek matinee. First time I’ve ever gone to a movie alone.”

That’s not to say Burke wasn’t surprised when he was fired Wednesday, with a new Toronto ownership opting to go in a new direction heading into the shortened season.

“I was floored, and I still am stunned,” he told the Star’s Damien Cox. “I’ve never been fired before. How am I doing? I’m doing OK.”

Still, Burke isn’t admitting to any sort of resentment as he sees his good friend, Dave Nonis, take over.

“I’m so grateful I had a chance to run the crown jewel franchise of the NHL,” the usually outspoken and sometimes brash Burke 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.”

Maybe not all of the fans, though. Burke also said that he had one of the windows of his car smashed out, but he’s not sure whether or not it was the work of a jilted Leafs fan.

What’s next for Burke? He’ll meet with the media formally on Saturday at Air Canada Centre, and the New England native may join his older children in Foxboro on Sunday afternoon for the Patriots-Texans playoff game at Gillette Stadium.

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