I didn't want to give this rumour any gas but since Bob McKenzie is addressing it you might as well know where it came from. Yesterday, Tyler Dellow tweeted about a story that appeared on a site called Blue Toro which mentioned that Brian Burke's time with the Toronto Maple Leafs was over and it was just a matter of time before he got the axe.
Update: The original story on Blue Toro has been taken down but the internet is forever so here's the cached version of the story. He also removed the bragging in his McKenzie post.
Update II: Despite Steve Simmons' admission that these rumours have swirled around the hockey world for two months, the dipshit still manages to blame it on bloggers. Let's see when he can muster the courage to do the same to his Sun colleague Bruce "Malkin To The Kings" Garrioch or others of his ilk.
Regardless of the veracity of the story, the post is just about the perfect example that MSM can hold up when complaining about irresponsible bloggers. There is a suggestion of personal impropriety and it's based on anonymous 'sources'. Come to think of it, it reads like a lot of the character assassination pieces that the MSM comes out with when players are on their way out of almost any town.
Anyway, Bobby Mac saw fit to address the rumour since I saw his feed inundated with questions and here's the video of him denying that there is anything to the rumours and a transcript after the jump.
HOST: Rumours are flying around Toronto regarding Brian Burke. Bob what is the latest on those?
Bob: Well the couple of rumours that are out there in a big way as far as Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs go is that at some point after the draft Brian Burke is going to step down or take a leave of absence as General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and there's not a chance in the world that Brian Burke is walking away from his job with the Toronto Maple Leafs. And the other rumour that is out there and it is spreading like wildfire is that Brian Burke might be fired by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment either in the next 48 hours or after the draft, take your pick.
And our best info from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is that there is absolutely no appetite for making a general management change at this time. It gets complicated too because the current ownership is in a little bit of a state of flux where there is going to be an approval of an ownership change later in the summer. If the current edition of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment wanted to make a General Manager change it would involve bringing in the new ownership group, Bell and Rogers - the consortium, the big media consortium in Canada - and right now there is no evidence to suggest whatsoever that Brian Burke is in danger of losing his job. They made a commitment at the end of the season when they missed the playoffs that they were coming back with Brian Burke next year and nothing has changed to our knowledge.
So what do we take away from that? Well, obviously Bob McKenzie is who he is because he gets the story right much, much more often than not. That he is addressing it at all seems to indicate that the rumours have hit the right ears at MLSE. We know the media are loathe to bring up stories of a personal nature because there is no quicker way to lose access so I would bet that this denial came from MLSE. Obviously, the new ownership group is a wild card because there is the possibility that they, much like Winnipeg's new group, will want to put their own people in place. That opens things up to plenty of speculation as to motives (and they'd change if you think Bob approached them first) but the fact remains that at this moment the rumour has been put to bed.