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Leafs GM Burke Hangs Up During Radio Interview: Is He Feeling the Heat?

MONTREAL, CANADA - MARCH 3:  Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke speaks to the media during a press conference to introduce new head coach Randy Carlyle at the Bell Centre on March 3, 2012 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images
Matt WisemanCorrespondent IIIMarch 6, 2012

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, who is already on thin ice with Toronto media, made matters worse on Tuesday by hanging up during a radio interview.

An interview with host John Moore of Toronto's News Talk 1010 started off innocent enough, but quickly turned hostile as Burke took issue with what he called was a "gutless" question.

When Moore asked Burke if he felt he was "close to the door," Toronto's GM fired back:

"I wish you'd told me before you asked me to do this interview that that was going to be your last question," Burke sternly replied. "A nice little cheap shot before you get off the air."

Shortly thereafter Burke abruptly ended the interview by hanging up.

Is it fair to say that he is really starting to feel the pressure that comes along with his position?

In fairness to Burke, the interview did start with a discussion about the 'You Can Play Project,' which is a campaign led by his son Patrick to raise awareness against homophobia in the game of hockey.

So, did Burke have a right to hang up? Of course he did, nobody is debating that.

But Toronto media is a ruthless beast that will conveniently avoid certain facts to create a villain—and in this case, Burke was that villain.

Tuesday's interview comes just days after Burke was blasted by Don Cherry on-air Saturday night during his Coach's Corner segment on CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada" broadcast.

Cherry ridiculed Burke for not having any Ontario-born players on his current roster and for, what he alleged, were direct attacks by Burke to get him fired.

Before eventually hanging up during his interview with Moore, Burke said in response to Cherry's rant:

Let's look at a few facts. I've run three drafts here, and in those three drafts that I've been here, we led the league with eight Ontario-born players drafted... The notion that we don't like Ontario kids, that's garbage....Somehow in Canada, have we started differentiating between Western Canadians and Ontario boys or Quebec boys? Because I don't draw that distinction.

It's hard to disagree with Burke. Cherry needs to get his facts straight, plain and simple.

But try telling Cherry that.

Burke needs to understand that feuding with Cherry or any other Toronto media for that matter is a losing battle. 

Did he not learn from the example that was made of his dear old college friend Ron Wilson?

Taking on the media in Toronto's hockey market means certain death. You will be chewed up, swallowed down and spat back up.

Not to mention the fact that Burke has no ammunition for a fight. His club has yet to produce a playoff berth in now his fourth year in Toronto.

The future may look bright, but results are all that matter—results that Burke hasn't delivered.

He is quickly becoming known as the "King of Broken Promises," but if Burke keeps handling Toronto's hockey media in the manner that he has over the past few weeks, nicknames will be the least of his worries.

Like it or not—the beast that is Toronto media will continue to badger Burke if he continues to fight back.

 

Follow Matt Wiseman on Twitter for up-to-date NHL news and analysis.

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