Brian Burke Fired, Dave Nonis Hired by Toronto Maple Leafs: What's Next?

Jeff LangridgeCorrespondent IIIJanuary 9, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 22:  (L-R) Dave Nonis and Brian Burke of the Toronto Maple Leafs prepare for Round One of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Brian Burke has been fired as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, confirmed by Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos. However, he will remain with the club as a senior adviser to the ownership board.

With 11 days until the season presumably starts, this news is rather shocking. Here is a move that could have been done after last season, during the lockout or after this upcoming season. The fact that it was done now is surprising.

One thing this move does is open up a lot of questions as to what the the Leafs/ future holds. Who will be the Leafs' next general manager? How does this affect Randy Carlyle. How about the players that Burke brought in via trade, free agency or draft?

Dave Nonis now take the reins. This is the second time he has replaced Burke as general manager of an NHL team. Vancouver was the other.

Carlyle is now in the same position that Ron Wilson was in when Burke was hired. With Dallas Eakins waiting in the wings, Carlyle's job isn't as safe as it was yesterday. However, with Nonis at the helm, he should get at least this season to improve the Leafs. If the Leafs don't succeed, he might be let go before the 2013-14 season.

What happens to the players? Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul and Dion Phaneuf were all acquired by Burke and were his best acquisitions. Nonis will have to decide what to do.

With the Leafs' new ownership, it is now clear that they want a new direction for the franchise. The truculence era that Burke brought could now be over. Why Bell and Rogers want the Maple Leafs is still a big question.

In a year where there should be a lot of movement to get under the 2013-14 salary cap of $64.3 million, the Leafs could be very busy up until the April 5 trade deadline. The 2013 free-agency class is possibly headlined by Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Jarome Iginla and a lot of others that could help the Maple Leafs improve.

Nonis will obviously have to change the way the Leafs are built. James Duthie of TSN tweeted that one of the biggest reasons as to why Burke was fired was that ownership did not like his style.

With the sprint to the playoffs that is upon us, there is a high probability that there will be some movement in the lead up to the season starting. That being said, there has been one name linked to the Maple Leafs for what seems like an eternity now.

Roberto Luongo.

Let's not forget, when Luongo was acquired by the Vancouver Canucks in 2006, Nonis was the GM of the Canucks. This could move things along more quickly in terms of a trade, then again, it might make things harder as current Canucks GM Mike Gillis took over for Nonis.

Whether or not the Leafs make some moves in the coming weeks will give Leaf fans one more thing to look for as the season gets closer.

The 2012-13 season was going to be an intriguing one already because of the lockout. Now with the dismissal of Burke and hiring of Nonis, this season just got a lot more interesting.