Former Leafs GM Brian Burke calls out the reports surrounding John Tavares

Tom Banks
July 4, 2024  (3:01 PM)

Former Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke.
Photo credit: CTV News

The Maple Leafs have had some fantastic regular seasons in recent years, but now Brian Burke has weighed in on reports that they may strip John Tavares as captain.

After another playoff failure in Toronto, the media has done a lot of talking about the big changes the team will need to make, and now it appears one is up for consideration. According to reports, the team have considered stripping John Tavares of his captaincy as the team have failed to make it out of the first round every year except 2022/23 under his leadership.
Now, former Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has revealed his stance on the situation, claiming that it would be a major mistake for Toronto to make.
«I've had the discussion before and it's such a drastic step. It's admitting you made a mistake in my mind if you put the C' on a guy and take it away. You've seen it happen, it happened in San Jose and it's happened recently. It's not unheard of, but it is unusual,» Burke said.
Burke goes on to continue putting his support behind Tavares, claiming that if the team were to do it, it would be admitting they've made a big mistake and could ruin the chemistry in the locker room.
«I wouldn't entertain that discussion. I think John Tavares is a quality player and a good guy. He's earned his money, he's done a good job, he's killed penalties, he's worked on the power play, I think he's a useful guy, he's good in the community. I've heard the rumors though, the rumblings,» Burke added.

Ultimately, the rumours are still out there, and given the urgency to win under the core four, it's something that may happen, but for now, Burke and many others have thrown their support behind No. 91.