Toronto Maple Leafs apologize as general manager Brian Burke talks of building a championship team

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The chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment has written an open letter apologizing to fans after the team missed the NHL playoffs for the seventh consecutive year.

Lawrence Tanenbaum described the Toronto Maple Leafs as a "public trust".

"We have fallen short of everyone's expectations, and for that we are sorry," Tanenbaum wrote. "We take full responsibility for how this team performs on the ice, and we make no excuses. The way this year ended was unacceptable. Results are the only measure of success in sports and the results speak for themselves."

Leafs general manager Brian Burke said at a news conference this morning that there will be no changes in the team's front office.

“This has been agonizing," Burke said. "I’m sure you can see it in my face. I haven’t slept in a month, in two months.”

Burke said that the Maple Leafs could have made the playoffs in each of the last two years, but he wasn't prepared to mortgage the team's future.

"I’m trying to build a championship team here," he said, before adding, "That's pretty hard to see here."

The general manager said he wasn't happy to see his team pushed around by the Boston Bruins in an 8-0 shellacking in mid-March. He suggested that it takes only four really physical players to set this type of tone for a game, noting that this motivates the rest of the squad.

Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.

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Pfft
Burke's a twit and the Leafs blow
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DavidH
Unfortunately, the owners (and senior managers) of under-performing teams have no burning incentive to improve their performance as long as the money keeps rolling in ... from television contracts, sponsorships, corporate boxes and seats bought by corporations that really don't care what happens on the ice.

Meanwhile, the individual fan suffers.

If that sounds a lot like Wall Street and Bay Street ... well, it is.

A nice bit of false humility and fake sincerity by MLSE though. I wonder how much it cost them to get that advice from their PR consultants?
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