After watching his Toronto Maple Leafs slip out of a playoff spot, GM Brian Burke has fired coach Ron Wilson. Burke had defended Wilson until the end even after fans chanted ‘FIRE WILSON’ at a recent home gain. But a 1-9-1 crash forced the GM to make a move.

“This was not an easy decision for me to make,” Burke said Friday night in a statement to the media.

Burke flew to Montreal to fire his old college roommate in person. Ex-Anaheim coach, Randy Carlyle, is taking over with 18 games left in the season starting Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Burke and Carlyle headed the 2007 Stanley Cup Ducks and hope to drive the Leafs to their first postseason since 2004.

Carlyle has been signed for the remainder of this season as well as the next three years.

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