Reaction and analysis to the Leafs firing GM Brian Burke, plus Gary Bettman’s apology to NHL fans, five players most affected by the recent lockout, the pros and cons of trading Nail Yakupov, and more.

PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski explains why the Maple Leafs had to fire GM Brian Burke, and how his legacy with the Leafs can be saved, plus today added the top 10 conspiracy theories behind Burke’s ouster. Wyshynski also weighed in on Commissioner Gary Bettman’s apology yesterday to NHL fans for the recent lockout.

Burke's firing dominated hockey headlines.

Burke’s firing dominated hockey headlines.

GRANTLAND: Sean McIndoe of “Down Goes Brown” fame delivers his verdict on Burke’s tenure with the Leafs: He failed. Speaking of DOWN GOES BROWN, presenting another team-up with BLOGE SALMING for another piece of hilarious video goodness: “The Lockout’s Guilty Conscience”.

BACKHAND SHELF: Jake Goldsbie defends Burke’s record as Leafs GM.

THE LEAFS NATION: Gus Katsaros on Burke’s “unfinished journey, while Cam Charron examines the management career of Burke’s replacement, former Leafs assistant GM Dave Nonis.

PENSION PLAN PUPPETS: Reasonable expectations for Dave Nonis.

HOCKEY ANALYSIS: David Johnson examines the roster Burke left behind for Nonis.

THE STRANGEST ONE OF ALL: Scotty Wazz suggests Burke might be a good fit as GM of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

CANUCKS ARMY: Thomas Drance wonders what impact Burke’s firing could have upon the Leafs pursuit of Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: OK, that’s enough “Burke got canned” analysis, though I’ll leave you with my favorite Brian Burke clip, albeit a satirical one (WARNING: Language not suitable for work!). On to other notable posts on other interesting topics.

ARCTIC ICE HOCKEY: Should the NHL players also apologize for the lockout? Patti Dawn Swanson doesn’t think so.

SBNATION: Dominik Jansky lists five players most affected by the recent NHL lockout. Yep, Roberto Luongo is one of them.

THE HOCKEY WRITERS: Should the Edmonton Oilers trade Nail Yakupov? Christopher Ralph lists the pros and cons.

THE CULT OF HOCKEY: Jonathan Willis doesn’t believe the Edmonton mainstream media has the power to run Nail Yakupov out of down. I agree, but I do believe they should wait to unsheath their criticism of Yakupov until after he’s played a few NHL games.