Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke defends coach in wake of lying scandal

TORONTO – Tensions are on the rise between the Toronto Maple Leafs and reporters who cover the team.

Brian Burke came out in defence of coach Ron Wilson on his Twitter account late Sunday night after Wilson endured criticism for starting James Reimer for Saturday’s 4-1 loss in Boston.

“I love the quote about the liars in sports,” wrote Burke. “Many gainfully employed in the media.”

Wilson was accused of lying after indicating that Jonas Gustavsson would start against the Bruins following Friday’s practice. Instead, he chose to give Reimer his first action since the goaltender suffered concussion-like symptoms after a collision with Habs captain Brian Gionta on Oct. 22.

On Saturday, the coach conceded the decision to start Reimer was made “about three days ago.”

However, Burke indicated Wilson simply had a change of heart.

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“Our coach told the media the starter,” the general manager wrote in another tweet. “He told me as well. James says he feels good and our coach makes the switch. Making a goalie switch is not just our coach’s prerogative, it is his duty. And of course, the media grand jury weighs in.”

It’s the latest sign of tension between the team and reporters. Earlier this season, the Leafs were furious after the Toronto Star contacted Reimer’s mother for a story about his health.

Wilson clearly saw some humour in the latest mini-controversy. After Sunday’s practice in New York City, the movie buff posted a message to his own Twitter account.

“Favorite movies: ‘Liar,Liar’; ‘The Invention of Lying’; ‘Big Fat Liar.’ HaHa!”