Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Tom Anselmi made the announcement that Burke was being let go on Wednesday, while also naming Dave Nonis the team's new general manager.
"I was floored, and I still am stunned," Burke told the Toronto Star on Friday. "I’ve never been fired before."
Burke, who will serve as a senior adviser to the team, compiled a record of 128-135-2 over three-plus seasons with the Leafs.
Last season the team finished 13th in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto has missed the playoffs every season since Burke joined the organization in November 2008.