"I was floored, and I still am stunned. I've never been fired before," he said about Wednesday's announcement. "How am I doing? I'm doing OK.
"I'm so grateful I had a chance to run the crown jewel franchise of the NHL. I'm grateful to have been given the chance to live in Toronto. I love this city and I am grateful for the support of the fans."
Burke was driving to the airport Wednesday to catch a flight to New York for an NHL Board of Governors meeting when he was summoned to the Maple Leafs' offices at Air Canada Centre.
As soon as he learned he had been relieved of his duties, he said he left to pick up his two youngest daughters, aged 7 and 8, at school.
"I called the older kids on the way, but I wanted the little ones to hear it from me first," Burke said in the Star. "They were OK. They just wanted to know if we'd have to move again. I said no."
Burke is under contract to the Leafs for the rest of this season and next, and he fully intends to help his former assistant, Dave Nonis, as a consultant, a job he said he suggested to chairman Larry Tanenbaum and Anselmi when they relieved him of his GM duties.
"I think I can help," Burke said. "I've been at this for a while. I have my name on the Stanley Cup. I'll do whatever I can. I wish Dave and the Toronto Maple Leafs all the success in the world.
"I'll do my best to help them win."