Brian P. Burke (born June 30, 1955 in Providence, Rhode Island) is an american-canadian hockey executive aacting as Senior advisor of the Anaheim Ducks and was the General Manager for the United States national men's ice hockey team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Early Life and Career[edit | edit source]

Born in Providence, Rhode Island and raised in Edina, Minnesota, Burke graduated from Providence College in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. While attending Providence, he played for the Friars Division-I ice hockey team, where, during his senior year, he served as captain. The team was coached by Lou Lamoriello. In 1977 Burke played seven games with the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League. Burke then proceeded to play one full year in the AHL with the Maine Mariners, who won the AHL Calder Cup Championship that year. After one year in the AHL, Burke attended Harvard Law School, where he graduated with a law degree in 1981.

Early Executive Career and GM of Hartford Whalers[edit | edit source]

After graduating, Burke became an NHL player agent. In 1987, he was hired by Pat Quinn, his coach from Maine, to be the Director of Hockey Operations for the Vancouver Canucks. In 1992, he left that job to become general manager of the Hartford Whalers. He was fired after one year in Hartford, after which he was hired by the NHL to be Vice-President in charge of discipline, under commissioner Gary Bettman.

Vancouver Canucks[edit | edit source]

In 1998, he became General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks. With the Canucks, he was credited with reviving the ailing franchise and increasing attendance, with the drafting and signing of several key players such as the Sedin twins, as the team won a playoff series and captured a division title. As Canucks GM, Burke played a key role in the end of Peter Zezel's career. The controversy began at the trade deadline late in the 1998–99 season. Zezel's niece Jilliann was terminally ill with cancer in Toronto, and Zezel requested a trade from the Canucks (who were far out of the playoff race) to an Eastern Conference team so he could be closer to his family. Instead, Burke dealt him to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, the furthest stop from Toronto in the league. Zezel promptly retired and returned home, and Canuck management were heavily criticized by a sympathetic media and public for the callous way he was treated. Following the 2003-04 NHL season, Canucks ownership chose not to renew Burke's contract for the general manager position. Burke then briefly worked as an analyst for NHL games on both the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and The Sports Network. During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, he proposed a 15-point plan derived from his experience as an agent and general manager.

GM of the Anaheim Ducks[edit | edit source]

Burke won the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks as the GM in the 2006-2007 season. It was his second year as an executive with the club.

Burke stepped down as GM of the Anaheim Ducks on November 12, 2008. The Ducks management submitted papers to the NHL, releasing him from contractual commitment.

President and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs[edit | edit source]

On November 29, 2008, Burke was introduced as the President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, replacing interim General Manager, Cliff Fletcher. He is the 13th non-interim General Manager of the club and the first to be American-born. He reportedly agreed to a six year deal worth $3 million a year.

On December 4, 2008, Burke offered Dave Nonis the position of Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations for the Maple Leafs, Nonis accepted, and it marked the third time he has held this post under Brian Burke; Vancouver, Anaheim, and Toronto.

First Off-Season with Maple Leafs[edit | edit source]

Brian Burke's first off-season in Toronto was sparked by public comments stating he was scoping the possiblity of obating the first overall pick and the choosing John Tavares.He stated he felt the highly touted Tavares was a franchise player but, was not willing to trade last year's first round pick Luke Scheen to do so.Islanders GM Garth Snow caught wind of the bold GM's public comments and felt it was unprofessional of Burke. At the 2009 NHL Draft with the seventh overall pick Burke selected Nazem Kadri after not being able to deal for the 1st overall pick.On a microphone recording conducted by TSN during the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, recorded a "private" discussion between Himself and Ottawa Senators GM Brian Murray, Burke asked Murray who he liked to draft. Murray, said he was interested in London Knights forward Nzaem Kadri, Burke holding the 7th overall pick selected Nazem Kadri.Burke stocked up his defence core with the likes of ex-Thrashers Garnet Exelby by trading Pavel Kubina, He signed free agents Mike Komisarek and Francois Beauchemin. Burke notably added a lot of American born players headlined by NCAAers Christian Hanson from Notre Dame and Tyler Bozak from Denver. Burke also signed the highly touted Swedish Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to a one year deal. The signing of Gustavsson led to Justin Pogge being dealt to the Anaheim Ducks for a late round conditional pick.

External links[edit | edit source]

Preceded by
Cliff Fletcher
General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Succeeded by

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