Say what you will about Brian Burke, the man says what he means, and means what he says - a rare quality in professional sports, not to mention, life.
Brian Burke is the former President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames organization overseeing all hockey operations. His was as a Pro Scout and Consultant with the Anaheim Ducks. He assumed that role after serving as the President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Burke’s recent time with Anaheim was preceded by two years as the club’s General Manager from 2005 through 2007. Under his leadership, the Ducks were crowned the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions.
Burkes career in the business of hockey began in 1987 as an NHL player agent, Director of Hockey Operations for the Vancouver Canucks, Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations, under Commissioner Gary Bettman, and General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks. With the Canucks, he was credited with reviving the franchise as the team won a playoff series and captured a division title.
Burke was the General Manager for the United States Olympic national hockey team for the 2010 Winter games in Vancouver and is the Director of Player Development for the 2014 United States Olympic hockey team competing in Sochi.
Away from the rink, Burke is well known for his work within the community. He is a vocal activist against homophobia in sports, a strong supporter of first response personnel and military service members, an environmentalist and a humanitarian. In May 2011, Burke was presented with the Easter Seals Toronto’s Tribute award for lending support to kids with physical disabilities and for excellence in business and community service. Burke remains heavily involved with the military, visiting bases within Canada, the United States and Afghanistan. He has been associated with the Wounded Warrior Project since 2003, which honours and empowers wounded warriors. A regular blood donor, Burke is an active participant in ‘The Big Save’ which is an annual blood donor clinic held in Toronto.
A well known Canadian speaker on business management and growth, leadership, and his career in professional sports, Brian Burke is an avid supporter of many philanthropic organizations including: Ducks Unlimited Canada, The Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN) Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, Special Olympics Cops and Computers Merry-Go-Round Children’s Foundation. Since his son Patrick founded the "You Can Play Project" in support of his brother Brendan, Brian has been very vocal about the importance of LGBT inclusion within the NHL. He is dedicated to the projects mission to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity. He guarantees that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success. And to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.
Brian is a Member of the Selection Committee for the Hockey Hall of Fame, a member of the Board of Directors for Rugby Canada and a Television Analyst for Sportsnet.