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Former Ducks GM Brian Burke becomes Calgary Flames executive

September 05, 2013|By Helene Elliott
  • Brian Burke speaks at a news conference in Toronto on Aug. 22.
Brian Burke speaks at a news conference in Toronto on Aug. 22. (Galit Rodan / The Associated…)

The NHL got a little more truculent Thursday, when former Ducks General Manager Brian Burke was introduced as the Calgary Flames’ new director of hockey operations.

Bad news, though, for Flames General Manager Jay Feaster, because he must now report to Burke in the team’s reconfigured hierarchy.

The blunt, fiery Burke was the Ducks’ GM when they won the Stanley Cup in 2007, but he left in November of 2008 to be nearer to his children on the East Coast. He was named general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs later that month -- a tenure he launched with his famous speech about how the team would become tougher and more truculent -- and kept his position until early this year, when he was ousted shortly before the lockout ended and the shortened season began.

The Ducks hired Burke as a part-time scout in February, mostly to allow him to stay current on league personnel and position himself for his next NHL job, which he got Thursday. He will balance his new duties along with being director of player personnel for Team USA at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February. Burke, 58, has dual Canadian and U.S. citizenship.

Burke said during a news conference in Calgary on Thursday that he’s not the Flames’ general manager, because Feaster retains that title, but the team’s four straight non-playoff finishes had already put Feaster on the hot seat and left him vulnerable to being fired or having his influence reduced.

“I think I can provide some help but I think Jay's got great ability," Burke said after the announcement at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

“He's already made some important steps toward fixing things here and it's my pleasure and honor to be able to work with him.”

We’ll see how long they can coexist. But the NHL certainly got a lot more interesting with Burke’s return to a position of power with a team.


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