NHL Leader | Community Activist | Philanthropist
The former president of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the general manager for the United States Olympic national hockey team, Brian Burke is a dynamic figure in both the worlds of business and sport. He is a sought-after speaker on business management and growth, leadership, and, of course, his prolific career in professional sports.
Burke’s career in the business of hockey began in 1987 as an NHL player agent and director of hockey operations for the Vancouver Canucks. He was credited with reviving the franchise as the team won a playoff series and captured a division title. From 2005-2007, Burke was the general manager for the Anaheim Ducks, who, under his leadership won the 2007 Stanley Cup championship. He was also a pro scout and consultant for the team after serving as the president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Burke also worked with the United States Olympic national team as the general manager at Vancouver’s 2010 Winter games, and as the director of player development at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
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. Since his son Patrick founded the “You Can Play Project” in support of his brother Brendan, Burke has been very vocal about the importance of LGBT inclusion in the NHL. Burke also remains heavily involved with the military, visiting bases within Canada, the United States, and Afghanistan. He has worked with the Wounded Warrior Project since 2003.
Burke is also 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. In May 2011, he 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 is also an active participant in ‘The Big Save’ which is an annual blood donor clinic held in Toronto.
Currently, Burke serves as a member of the Selection Committee for the Hockey Hall of Fame, sits on the Board of Directors for Rugby Canada, and is a television analyst for Sportsnet.