Saturday, November 29, 2008

Burke officially introduced by the Leafs

From TSN:

The National Hockey League's worst-kept secret is finally out of the bag, as the Toronto Maple Leafs introduced Brian Burke as their new president and general manager on Saturday. ''You're talking about the Vatican if you're Catholic, you're talking the centre of the hockey universe, you're talking about one of the most important jobs in hockey running the Toronto Maple Leafs,'' Burke said. ''It's a dream job.''

''I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Cliff Fletcher for his professionalism and commitment over the last 11 months,'' President and Chief Executive Officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Richard Peddie said. ''I'm delighted that he is going to stay on board with the team as a consultant.''

Burke, the 13th general manager in the club's 92-year history, became available after the veteran NHL executive stepped down from his post as general manager of the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 12.

''I'm extremely honoured to join the Toronto Maple Leafs,'' said Burke. ''This is one of the most prestigious jobs in our game.

''This is an opportunity of a lifetime to work for a team in a world-class city with passionate fans, solid ownership and a rich history. I can't wait to get started.''

Burke was hired by the Ducks in 2005 and helped build the club into Stanley Cup contenders upon his arrival.

With a promising young core of players that included Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, he added veterans Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne, Francois Beauchemin, Todd Marchant and Sean O'Donnell and hired head coach Randy Carlyle. In 2005-06, the Ducks finished sixth in the West and advanced all the way to the Western Conference Final.

The following summer, Burke swung a blockbuster trade deal with the Edmonton Oilers, acquiring former Norris and Hart Trophy-winning defenceman Chris Pronger. The Ducks went on to win the Pacific Division and defeated the Ottawa Senators to capture their first-ever Stanley Cup.

Burke's press conference.

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