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Welcome Randy Carlyle As The New Head Coach

On Friday, I announced that Ron Wilson was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ron was a loyal and dedicated head coach and employee for the last four seasons. On behalf of the entire Maple Leafs organization, I want to thank Ron for his years of service and  contributions to our club. We wish him the very best.

Now we must turn the page and focus on the task ahead. Randy Carlyle has been hired as our team’s new head coach. I was Randy’s General Manager in Anaheim. His resume speaks for itself – a former NHL (and Leafs) player, he has a tremendous track record of success as a coach both in the American Hockey League and in the NHL, where he coached the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks to their first Stanley Cup Championship. Randy will be behind the bench for his first game Saturday night in Montreal.

Our team’s performance of late has been disappointing. Most importantly, we are disappointed for our passionate fans. Despite our team’s struggles, we remain optimistic with 18 games left in the season.

Randy, our coaching staff and players remain focused on winning and having a strong finish to the regular season. We are ...

Posted in Burke's Blog |

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Honoured to Be Recognized

I was moved and honoured this past Monday evening to accept the Ally Award from PFLAG Canada. PFLAG Canada is Canada’s only national organization that helps all Canadians who are struggling with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. PFLAG Canada supports, educates and provides resources to parents, families, friends and colleagues with questions or concerns, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Below is my acceptance speech from the reception:

I believe that the PFLAG “Ally Award” has great significance, and I was flattered to accept it on Monday night on behalf of the Burke family. But I hope the day comes, and soon, when this award is retired as obsolete.

A parent’s unconditional love and acceptance of their child is unremarkable, and should be automatic. It deserves no accolades or praise. Make no mistake, the hero here was Brendan. What Brendan did took courage.  Coming out in arguably the most macho of the professional sports. Now that was worthy of an award.

Most walls in society have been breached or levelled over time.  But not this one – professional sports in North America has no gay presence. And certainly the NHL does not. These walls have not been breached, have not been levelled. ...

Posted in Burke's Blog |

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Building a Career in Professional Sports

Every week I receive numerous requests, emails and tweets asking for career advice on how to successfully find a job and build a career in professional sports. Many of these requests focus on positions and jobs within the team management ranks.

It is always difficult to provide advice in a short email or within a 140 character tweet, so I decided to write this career blog in response to the multiple requests I receive.

I have been asked what is probably the most difficult question to answer regarding the field of professional sports. And that question is, how do I get started? There is no simple answer, and even a complicated answer will often not provide you with the information you need. It is a very complex issue, but I will do my best to give you some guidance in this regard.

First and foremost, I advise anyone attempting to get into this field to be prepared to fail. The number of young people who seek to enter the field of professional sports is vast. However, the number of applicants who successfully find employment in the area of sports is tiny. Therefore, I hereby tender to you the best advice you will get. ...

Posted in Burke's Blog |

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