Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke today was named a recipient of the 2008 Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. Burke joins Ted Lindsay, Phil Housley and Bob Naegele as the Class of 2008, which will be honored at the Lester Patrick Awards Luncheon on Oct. 22 in Minnesota. Further details of the event, including ticket information, will be announced at a later date.
“I am extremely honored, proud and grateful to receive the 2008 Lester Patrick Award,” said Burke. “To be named a recipient in a group that includes Ted Lindsay, Phil Housley and Bob Naegele makes this even more special.”
Over the past two decades, Burke has made numerous significant contributions to hockey in the United States. On June 6, 2008, Burke was named General Manager of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team by USA Hockey. His previous international experience includes serving as General Manager of the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 1993 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship in Munich and Dortmund, Germany.
Ranked as the NHL’s No. 1 General Manager in The Hockey News’ Annual GM Rankings (March 2008), Burke led the Ducks to a Stanley Cup championship in 2007, the first-ever by a California-based club. In addition, Burke was a finalist for The Hockey News “Executive of the Year” in 2006 and was named the Sporting News “Executive of the Year” in 2001. He was also a runner-up for the same Sporting News honor following the 2005-06 season.
Since Burke was named to the Anaheim post on June 20, 2005, no NHL team has enjoyed more success than the Ducks. In just three seasons, the Ducks have captured their first Stanley Cup (2007), first Pacific Division title (2007) and first two 100+ point seasons (2006-07 & 2007-08). The club has qualified for the playoffs all three years, winning six-of-eight playoff series over that span. Only the Detroit Red Wings have matched the Ducks success over that stretch, having also won six-of-eight postseason series. The Ducks and their AHL affiliate have played in 14 combined playoff rounds over the last three campaigns, the most of any NHL/AHL organization.
Born in New England and raised in Minnesota, Burke played hockey at Providence College (1973-77) and with the AHL Maine Mariners (1977-78) before returning to the classroom to obtain his degree from Harvard Law School (1981). After practicing law in Boston for the next six years as a player representative, Burke began his NHL career in 1987 when he joined the Vancouver Canucks as Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations. He left Vancouver in 1992 to become General Manager of the Hartford Whalers before being named NHL Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations (1993-98). Prior to joining the Ducks, Burke was President and General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks from 1998-2004. Between Anaheim and Vancouver, Burke’s teams have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in seven consecutive seasons beginning in 2001-02.
ABOUT THE LESTER PATRICK TROPHY
The Lester Patrick Trophy is an annual award presented for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. Eligible recipients of the Lester Patrick award are players, officials, coaches, executives, and referees. The winner is selected by an award committee consisting of the President of the NHL, an NHL Governor, a representative of the New York Rangers, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Builder's section, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Player's section, a member of the U. S. Hockey Hall of Fame, a member of the NHL Broadcasters' Association and a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. Except for the League President, each member is rotated annually. The winners receive a miniature of the trophy.
The Patrick Trophy was presented by the New York Rangers in 1966 to honor the late Lester Patrick. Patrick was a longtime general manager and coach of the Rangers, whose teams finished out of the playoffs only once in his first 16 years with the club.
On being named a recipient of the 2008 Lester Patrick Award,
Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Burke spoke to reporters Thursday afternoon via conference call. Following is a transcript:
Gary Bettman called me about a week ago and told me I was one of the recipients and I would have assumed it was a practical joke when I heard the other recipients except it was Gary Bettman. To me, it’s such a wonderful honor when you’re put into a press release with those three guys. I was amazed. This is an award that I’ve known about for a long time. When I worked at the league I got to see guys receive it. I was there when some of the people I really respect in hockey received this award. I realized how important it was to our game and what a great honor it would be to receive it. I think these terms are overused in sports, but I was flattered. I’m grateful for it. I’m not sure I deserve it, but I’m touched by it and I think it’s wonderful.
I remember watching Harry Sinden receive the award and how touch he was by it. The reverence and awe with which he thanked the committee, it was clear it was a massive deal to him, not a big deal, a massive deal. Look at the list of people who have won it. It’s a big deal. It’s a great honor. I remember thinking it would be so cool if some day I could ever win an award like that. To get it is really awesome. For our organization, with Max McNab having been a past recipient this is special for us too.
On the ceremony being held in Minnesota on October 22,
Three of the four recipients, not Mr. Lindsay, but the other three recipients are all Minnesota guys. I was born in Rhode Island, but I grew up in Minnesota. They are going to have the luncheon in St. Paul, Minneapolis or in the Twin Cities somewhere on October 22. That’s when you receive it. The league’s had it New York several of the times I went. It was in Boston when Harry Sinden received it. It moves around a bit. It’s not typically in Minnesota. With three of us being from there, that’s an appropriate place.