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Sean Burke
Sean Burke.jpg
Burke with the Springfield Falcons in 2006
Born (1967-01-29) January 29, 1967 (age 57)
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for New Jersey Devils
Hartford Whalers
Carolina Hurricanes
Vancouver Canucks
Philadelphia Flyers
Florida Panthers
Phoenix Coyotes
Tampa Bay Lightning
Los Angeles Kings
National team Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada
NHL Draft 24th overall, 1985
New Jersey Devils
Playing career 1988–2007

Sean Burke (born January 29, 1967) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey goaltender and the current director of goaltending for the Vegas Golden Knights, with whom he won the Stanley Cup with in 2023. He played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the New Jersey Devils, Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes, Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Los Angeles Kings between 1988 and 2007. He was born in Windsor, Ontario, but grew up in Toronto, Ontario.

Playing career

As a youth, Burke played in the 1980 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with the St. Michael's minor ice hockey team from Toronto.

Burke attended St. Michael's college high school and played junior B hockey for the St.Michael's Buzzers in the 1983-84 season. He was taken in the 3rd round of the OHL draft by the Toronto Marlboros where he would play for the next two seasons.

Burke was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the second round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. He earned national attention from his international play, backstopping the Canada men's national junior ice hockey team to a silver medal in the 1986 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and a fourth-place finish for the men's national team at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

Burke transitioned directly from Canada's Olympics national team to the Devils. He started 11 games for the Devils in the 1987–88 season, including an overtime victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on the final night of the season that qualified the Devils for their first Stanley Cup playoff series.

Dubbed a "rookie sensation", Burke helped the Devils go on a strong playoff run, defeating the division-leader New York Islanders in the first round in six games and then the Washington Capitals in seven games. The Devils were one game away from the Stanley Cup Finals but lost in Game 7 of the Wales Conference Finals to the Boston Bruins. Burke's play was widely heralded, with The Hockey Digest stating, "Burke is now the franchise for the Devils, and to whatever heights he rises, the Devils will rise with him," and in December 1988, Burke became the first Devil to appear on its cover.

Because he played just 11 games in the 1987–88 regular season, Burke maintained his rookie status for the 1988–89 season. That season, he was named to the 1989 All-Star Game.

Burke played for the Devils through the 1990–91 season, then sat out the 1991–92 season requesting a trade. Instead, he joined coach Dave King and played for the Canadian national team in the Winter Olympics for a second time, backstopping Canada to a silver medal. Teammates on the 1992 Olympic team included future NHL players Eric Lindros and Joe Juneau.

On August 28, 1992, Burke was traded to the Hartford Whalers in exchange for Bobby Holík, a second-round pick in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft (used to select Jay Pandolfo) and future considerations. He played there (and with the relocated Whalers team, the Carolina Hurricanes) for six seasons. He was voted Whalers' team MVP from 1993 to 1997. Burke then played with several teams, including the Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers. He subsequently signed with the Phoenix Coyotes and played there for five seasons, where he was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy and third finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy in the 2001–02 season.

Burke was selected to represent the Arizona Coyotes in the 2000-01 and 2001-02 NHL All Star games.

After that, Burke played for the Philadelphia Flyers (for the second time) recording his 300th career NHL win (the 20th goaltender to reach this milestone), and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Burke was placed on waivers by Tampa Bay before the 2006–07 season but was not picked up. He then played for Tampa Bay's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. Burke was placed on waivers by the Lightning and picked up off re-entry waivers by the Los Angeles Kings.

Burke announced his retirement from professional hockey on September 18, 2007. Burke currently sits #15 on the list of all time games played for NHL goaltenders (820) #30 all time wins (324) #50 all time shutouts (38) and #5 all time penalty minutes for goaltenders (310)

International play

Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Representing Canada Canada
Canada Cup
Gold 1991 Canada
Olympic Games
Silver 1992 Albertville
World Championship
Gold 1997 Finland
Gold 2003 Finland
World Junior Championship
Silver 1986 Canada

Burke played in 11 games for the Canadian national team in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics. He served as the back-up goaltender in the 1991 Canada Cup and has also played in 130 games for other Canadian national teams from 1985 through 2003.

The 130 games that Burke has played for Team Canada represent the most games any goaltender has played Internationally for Canada

In 2020, Burke was named into the IIHF All-Time Canada Team along with Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby.

Post-NHL career

On March 4, 2008, the Phoenix Coyotes hired Burke to become its director of prospect development. He was also the assistant to the general manager and Coyotes' goaltending coach.

In 2015 Burke was part of the management group along with General Manager Jim Nill, George McPhee and Pat Verbeek that led Canada to a gold medal at the IIHF World Championships. Canada went undefeated in the tournament held in Prague, Czech Republic beating Russia 6 t0 1 in the gold medal game.

In 2016 Burke joined General Managers Brad Treliving and George McPhee as part of the management group for the IIHF World Championships in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Russia. Canada won the gold medal defeating Finland 2 to 0 in the final game.

In 2017 Burke co managed Team Canada at the IIHF World Championships along with Ron Hextall in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France. Canada took home the silver medal after being defeated 2 to 1 in a shootout by Sweden.

Burke was the General Manager for Team Canada at the Spengler Cup in 2016, 2017 and 2019 taking home gold medals. In 2018 he managed the team along with Ron Francis taking home the silver medal.

In September 2016, Burke joined the Montreal Canadiens as a professional scout. He also spent the 2020-21 season as the full time goaltending coach with the Canadiens as the team made it to the Stanley Cup finals losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 5 games. On July 25, 2017, he was announced as the general manager of Canada's men's team for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. where Team Canada went on to win the bronze medal. That same season he co managed the IIHF World Championships with Martin Brodeur and Scott Salmond held in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark.

In March 2021, Burke was appointed as the director of goaltending for the Montreal Canadiens.

On June 25, 2022, Burke was appointed as director of goaltending for the Vegas Golden Knights. Even with the Golden Knights losing their previous season's starting goaltender Robin Lehner for the entire season due to injury and off-sesason surgery, and rotating through a total of five other goaltenders due to various injuries (by numbers of regular season games started, Logan Thompson, Adin Hill, Laurent Brossoit, Jonathan Quick, and Jiří Patera), Burke was able to help coach the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup in 2023 (Burke's first Stanley Cup win).

Burke is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federations Players Committee where he has served on the committee since 2016.

Personal life

Burke and his wife Christy have one son together. Burke has two children from a previous marriage.

On November 2, 1997, Burke and his then-wife were both charged with assault following an alleged altercation at their home. Despite the incident, the Carolina Hurricanes chose not to suspend Burke. In January 1998, Burke was fined $200, sentenced to 18 months probation, and required to complete an educational program on domestic violence after pleading guilty to the assault charge.

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1983–84 St. Michael's Buzzers MetJHL 25 1482 120 0 4.86
1984–85 Toronto Marlboros OHL 49 25 21 3 2987 211 0 4.24 5 1 3 266 25 0 5.64
1985–86 Toronto Marlboros OHL 47 16 27 3 2840 233 0 4.92 .862 4 0 4 238 24 0 6.05
1986–87 Canada Intl. 42 27 13 2 2550 130 0 3.05
1987–88 Canada Intl. 37 19 9 2 1962 92 1 2.81
1987–88 New Jersey Devils NHL 13 10 1 0 688 35 1 3.05 .883 17 9 8 999 57 1 3.42 .889
1988–89 New Jersey Devils NHL 62 22 31 9 3590 230 3 3.84 .873
1989–90 New Jersey Devils NHL 52 22 22 6 2914 175 0 3.60 .880 2 0 2 125 8 0 3.84 .860
1990–91 New Jersey Devils NHL 35 8 12 8 1870 112 0 3.59 .872
1991–92 Canada Intl. 31 18 6 4 1721 75 1 2.61
1991–92 San Diego Gulls IHL 7 4 2 1 424 17 0 2.41 3 0 3 160 13 0 4.88
1992–93 Hartford Whalers NHL 50 16 27 3 2656 184 0 4.16 .876
1993–94 Hartford Whalers NHL 47 17 24 5 2750 137 2 2.99 .906
1994–95 Hartford Whalers NHL 42 17 19 4 2418 108 0 2.68 .912
1995–96 Hartford Whalers NHL 66 28 28 6 3669 190 4 3.11 .907
1996–97 Hartford Whalers NHL 51 22 22 6 2985 134 4 2.69 .914
1997–98 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 25 7 11 5 1415 66 1 2.80 .899
1997–98 Vancouver Canucks NHL 16 2 9 4 838 49 0 3.51 .876
1997–98 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 11 7 3 0 632 27 1 2.56 .913 5 1 4 283 17 0 3.60 .860
1998–99 Florida Panthers NHL 59 21 24 14 3402 151 3 2.66 .907
1999–2000 Florida Panthers NHL 7 2 5 0 418 18 0 2.58 .913
1999–2000 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 35 17 14 3 2074 88 3 2.55 .914 5 1 4 296 16 0 3.24 .904
2000–01 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 62 25 22 13 3644 138 4 2.27 .922
2001–02 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 60 33 21 6 3587 137 5 2.29 .920 5 1 4 297 13 0 2.63 .902
2002–03 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 22 12 6 2 1248 44 2 2.11 .930
2003–04 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 32 10 15 5 1795 84 1 2.81 .908
2003–04 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 15 6 5 2 825 35 1 2.55 .910 1 0 0 40 1 0 1.50 .889
2005–06 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 35 14 10 4 1713 80 2 2.80 .895 3 0 1 109 7 0 3.85 .877
2006–07 Springfield Falcons AHL 7 2 5 0 345 26 0 4.52 .856
2006–07 Los Angeles Kings NHL 23 6 10 5 1310 68 1 3.11 .901
NHL totals 820 324 341 101 9 46,440 2,290 38 2.96 .902 38 12 23 2,149 119 1 3.32 .888

International

Year Team Event GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1986 Canada WJC 2 1 1 0 120 7 0 3.50
1987 Canada WC 5 2 2 1 300 12 0 2.40
1988 Canada OLY 4 1 2 1 238 12 0 3.02
1989 Canada WC 5 275 10 1 2.18
1991 Canada WC 8 5 1 2 479 21 0 2.63
1992 Canada OLY 7 5 2 0 429 17 0 2.37
1997 Canada WC 11 7 1 3 608 22 3 2.17 .924
2003 Canada WC 6 329 7 1 1.28 .955
Junior totals 2 1 1 0 120 7 0 3.50
Senior totals 46 2658 101 5 2.28

Awards and achievements

Award Year
NHL
All-Star Game 1989, 2001, 2002
Stanley Cup 2023
International
WC All-Star Team 1991, 2003
Best Goaltender 2003
IIHF All-Canada Team 2020
Black History Month on Kiddle
African-American Astronauts:
Victor J. Glover
Yvonne Cagle
Jeanette Epps
Bernard A. Harris Jr.
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