Brian Burke

Brian Burke

Toronto, Ontario
Prominent NHL Executive | Advocate for LGBTQ+ Rights and Inclusion | Accomplished Businessman
Brian Burke is a highly skilled prominent NHL executive with extensive experience in the sports industry and a proven track record. He is proficient in Advertising, Event Management, Media Relations, Sponsorship, and Management. Burke's unwavering determination and fearlessness have earned him recognition in the world of hockey, where he has served in various roles, including player, agent, league executive, scout, Stanley Cup-winning GM, Olympic GM, and media analyst.
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Business Management
  • All Staff Meeting
  • Annual General Meetings
  • Athletes & Sports
  • Award Galas & After Dinner
  • Awareness Days
  • Consultant & Coach
  • Corporations & Businesses
  • Economic Development

BRIAN BURKE BIOGRAPHY

Brian Burke is a prominent figure in the world of hockey, as well as in the media. His boldness and refusal to shy away from attention make him a well-known personality. He gained recognition for his advocacy of “pugnacity, truculence, testosterone, and belligerence” while leading the Maple Leafs. Burke’s involvement in hockey has spanned across various roles, including player, agent, league executive, scout, Stanley Cup-winning GM, Olympic GM, and media analyst. He has worked alongside notable figures such as Pat Quinn, Gary Bettman, and numerous future Hall of Fame players, making him one of the most knowledgeable and attention-commanding voices in the game.

Brian Burke most recently served as president of hockey operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League. He supported general manager Ron Hextall in managing all aspects related to the hockey operations department, and reported directly to the team’s president and CEO, David Morehouse. Burke, who graduated from Harvard Law School, has had a long 31-year career as an NHL executive, during which he won the Stanley Cup as the general manager of the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07. He has also served in various positions for other teams, including as general manager of the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, and Toronto Maple Leafs, and as the president of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames. In addition, he worked as an executive vice president and director of hockey operations for the NHL from 1993-98, working closely with commissioner Gary Bettman.

Brian Burke became the president of hockey operations for the Pittsburgh team on February 9, 2021, and is currently in his second season in this position. He supports general manager Ron Hextall in managing all aspects related to the hockey operations department, and reports directly to the team’s president and CEO, David Morehouse. Burke, who graduated from Harvard Law School, has had a long 31-year career as an NHL executive, during which he won the Stanley Cup as the general manager of the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07. He has also served in various positions for other teams, including as general manager of the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, and Toronto Maple Leafs, and as the president of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames. In addition, he worked as an executive vice president and director of hockey operations for the NHL from 1993-98, working closely with commissioner Gary Bettman.

Burke began his NHL management career in 1987 as the director of hockey operations for the Vancouver Canucks, and has held different positions with multiple teams over five decades. He received The Sporting News’ NHL Executive of the Year award in 2001 and 2007. Although he was born in Providence, Rhode Island, he was raised in Edina, Minnesota. He has been an essential executive for USA Hockey and was the general manager of the 2010 U.S. Olympic team that won a silver medal. He was also the director of player personnel for the 2014 Olympic team and was one of the original members of the USA Men’s National Team Advisory Group.

From 2019 to February 2021, he worked as a hockey analyst for Rogers Media (Sportsnet) in Canada, and during this time, he also published a book titled Burke’s Law: A Life in Hockey. Burke played college hockey at Providence College from 1973-77 under coach Lou Lamoriello and spent parts of two seasons in the American Hockey League before earning his law degree at Harvard. He worked as a player agent from 1981-86.

However, Brian Burke’s accomplishments extend beyond the realm of hockey. He is a Harvard Law School graduate and an accomplished businessman with experience making difficult decisions for multi-million-dollar companies.

Despite his assertive demeanor, he is also a father who has experienced the tragedy of losing his youngest son in a car accident. Burke has had to deal with this immense grief while under the public eye. His son Brendan Burke came out in 2009, and Brian Burke became an outspoken advocate for gay rights.

In 2012, Brian and Patrick, a former NHL scout and Brian’s son , launched the You Can Play Project to ensure safety and inclusion for all sports participants, including LGBTQ+ athletes, coaches, and fans. The project was founded in honor of Brendan Burke, Brian’s late son and Patrick’s brother.

Videos

Podcasts

Coming Soon!

Brian Burke Topic Presentations

stand up for pride with pride

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • Professional sports teams in North America have a very limited presence or exposure from those in the LGBTQ2S+ community. Bias, suspicion and prejudice still prevail in locker room talk with limited awareness or acceptance for individuals that identify as gay. Brian Burke’s goal is to help eliminate the barriers. Brian shows audiences that there is a difference between being tolerant and being an active advocate who stands up for pride rights with pride. His impactful and personal story on what it means to be an ally leaves attendees feeling inspired to become more vocal with their voices and intentional with their actions.

Testimonials

Coming Soon!

Articles & Media

Brian Burke is the most misunderstood man in hockey

The Globe and Mail

In his new book released this week, Burke’s Law, A Life in Hockey, the hard-nosed NHL executive turned Sportsnet analyst goes deep and reflects on a life intensely lived.
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Calgary Flames’ Brian Burke wants taxpayer dollars to help with new arena

Global News

Calgary Flames head of Hockey Operations Brian Burke is at the centre of controversy regarding a new arena in Calgary. Speaking at a luncheon Wednesday, Burke spoke about how much he likes Calgary, and how he has wanted to work in the city since he was in town for the 1988 Olympics. After the...
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NHL History: Vancouver Canucks hire Brian Burke as GM

Canucks Army

Yesterday was one of the biggest days in Vancouver Canucks history as they named Brian Burke as the clubs general manager in 1998. It was a monumental move for the organization as Burke would have a lasting impact on Vancouver. His biggest move was the acquisition of the Sedin twins at the 2000...
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Brian Burke and the Sedins pay tribute to Alfredsson as he prepares to step into the Hall of Fame Monday

Ottawa Sun

For Burke, though, Alfredsson was always the enemy during his career with the Ottawa Senators. At all of Burke’s stops in National Hockey League management, from the Vancouver Canucks to the Anaheim Ducks to Toronto Maple Leafs to the Calgary Flames (he’s now with the Pittsburgh Penguins),...
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The Agenda | TVO Today

SBC

Brian Burke: The Business of Hockey
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PrimeTime Sports & Entertainment Inc.

Gary Bettman

Brian Burke Interview with Gary Bettman - PrimeTime Sports Conference 2019
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Dave Kelly Live

Dave Kelly

Dave Kelly Live - Brian Burke Interview Full
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Books

Burke's Law: A Life in Hockey
Burke's Law: A Life in Hockey
Brian Burke is one of the biggest hockey personalities--no, personalities full-stop--in the media landscape. His brashness makes him a magnet for attention, and he does nothing to shy away from it. Most famous for advocating "pugnacity, truculence, testosterone, and belligerence" during his tenure...
How to book Brian Burke for an event?

Brian Burke keynote speaker is an expert presenter and has a wide range of experience speaking to a wide variety of audiences and organizations. Brian Burke delivers keynotes, workshops & training sessions. They may also host or emcee events. Hire Brian Burke from Toronto, Ontario for your event to inspire the audience to take action and make change in their work and their lives. Your workplace will benefit from our keynote speaker and their keynote talks and speeches will shift the mindsets or behaviours for the audience members in Canada. 

Interested in booking Brian Burke for an event?

Are you looking to hire Brian Burke for your event? Brian Burke Toronto, Ontario is a dynamic and engaging speaker that offers audiences researched content paired with expertise and a dynamic speaking ability. Brian Burke is also a Canadian corporate consultant and coach and facilitates workshops and training sessions for a corporate audience. Brian Burke is an expert keynote presenter and speaks on wide variety of topics. Hiring a great speaker for your event is important and working with a thought leader like Brian Burke from Speakers Canada’s roster will engage audiences into the content of the presentation to bring awareness and a fresh perspective for their approach to their work and their lives. Book Brian Burke to educate, motivate and activate the audience through an interactive and entertaining presentation at corporate meetings and gatherings.

Known as a popular key note speaker in Canada, Brian Burke creates life changing experiences for the participants with practical insights and strategic advice they can implement right after the session. Working with a one our leading expert speaker like Brian Burke from Toronto, Ontario offers organizations a fresh perspective to assist the people of the organization. No matter if it is a government, association, or business crowd, Brian Burke is a perfect speaker for your event. Through unique practical insights for trending topics and years experience speaking to different organizations, Brian Burke focuses on changing individuals to make better decisions at work and their lives. No matter if you are holding an in person or virtual event, having an influential speaker such as Brian Burke will engage, motivate, and activate the audience to make a change in their lives and inspire action for results to meet organizational goals. Your workforce will benefit from Brian Burke’s presentations and speeches, with measurable results set to shift the people of the organization and core direction of the company. Book Brian Burke speaker for your annual general meeting, conference, summit, or convention in Canada.

How much does it cost to hire Brian Burke for a keynote presentation or virtual event?

Brian Burke is an expert professional key note speaker with a lot of experience speaking and delivering engaging talks to organizations and audiences in Canada. Each of Speaker Bureau Canada’s talent have different ways to assess their fees, and Brian Burke speaker fee ranges depending on the size of the audience, event format (in person or virtual), event location, and if the organization booking them is a non profit, association, government department/government agency or business/corporation. The speakers we work with are flexible with their fees, and it is important for us to learn more about your event before we approach them, as it is our role to work for you, and to help you find a speaker within budget. 

Please contact Speakers Bureau of Canada and provide us with your event details so that we can contact Brian Burke to check availability or confirm the pricing and associated costs to hire a great speaker like Brian Burke for your event. As Brian Burke's agent and as a Canadian top speaker bureau and talent agency for speakers, we are able to propose each event opportunity from each host organization’s behalf to try to help you get in touch with Brian Burke and confirm them for your in person or online meeting/event. We can also provide and advise on the booking process and potentially negotiate their fee. Speakers Canada is a client focused speaker agency, and we work for you in finding good speakers for your team meetings and booking processes.

Brian Burke Disclaimer
Speakers Bureau Canada assists companies and event planning teams seeking to hire talent like Brian Burke for speaking engagements, virtual meetings, conference appearances, training sessions and workshops facilitations. Our Canadian speakers bureau does not claim to exclusively represent Brian Burke, however they are represented by Speakers Canada, and we work with them closely for their Canadian speaking opportunities and bookings. As Canada’s top speaker bureau, we represent Canadian motivational keynote speakers and professional guest speakers that will be available on your upcoming events date and location that are withing the budget. Our talented bureau speaker booking agency can help find business speakers or celebrity speakers that aligns with each organization, audience, event theme and the topic themes you hope for the speaker to address in their presentation. 

When SBC receives a request to book Brian Burke we provide you with their speaker fees, travel costs and check their schedules. We work closely with the host organization’s event planning team and the speaker to handle the logistics and to relay or negotiate associated costs. Our talented team members then will work with our talent directly or their agent/manager/assistant to confirm the Canadian speaker fee and travel expenses, so that event planning teams can receive an official quote for the speaker appearing at the event. Speaker fees and travel costs vary per speaker and our role is to contact Brian Burke about your event, after we have connected with the event organizers to learn all the event details and/or conference program. Each booking request is unique since session durations and audience sizes can vary which may affect the speaker’s fees. If you are looking to hire Brian Burke, we recommend filling out the booking request form so a booking agent from Speakers Bureau Canada can get in touch with our talent to help you coordinate with your team to engage the speaker for a successful event.

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