USA Hockey announced today that Brian Burke (Edina, Minn.) has been named general manager of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team that will compete in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C.
“We’re extremely pleased to have Brian Burke as our general manager,” said Ron DeGregorio president of USA Hockey. “His record of accomplishment speaks for itself. Brian’s drive and fire for the game rub off on you and it’s that type of passion that will help lead us to our ultimate goal of winning the gold medal.”
“I’m extremely honored to be asked,” said Burke, who is the top general manager in the National Hockey League according to The Hockey News. “We’ll have one goal. And that’s to put together a team that can bring home the gold medal. The journey starts today and I very much look forward to it.”
In addition to Burke, USA Hockey announced that David Poile (Nashville, Tenn.) will serve as associate general manager of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team.
“It’s very comforting to have two of the absolute best in the business in Brian Burke and David Poile leading our Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team,” said Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey and chair of the organization’s international council. “Together with Jim Johannson, our assistant executive director of hockey operations, we have a management team in place that has the broad experience necessary at the Olympic level.”
“It is certainly an honor to be asked to be part of the Olympic staff,” said Poile, whose streak of 25 straight years as an NHL general manager ranks as the eighth longest in league history. “I look forward to working with Brian and Jim in putting together a team that will represent our country well and put us in position to win the gold medal.”
“American hockey fans can feel awfully good about the management team that will guide our men’s team in 2010,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “We’re less than two years away from an Olympics that will put hockey in the spotlight like no other Games before.”
Burke is the executive vice president and general manager of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, a position he’s held since June 20, 2005. In just his second season (2007), Anaheim won its first-ever Stanley Cup, which was the first for a team from California. The Ducks have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of Burke’s three seasons with the organization.
He joined Anaheim after a six-year stint as president and general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, where he revitalized the team and community en route to consecutive 100+ point seasons and a Northwest Division title in 2003-04.
Burke was named president and general manager for the Canucks on June 22, 1998. Under his leadership, the team increased its point total four consecutive years from 1999-2003. Over his last four seasons with the team, Burke engineered four consecutive seasons of at least 90 points. For his efforts, Burke was named by The Sporting News as NHL Executive of the Year in 2001.
Prior to joining the Canucks organization, Burke worked in the NHL front office as senior vice president and director of hockey operations (1993-98). While at the league office, he served as the chief disciplinarian, ruling on violations for on-ice player conduct. He worked closely with Commissioner Gary Bettman on league direction, including collective bargaining matters.
In February 2007, Burke was named to USA Hockey’s National Team Advisory Group. Burke served 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.
David Poile, president of hockey operations and general manager of the NHL’s Nashville Predators, has 25 consecutive years of experience as an NHL general manager (15 with the Washington Capitals and 10 with Nashville), which ranks as the second-longest current streak in the league and eighth in NHL history.
Since becoming Nashville’s first general manager in 1997, Poile has turned the Predators into perennial contenders. The 2007-08 season marked the fourth straight year that the Predators earned a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 2006-07, Poile was recognized by The Sporting News as its executive of the year.
With Washington, Poile took the reins of a team that had never made the Stanley Cup playoffs and led the Capitals to the postseason 14 times during his 15-year tenure.
In 2005, Poile was selected as one of four NHL general managers to sit on the first NHL competition committee, the steering body that formulates and recommends rule changes for approval by the NHL Board of Governors. In this role, he helped usher in a new era of NHL hockey, featuring on-ice innovations such as the regular-season shootout and the elimination of the red line.
For USA Hockey, Poile served as the general manager for both the 1998 and 1999 U.S. Men’s National Teams at the IIHF Men’s World Championships. He was named to USA Hockey’s National Team Advisory Group in February 2007.
Poile received the Lester Patrick Award in 2001 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to hockey in the United States.