Burke content outside of spotlight
CALGARY, AB -- Brian Burke won’t have to wait long to become a true Calgarian. He’s got a new house on the way.
The newly minted president of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames isn’t expected to invite many, if any, members of the local media to the housewarming, though.
Talking for the first time since his introductory press conference on September 5th, Burke said he was enjoying his new job that allows him to both deflect media requests to general manager Jay Feaster and keep himself out of the spotlight.
“The public part of it I don’t miss at all, that part,” Burke said. “I know people say if you’re colorful guy, they say ‘There’s Brian Burke again jumping in front of a camera’. I’ve never called anyone in this room asking for an interview. ‘How about coming out here with a camera?’ Someone calls me and says ‘Would you do an interview on this’.”
True to his word, Burke has laid low thus far.
But when he’s asked, the colorful character hasn’t been shy to talk.
And when he does, Burke said he’s just trying to make life easier on those that have covered his teams over a storied career that includes stints with the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs and now the Flames.
“Part of it is I try to say things in a colorful way to make [the media’s] job easier,” Burke admitted. “You get beat at home and a lot of GM’s will say ‘How’d your team play?’ and the guys says ‘I don’t think we were very good tonight,’ where as I’ll say ‘I don’t think we could’ve knocked a sick goat off a stump’.
“Which one do you think is getting on the air? It leads to a parade of requests for interviews.
“That part’s been nice. Letting Jay handle that, it’s great. That part’s been nice.”
His adjustment to other facets of the job may be a little more difficult.
Burke and Feaster are still ironing out certain aspects of their work relationship.
“It is a work in progress,” Burke said. “It is a relatively new position in our sport. It exists in the NBA. It exists in Major League Baseball. It exists in the NFL. There’s only three teams in the [NHL]. We’re the third team to put this in. It is a work in progress. We have to figure out how much I tell (president and CEO) Ken (King) and how often I call him and bug him and keep him in the loop and how much I bug Jay.
“We’re working through it. I think it’s worked well so far.”
As for not being the man to pull the trigger, Burke’s still working on that.
“Not driving the bus part, Jay has kept me informed hourly and to the minute to what he’s working on. I feel like I’m involved without pushing the buttons.
“It’s been a lot of fun. Jay and I have been friends for a long time so that helps. We go way back.”