|Burke returns to the organization where he drafted Bobby Ryan. (Getty Images)|
It didn't take former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke long to land another job in the NHL. On Thursday he took a job as a part-time pro scout with one of his former organizations, the Anaheim Ducks.
This brings an official end to the Burke in Toronto era. He was fired before the season started after four seasons running the team. He kept a minor role with the team. Clearly, though, his days in Toronto were done. You had to assume it was only a matter of time before Burke landed with another franchise and it happened on Thursday, with one that he is already familiar with.
"We are happy to welcome Brian back to the organization," Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray said in the team's release. "Anytime you can add a person of his quality to your staff, it makes your organization better. We've had success working together before and look forward to doing it again."
Burke worked in Anaheim from 2005-08 in the same roles that Murray has now. Under his watch the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007. Toronto was hoping he could oversee that same type of success.
But things didn't exactly play out as planned with the Leafs as they failed to make the playoffs in every season of his tenure. The Maple Leafs have started strong this season, and Burke deserves some credit. It's still almost completely a team that he built.
"Brian and I discussed this opportunity after Anaheim approached the Leafs for permission to speak with him about a possible scouting role," Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) President Tom Anselmi said. "We both agreed that taking this role with Anaheim would best position Brian for his next general manager opportunity in the League. We have granted permission and we will terminate his consulting contract with MLSE so that he can pursue this role with Anaheim."
Burke's role had transitioned to senior adviser to MLSE's president and board of directors. It was a way to keep him employed since he had an existing contract.
Most are going to say that this is only a short-time job and Burke likely will land another GM job in the near future. However Eye on Hockey contributor Chris Peters brings up a good point.
If Burke is part-time, that sounds like he'd have some extra flexibility to prepare for a major international event. In Russia. In 2014.— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) February 21, 2013
Indeed, Burke has always been very involved with USA Hockey and if he remains in a part-time scouting position he should have plenty of time to lead the USA into the Olympics, whether it's NHL players or amateurs taking part.
It's worth nothing that Burke's son Patrick is a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers.