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Former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke was hired by the Calgary Flames as the NHL club’s president of hockey operations on Thursday.

Ken King, the chief executive officer and president of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, who own the Flames, said Burke has had a huge impact on the sport of hockey over the years and will be a valuable asset to the franchise. He added that he is pleased Burke decided to join the organization when he had other options available to him.

Flames general manager Jay Feaster will be reporting to Burke, but the newcomer said Feaster will continue to be the team’s spokesperson while he will try to keep a low profile and stay in the background.

However, with Burke’s loud and abrasive ways, that’s not likely to happen. Burke said the position is appealing to him because he can still be involved with the team but doesn’t have to be involved in a lot of grunt work. He added that he also likes the fact that the Flames are committed to the local community.

The 58-year-old American native has previously worked with the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, and Maple Leafs. He was fired by Toronto prior to the start of the 2012-13 NHL season and replaced by his assistant Dave Nonis.

It was believed the Flames were interested in signing Brendan Shanahan to their vacant position, but he’s apparently happy with his job as the league’s chief of player safety. When Shanahan turned the job down, the Flames said they were continuing their search for an experienced hockey man.

Burke has been out of work since the Maple Leafs fired him, but earlier in September he accepted a director’s position with Rugby Canada.

He started his managerial career in the NHL with Hartford in the 1992-93 season before joining Vancouver from 1998-2004. His next stop was in Anaheim with the Ducks from 2005-08 and then finally with the Maple Leafs from 2008-13.

Burke managed to win a Stanley Cup while in Anaheim. However, his record since then has been pretty dismal as he failed to make the playoffs in all of his years in Toronto.

As soon as Burke left the Maple Leafs, the club made the postseason with Nonis in charge. Details of Burke’s new deal with the Flames weren’t immediately released. It’s believed one of the reasons the offer was so appealing to him is because he has a daughter living in Calgary.

The Flames missed the playoffs last season and this didn’t sit too well with the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation.

The ownership group is one of the most powerful in Canada as it also looks over the Flames American Hockey League (AHL) team, the Abbotsford Heat, as well as the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League (WHL), the Calgary Stampeders of Canadian Football League (CFL) and the Calgary Roughnecks of the National Lacrosse League (NLL).


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