Between stints with the Maple Leafs, Flames, Canucks, Whalers and Ducks — not to mention Team USA and the NHL itself — and a list of career highlights that includes everything from a Cup win to some draft-day wizardry (see: picks Nos. 2 and 3 of the ’99 NHL Draft), Brian Burke’s got his fair share of big-league stories.
The front-office veteran turned Sportsnet broadcaster allowed fans to pick his brain Thursday, hosting a Twitter Q&A session to share some of those tales from his lengthy NHL tenure.
Needless to say, there were more than a few gems revealed — here’s a look at the best of #AskBurkie:
Before the Maple Leafs brought in Jonathan Bernier in 2013, they almost acquired a different solution in net: Roberto Luongo.
Another wild near-trade? During his tenure in Anaheim, Burke tried to acquire then-Bruins superstar Joe Thornton (who, of course, ended up with the rival San Jose Sharks instead).
While together in Toronto, Burke once offered to attract media attention to take the heat off Phil Kessel — Phil passed.
The trade that might be his most underappreciated deal? The one that netted him two of the best talents to ever play for him.
Speaking of Vancouver, Burke recalled a memorable moment from the Canucks’ seven-game series with the Wild back in 2003 (and one from his Calgary tenure that may sting the Canucks faithful).
Picture Brian Burke and Wayne Gretzky on the rooftop balcony of No. 99’s restaurant watching the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase. That’s it, that’s the story.
Burke also cleared the air on the perceived rift between him and Bobby Ryan, and applauded the veteran’s recent comeback.
Asked about his thoughts on the future of women’s hockey, Burke made clear supporting the women’s game means investing in it.
Finally, Burke also shared a few heartwarming memories and stories of his son Brendan, who passed away in 2010.