Brian Burke leaves Sportsnet to join Pittsburgh Penguins

Feb 9 2021, 7:51 pm

Brian Burke is back in the NHL.

The 65-year-old is leaving his job at Sportsnet to become the new president of hockey operations of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Also going to Pittsburgh is Ron Hextall, who has been named the team’s new general manager.

Hextall will oversee day-to-day hockey operations, the Penguins said in a media release, reporting to Burke as his “primary advisor.”

“We feel incredibly lucky to bring in two highly-respected executives with a combined 50-plus years of NHL management experience,” said Penguins President and CEO David Morehouse. “Ron and Brian are well-known in the hockey world as fierce competitors with championship pedigrees. They’re very well-connected and experienced in all aspects of the game. They are both excited to get to work here in Pittsburgh, blending their skills and building on our long tradition of success.”

Burke had been working as a panelist with Sportsnet, which included appearances during intermissions on Hockey Night in Canada.

Burke last worked in the NHL as president of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames. He has 31 years of experience as an NHL executive, also including time spent with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, and Hartford Whalers.

“To me, Pittsburgh is a take-your-breath-away destination for any GM or president of hockey ops,” Burke said. “I’m so excited for the opportunity. The Penguins are a storied franchise with outstanding ownership in Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, and Pittsburgh is just a great hockey city. Ron Hextall and I are very fortunate. We can’t wait to get started.”

Hextall is a name more synonymous with the Penguins’ chief rival, the Philadelphia Flyers. He was working as a senior advisor to the LA Kings this season and was previously the GM of the Flyers from 2014-2018.

Hextall takes over the job vacated suddenly last month by Jim Rutherford, who won two Stanley Cups as GM of the Penguins.

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