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Murray replaces Burke as Ducks' GM

by Dan Rosen /
The Brian Burke era in Anaheim is over.

Burke, who has served as the club's Executive Vice President and General Manager, was reassigned Wednesday to a consultant role. Bob Murray, who had been the Ducks' Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations, has assumed Burke's position.

Murray has worked under Burke since 1999, when Burke was GM of the Canucks and hired Murray as a professional scout. Murray had previously served as the GM of the Chicago Blackhawks from 1997-99 after spending two seasons as the Blackhawks' assistant GM.


"Murray will have his hands full during this season..."

Burke's four-year contract with the Ducks expires at the end of the season, but according to various reports the team will allow him to speak with any NHL team regarding future employment. Burke long has been rumored to be the front-runner to take over the GM job in Toronto that currently is filled by interim GM Cliff Fletcher.

Burke also will continue serving as GM of the U.S. National team for the 2010 Winter Olympics, a position he was named to in June.

Burke is best known for being the first general manager to bring the Stanley Cup to California. He put together the Ducks team that won the Cup in 2007 by beating the Ottawa Senators in five games.

One of the most quotable GMs in the League, Burke took over as the Ducks GM in 2005 and promptly started reshaping the team, specifically the defense. He signed three-time Cup winner Scott Niedermayer, and traded for Francois Beauchemin and Sean O'Donnell. He also brought on former NHL defenseman Randy Carlyle to coach the team, and signed Teemu Selanne and Todd Marchant.

The Ducks finished the regular season with club records in wins (43), points (98) and goals scored (251). They were sixth in the Western Conference and made it to the Western Conference Finals before being eliminated by the Edmonton Oilers.

Five weeks later, Burke cashed in on a major trade by acquiring star defenseman Chris Pronger from the Oilers for Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid, their first-round pick in 2007 and second-round pick in 2008, as well as a conditional pick.

The Ducks were set to make history, and they did on June 6, 2007, when they beat the Senators, 6-2, at the Honda Center to be the first team to lift the Cup on California ice.

Anaheim lost only five playoff games that year. The Ducks also won their first and only Pacific Division title, and for the second straight season broke the club record in wins (48), points (110) and goals scored (254).

Under Burke, the Ducks won six of eight postseason series.

Burke took over in Anaheim after a six-year stint as the Vancouver Canucks' President and GM. The Canucks won the 2004 Northwest Division title and finished with more than 100 points twice (2002-03, 2003-04). The Canucks made the playoffs each of Burke's last three seasons at the helm.

Burke, 53, previously served as the NHL's Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations. He was also the GM for the Hartford Whalers for one season after serving with the Canucks as the VP and Director of Hockey Operations for five seasons.

He was a player agent for six years prior to joining the Canucks in 1987. Last month he received the Lester Patrick Award, which honors an individual's contributions to ice hockey in the U.S.

Burke was born in New England, but raised in Edina, Minn. Burke played for New Jersey Devils President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello at Providence College, where he received a B.A. in History. After a short career in the American Hockey League, he went to Harvard Law School and graduated in 1981, when he began his career as a player agent in Boston.

Murray spent 25 seasons in the Blackhawks organization, including 15 seasons as a player (1975-90), one as a professional scout (1990-91), four as the Director of Player Personnel (1991-95), two as the Assistant GM (1995-97) and two as the GM (1997-99).

A third-round pick in the 1974 Entry Draft, Murray played all 1,120 of his NHL games, regular season and postseason combined, with Chicago. He finished with 514 regular-season points, which ranks second all-time among Hawks' defensemen.

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