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Sean Burke Retires After 19 NHL Seasons

Tuesday, Sep. 18th, 2007

TORONTO – Sean Burke, an accomplished veteran of international and professional hockey, officially announced his retirement today from the National Hockey League.

Drafted 24th overall in the 1985 Entry Draft, Burke, 40, broke into the league near the end of the 1988-89 season with the New Jersey Devils, after participating in the 1988 Olympics. He proceeded to lead them to the playoffs for the first time since the franchise moved to New Jersey, with a 10-1-0 record down the stretch. Behind Burke’s brilliant play, the Devils reached the Wales Conference final that year, solidifying Burke as a steady and reliable goaltender in the NHL.

In total, Burke played for nine different NHL teams over the course of his career. After leaving New Jersey, he would suit up for Hartford, Philadelphia, Carolina, Vancouver, Florida, Phoenix, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles. In each of these cities, he was a team leader and a key contributor to the success of the franchise.

“I have been very fortunate to enjoy a long and eventful professional hockey career,” said Burke. “In retirement, I will certainly miss the camaraderie with my teammates and the interaction with the fans most of all.”

His career highlights include: being the runner-up for the King Clancy Trophy for excellent play and humanitarian contributions in 1993-94; playing in the 1989, 1995 and 2002 NHL All-Star Games; and, finishing as a finalist in voting for the Lester B. Pearson Award in 2001-02. Burke finishes his career with 820 games-played, which ranks him 12th all-time amongst goalies, 6th all time on the career shutouts list (38, tied with Tom Barrasso) and 19th all time in career wins as a goaltender (324).

Along with a successful NHL career, Burke carries with him extensive international hockey experience. After graduating from the Toronto Marlboros of the OHL, Burke became a dedicated member of the Canadian national program. He represented Canada at the 1986 World Juniors and graduated to the men’s national team the following year. Burke donned a Team Canada sweater in more than 100 games between 1986 and 1991 as the team’s number one goalie. His dedication to the national program was highlighted by the silver-medal Burke won as a member of the Canadian team at the 1992 Olympic Games in Albertville, France.

Along with his Olympic experiences, Burke also represented Canada at other high-level international competitions. He was a member of the star-laden Canadian team that captured the Canada Cup in 1991. He also answered the call of his country on five separate occasions to play in the IIHF World Hockey Championships (1987, 1989, 1991, 1997 and 2003). He brought home gold in 1997 and 2003.

Burke’s main focus in retirement will be enjoying more time with his daughter Andie (14), son Brendan (12) and pursuing other interests within hockey.

“I am looking forward to the beginning of this new phase of my life,” said Burke. “It will be nice to have more time to watch and encourage my children as they pursue their own sporting endeavours.”

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