One day after the Ducks celebrated their first Stanley Cup victory a year ago, Brian Burke, the Ducks general manager, was selected to be the U.S. hockey teams GM for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
"I'm stuck at a loss for words and that doesn't happen very often to me," Burke said. "To get that phone call is one of the greatest thrills in my life."
Burke was considered to be the front runner for the job. He had served on served on advisory board that helped select the U.S. entry at the World Championships earlier this spring.
Nashville’s general manager, David Poile will serve as Burkes’ associate.
"His record of accomplishment speaks for itself," USA Hockey President Ron DeGregorio said. "Brian's drive and fire for the game rubs off on you and it's that type of passion that will help lead us to our ultimate goal of winning the gold medal."
Burke, who is under contract with the Ducks that runs through next season sees no problem working in two roles.
"Much of these duties dovetail what we do [for the Ducks]," he said. "USA Hockey has an excellent staff. [David and I] have already done a ghost team of the available players that might be there."
"The talent pool available to Team USA is deeper than it's ever been," Burke said. "It used to be where the U.S. would make noise every 20 years. Now we're starting to make noise in tournaments with greater frequency. We've got skill and depth at every skating position.
Possible American’s being already eyed by Burke for 2010 are the Kings’ Dustin Brown and Patrick O’Sullivan, along with rookie Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks.
"We're not going there for any reason other than to win the gold medal."
With a coach not yet decided, Burke did give hockey fans a couple ideas on the possibilities. Former Sharks coach Ron Wilson, Former Lightning Coach John Tortorella, and Peter Laviolette who coaches the Carolina Hurricanes are some of the possibilities for the bench boss for the Americans in 2010.
Burke says he is looking forward to competing for the gold medal on Canadian soil.
"It's a tall challenge," he said. "The Olympics is a very difficult tournament. There's no question."
For more information on Brian Burke, and the Anaheim Ducks hockey this offseason be sure to check out The Puck Drop: Your Source for Everything Anaheim Ducks
Source: Stephens, Eric. "Ducks' Brian Burke is chosen as general manager for U.S. team for 2010 Olympics." Los Angeles Times 07 Jun 2008 Sports. 7 Jun 2008 http://www.latimes.com/sports/hockey/nhl/ducks/la-spw-burke7-2008jun07,0,7700081.story