Burke's Law: A Life in Hockey

Burke's Law: A Life in Hockey

by Brian Burke, Stephen Brunt


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The gruffest man in hockey opens up about the challenges, the feuds, and the tragedies he's fought through.

Brian Burke is one of the biggest personalities in the media landscape. His brashness makes him a magnet for attention, and he does nothing to shy away from it. Most famous for advocating "pugnacity, truculence, testosterone, and belligerence" during his tenure with the Maple Leafs, Burke has lived and breathed hockey his whole life. He has been a player, an agent, a league executive, a scout, a Stanley Cup-winning GM, an Olympic GM, and a media analyst. He has worked with Pat Quinn, Gary Bettman, and an array of future Hall of Fame players.

But there is more to Brian Burke than hockey. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and an accomplished businessman with hard-earned lessons that come from highly scrutinized decisions made at the helm of multi-million-dollar companies.

And despite his brusque persona on camera and in the boardroom, he is nevertheless a father with a story to tell. He lost his youngest son in a car accident, and has had to grapple with that grief, even in the glare of the spotlight. Many Canadians and hockey fans knew Brendan Burke's name already, because his father had become one of the country's most outspoken gay-rights advocates when Brendan came out in 2009.

From someone whose grandmother told him never to start a fight, but never to run from one either, Burke's Law is an unforgettable account of old beefs and old friendships, scores settled and differences forgiven, and many lessons learned the hard way.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735239470
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Publication date: 10/13/2020
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 203,266
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

BRIAN BURKE is an American-Canadian NHL executive and analyst, who in 2021 was named president of hockey operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has served as the president of the Calgary Flames, the president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the general manager of the Anaheim Ducks (winning the Stanley Cup with the team in 2007), the Vancouver Canucks, and the Hartford Whalers. Burke was the general manager of the United States national men’s ice hockey team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and has served on Rugby Canada’s board of directors.

Table of Contents

1 "You Should Never Start a Fight, but You Should Finish Every One" 1

2 Lou's Rules 18

3 "You're Writing the Exam" 30

4 Portland 46

5 "That's Brett Hull's Mom" 54

6 "Gentlemen Wear French Cuffs" 70

7 The Russian Rocket 91

8 "You're Going to Kill Richard" 106

9 Bettman's League 123

10 Raimo Summanen 141

11 Cross-Country Dad 158

12 Drafting the Twins 170

13 "That's Not How We Play" 182

14 "I Won't Beg for My Job" 195

15 Down the Road from Disneyland 203

16 The Vatican of Hockey 228

17 Brendan 242

18 "Not Today" Days in Toronto 249

19 The Grey Hair in the Room 273

Conclusion 285

Acknowledgments 287

Index 288

About the authors 307

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