Originally created 05/04/04

Burke out as Canucks' president, GM



VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Brian Burke is out as president and general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, who were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Calgary Flames.

Burke's contract expires June 30, and the Canucks said Monday it will not be extended.

"Brian has played a pivotal role in the improvement and success of the Canucks over the past six years and we appreciate his dedication and contributions," Canucks owner John McCaw said. "He deserves a great deal of credit."

Stanley McCammon, chief executive of the Canucks' parent company, Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, said the team expects to have a new general manager shortly.

The Canucks finished with a 43-24-20-5 record but were ousted in the first round of the playoffs. The season had already soured when star forward Todd Bertuzzi was suspended for attacking Colorado's Steve Moore. Burke said Bertuzzi had been unfairly treated by the media.

The Canucks had a bloated payroll and had missed the playoffs the previous two years when Burke became GM.

With Burke keeping a close eye on the budget but managing to re-sign key players, Vancouver has made the playoffs the last four years. The team's payroll this year was about $43 million.

But the Canucks have advanced past the first round only once. The loss to Calgary this season was the second consecutive year the Canucks lost a Game 7 at home to a team that finished below them in the standings.

"We didn't get the job done," Burke said in a season-wrapup news conference April 21. "Our job is to get the job done. Our motto here is no complaints, no excuses."

Burke first joined the Canucks in 1987 when he was hired as vice president and director of hockey operations. He left in 1992 to be general manager of the Hartford Whalers.

He joined the NHL front office in 1993 as senior vice president and director of hockey operations and spent five years with the league. During that time, he was visible as the league's chief disciplinarian.