When the Toronto Maple Leafs decided to fire manager Brian Burke prior to the 2013 season, speculation rose that Burke would quickly return to the NHL in a prominent capacity. Based upon multiple reports on Wednesday night, Burke's reemergence could come with the Calgary Flames.
Burke is presently in Calgary to take part in the Llyodminster Bobcats' Evening of Champions Fundraiser Dinner on Thursday, but reports have indicated that his visit might be broader in scope. The Flames have been looking to augment their management team for several months. Department of Player Safety head, Brendan Shanahan, reportedly met with owner Murray Edwards, CEO Ken King and manager Jay Feaster earlier this offseason to discuss a position within the organization, which Shanahan ultimately declined.
The TSN trio of Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun discovered that Burke and the Flames have extensively engaged in negotiations that would see Burke join the organization in an executive capacity. The specifics of the position have yet to fully emerge, but John Shannon of Sportsnet tweeted on Thursday morning that the role could extend beyond day-to-day hockey operation.
Keep getting told the scope of new Flames Executive job is beyond just hockey...football and lacrosse too. Is BBurke the right pick?— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) September 5, 2013
Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun staked out the Calgary airport in an attempt to receive comment from Burke on Wednesday night:
Airport stakeout to talk to Brian Burke yielded this "I'm not going to have any comment about this tonight. Sorry you had to camp out here."— Randy Sportak (@SUNRandySportak) September 5, 2013
This led Sportak to believe that Burke would comment on the situation on Thursday, which might turn out to be the case.
The Flames announced on Thursday morning that the team will hold a press conference at noon ET. Many believe this will introduce Burke as the newest member of the organization.