HOCKEY OPERATIONSSean Burke
Assistant to the General Manager & Goaltending Coach
Sean Burke enters his third season as Assistant to the General Manager/Goaltending Coach. Burke was promoted on July 10, 2012 from Director of Player Development/Goaltending Coach. In his role, Burke works with G.M. Don Maloney, Asst. G.M. Darcy Regier and V.P. of Hockey Operations Chris O’Hearn in all areas of hockey operations, in addition to his responsibilities overseeing all goaltenders in the Coyotes organization and player development.
In addition to his role with the Coyotes, Burke was recently named to Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence management group, which oversees hockey operations for the men’s under-17, under-18, and under-20 programs.
Under the guidance of Burke, Coyotes goaltenders have flourished the past five seasons. The 2013-14 season saw Mike Smith catch fire in February by registering a 1.94 goals against average (GAA) and a .934 save percentage (SV%) in a 16-game span. He then posted a 2.19 GAA and a .924 SV% in 12 March contests. Prior to suffering a season-ending injury at NYR on Mar. 24, Smith led all NHL goalies in games (61), starts (60), shots against (1,844), saves (1,687) and minutes (3,558).
In 2011-12, Burke helped Smith reach career highs in games played (67), wins (38), GAA (2.21), SV% (.930) and shutouts (8). Smith ranked fourth in the NHL in wins, tied for third in SV%, tied for third in shutouts and ranked ninth in GAA. In the postseason, Smith ranked tied for first in shutouts (3), third in SV% (.944), fourth in wins (9) and seventh in GAA (1.99). In addition, Coyotes goaltending prospect Mark Visentin won the Dave Pinkney Trophy for the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) lowest GAA (shared with Christopher Festarini).
In 2010-11, Burke helped Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov become the first Coyotes goaltender to record consecutive 30-plus win seasons (36 and 42) since Nikolai Khabibulin (1996-99). Bryzgalov also became the all-time franchise leader in wins (130) passing Bob Essensa. In addition, Bryzgalov (7) and Jason LaBarbera (2) tied the team franchise record for shutouts in a season (9) set in 1998-99 by Khabibulin (8) and Jimmy Waite (1). In 2010-11, Visentin was named the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year and was selected to the OHL’s First All-Star Team. He also won bronze (2012) and silver (2011) medals with Team Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championship.
During his first year as Goaltending Coach in 2009-10, the Coyotes allowed the fewest goals in the Western Conference while goaltenders Ilya Bryzgalov and Jason LaBarbera ranked third in the NHL with a 2.34 GAA.
Under Burke’s tutelage, Bryzgalov enjoyed a career-year while being named a Second Team NHL All-Star and finishing as the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy and was fifth in the voting for the Hart Trophy (League MVP). He also shattered the franchise record for wins in a season (42) and tied the franchise record for shutouts in a single season (8). LaBarbera also enjoyed a tremendously successful season and finished with a record of 8-5-1 with career-bests in GAA (2.13) and SV% (.928). LaBarbera posted a 6-1 record in shootouts and had a career-long shutout streak of 120:48 from Feb. 5 to Mar. 14, which included parts of three games.
During his time as Director of Prospect Development, the Windsor, Ontario native monitored the progress of the team’s minor league, junior and college prospects. He was also active in the club’s business operations by serving as a liaison for corporate clients and season ticket holders.
Burke, a former NHL goaltender, spent parts of five seasons with the Coyotes from 1999-2004 during his 18-year career. He appeared in 211 career games with the Coyotes, posting a record of 97-78-29 with a 2.39 GAA, a .919 SV% and 15 shutouts. He helped guide the team to the Stanley Cup playoffs during the 1999-00 and 2001-02 seasons and also represented the Coyotes at the 2001 and 2002 NHL All-Star Games. He is second in franchise history in GAA (2.39) and SV% (.919), third in shutouts (15), and fourth in games played (211) and wins (97).
In 820 career NHL games with New Jersey, Hartford/Carolina, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Florida, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles and Phoenix, Burke collected a record of 324-341-101-9 with a 2.96 GAA and a .902 SV%. He was also a three-time NHL All-Star and represented Canada in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics. Burke made his NHL debut on March 2, 1988 with the New Jersey Devils and began his career by going 10-1-0 in his first 13 games.
Burke resides in Scottsdale and has two children: Andie and Brendan. Brendan is a goaltender with the Portland Winterhawks who was drafted by the Coyotes in the sixth round (163rd overall) in the 2013 Entry Draft.