Brendan Shanahan’s search for a new front office executive in Toronto will include one of his former teammates.
Per TSN, Shanahan has received permission to interview Arizona goalie coach and assistant GM Sean Burke. The news comes just days after Shanahan cleaned house in Toronto, turfing GM Dave Nonis, the entire coaching staff and the majority of the Maple Leafs’ scouts.
Burke, friendly with Shanahan from their time together in New Jersey, is believed to be in high demand across the league, largely because of his versatility as a coach and executive. He’s has knowledge of and contacts throughout the NHL, having suited up for eight different organizations over a 19-year career, and is viewed as something of a “goalie whisperer” after reviving the careers of Ilya Bryzgalov, Mike Smith and Devan Dubnyk in the desert.
Burke has plenty of hockey operations experience as well. He’s worked under Coyotes GM Don Maloney since 2012 and recently served as part of Hockey Canada’s management team for the 2015 World Juniors.
Last month, Burke — in the final year of his deal with the Coyotes — confirmed he was granted permission to interview elsewhere and explore his managerial options.
“I wanted to manage from the moment I retired,” he said. “Coaching is good because it gives you an additional avenue of experience, being in that dressing room every day, but when you stay in that role too long, it becomes more difficult to get where you want to go.”