Brian Burke to step down as Calgary Flames president

While serving as president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brian Burke infamously spoke about a “five-year plan” for success. He was hired in November 2008 and fired in January 2013.

Another “five-year plan” has wrapped up for Burke, as the Calgary Flames announced Friday that their president of hockey operations “will be stepping back from the organization,” effective May 1.

Burke’s hiring was an unconventional move for Calgary, as he was seen as the driver for player personnel decisions over the general manager.

“This is a relatively new structure in professional hockey,” Burke said at the time. “There are two teams in the NHL that have this type of management structure. There are a number of teams in the National Football League that do, a number of teams in Major League Baseball that do and a number of teams in the NBA that do. And it works effectively. And it’s going to work here.”

Over time, the outspoken executive faded into the background for the Flames, allowing Treliving to be the front-facing manager for the team and make the majority of the calls on player transactions.

In addition to his time with the Flames and Maple Leafs, Burke also served as general manager of the Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks and Hartford Whalers. He won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007. He also was the director of player personnel for the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

“I can’t understand why it was a bombshell, OK?” Khan said during a news conference at EverBank Field hours before the NFL draft. “I have business deals, investments all over the world. So I don’t understand. Every time there’s a transaction that has visibility, especially you folks [the media] start connecting dots that shouldn’t be connected.”

Khan’s purchase of Wembley would add significant additional revenue — such as food and beverage sales and suite revenue — and the team would save money because it would not have to pay rent for its annual home game in London. In addition, Jaguars president Mark Lamping said there were approximately 30 non-NFL games or events held at Wembley and that additional revenue would help financially stabilize the Jaguars in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars have played a home game at Wembley Stadium annually since 2013 and will do so through the 2020 season. The deal has been beneficial to the franchise because the NFL granted the team extended territorial rights in the United Kingdom, and the additional ticket revenue from a game at the 90,000-seat stadium has had a positive impact on the team’s local revenue.

London is an important part of the team’s stability in Jacksonville (the revenue from that annual home game accounts for 11 percent of the team’s total local revenue), and Khan said there were no plans at this time to play any additional games in London each season.

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