NSB Logo Brian Burke Brian Burke

Brian Burke


Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Hockey Executive, Former Analyst, & Advocate for Inclusion in Sport

Described as one of hockey’s most experienced and knowledgeable executives, Brian Burke has led a distinguished and varied career as an ice hockey executive and former analyst serving as president of hockey operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League. His lessons learned in the hockey world offer a new lens for organizations to apply to business management, growth and leadership. Burke shows audiences how to lead your team to long-term success. 

Keynote Speeches

Virtual Keynotes & Webinars
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Leadership and Lessons from a Life in Professional Sports

In this highly entertaining presentation, Brian Burke shares stories of his journey through the hockey world, including building a career in professional sports; dealing with the ups and downs; as well as challenges and opportunities in today’s environment for the players and professionals. Burke sheds lights on the three pillars he uses to build a successful organization: (1) running it like a business, (2) entertaining your target audience, and (3) promoting charity work amongst your team. 


Professional sports in North America has a very limited gay presence. The NHL is one league that does not have a presence. Bias, suspicion and prejudice still prevail. Brian Burke’s goal is to help eliminate the barriers. Brian shows audiences that there is a difference between being tolerant and being an active advocate who stands up with pride at all times. His impactful and personal story on what it means to be an ally leaves attendees feeling inspired to become more vocal with their voices and intentional with their actions. 

Key Takeaways:
• Three key steps to support the LGBT Community.

Platform Plus Presentations

Unique formats and ways to connect with audiences.
In Conversation
A speaker renowned for his candid & entertaining discussions, Burke excels in this format where he can explore topics such as Business, Sports, LGBT & Inclusion.

Audience reviews:

  • Brian is a charismatic speaker and his delivery is based on a history of tremendous business successes, which have given him the authority to speak so dynamically.

    - Macdonald Realty
  • The evening went very well. Brian was phenomenal. He truly is a dynamic and engaging speaker. The Q&A was the highlight of his time with us. Brian was also very gracious with his time and spoke with whomever approached him. Everything worked out just as expected. The guests were truly engaged. It was a great evening and we probably could have gone for another hour with Brian speaking. Everyone thought it was fantastic.

    - Toronto Transportation Club

Speaker Biography

Brian Burke is the former President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames organization overseeing all hockey operations. He was as a Pro Scout and Consultant with the Anaheim Ducks. He assumed that role after serving as the President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Burke’s time with Anaheim was preceded by two years as the club’s General Manager from 2005 through 2007. Under his leadership, the Ducks won the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions.

Burke’s career in the business of hockey began in 1987 as an NHL player agent, Director of Hockey Operations for the Vancouver Canucks, Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations, under Commissioner Gary Bettman, and General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks. With the Canucks, he was credited with reviving the franchise as the team won a playoff series and captured a division title.

Burke was the General Manager for the United States Olympic national hockey team for the 2010 Winter games in Vancouver and is the Director of Player Development for the 2014 United States Olympic hockey team competing in Sochi.

Burke is well known for his work within the community. He is a vocal activist against homophobia in sports, a strong supporter of first response personnel and military service members, an environmentalist and a humanitarian. In May 2011, Burke was presented with the Easter Seals Toronto’s Tribute award for lending support to kids with physical disabilities and for excellence in business and community service. Burke remains heavily involved with the military, visiting bases within Canada, the United States and Afghanistan. He has been associated with the Wounded Warrior Project since 2003, which honours and empowers wounded warriors. 

His presentations are well suited for both hockey enthusiasts and the business community alike.