ANAHEIM, Calif. — Brian Burke had been out of work for over a year when he heard the Anaheim Ducks were interested in interviewing him for the general manager position.
“After I went through the interview process I desperately wanted the job,” said Burke at the Ducks 2007 Cup reunion on Sunday. “Fortunately it worked out. They brought me in and things went really from the start.”
Burke was hired in July 2005. He inherited a good, but not great, roster from former general manager Bryan Murray. Before he started making changes to the roster, Burke brought in help in the form of now-Ducks general manager Bob Murray.
“We brought Bob Murray in,” said Burke in an interview with Puck Daddy. “Bob Murray is the key part of everything I did here, or we did here.”
Together, Burke and Murray got to work.
“We evaluated the roster, said we’ve got to totally upgrade the [defense],” said Burke, “the goaltending is fine with [J.S. Giguere] and [Ilya Bryzgalov]. Forwards there’s some pieces there that make sense, some that don’t. But No. 1 was that we had to upgrade the D.
“Bryan [Murray] left some marvelous pieces, but there’s not one defenseman whose name is on the Cup that was here when I took over.
“We brought in a whole new group: [Chris] Pronger, [Scott] Niedermayer, [Kent] Huskins, [Sean] O’Donnell. We brought in [Francois] Beauchemin.”
During the pre-game ceremony honoring the Cup winning team, Burke told a story about the team acquiring Beauchemin.