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Friday, June 27, 2014

One Star, One Sheet: Sean Burke

Sean Burke

324 Career Wins
3x All-Star
1992 Olympic Silver Medal

  Sean Burke burst onto the scene in the spring of 1988.  First he played with team Canada in the Olympics in Calgary and then he carried the lowly sad sacked New Jersey Devils all the way to the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals, then known as the Wales Conference Finals.  Burke helped catapult the Devils into th Play-offs by going 10-1-0 in 13 games at the end of the 87-88 play-offs.
  Burke would never tend another play-off run.  He retired with 38 career play-off games under his belt, with 17 of those coming in 1988.  Burke's honeymoon with the Devils was over by the 1990-91 season.  Burke, a restricted free agent in 1991, had lost his starting job to Chris Terreri in the 1990 play-offs.  Frustrated with playing second fiddle, Burke sat out the entire 1991-92 season.
  Sitting out, gave Burke another shot at an Olympic medal.  Burke helped the team make it to the Gold medal game, but were bested by the Unified Team, i.e. Russia and "friends" by a score of 3-1.   The Silver medal was Canada's first Olympic medal in Ice Hockey since 1960.
  During the 1992 offseason, Burke was traded to the Hartford Whalers.  Burke played in and won, the Hartford Whalers last game in the NHL.  He made the move with the team to Carolina but was traded twice during the 1997-98 season.  First to the Vancouver Canucks,  where he went 2-9-4 with a 3.51 GAA, and then to the Philadelphia Flyers.  While Burke performed well down the stretch with the Flyers, he was lit up by the Buffalo Sabres in the play-offs.  Burke was the first of many failed quick fix attempts by the Flyers for their goalie woes.
   Burke would sign as a free agent with the Florida Panthers and help keep the team competitive until an early season trade in 1999 would send him to the Phoenix Coyotes.  The Coyotes sent goalie Mikhail Shtalenkov went to the Panthers.  Mikhail would play 15 more career NHL games before returning to play in Russia.  Burke would have his best NHL seasons playing for the Coyotes.  In 2001-02, Burke was a finalist for the Vezina trophy, 4th in the Hart Trophy voting and also 3rd in the All-Star team voting, i.e. he was a 3rd team All-Star.
  In February of 2003, a struggling Coyotes team would send the aging Burke back to the Philadelphia Flyers.  In strange twist, Burke found himself backing up his back-up from the 2001-02 season, Robert Esche, while the Flyers went all the way to game Seven of the Stanley Cup semi-finals before bowing out.
  After the lock-out of 2004, Burke signed on with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team the Flyers had lost to the previous play-offs.  Burke would spend a mediocre season with the Lightning before playing a final mediocre season with the Los Angeles Kings. He retired at age 40.
  There was never a card produced of Sean Burke as a King.  I made one and shared it in an earlier post.  I also had success get Mr. Burke's auto TTM.  He is currently the goalie coach and assistant GM with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

One Star, One Sheet: Ed Belfour

Ed Belfour

2011 HHOF
484 Wins
2 Vezinas
1999 Stanley Cup

Belfour is only one of four goalies to win the Vezina trophy and the Calder in the same season.  Can you name the others?  Belfour is well known for his Eagle mask, the source of his nickname.  Eddie is also known for his run-ins with the law.  Twice during his playing days, Belfour was charged with resisting an officer and allegedly offered an officer a $1 million bribe to release him.