Sean Burke is a Canadian former professional ice hockey goalie who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the New Jersey Devils, Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes, Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Los Angeles Kings.
Burke was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the second round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. He earned national attention from his international play. He backstopped Canada’s junior team to a silver medal in the 1986 World Junior Championships and a fourth-place finish for the national men’s team at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.
Burke went from the Olympics to the Devils. He started 11 games for the Devils in the 1987–88 NHL season, including an overtime victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on the final night of the season that qualified the Devils for their first playoff series.
Dubbed a “rookie sensation”, Burke helped the Devils go on a playoff roll, defeating the division-leader New York Islanders in the first round in six games and then the Washington Capitals in seven games. Burke was one game away from the Stanley Cup Finals but lost in Game 7 of the Wales Conference finals to the Boston Bruins.
Burke’s play was widely-heralded. The Hockey Digest declared, “Burke is now the franchise for the Devils, and to whatever heights he rises, the Devils will rise with him” and in December 1988 made Burke the first Devil to appear on its cover.
Because he played just 11 games in the 1987–88 regular season, he maintained his rookie status for the next season. The next season, Burke was elected into the NHL All-Star Game, becoming the first rookie goaltender to play in the All-Star game.[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – Learn More]