Every so often I find myself at a loss for words. And every so often I still have a desire to communicate.
There are things in life bigger than hockey, as we all know, and as much fun as it is to come here and discuss things hockey-related and pick on each other and have fun debating rule changes, life sometimes knocks the door down and hits us with a cold blast of reality. Our hockey heroes, whoever they may be, turn out to be human beings after all.
It is with great sadness that I report that Brian Burke’s son has passed away. He was killed in a car accident in Indiana on Friday.
Brendan Burke was 21. He died from injuries he sustained in a two-vehicle collision.
Mark Reedy, a passenger in Burke’s vehicle, also died at the scene.
The Toronto Maple Leafs issued the following statement after the team’s game against the New Jersey Devils:
“We are saddened to report that Brendan Burke, the youngest son of Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke succumbed to injuries he suffered in an auto accident earlier today in Indiana. The family asks for privacy at this difficult time.”
A student at Miami University in Ohio, Brendan Burke was a courageous young man who recently made news by talking about what it was like being openly gay. He came out to his father in 2007 and Brian was incredibly supportive of his son.
“People in that situation deserve to know that they can feel safe, that sports isn’t all homophobic and that there are plenty of people in sports who accept people for who they are,” Brendan Burke told ESPN at the time.
“The National Hockey League grieves tonight for the family and friends of Brendan Burke, a young man of courage and character,” said Gary Bettman. “Words simply cannot express our sorrow over his loss. We send our deepest, most heartfelt condolences to Brendan’s father, Brian; his mother, Kerry; everyone in Brendan’s family; and all who were inspired by his love for hockey.”
And so it is with our little family here at HockeyDraft.ca, too, that we join in expressing our own deepest condolences to the Burke family.
Rest in peace, Brendan.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.