Play­ers stunned by news of Burke’s death

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

TORONTO (CP) — Mem­bers of the Toronto Maple Leafs ex­pressed sor­row for gen­eral man­ager Brian Burke on Satur­day, one day af­ter his youngest son, Bren­dan, died in a car ac­ci­dent on a snowy high­way in the United States.

Play­ers were in­formed just be­fore their flight de­parted New Jer­sey fol­low­ing a game on Fri­day night. A hand­ful spoke with re­porters fol­low­ing a pre-game skate Satur­day.

Ac­cord­ing to a lo­cal me­dia re­port, Bren­dan Burke was killed as heavy snow was fall­ing on the roads north of Econ­omy, Ind., near the Ohio bor­der. The 2004 Jeep Chero­kee in which he was rid­ing re­port­edly slid into on­com­ing traf­fic and crashed into a truck go­ing the other way, killing Burke and friend Mark A. Reedy, 18.

The driver of the truck was re­port­edly un­in­jured.

“ You never think, ‘that’s go­ing to hap­pen to me,”’ vet­eran Toronto de­fence­man Fran­cois Beau­chemin said. “But when it hap­pens to some­body re­ally close, like Brian, you kind of do think about it. It can hap­pen any time, and it’s re­ally tough.”

Beau­chemin, who played for Burke in Ana­heim and re­mem­bers cel­e­brat­ing their Stan­ley Cup win at a gath­er­ing with Bren­dan three years ago, said a mo­ment of si­lence would be held be­fore Satur­day night’s home game against the Ottawa Se­na­tors.

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