Phoenix Coyotes Preseason Countdown: 42 Days

Christian Petersen

Today's countdown post refers to one of the best goaltenders to remain with the team throughout the years.

In the 1999-00 season, goaltender Sean Burke appeared in 42 NHL games. This year is significant because Burke began what would be a decades-long association with the Phoenix Coyotes. Acquired mid-season by the Desert Dogs, Burke would make 35 starts for the Coyotes, during which he went 17-14-3 with a 2.55 GAA and a .914 SV%.

Burke would go on to play an additional three and a half seasons with the Coyotes, during which he amassed 97 wins in 211 total games. He would also be the franchise's first goaltender to be nominated for the Vezina Trophy in the 2001-02 season.

When he retired from professional hockey in 2007, Burke was not out of the hockey world for long. General Manager Don Maloney hired him to be the goaltending coach for the team. At 6' 4", 215 lbs, Burke's experiences playing as a large netminder proved to be extremely helpful in elevating the play of goalies like Ilya Bryzgalov and Mike Smith to superstar status during their time in Phoenix.

Burke was made a special assistant to the General Manager and signed a multi-year extension with the Coyotes in July of 2012. This signing was a major reason why Mike Smith decided to sign a six year deal with the team. As goaltending continues to be the anchor of the Coyotes' system under Dave Tippett, Burke's influence will be vital in the ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup.

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