The league announced today that, Hockey Hall of Famer Brian Leetch will join the Department of Player Safety as Manager, while Patrick Burke of You Can Play Project and former scout for the Philadelphia Flyers will join in the newly- created Director of Player Safety position.
Both Leetch and Burke will join NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan to assist with the upcoming season.
For those unaware, established in June 2011, the NHL Department of Player Safety’s mission statement is: “We are committed to making the game as safe as possible for our players while preserving the intensely physical, competitive and passionate nature of hockey.”
Many fans around the league were looking for additions to the department to add some regularity with suspensions among other issues. It is the hope that both Leetch and Burke will prove beneficial for the growing department.
“Brian Leetch and Patrick Burke are two astute members of the hockey community who will bring unique perspectives and personal experiences to the Department of Player Safety,” Shanahan said. “As one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history, Brian displayed a rare sense of the game and its nuances that will be a tremendous asset to our department’s efforts to make the game safer for our players while maintaining its physicality and passion. The ability to evaluate players that Patrick refined as a pro and amateur scout will be invaluable to the team that monitors games each night to both identify incidents that might merit Supplemental Discipline and to note developing trends in our game.”
With the seasons’ open just around the corner, fans will see just what these two additions bring to the league soon.