Brendan Burke is getting the chance to live out his dream.
The Fair Lawn, NJ native was officially tabbed Thursday as the new Islanders play-by-play announcer for MSG Networks.
“This is my dream job,” Brendan said in an exclusive interview with MSGNetworks.com.
“I’m not just saying that because it’s the right thing to say. I wanted to be an NHL broadcaster, I wanted to be an NHL broadcaster on television, I wanted to be an NHL broadcaster on television in New York City, and I was able to achieve all three of those at the same time.”
The 32-year-old is following in the rather large footsteps of two legendary broadcasters, Howie Rose and Jiggs McDonald, and is eager to uphold the traditions of the excellence that were set before him.
“I grew up watching Howie and he’s the gold standard,” he explained. “I hesitate to use the word ‘replace’ Howie Rose. I told him I would make him proud and he’s been very supportive in this whole process. It’s incredible to think that I’m doing a job that Howie Rose has done for the last 21 years and that Jiggs did before that.”
“I’m really excited to get started with what is already a great broadcasting group, and I’m just going to add my little piece into it.”
After reaching the second round of the playoffs last season, Burke believes that the Islanders have a roster that can challenge the very best in the NHL.
“I think that [Islanders general manager] Garth Snow has done a wonderful job building the team from the net out. You hear that and every team wants to do that,” he said. “But you look at the goaltending, where there’s a question mark because there is too many good goaltenders and not enough nets for them to play in.”
Burke continued, “Then you go to the blue line and you’ve got [Johnny] Boychuk and [Nick] Leddy and [Travis] Hamonic, and you’ve got guys locked up for relatively long term. And Ryan Pulock and the guys coming in. The defense is so, so strong.”
“And then you’ve got one of the best players in the world in John Tavares to the lead the offense and you bring in guys like Andrew Ladd and P.A. Parenteau. The pieces are there. It’s a really as exciting time to join this team.”
Burke can’t wait for Opening Night when the Islanders travel to The Garden to take on the rival Rangers on Oct. 13 and is ready to begin his journey with the team and its fans.
“This is where I want to be,” he said. “I don’t want to be anywhere else and I’m so happy to be part of the New York islanders. There is a very, very high bar set for me and I’m hoping that I can live up to that. This is just the very beginning of a long relationship between myself and Islanders fans, and I hope that there are some really great moments coming up in Islanders history. I’m so excited I can get to see it in person.”
THE LIGHTER SIDE – 5 OF BRENDAN’S FAVORITES:
1-Favorite Food – “Sushi is my favorite food in the world!”
2-Favorite Artist – “Jimmy Eat World. I’ve been a fan of pretty much everything they’ve done.”
3-Favorite Thing About NYC – “There is nothing like New York City. It is so incredible in how big and how awesome it is.”
4-Favorite Things To Do Outside of Work – “I spend a lot of time with my wife and daughter. I enjoy watching sports as you might imagine, and I enjoy movies and television shows — right now I’m trying to get caught up on Game of Thrones.”
5-Favorite Game of Thrones Character – “I’m a Tyrion Lannister fan.”
Here are some of Brendan’s best calls, courtesy of the AHL’s Utica Comets