The Ontario Hockey League is saddened by news of the loss of Mervin “Bud” Burke, original owner of the Sudbury Wolves franchise, who passed away this past week at the age of 91.
The Wolves franchise was established in 1972 when Burke moved the Niagara Falls Flyers north to the Nickel Capital. He owned the club until 1979 when the Wolves were purchased by a group led by Joe Drago.
Burke’s clubs featured the likes of Wolves greats like Ron Duguay, Rod Schutt, Randy Carlyle and Mike Foligno. The first of two franchise trips to the OHL Championship Series came in 1976 when a club coached by Jerry Toppazzini fell in five games to the eventual Memorial Cup champion Hamilton Fincups.
Burke’s post-hockey endeavours included a substantial involvement in horse racing and training. The Wolves’ annual Top Rookie Award is named in his honour to this day.
The Wolves, who are currently celebrating their 50th anniversary season, will honour Burke prior to puck drop tonight when they take on the Barrie Colts at 7:05pm.