Remember Kevin Lowe, the Oilers executive Burke eviscerated—and who a year later fired back by calling Burke "a moron" and accusing him of destroying the Canucks before leaving to run Anaheim? "Last summer I said something [nasty] about Kevin Lowe, and Brendan asked, 'How can you stay mad at someone?'" Burke says. "I said, 'It's easy.' He said, 'No, it's not. He used to be your friend. It doesn't make sense. I don't approve.'"
When Lowe, now the Oilers' president, learned of Brendan's passing, he e-mailed Brian, referring to their shattered relationship while offering his sympathies. Burke immediately called Edmonton G.M. Steve Tambellini, with whom he had worked in Vancouver, and asked him to tell Lowe that this is one broken fence he wants to mend.
And so Burke and Lowe began the healing process last week at Canada Hockey Place. In their best moments, the Olympics can be as much about peace and friendship as about rivalries. Five nights before the U.S. beat Canada 5--3, the grieving father walked over to Lowe, a Team Canada executive, and offered his hand. Burke says an awkward sort of half man-hug accompanied the handshake. The Olympics really can be as much about peace and friendship as about medals.
"Again, that's Brendan breaking down another wall," Burke says. "That's what he does." Burke reaches for a paper towel.