Chris Burke will get his No. 17 retired by Hershey Beers

Hershey’s bears are great all the time Chris Burke He’ll be getting a huge honor from the franchise this season.

No. 17’s Burke will be retired at the Giants position on January 14 ahead of a home game against the Springfield Thunderbirds. He will become the eighth player in franchise history to earn this distinction and his number 17 will become the fifth number in team history to hang from the rafters.

The last time Hershey’s celebrated a player’s retirement was in 2002 when the Bears added the name of defender Ralph Keeler to the number 3 banner, which was previously suspended in 1991 to honor former defender, coach and general manager Frank Mathers. Mike Nicholluk, Arnie Coleman, Tim Toki, Willie Marshall, Mitch Lamoreaux are the other players who have predated Burke’s history with this honor.

“Chris Bourke is one of the greatest players to ever wear chocolate and white, and it is only fitting that his number 17 ranks among the best players in the rich history of our organization,” said Vice President of Hockey Operations Brian Helmer. “Chris is synonymous with the success that the Bears enjoyed during his playing days, and the impact he made in Chocolatetown continues to live on. We are excited to be able to honor his legacy with his friends, family and fans on January 14th.”

Bourque was originally drafted by the Capitals in the second round of the 2004 NHL Draft. He played in nine seasons with Hershey over three separate spells and ranks fifth all-time in team history in scoring, amassing 586 points over 604 regular season games. He helped the Bears win three Calder Cup championships (2006, 2009, 2010) and is the only person in franchise history to earn three championships as a player. He is also the franchise’s all-time leader in scoring (86 points) and playoffs (106). His 82 assists in the playoffs are the most by any player in league history.

Boston native and son of legend Ray Burke announced he was retiring from professional hockey last April. He had spent the last three seasons playing in the German Bundesliga.

He finished his career 20th all-time in AHL history in scoring, scoring 746 points in 794 games played over parts of 13 seasons with Hershey, Providence, Hartford, and Bridgeport. He also played in 51 NHL games, including 13 games with the Capitals.

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Hershey Bears to give up Chris Burke’s number 17

(Hershey, PA- August 5, 2022) – The Hershey Beers It was announced today that Chris Burke number 17 will retire at an ice party ahead of the club’s home game against Springfield Thunderbirds on Saturday 14 January 2023.

“I am honored and privileged to take 17 retirements at Hershey and join the legendary group of figures hanging on the rafters,” Burke said. “Words cannot describe how happy I am to see everyone on this special night of January 14th, and I look forward to celebrating with all of you.”

Burke will become the eighth player in franchise history to retire his number. Burke’s number 17 became the fifth in team history to hang from the rafters.

More details about this special evening, known as Chris Porke Jersey Retirement Night, will be released at a later date.

“Chris Bourke is one of the greatest players to ever wear chocolate and white, and it is only fitting that his number 17 ranks among the best players in the rich history of our organization,” said Vice President of Hockey Operations Brian Helmer. “Chris is synonymous with the success that the Bears enjoyed during his playing days, and the impact he made in Chocolatetown continues to live on. We are excited to be able to honor his legacy with his friends, family and fans on January 14th.”

Bourke played nine seasons with Hershey, and the Boston-born player ranks fifth all-time in the team’s scoring history, collecting 586 points (196g, 390a) over 604 regular season games. Porky helped Hershey win three Calder Cup titles (2006, 2009, 2010), and earned the distinction of being the only person in franchise history to win three championships as a player. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in goals (86 points) and playoffs (106), and his 82 assists in the playoffs are more than any player in league history.

Bourke won the Jack A Butterfield Cup as the AHL playoff player of the year, collecting 27 points (7g, 20a) in 21 games after the season as Hershey finished a historic 60-win season with his eleventh Calder Cup title. He won the AHL’s top scorer title with Hershey in 2012 and 2016, making him the only player in franchise history to claim that distinction twice. He was named AHL Player of the Year for the 2015-16 campaign when he scored 80 points (30g, 50a), helping Hershey’s to the 2016 Calder Cup Finals, his fifth appearance in the championship series.

Substitute captain Hershey has long been the AHL All-Star for six times, including representing Hershey’s five times. As a member of the Bears, he was named the Eastern Conference team captain for the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic. Twice the first AHL All-Star team title with the Bears, he achieved the feat in 2012 and 2016, in addition to receiving the same distinction. With Hartford in 2015.

While a member of the Bears, Bourque represented Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, collecting two assists in five games.

Burke ranked 20th all-time in AHL history for scoring in his illustrious career. He collected 746 points (251g, 495a) in 794 career games played over parts of the 13 AHL seasons from 2005-19 with Hershey, Providence, Hartford and Bridgeport. Burki concluded his football career with ERC Ingolstadt at DEL last season, racking up 45 points (17g, 28a) in 52 games.

The last time Hershey honored a player with a retirement number was in 2002 when the organization added the name Ralph Keeler to the No. 3 banner, previously suspended in 1991 to honor legend Frank Mathers. Porky’s number 17 will join Mike Nicholl’s number 8 as the only two numbers to have been retired by the Bears for a single player.

Hershey striker Mike Sgarbosa, who has worn the number 17 since 2018, will change his number ahead of Chris Porke’s retirement night jersey.

Hershey is scheduled to open the club’s 85th season, presented by Penn State Health, opposite Utica Comets at 7 p.m. Saturday, October 15 at the GIANT Center. Fans can join the season ticket holder community with plans starting at as little as $12 per game. Choose your games and seats with full and partial plans available now. Click here for more.

Besides the retirement night for Chris Porke jersey, the club will announce additional promotional dates next week.

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