The hockey world is mourning the loss of one of its greatest coaches.
Pat Burns passed away, surrounded by his family, this afternoon at the age of 58. The three-time Adams Trophy (Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs) winner had been in declining health after a long fought battle with lung cancer since January of 2009. It was the third time that Burns had battled the dreaded disease.
In 1989 Burns lead the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Finals as well as winning the Jack Adams trophy as coach of the year. One of the greatest defensive coaches of all-time, Burns lead the Canadiens to a 174-104-42 record during his 4 seasons behind the bench and was partially responsible for Patrick Roy's 3 Vezina trophies.
Burns led the Leafs to the Campbell Conference Finals in 1993, and won the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2003.
EOTP's Chris Boyle : "I think Burns is the only thing that Canadiens and Leaf fans loved in unison."
We will miss you Burnsie.
"Just as they will remember Pat for his success as a coach, hockey fans also will remember his humor, his honesty, his humanity and his courage," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "As it mourns the loss of an outstanding contributor to the game, the National Hockey League sends heartfelt condolences to Pat's family and friends."
"Hiring him 18 years ago was easily my best decision in hockey, and we developed a great friendship that I will always treasure." - Cliff Fletcher