The funeral for former Montreal Canadiens coach Pat Burns will be held this afternoon at 2:30 pm, at Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde in Montreal.
The family will be receiving condolences, starting at 1:30 pm, and have asked that donations be made in his memory to Maison Aube-Lumiére, 220, Rue Kennedy Nord, Sherbrooke, Que. J1E 2E7.
Burns was in the care of the hospice, when he passed away after a long battle with lung cancer
Members of the Canadiens and the New Jersey Devils will be in attendance, and the Toronto Maple Leafs will be represented by Leafs’ senior advisor Cliff Fletcher, president and GM Brian Burke and former captains Wendel Clark and Doug Gilmour.
As a final farewell to Burns, I've dug up some quotes from the coach's past. Some humorous, some serious, and some that will surely touch your heart.
"I know that being the coach of the Montreal Canadiens is one of the highest pressure jobs in professional sports in North America. I wouldn't be standing up here answering questions today if I wasn't ready for the challenge.''
- Wednesday June 1, 1988 upon the announcement of becoming head coach in Montreal..
"People have put this ‘defensive hockey’ label on me for some reason. I don’t believe it. It’s how many points you get that matters." – on his coaching style.
"No one is going to tell me when they are going to play."- Burns after goalie Brian Hayward demanded more games, and was later suspended for skipping a morning skate.
"I didn’t leave Montreal because of the press. But every day became more difficult. Everyone wanted to coach in Montreal; they all had an opinion. But Pat Burns had to make the decision." –Burns after he left the Canadiens.
"Goaltending is 90 percent of the game, unless you don't have it. Then it's 100 percent."
"This is no fun. No one’s throwing up." - Burns at training camp when he bag skated the Leafs at the end of a long workout.
"Those who know me well understand I've never backed down from a fight. I'm not going to back down from this one.
"When things don't work out, we look for someone to blame. There is no blame to be handed out," he said. "I learned in the past that chance and fate are a big part in winning. Neither, as I've learned in the last few weeks, can be controlled." - Burns after announcing he was leaving the New Jersey Devils after learning he had colon cancer.
"That's all done. It wouldn't do much. It's not going to help. It's a question of time, really, but we knew that. It's not getting any better. It's progressing." - Burns on not taking further treatment after learning he had lung cancer in 2009.
"This honour was something that was unexpected in my life.
"I think being involved in a project like this is an opportunity to inspire youth to be able to participate in sports. We know that it's difficult for kids today and they need a place where you know they can go and do something constructive."
-Burns on the announcement of a new arena complex being built in his name.
"I'm not dead, far (expletive) from it," - Burns, still showing he had his quick wit with the media to TSN after reports that he had passed away in mid-September.
"As your life gets closer to the end, you realize that your body gets weaker, your mind gets working hard, but your heart gets softer." Burns at the arena announcement.