Pat Quinn: Some good words about a good man

 

 
 
 
 
The 1994 Vancouver Canucks, who went to the NHL's Stanley Cup final, are joined by their coach Pat Quinn on the red carpet prior to the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at BC Place Stadium Sunday March 2, 2014 in Vancouver. The Vancouver Canucks lost to the Ottawa Senators, 4-2.
 
 

The 1994 Vancouver Canucks, who went to the NHL's Stanley Cup final, are joined by their coach Pat Quinn on the red carpet prior to the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at BC Place Stadium Sunday March 2, 2014 in Vancouver. The Vancouver Canucks lost to the Ottawa Senators, 4-2.

Photograph by: Ric Ernst, PNG

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Players who talked about Pat Quinn on Monday described him as honest, hard working, sincere and most of all a great leader who could get the best out of his players.

IN THEIR WORDS

CLIFF RONNING, acquired by Pat Quinn in a trade from St. Louis on March 5,1991. Played on 1994 Stanley Cup finalists coached by Quinn.

“Pat Quinn, I would say, was definitely the greatest Canuck ever. From a player to a coach to a general manager, he really set a standard of integrity, honesty, and hard work in the organization and gave it credibility. Pat was like a father-figure to a lot of hockey players. You could just tell he cared. You can ask any player who played for him. He was just straight-up honest. He was the type of person you would do anything for during a game.”

GREG ADAMS, acquired by Quinn in a trade from New Jersey on Sept. 15, 1987. Played on 1994 Stanley Cup finalists coached by Quinn.

“I’ve always referred to Pat as the best coach I’ve ever played for. He was just a real honest guy. He was up front with everyone, he treated everyone with respect. He was sincere, he cared about everybody as an individual and he had the ability, I think, to get the best out of each guy as a player. He knew how to treat guys as individuals where as a lot of coaches will treat everyone on the team the same way. I just have so much respect for the man.”

DAVE BABYCH, acquired by Quinn in a trade from Minnesota North Stars on June 22, 1991. Played on 1994 Stanley Cup finalists coached by Quinn.

“I played here seven years, most of them under Pat, and he just had the respect of everyone. If someone didn’t like him, I don’t know where they were coming from. I really don’t. Or they just didn’t bother to get to know him. He would always be there for you. If you needed to talk, he would be there. He gave you the leeway and the respect to do your thing. He was just such a likeable guy.”

GEOFF COURTNALL, acquired by Pat Quinn in a trade from St. Louis on March 5 ,1991. Played on 1994 Stanley Cup finalists coached by Quinn.

“I think, most importantly, Pat was a very powerful leader. I think that he had an amazing presence in the dressing room and also in the front office. He had a lot of respect throughout the league. He was just a great human being. He treated everybody with a lot of respect and dignity and I think he really allowed guys to flourish and become great players, including myself.”

WILLIE DESJARDINS, coached under Quinn on Canada’s gold-medal winning world junior team in 2009.

“When I got to meet Pat for the first time, I was struck by just his presence. He had a gruff appearance but he was such a good person underneath. The presence he carried when he went places was amazing outside of the hockey part of it. When I look at our team now, I think it has some really, really good values and somewhere along the line it got passed down the group and I think Pat was the one who started it. We have a great culture that’s been set here and I think it came from Pat.”

PAT O’NEILL, equipment manager. Hired by Quinn in 1988.

“It’s hard for me to put it into words. He was just a big, imposing man who was full of knowledge, loved the game and looked after the people around him. I loved having one-on-one conversations with Pat. It was always interesting whether it was about the new building or where things were at with the team. He was a great person to be around, a pleasure to be around and he’ll be sadly missed.”

KEVIN BIEKSA, current Canuck alternate captain. Wears the same No. 3 Quinn wore as a Canuck player and shares the same hometown of Hamilton.

“It’s an honour, obviously, to share the same number and he’s a Hamilton guy like myself. Growing up, my dad was a huge fan of his and told me a lot of stories about him, the way he played and how tough he was. Then getting to meet him was pretty special. He was a big, tough, burly guy and it’s good to hear everyone’s stories about him. He touched a lot of people. It’s a sad day for the hockey world.”

HENRIK SEDIN, current Canuck captain. Met Quinn through various team functions.

“I met him a few times at golf tournaments and at his ring of honour ceremony. I didn’t talk to him at any length but the stories I hear about him, I think he was the guy who changed how other people looked at this franchise and it’s trickled down to Trevor Linden and Markus Naslund. So he’s got his footprint on this team, for sure.”

ALEX BURROWS, a Canuck since 2005.

“I met him a few times the last couple of years and he commanded such respect in this organization. When he came in the 1980s to where the team is now in this community, and how everyone carries themselves, I think he was the first one that made sure everyone was going to follow those rules and that we were going to be a good person for the community and for the Canucks’ organization.”

STAN SMYL, played his final three seasons for the Quinn regime, then began his coaching career as an assistant under Quinn in 1991-92.

“Pat always respected his players. He wore a couple of other hats at the time (president and GM) so, as assistants, we would prepare a lot of his practices. He would look at them a lot of times and say: ‘Okay, we’ll go with that.’ Then we would go on the ice and Pat would run his own practice.”

JAROMIR JAGR, current New Jersey Devil, who played against Quinn coached teams since he entered the league in 1990.

“Some people are born with respect. I don’t know why but some guys have it and some guys don’t. And he was one of those who had it. You knew when he was in the room. You knew it. That’s the thing that hit me right away about him.”

PAT QUINN TIMELINE

Jan. 29, 1943: John Brian Patrick Quinn born in Hamilton, Ont.

- 1968: after several years in the minor professional leagues, Quinn was called up by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

- 1969: provoked a bench-clearing brawl with the Boston Bruins in the 1969 playoffs after a thunderous body check flattened superstar Bobby Orr.

- 1970: Vancouver Canucks claim Quinn in the 1970 NHL expansion draft.

- 1972: Atlanta Flames claim Quinn in the 1972 NHL expansion draft, named the team's captain. Spent the next five years with the Flames.

- 1977: Quinn retires from hockey. In 606 games, he scored 18 regular- season goals and 113 assists, to go along with 950 penalty minutes. He played in 11 playoff games, managing one assist.

- 1977-1979: hired as an assistant coach by the Philadelphia Flyers under head coach Fred Shero. Became head coach of the Flyers farm team in Maine, before replacing Bob McCammon as the Flyers head coach later in the 1978-79 season.

- 1979-80: In his first full season behind the Flyers bench, he led Philadelphia to a record 35-game unbeaten streak and a trip to the Stanley Cup final, where they lost to the New York Islanders. Quinn was named coach of the year.

- 1982: Fired as coach of the Flyers, briefly leaving hockey to attend law school in the Philadelphia area.

- 1984: Named head coach of the Los Angeles Kings.

- 1987-88: Named president and general manager of the Vancouver Canucks.

- 1991: Takes over head coach duties with the Canucks.

- 1992: Wins his second Jack Adams award for coach of the year.

- 1994: Leads the Canucks on a Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup final, losing Game 7 to the New York Rangers. After the season, he gave up coaching to concentrate on GM/president duties.

- 1997: Quinn fired by Canucks new ownership group.

- 1998: Hired as Toronto head coach, leading the Maple Leafs

to the Eastern Conference final.

- 1999: The Leafs make Quinn the GM to go along with his coaching duties.

- 2002: Quinn coached Team Canada to its first Olympic

gold medal since 1952 in Salt Lake City.- 2004: Coached Canada to victory in the 2004 World Cup of hockey.

- 2006: Was head coach again when Team Canada floundered at the Turin Olympics, losing to Russia in the quarter-finals.

- 2006: Quinn fired by the Maple Leafs.

- 2008: Coached Canada's Under-18 team to a world championship gold medal, beating Russia 8-0 in the final.

- January, 2009: Coached Canada's team to an undefeated record and a fifth consecutive gold medal in the world junior championship in Ottawa.

May 26, 2009: Named Edmonton Oilers head coach.

June 22, 2010: Replaced as head coach of Oilers by Tom Renney and appointed senior advisor on hockey operations. He left that post at end of 2010-11 season.

April 13, 2014: Inducted into the Vancouver Canucks Ring of Honour in a ceremony at Rogers Arena.

Nov. 23, 2014: Dies at Vancouver General Hospital after lengthy illness

 
 
 
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The 1994 Vancouver Canucks, who went to the NHL's Stanley Cup final, are joined by their coach Pat Quinn on the red carpet prior to the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at BC Place Stadium Sunday March 2, 2014 in Vancouver. The Vancouver Canucks lost to the Ottawa Senators, 4-2.
 

The 1994 Vancouver Canucks, who went to the NHL's Stanley Cup final, are joined by their coach Pat Quinn on the red carpet prior to the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at BC Place Stadium Sunday March 2, 2014 in Vancouver. The Vancouver Canucks lost to the Ottawa Senators, 4-2.

Photograph by: Ric Ernst, PNG

 
The 1994 Vancouver Canucks, who went to the NHL's Stanley Cup final, are joined by their coach Pat Quinn on the red carpet prior to the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at BC Place Stadium Sunday March 2, 2014 in Vancouver. The Vancouver Canucks lost to the Ottawa Senators, 4-2.
Pat Quinn shakes hands with Stan Smyl as Trevor Linden, Cliff Ronning and Gino Odjick stand by prior to NHL Heritage Classic with Vancouver Canucks vs Ottawa Senators at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on March 2, 2014.
Pat Quinn hockey player, coach and manger (left) is invested as Officer to the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General, in Ottawa Friday November 23, 2012.
Pat Quinn, shown yelling behind the bench with veteran Russ Courtnall (left) and a young Markus Naslund right) in front. Quinn (1991 to 1994 and 1996) was the 11th head coach in the history of the Vancouver Canucks NHL franchise. DID YOU KNOW: ‘The Big Irishman’ had a long, largely successful association with the Canucks both as a coach and a GM, the highlight being a Game 7 Stanley Cup final appearance against the (ultimately victorious) New York Rangers. In his own right, Quinn became the first Canucks coach to win the Jack Adams Trophy as the league’s coach of the year (1991-92).
Former Canucks player Gino Odjick, standing, with Pat Quinn and the  mom and wife of Pavel Bure during Bure's jersey retirement ceremony at Rogers Arena on Nov. 2, 2013. News broke soon after that he'd checked in for psychiatric treatment at a hospital in Gatineau, Que., as he battles post-career concussion and depression issues.
November 1 1991. Canucks player Pavel Bure and Pat Quinn.
Pat Quinn, Head Coach for Canada, coaches his team practice in preparation for the Gold medal match against Sweden.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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