Dr. Sport: Canucks pick perfect night to honour Quinn


Touch of Irish: Late coach once led Flyers to record 35-game unbeaten streak

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun files, .

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SCENE & HEARD: They couldn’t write this script in Hollywood. Pat Quinn Night at Rogers Arena on St. Patrick’s Day with the Canucks playing host to the Philadelphia Flyers.

C’mon. Somewhere high above the hockey clouds, The Big Irishman will be smiling down on the green-clad festivities Tuesday, fondly recalling that the two teams he guided to the Stanley Cup Final as a National Hockey League head coach were indeed the Flyers (1979-80) and Canucks (1993-94).

On each occasion Quinn won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year.

It was in that 1979-80 season when Quinn established a league-record 35-game unbeaten streak with Philadelphia.

The Canucks staff in charge of pre-game productions might well consider inviting former Flyers and Canucks head coach Bob McCammon down from the alumni suite Tuesday to join the official party at centre ice. McCammon was replaced by Quinn in Philadelphia before Quinn won his first Adams award and replaced by Quinn again in Vancouver 12 years later before Quinn’s second Adams award.

There has to be a message there somewhere.

HERE ’N THERE: As has been their policy in recent years, the Canucks keep a tight lid on their pre-game promotions and details for Pat Quinn Night have been no exception. The only official notice from the club advises that “the Quinn family and Vancouver Canucks will be celebrating the life and legacy of Pat Quinn and fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. for the pre-game celebrations.”

Canucks players from the 1993-94 Stanley Cup Final who have remained in B.C. will be on hand and despite ongoing requests for Pavel Bure to join them, it appears the Russian Rocket has not made himself available.

END ZONE: Prior to Vancouver city council approving the renaming of a portion of Abbott Street outside Rogers Arena as Pat Quinn Way, there had been a proposal to have it located closer to Griffiths Way that runs along the south side of the building. The Griffiths family signed Quinn as Canucks president and general manager in 1986 while he was still under contract to the Los Angeles Kings, who tried unsuccessfully to sue the Canucks for tampering.

Even though Quinn proved L.A. missed a deadline on an option to renew his contract, then-NHL president John Ziegler suspended Quinn for the balance of the season.

The entire ordeal simply drew the Canucks ownership group of the Griffiths family closer to Quinn and his family, a fact that will again be illustrated when Emily Griffiths and Sandra Quinn are scheduled to appear together at the centre ice pre-game ceremonies Tuesday.

Greg Douglas’s Dr. Sport column appears every second Saturday in The Vancouver Sun.


Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun files, .

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