[Via National Post]
By now, you’re likely aware of the fact that NHL legend Pat Quinn passed away last Sunday at the age of 71 after a lengthy battle with illness. The tributes have come pouring in since then.
I’m way too young to remember Quinn’s playing days, but he was known around the league as a punishing defenceman. Some people might even suggest that his playing career was defined by the time he laid out Bobby Orr with a huge check along the boards (or maybe it was an elbow to the head?)…
He made the switch to coaching in the late 70’s, and in his first full season as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1979-80, he led the team on a record-breaking 35-game unbeaten streak, and won the Jack Adams Trophy in the process.
You know, he’s got far too many achievements to list. Though he never did win a Stanley Cup, he’s done just about everything else. Here’s a few of his achievements, from Professor Wikipedia:
- Won a Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings in 1963 (player) and Vancouver Giants in 2007 (minority owner)
- Won a Jack Adams Award (NHL coach of the year) in 1980 and 1992.
- Won an Winter Olympic gold medal with Team Canada in 2002.
- Won a World Cup championship with Team Canada in 2004.
- Won an IIHF U18 gold medal with Team Canada in 2008.
- Won an IIHF U20 gold medal with Team Canada in 2009.
Quinn was behind the Leafs’ bench when my interest in hockey first started to take off as a youngster. In his first season coaching the Blue & White, he drastically improved them and took them to the Conference Finals, where they lost to the Buffalo Sabres… I tell you what, I was never so happy to see what many still contend is an illegal goal count as I was when the Dallas Stars defeated the Sabres that year…
[Via The Star]
If you’re not familiar with the “No Goal” goal, this news article will explain it for you.
Quinn led the Leafs to the playoffs every year he coached them, except for his last – which ultimately led to his firing. Who knows what they might have done if he’d stayed behind the bench? I mean, the Leafs have only made it to the playoffs once since then, and I’d even go so far as to suggest the reason they made it was because it was a lockout-shortened half season…
Anyway, the Leafs paid tribute to Pat Quinn last night before their game against the Washington Capitals with this video:
The Buds then went on to win the game for Pat, with Tyler Bozak netting two in a 6-2 rout of the Caps. Now THAT’S how you tribute a hockey legend.
RIP Pat Quinn.