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Pat Quinn, ‘one of hockey’s most respected individuals,’ has died


James O’Brien

Former NHL player, coach and front office executive Pat Quinn passed away Sunday evening. He was 71.

Quinn, a two-time Jack Adams winner for coach of the year, led both Philadelphia (1980) and Vancouver (1994) to the Stanley Cup Finals as a bench boss and was highly decorated internationally, winning gold medals at the U-18, World Junior, World Cup and -- most famously -- the Olympic level, guiding Canada to victory in 2002 at Salt Lake.

Quinn also served as the chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Pat Quinn”, said Jim Gregory, Vice-Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame. “Pat is one of hockey’s most respected individuals whose lifetime involvement as a player, coach and executive has made an indelible mark on the game, and our thoughts and prayers are with Sandra and all of Pat’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time.”

Quinn played 606 NHL games over an 11-year career and, following retirement, held five different head coaching jobs (Philadelphia, L.A., Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton.) He also served as the general manager in both Vancouver and Toronto, and was behind the famed Canucks draft of 1989 in which the club selected Hockey Hall of Famer Pavel Bure in the sixth round.

“This is a tremendous loss for the hockey community,” said Toronto Maple Leafs President and Alternate Governor Brendan Shanahan in a statement. “Pat will be revered not only for his great accomplishments in sport but also for his courage and strength in face of his illness, and his dedication to family.”

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also mourned Quinn’s passing.

“Whether he was playing for a team, coaching a team or building one, Pat Quinn was thoughtful, passionate and committed to success. Pat’s contributions to hockey, at every level, reflected the skills he possessed and the great respect with which he treated the sport,” Bettman said in a release. “The National Hockey League, one of the many organizations to benefit from his devoted service, sends heartfelt condolences to Pat’s loved ones and his many friends around the hockey world.”


Here’s the statement from Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden, who played for Quinn in Vancouver:
“We have lost a great man. It’s a sad day for hockey and for everyone who loves our game. On this difficult day I am thinking about Pat, his family and his friends, and how much he will be missed.

“I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for Pat. He was a great leader and always a teacher. He taught me how to be a professional on and off the ice. He taught me how to play hockey the right way, how to win, and about the importance of respect and loyalty.

“Pat’s impact on our city has been immeasurable. He was responsible for bringing hockey to the forefront in Vancouver. He brought the pride back to the Canucks and today his finger prints and impact are still felt within this organization.”