Pat Quinn passes away at age 71

KANATA - DECEMBER 29: (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Iconic hockey manager remembered fondly for his accomplishments

By Michael Sopow, Sports Reporter

Former hockey player, coach, and general manager Pat Quinn (1943-2014) passed away on November 23. The Vancouver Giants, who Quinn co-owned, disclosed on their Facebook page that Quinn had been suffering from a “lengthy illness.”

“Pat was an inspiration to all of us,” said fellow Giants’ co-owner Ron Toigo in a public statement. “He always said that respect was something that should be earned, not given, and the respect that he garnered throughout the hockey world speaks for itself. He will be sorely missed.”

Quinn’s legacy in the NHL spanned decades, initially joining the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1968. Quinn played for two teams in his career, the Vancouver Canucks starting in 1970, and the formerly named Atlanta Flames starting in 1972. Quinn remained with the Flames until 1977, when he retired from playing following an ankle injury, and ventured into coaching.

Quinn became the assistant coach of the Philadelphia Flyers during the 1977-78 season, becoming head coach the following year. In his first two years as head coach, Quinn was able to take the Flyers to thesecond round of the playoffs, and then the following year to the Stanley Cup finals. In the 1979-80 season, Quinn coached the Flyers to a 35-game winning streak.

His accomplishments with the Flyers led him to win his first Jack Adams Award in 1980.

Starting in the 1990-91 season as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks and ending with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2003-04 season, Quinn was able to make the playoffs for 11 straight years, earning another Jack Adams Award in 1992 for his efforts with the Canucks.

One of Quinn’s most notable moments was in 2002, when he led Team Canada to win gold at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games—a feat the team hadn’t accomplished in 50 years.

On November 25, in a tribute ceremony before the evening’s Canucks game, a moment of silence was given in honour of Quinn. Canucks players will continue to honour Quinn throughout the 2014-15 season by sporting the initials “PQ” on their helmets. In addition, a portion of Rogers Arena will feature a memorial timeline of Quinn’s years with the Canucks.