An Ode to Pat Burns (1952-2000): A National Hockey League Coaching Great

November 19th, 2010 by Sean Hartnett Leave a reply »
Pat Burns bid farewell to hockey world on Friday after a courageous battle with cancer.  The former Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils head coach passed away at 58 years of age in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

If poor health hadn't forced Burns to step down from his post as Devils' head coach in 2005, he would have been a sure fire Hall of Famer. A Facebook group that eventually reached over 70,000 was formed on March 26, 2010 in an attempt to get Pat inducted as fans knew that his health had taken a turn for the worst.

It would have been a kind gesture for the NHL to have made a special dispensation to include Burns in their Hall-of-Fame class of 2010. To allow him into hockey's hallowed halls would have given a man who was well-liked by the entire hockey community a day to smile again and given him the proper send-off before his nearing defeat to cancer.

Burns was a rare breed who was beloved by both sides of the fiercest rivalry in the league of the Maple Leafs and Canadiens. His "man of the people" personality gave him a special bond with fans around the NHL. The former police officer proudly represen ...

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