As a player, coach, owner and an executive, Pat Quinn left a lasting impact on the game of hockey. He died Sunday following a lengthy health battle in Vancouver at the age of 71.
Most recently, he had been serving as the chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was unable to attend this month’s induction of the 2014 class due to his declining health. He was also the co-owner of the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.
Quinn’s coaching career spanned from 1979-2010. During that time, he was behind the bench for five NHL teams (Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers); twice reaching the Stanley Cup Finals and twice winning the Jack Adams award as the NHL’s coach of the year.
Internationally, he was just as accomplished. He served as coach for the Canadian national team on several occasions. He was behind the bench for two Olympics, winning gold in 2002 to break a 50-year drought.
A defenseman, Quinn played in the NHL for nine season (from 1968-1977). In 606 games for the Maple Leafs, Canucks and Calgary Flames, he amassed 18 goals and 131 points.
Quinn last coached in the NHL with the Oilers in 2010, After he stepped down from that post, he remained a senior advisor to the team for two seasons. He also advised for the 2010 Canadian Olympic team (which captured gold).
“Pat Quinn, when I was Olympic coach in 2010, was great assistance to me, great man, unbelievable presence,” said 2010 Canada (and current Detroit Red Wings) coach Mike Babcock. “Intelligent, intelligent guy. Great at handling the media in Toronto, maybe the last guy who was able to do that. Spent his whole life in the game.”
He would coach in a total of 1,400 NHL games, winning 684. In addition to coaching in the NHL, he served as the president and general manager of the Canucks and the GM of the Maple Leafs. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement on his 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. 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.