Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pat Burns, 1952-2010. R.I.P.

Legendary NHL coach Pat Burns has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 58.

Burns served as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils. In his first year as a coach, the Canadiens reached the Stanley Cup Finals. In 14 seasons as a coach, Burns' teams made the playoffs eleven times. Burns reached the pinacle of his success in 2003 when the Devils won the Stanley Cup. Burns finished his career with 501 wins as an NHL coach.

However, Burns would be diagnosed with cancer the following year bringing his coaching career to a premature end. There was an effort to get Burns into the NHL Hall of Fame but this was not successful. This is a shame as Burns ranks 11th on the all-time list of NHL coaches with the most wins. If not for his health, Burns certainly had a shot at being one of the top five winningest coaches in NHL history.

The greatness of Pat Burns is probably one of the few things Canadiens and Maple Leafs fan can agree on.

No comments: