Former NHL player and coach Pat Quinn died on Sunday night in Vancouver at the age of 71, the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League announced.
Quinn was a co-owner of the Giants. The team said he passed away at a local hospital after a lengthy illness.
Quinn, who had been serving as chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame, coached 1,400 games over 20 seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers. His teams reached the playoffs 15 times, and he took two teams to the Stanley Cup Final (Philadelphia 1980, Vancouver 1994). His 1979-80 Flyers set an NHL record by going unbeaten in 35 consecutive games.
Quinn was also the Canucks' president and general manager. He was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor in April.
As a coach, he complied a 684-528-154 record in the NHL and was a two-time recipient of the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year. During his playing days with the Maple Leafs, Canucks and Atlanta Flames (1968-77), he appeared in 606 games and was best known for laying Bruins superstar Bobby Orr out with a big hit during the 1969 playoffs.
“Words cannot express the pain we all feel today for the Quinn family,” Giants majority owner Ron Toigo. “Pat was an inspiration to all of us. 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.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement:
“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.”
Quinn also coached Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
- Scooby Axson