Former Canucks GM and Head Coach Pat Quinn dies at 71

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Pat Quinn

The legend Pat Quinn, former Canucks president, GM, coach and player and Vancouver Giants co-owner passed away Sunday night at Vancouver General Hospital, the Vancouver Giants announced. Quinn was 71.

“Words cannot express the pain we all feel today for the Quinn family,” said 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.”

We first learned of the severity of Pat Quinn’s illness after he was not able to participate in a Hockey Hall of Fame ceremony last week. Quinn’s family had remained private and did not release the details of his illness.

Quinn did just about everything in the Canucks organization as a player and in management. He is arguably the best coach in Canucks history.

A Hamilton, Ontario native, Quinn played 606 games in nine seasons as a defenceman in the NHL from 1968 to 1977 for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Atlanta Flames. He scored 18 goals and 113 assists and amassed 950 penalty minutes.

He went on to coach 20 seasons in the NHL from 1978 to 2010 with the Philadelphia Flyers, LA Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers. He made the playoffs 15 times and went to the Stanley Cup Final twice in 1980 with the Flyers and in 1994 with the Canucks. He was awarded the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 1980 and 1992.

Quinn also coached Team Canada to gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the IIHF U18 World Championships in 2008 and the IIHF U20 World Championships in 2009. He also won the World Cup championship with Team Canada in 2004.

In 2012, Quinn was awarded the Order of Canada to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

Statement from Trevor Linden, President, Hockey Operations of Canucks Sports & Entertainment:

“We have lost a great man. It’s a sad day for hockey and for everyone who loves our game. On this difficult day I am thinking about Pat, his family and his friends, and how much he will be missed.

I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for Pat. He was a great leader and always a teacher. He taught me how to be a professional on and off the ice. He taught me how to play hockey the right way, how to win, and about the importance of respect and loyalty.

Pat’s impact on our city has been immeasurable. He was responsible for bringing hockey to the forefront in Vancouver. He brought the pride back to the Canucks and today his finger prints and impact are still felt within this organization.”

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Statement from Francesco Aquilini, Chairman of Canucks Sports & Entertainment and Governor, NHL:

“It’s a very sad day today. On behalf of my family and all Canucks fans, my thoughts are with the Quinn family.

I’ll always remember Pat as a great leader. He built the Canucks teams that I cheered for as a fan and created a new generation of fans in our province.  None of us will ever forget the Stanley Cup run in 1994 or how Pat led Canada to our first men’s Olympic hockey gold in 50 years.

Pat meant a lot to our community. He built a new foundation for the Canucks franchise and was instrumental in  helping Vancouver and the Province of British Columbia become one of the strongest hockey markets in the world.

I feel fortunate to have known Pat and I will miss him.”

pat quinn

Pat Quinn

Image: Les Bazso

pat quinn 1994

pat quinn

pat quinn

Those wishing to send messages of condolence are asked to either email patquinn@vancouvergiants.com or send mail to the Giants’ offices at:

Pat Quinn
Vancouver Giants
100 North Renfrew Street
Vancouver, BC
V5K 3N7

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Rob Williams Sports Editor at Vancity Buzz covering all sports in Vancouver.
@robthehockeyguy

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