Pat Burns: NHL coach is remembered for his success -- and his courage
"Just as they will remember Pat for his success as a coach, hockey fans also will remember his humor, his honesty, his humanity and his courage," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "As it mourns the loss of an outstanding contributor to the game, the National Hockey League sends heartfelt condolences to Pat's family and friends."
Burns, who had lung cancer after battling colon and liver cancer, died at a hospice in Sherbrooke, Canada.
He guided the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup in 2003 after being named coach of the year with the Montreal Canadiens in 1989, with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1993 and with the Boston Bruins in 1998. He won 501 games over 14 seasons.
"On behalf of the Maple Leafs, I want to convey our deepest sympathies to Pat's family, and the long list of his close friends throughout the hockey community," Brian Burke, the Maple leafs general manager, said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of grief."
-- Debbie Goffa
Photo: Pat Burns was a happy man after being hired as head coach of the Boston Bruins in 1997. Credit: Jim Bourg / Reuters