By Stu Hackel
Pat Burns passed away on Friday, a gruff but funny and beloved figure in the game and the only coach to win the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year with three different teams — Montreal in 1989, Toronto in 1993 and Boston in 1998. He coached the Devils to the 2003 Stanley Cup and deserves a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame, which he sadly did not live to see.
But he did live to see construction begin on a rink named in his honor in the Eastern Townships of Quebec…
…and learn how much he was loved when his death was reported erroneously earlier this year. At that time, Bob McKenzie of TSN, who was a close friend of Burns, wrote just about the best thing you could want to read about Pat, and you should read it sometime this weekend.
Jim Kelley of SI.com, who also writes for Sportsnet.ca, has written a very personal and insightful remembrance of Burns on that website and you should read that one too.