There are a lot of things that people willremember Pat Burns for,but to me he’ll always be the guy who took the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were pretty much a laughing stock for a good part of the 80’s and very early 90’s, and brought them back to respectability. The most successful and fun to watch Leaf teams of my hockey fan life were coached by Pat Burns. I don’t think I’d ever seen a more passionate coach than he was, a guy who lived and died with seemingly every play. He wore his emotions on his sleeve at times, but that was part of what made him so great. Pat Burns is a hall of famer if ever there was one, and it’s a shame that the voters didn’t do the right thing and put him in while he was still alive to see it.
He coached some great, tough hockey teams, and I have no doubt he was even greater and tougher as a person. You have to be tough to beat cancer twice, then live with it a third time from 2009 until now while not taking any more treatment.
“I know my life is nearing its end and I accept that. As for my career, I always said to my kids, ‘you don’t cry because it’s over, you’re happy because it happened.’ That’s the main thing. I’m happy it happened.”
Thanks for the memories and rest in peace, coach.