It’s been a month of largely unhappy news (and discussion) in the NHL, but this story about an arena being named after former NHL coach Pat Burns positively devastated me. Here are a few excerpts from a rather heart-wrenching AP story.
A thin and frail Pat Burns said he’s honored to have an arena named after him, even as he conceded he likely won’t live to see it completed.
Burns was forced to leave coaching in 2004 because colon cancer. When he was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, he opted against treatment.
“I know my life is nearing the end and I accept that,” he told a few dozen invited guests at Stanstead College. “I probably won’t be here when (the arena) is finished, but I’ll be looking down on it.”
It will be a sad day when the former Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Devils and Bruins coach dies, but I’d rather not focus on Burns’ health. Instead, check out this snapshot of the three-time Jack Adams award winner’s career after the jump.
* – Burns started his head coaching career off in an impressive fashion with the Montreal Canadiens during the 1988-89 season. The coach won his first coach of th year award, the Habs lost in the Stanley Cup Finals and finished the regular season 53-18-9.
* – The Canadiens made the playoffs every year he was the team’s coach (from 88-89 to 91-92).
(All stats taken from Hockeydb.com.)