Former coach Pat Burns continues to laugh over false reports of his death

patburns2.jpgMany folks while stricken with life-threatening illness will sometimes be morose or downbeat about things going on in their lives. It’s understandable to do so, so when you see former three-time Jack Adams Award winning coach Pat Burns yukking it up and having fun at the expense of those seemingly eager to report on his death, it can’t help but make you smile and root for the man.

Such is the case with Burns, who is dealing with terminal lung cancer, as he continues to show people that he’s very much alive and while he’s sick, he’ll keep doing what he always does: Being feisty. Burns made an appearance at the ground breaking for a new arena being named after him in Quebec, and while he’s not looking well, he’s as lively as ever with a one-liner.

“I’m not dead yet,” he cracked to journalists in a hushed tone, his once-booming voice now thin.

It was his first official event since several news outlets reported him dead just a few weeks ago.

He thought he had made his last media appearance in March, when he helped announce a project for the new Pat Burns Arena in Stanstead, a border town in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

But the resilient ex-cop was back Wednesday for the groundbreaking ceremony.

He pulled up to the gathering riding shotgun in an SUV, slowly exited and then, with assistance, shuffled on his skinny legs to a seat.

“I’m still alive,” Burns, wrapped in a red blanket, told a swarm of reporters shortly after sitting down.

He had little else to say and didn’t speak during the news conference.

You can’t help but root for Pat Burns here. Cancer is an awful disease and while he’s continuing to fight it and battle on despite how bad it is for him personally, he’s still able to drop in on this event and show that even a debilitating condition won’t stop him. Burns has always been a great quote in hockey and an outstanding man in the business. Hopefully he can continue to laugh about this for some time.

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    Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week

    Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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    Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.

    From the NHL:

    Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.

    Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.

    Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.

    Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse

    Malkin to miss third straight game with lower-body injury

    Evgeni Malkin
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    Evgeni Malkin‘s “nagging” lower-body injury will keep him out at least one more game.

    Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that the star center will sit out tonight at home against the Ducks. Malkin already missed two contests this weekend in Florida. His status is day-to-day.

    The Penguins lost, 6-3, in Tampa on Friday, but rebounded Saturday with a 3-2 OT win over the Panthers.

    Pittsburgh’s next game after tonight’s is Wednesday at home versus the Rangers.

    McDonagh out with concussion after Saturday’s altercation with Simmonds

    Ryan McDonagh
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    The New York Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh tonight at home to New Jersey, the club announcing this morning that the defenseman is out with a concussion.

    McDonagh left Saturday’s game in Philadelphia following an altercation with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds that ended with McDonagh taking a punch to the face from Simmonds.

    Simmonds received a match penalty and was thrown out of the game, but did not receive any supplemental discipline.

    Given the standings, the Rangers can ill afford to lose McDonagh for long. They play in Pittsburgh Wednesday, followed by three home games against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

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    Lucic’s plan is to ‘remain a King’ for remainder of career

    Milan Lucic, Alex Burrows, Dan Hamhuis
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    Tuesday night, Milan Lucic will play his first game in Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

    It should be an emotional return for the big 27-year-old winger. In an interview with the L.A. Times, he recalled his time with his former club fondly, saying how great it was to be a “part of one of the best-ever eras to be a Bruin.”

    A pending unrestricted free agent, Lucic also commented on his contract negotiations with the Kings.

    “Nothing to get excited about,” he said. “There’s been two or three little talks here and there. My plan is to remain a King and hopefully finish off my career here. Like I said, I go day by day and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”

    Lucic has 12 goals and 18 assists in 50 games this season. Though the Kings reportedly want to keep him, the question is whether they can find the cap space to make it happen.

    Los Angeles already has Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, and Jonathan Quick locked up long term. Plus, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will require new deals after next season.

    Related: Why Lucic is an interesting pending UFA