Pat Burns

Hockey greats reflect on Pat Burns’ career during his funeral

As we discussed earlier today, many prominent hockey people converged in Montreal to celebrate Pat Burn’s life and attend his funeral this afternoon.

The funeral took place at the Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, a “scaled down replica of Saint Peter’s basilica in Rome.”

The Canadian Press reports that many hockey greats were on hand, including players who were influenced by Burns during his 1,000+ game career as an NHL career. Commissioner Gary Bettman joined a group that included the entire New Jersey Devils roster and former greats including Raymond Bourque, Patrick Roy, Tie Domi and Luc Robitaille. Front office members who attended the event included Brian Burke and Cliff Fletcher.

There was a common theme to the descriptions — that of a man with a booming voice, an equally big heart, and a knack for winning.

“His bark sometimes was a little louder than his bite, but he could actually bark pretty loud. But he could also have the other side, that was understanding and supportive,” said Bourque, the legendary Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche defenceman.

“He was fun to play for. I really loved him and he was the best defensive coach I’ve ever had.”

Bourque also addressed what many in the hockey world consider a historic slight: “(He’s) a guy that probably should have been in the Hall of Fame this past year and will be in the Hall of Fame someday.”

It’s a shame that if Burns will be inducted, it will be on a posthumous basis. There’s always a large sense of sadness when that happens and the opportunity was there with the 2010 HHOF class.

Ultimately, focusing on that won’t change anything, though. Burns had a fantastic career as a coach, something that the hockey world recognized today.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.