One of hockey’s most decorated coaches is thinking about getting back in the game.
Pat Quinn, fourth on the list of all-time coaching victories, told Wayne Scanlan of The National Post he’d be willing to get back behind the bench if an opportunity arose.
“When it’s your life and suddenly it’s not there, it’s a big hole,” he said. “I’d love to be involved with some team some place. I think I still have something to offer. I don’t know what level…coaching always appealed to me, but I’m experienced in other areas.”
Quinn was asked about a coaching return after four NHL bench bosses — Davis Payne, Bruce Boudreau, Paul Maurice and Randy Carlyle — were fired before Dec.1. There have now been more than two dozen coaches fired since the lockout ended in 2005, reaffirming the old “hired to be fired” cliche.
“Having been in the profession, you don’t like to see it, you know how hard these men work,” Quinn said. “When you put your own sweat and blood in there, then you feel something about the organization and the city and the fans.”
So, could Quinn seriously come back? Yes and no. He has a wealth of experience and success (he’s coached in three Stanley Cup finals, Olympics, World Cup, Junior and U-18 World Championships) and probably forgotten more about hockey than most will ever know.
But with experience comes age, and the 68-year-old Quinn might not be up to the rigors of an NHL schedule. Terry Murray, 61, is the league’s oldest head coach; 59-year-olds Jacques Martin and Ken Hitchcock are the second-oldest.
The idea is intriguing, though. Adding to the intrigue is that Quinn’s currently unemployed after being a Senior Adviser in Edmonton last season — well, sorta unemployed. The Big Irishman will be an honorary head coach for the Flyers at the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic alumni game, to be played on Dec. 31.