Pat Burns’ family, friends and proponents will have to wait and see if he will be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame, but they won’t have to wait to honor his memory. Pat Burns Arena officially opened today about 10 months after the three-time Jack Adams Award recipient lost his battle with cancer on Nov. 19, 2010.
Burns is the only coach in NHL history to win the Jack Adams win three different teams, as he earned that award with the Montreal Canadiens (1988-89), Toronto Maple Leafs (92-93) and Boston Bruins (97-98). Some might say that his greatest achievement came with the New Jersey Devils, however, as he won the Stanley Cup with that franchise in 2003.
CTV reports that hockey greats such as Henri Richard and Guy Carbonneau were on hand for the ceremony. Although memorabilia that was meant to help raise money for the event was stolen from the car of Burns’ widow Lyne, CTV reports that the Canadian and Quebec governments covered two-thirds of the costs while the City of Stanstead still managed to cover the rest.
Burns knew that he probably wouldn’t be alive to see the building open its doors, but expressed great joy in knowing that future hockey players would compete there.
“I probably won’t see the project to the end, but let’s hope I’m looking down on it and see a young Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux,” he said in March 2010.