The hockey world took a blow today with news that former Maple Leafs coach and NHL player, Pat Quinn, died at the age of 71.
In a statement from the Leafs president, Brendan Shanahan said, “This is a tremendous loss for the hockey community. Pat will be revered not only for his great accomplishments in sport, but also for his courage and strength in face of his illness, and his dedication to family.”
Quinn made his debut playing for the Leafs organization in 1968 and was the Leafs head coach from 1998 to 2006.
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) Chairman Larry Tanenbaum also issued a statement.
“On behalf of the ownership, management, staff, and players of the Toronto Maple Leafs, we are all deeply saddened by the loss of Pat Quinn,” Tanenbaum said. “Pat was an associate and good friend to so many of us. We join hockey fans around the country in offering our thoughts and prayers to his wife, Sandra, and daughters Kalli and Val.”
Prime Minster Stephen Harper took to social media and expressed his condolences in a tweet.
Pat Quinn was a giant of the hockey world, on the ice and off. Laureen and I extend our condolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/2tKpCsDBC6
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) November 24, 2014
Aside from his time spent in Toronto with the Leafs, Quinn also played for the Vancouver Canucks and the Atlanta Flames before they were relocated to Calgary in 1980. Since 1977, Quinn has coached the Philadelphia Flyers, the LA Kings, the Vancouver Canucks, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and most recently, the Edmonton Oilers. Quinn will be remembered not just for his hockey and coaching skills, but for his infamous hit on Bobby Orr in 1969 during a playoff game.
Quinn was born Jan. 29, 1943 in Hamilton, Ontario.