The NHL community was hit with the news that was expected for a long time but still hard to hear that long time coach Pat Burns passed away Friday after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Burns was 58 years old.
Burns coached in the NHL for over fourteen season. He coached the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils. He took teams to the Stanley Cup Finals twice. Winning it in 2003 with the Devils.
Pat is also the only 3 time winner of the Jack Adams Award. Given annually to the Coach of the Year in the NHL. Burns won the award with the Canadiens (1989), Maple Leafs (1993), and Boston Bruins (1998).
He battled and beat colon cancer in 2004. Then had to retire from the NHL in 2005 when he was diagnosed with Liver cancer. Pat was later diagnosed with Lung cancer in 2009 the disease that would ultimately claim his life. Fighting cancer 3 times with the grace and dignity that he did just proved what a great character Pat was.
In 2010 the NHL Hall of Fame committee decided not elected Pat into the Hockey Hall of Fame even though there was a public outcry to get him elected while he was still alive. There is no doubt that he will be elected at some point. It would have been a nice gesture for him to have been elected the past year. There is no questioning his credentials.
Everyone here at Shockblast Media would like to send our condolences to the family and friends of Pat Burns.