Now 56 years old, he recently learned that he has lung cancer and that the long-term outlook is not good. It's his third battle against the disease.
The Devils scout will take full advantage of each day.
"Right now, I’m just enjoying the time left. That’s what I’m trying to do," Burns said before Montreal played Tampa Bay tonight. "The crying and everything, that’s all finished. That’s over. I told my family, that’s it. We’ve done all that. Let’s just enjoy what we have here."
He had chemotherapy treatments the first two times but is not planning to take the treatment this time.
"Maybe something new will come out. This is my third bout with it," Burns said. "I’ve had colon cancer before. I’ve had liver cancer before. Now it’s proceeded into the lungs. It becomes a situation where, how much you do want to treat things. It’s the treatment that’s tough. I did through two-and-a-half years of chemo. I’ve had two major surgeries."
Burns is still an active man. He plays golf and rides his motorcycle, but hockey is everything to him.
"I love working for New Jersey," Burns said. "They’ve been great to me. They’ve supported me. General manager Lou Lamoriello is a godsend for me because he’s looked after me, and I know I can stay close to hockey."
During his 14-year coaching career with a record of 501-350-161-14, Pat Burns was with Montreal, Toronto, Boston, and New Jersey. He won the Stanley Cup during the 2002-03 season with the New Jersey Devils and is a three-time Jack Adams Award winner as the NHL’s top coach.
"I’m not going to stop," Burns said. "You’ve got to get up with a purpose in life."
I want to wish the Burns family the best of luck during these hard times.