On Friday, November 19th, the world suffered a terrible loss as legendary Coach Pat Burns passed away at age 58. Burns had fought a courageous battle against cancer for a number of years, seeing that battle end at Maison Aube-Lumiere in Sherbrook, Quebec.
Burns will be remembered as one of the best coaches of his time. He seemed to enjoy success everywhere he worked, coaching the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils. He coached 1019 career games, earning a 501-353-165 record along the way.
He had been working as an advisor to the New Jersey Devils, the team he won a Stanley Cup with, until his death. New Jersey General Manager Lou Lamoriello has released this statement;
"On behalf of the ownership, management, staff, and players of the New Jersey Devils, we are all deeply saddened by the loss of Pat Burns," said Lamoriello. "Pat was a close friend to us all, while dedicating his life to his family and to the game of hockey. He has been part of our family here in New Jersey for eight years."
"Today, the hockey world has lost a great friend and ambassador. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Line, and the entire Burns' family."
Burns coached the Devils from June 13, 2002, to July 8, 2005, before he stepped down to an advising role due to personal reasons. His best season came in 2002-03, when he coached the Devils to a 46-26-10 record and a Stanley Cup. He also reached both the 500-win and 1000-game plateaus as a member of New Jersey.
Prior to the Devils, Pat Burns coached the Boston Bruins from May 21, 1997, to October 25, 2000. In that time span, Burns led the team to two playoff appearances.
Pat's coaching career started in Montreal, where he led the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup finals in his rookie year. After four years of coaching the Canadiens he moved on to the Toronto Maple Leafs, where his tenure also lasted four years.
Burns became the first coach to win the Jack Adams Trophy with three different teams in 1997-98 as a member of the Bruins. One of those awards came in his first year of coaching.
Funeral arrangements for Burns will be made within the next few days.
R.I.P. Pat Burns.