Cop Talk: Former NHL Coach Pat Burns

Daniel ArouchianSenior Analyst INovember 17, 2008

Before coaching in the QMJHL, AHL, and NHL, Pat Burns was a police officer in Gatineau, Quebec.

Here are a few of his memorable quotes while coaching in the NHL:


When asked to comment an article that was published in a Toronto newspaper after Team Canada lost the World Cup against Team USA, reporting that Canadians Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Paul Coffey went to Chez Parée, Pat Burns said:

“They can do what they want after games. It's nobody's business as long as they weren't there between the second and third period”

(September 20, 1996)


Explaining why he moved Jason Allison off the team’s first line, he said:

“There are three things that are sure. You're going to pay taxes, you're going to die, and I'm going to change the lines.”


(April 1999)


During a playoff series against the Buffalo Sabres, the Bruins coach responded to all the comments about how strong Sabres goalie Dominic Hasek was:

“I think he let some goals in this year. His goals-against average was not 0.00.”


(May 7, 1999)


When asked about the long-standing tradition Detroit tradition of throwing an octopus on the ice, the former coach remembers:

“I got hit with an octopus in Detroit one time. ''It was the most gross thing I've ever had happen. I got it right in the back of the neck; all the juice was coming down. It was awful.”


(May 1999)


After he was hired to coach the Boston Bruins:

“Coaching the Bruins is like going bear hunting with a butter knife.”


A reporter asks Burns about the incident where Latrell Sprewell of the NBA tried to strangle his coach:

“If one of my players ever wants to hit me, he better do it really hard because otherwise, I’ll find a rock, a stick, or a piece of wood—and believe me, it’s gonna be a brawl...”


When asked by a reporter where the exercise room was in the hotel, he simply replied:

“You’re asking me where the exercise room is?”


(February 1997)


When people suggested that he might win his third Jack Adams Trophy that season he said:

“Nah, they give you only $1,200 for that.”

(October 1997)