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Former NHL Coach Pat Quinn Dies at Age 71

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2014

VANCOUVER, CANADA - MARCH 2: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Pat Quinn the Coach of the 1993/94 Vancouver Canucks Team holds a press conference with members of that team at the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic between the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators at BC Place on March 2, 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)
Graig Abel/Getty Images

The sport of hockey lost one of its truly great minds and people Sunday night as former NHL player, coach and executive Pat Quinn died at the age of 71.   

According to ESPN.com's Katie Strang, the Vancouver native succumbed to a long illness. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement after Quinn's passing in support of everything Quinn meant to the league and the game as a whole.

Whether he was playing for a team, coaching a team or building one, Pat Quinn was thoughtful, passionate and committed to success. Pat's contributions to hockey, at every level, reflected the skills he possessed and the great respect with which he treated the sport. The National Hockey League, one of the many organizations to benefit from his devoted service, sends heartfelt condolences to Pat's loved ones and his many friends around the hockey world.

After spending parts of nine seasons in the NHL as a defenseman with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Atlanta Flames, Quinn embarked on a long and successful coaching career. He led the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Canucks, Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers at various points from 1978 through 2010. 

He compiled a career regular-season record of 684-528-154-34, led Philadelphia and Vancouver to the Stanley Cup Final in 1980 and 1994 respectively and twice won the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL's best coach.

Following Quinn's untimely death, there was an outpouring of support from many in and around the sport of hockey. 

TSN's Pierre LeBrun made it known that Quinn had a major impact on him over the years:

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Adam Proteau of The Hockey News did the same and praise Quinn's character:

Bruce Arthur of The Toronto Star looked back on Quinn as an innovative and passionate man who made hockey better for all involved:

Even New York Islanders superstar John Tavares recalled the manner in which Quinn helped him along as a young player:

Quinn quite obviously had a positive effect on nearly everyone he came in contact with, which is why he will be so sorely missed.

"The Big Irishman" truly did it all within the realm of hockey, and his place in history will never be forgotten.

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