Canucks put former coach Quinn into ring of honor
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) The Vancouver Canucks inducted Pat Quinn into the team’s ring of honor on Sunday night before the final game of a non-playoff season.
Quinn, a former defenseman, was the Canucks president and general manager from 1987-97. He coached the team from 1991-94 and then again late in the 1995-96 season.
”I can’t express the feeling I have to join the ring of honor,” Quinn told a cheering crowd before the Canucks finale against the Calgary Flames. ”I am quite proud of today.”
The ceremony came at the end of a promising season that turned bad for the Canucks, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. There are some parallels between what the 71-year-old Quinn faced in 1987 and the task being handed to new Canucks president Trevor Linden.
Quinn took over a money-losing franchise and helped turned it into a high-scoring team that came within one win of capturing the Stanley Cup in the 1994 finals against the New York Rangers.
”When you are first starting you know one thing,” Quinn said. ”I always wanted to be a team player.
”No one person wins a hockey game, no one person builds a franchise. I got pretty lucky in putting this team together.”
In 280 games as a coach, Quinn was 141-111-28. With him behind the bench, the Canucks won two division titles, five playoff rounds and he was voted coach of the year in the 1991-92 season.
As a general manager, Quinn helped build the Canucks by drafting players like Linden and Pavel Bure. Linden recently was named president after the firing of president and general manager Mike Gillis.
Quinn also traded for players such as Kirk McLean, Cliff Ronning, Dave Babych, Jyrki Lumme, Greg Adams, Geoff Courtnall and Markus Naslund.
It was through Quinn that Brian Burke, Dave Nonis, Steve Tambellini and George McPhee received their first NHL jobs.
Quinn spent nine years as a player for Vancouver, Toronto and Atlanta. He also coached Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Toronto and Edmonton.
Although the Canucks struggled this season, Quinn sees hope for the future.
”When I came here in the 1970s it was hard to find a Canuck fan,” he said. ”Now we are all Canuck fans.
”Thanks for how you treated me.”