By HOWARD BERGER
TORONTO (Nov. 26) — Pat Quinn was such an imposing figure in the hockey world — and in my radio career — that one posthumous blog is hardly enough. As such, I have added this photographic tribute for a man that will be sorely missed by colleagues, media and fans.
2012 HOCKEY HALL OF FAME WEEKEND
As it turned out, the greatest moment of Pat Quinn’s term as chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame was also his last healthy moment in the distinguished role. The Big Irishman was beaming on the afternoon of Nov. 11, 2012 when he officially welcomed Pavel Bure and Mats Sundin as honored members. Bure had scored innumerable big goals for the Vancouver Canucks when Quinn managed and coached the team in the mid–90’s and Sundin was the big horse Quinn rode during his eight–year term as GM and coach of the Maple Leafs. I had the privilege of being at the Friday afternoon media gathering in the Hall and the annual Red Carpet procession to the Monday night induction ceremony. Many of Quinn’s Leaf players from 1998 to 2006 showed up to watch in person as their former teammate — Sundin — made his acceptance speech.
Here were several of my photos:
NOVEMBER 11, 2012 — ESSO GREAT HALL
AMONG THE MOST UNIQUE PHOTOS FROM MY NIKON — I’M SITTING DIRECTLY BEHIND MATS SUNDIN WHILE QUINN WELCOMES HIS FORMER MAPLE LEAFS CAPTAIN TO THE HALL OF FAME. EX–PLAYER AND COACH THEN POSE TOGETHER, BELOW.
QUINN AND HIS FORMER CANUCKS SNIPER, PAVEL BURE.
QUINN ALWAYS PROVIDED INSIGHTFUL ANSWERS TO MEDIA QUERIES, SUCH AS HERE — MOMENTS AFTER PRESENTING THE 2012 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES.
NOVEMBER 14, 2012 — RED CARPET
CURTIS JOSEPH APPEARED IN 270 REGULAR SEASON GAMES FOR PAT QUINN BETWEEN 1998-99 AND 2001-02, COMPILING A RECORD OF 137–97–28. IN 60 PLAYOFF GAMES FOR QUINN, CUJO WAS 32–28 WITH A 2.25 GOALS–AGAINST AVERAGE.
QUINN ACQUIRED DAPPER DEFENCEMAN BRYAN McCABE (ABOVE AND BELOW) FROM CHICAGO ON OCT. 2, 2000 FOR THE LATE ALEXANDER KARPOVSTEV AND A FOURTH-ROUND DRAFT PICK. TURNED OUT TO BE A PRETTY GOOD DEAL.
ON FEB. 9, 2000, QUINN MADE A DEAL THAT PROVED POPULAR WITH LEAF FANS, NABBING DARCY TUCKER (ABOVE) FROM TAMPA BAY FOR WINGER MIKE JOHNSON (NOW A HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA GAME ANALYST). TUCKER PLAYED HIS HEART OUT FOR THE BIG IRISHMAN.
COMBATIVE, RELENTLESS GARY ROBERTS ARRIVED VIA FREE AGENCY (ALONG WITH SHAYNE CORSON) ON JULY 4, 2000. ROBERTS WAS A MAN POSSESSED DURING THE 2002 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS. HAD THE MAPLE LEAFS BEEN HEALTHY (SUNDIN AND TUCKER WERE INJURED), THE TORONTO CUP DROUGHT MAY HAVE ENDED AT 35 YEARS.
PAT QUINN HOLDS COURT ON THE RED CARPET — NOV. 14, 2012.
WHEN WE WERE YOUNG…
QUINN PLAYED IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE AS A SLOW–SKATING, BELLIGERENT DEFENCEMAN BETWEEN 1968–69 AND 1976–77 WITH THE LEAFS, VANCOUVER CANUCKS AND ATLANTA FLAMES. HIS INITIAL CRACK AT THE NHL CAME IN THE AUTUMN OF 1967 WITH THE EXPANSION ST. LOUIS BLUES (ABOVE). BUT, SCOTTY BOWMAN SENT HIM PACKING.
ST. LOUIS SOLD QUINN’S RIGHTS TO THE MAPLE LEAFS ON MAR. 25, 1968 AND QUINN MADE HIS DEBUT THE FOLLOWING SEASON (LEAFS 1968–69 MEDIA GUIDE ABOVE). IN 40 REGULAR–SEASON GAMES, HE RACKED UP 95 PENALTY MINUTES. STILL, HE DID NOT WARRANT A FULL–PAGE BIO IN THE MEDIA GUIDE, SHARING SPACE (BELOW) WITH OTHER PART–TIMERS (NOTE HOW THE WORD “TRUCULENT” BECAME PART OF THE MAPLE LEAF LEXICON A FULL 40 YEARS BEFORE BRIAN BURKE MARCHED INTO TOWN).
QUINN’S NINE–SEASON PLAYING CAREER WAS ENCAPSULATED IN A NOW–LEGENDARY MOMENT AT THE BOSTON GARDEN ON APR. 2, 1969. THE ROOKIE DEFENCEMAN TOOK A HEALTHY RUN AT BOBBY ORR ALONG THE RIGHT–WING BOARDS LATE IN THE SECOND PERIOD OF A PLAYOFF OPENER BETWEEN THE MAPLE LEAFS AND BRUINS. ORR CATAPULTED BACKWARD AND FELL UNCONSCIOUS TO THE ICE. HANDED A FIVE–MINUTE ELBOWING MAJOR BY REFEREE JOHN ASHLEY, QUINN WAS NEARLY ASSAULTED IN THE PENALTY BOX AND HAD TO BOLT TO THE VISITORS’ DRESSING ROOM. LEAFS WERE ANNIHILATED 10–0 THAT NIGHT, QUINN’S HIT ON ORR RESULTED IN A THIRD–PERIOD BRAWL, DURING WHICH FORBES KENNEDY OF THE LEAFS TOOK ON THE ENTIRE BOSTON TEAM AND PUNCHED LINESMAN GEORGE ASHLEY TO THE ICE. IT WAS QUITE A NIGHT AT THE OLD ARENA ON CAUSEWAY ST.
PERHAPS AS A RESULT OF CLOBBERING ORR, QUINN EARNED A FULL–PAGE BIO (BELOW) IN THE MAPLE LEAFS 1969–70 MEDIA GUIDE.
QUINN WAS PROMINENT IN THE SECOND AND THIRD ROUNDS OF NHL EXPANSION. VANCOUVER SELECTED HIM FROM THE LEAFS FOR ITS INAUGURAL SEASON OF 1970–71 AND ATLANTA TOOK QUINN OFF THE CANUCKS UPON JOINING THE LEAGUE IN 1972–73.
QUINN’S 1970–71 BIO IN THE CANUCKS MEDIA GUIDE…
AND QUINN’S 1972–73 BIO IN THE FLAMES MEDIA GUIDE.
News of Pat Quinn’s death dominated Toronto newspapers on Tuesday:
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