Patrick (Pat) Burns was born April 4, 1952 in Montreal. As a teenager he played in the Ontario Hockey League for the London Knights. He also studied to become a police officer, a position he held for 16 years in the City of Gatineau.
His career as a hockey coach
In 1984 he began his career in the world of hockey as head coach of the Hull Olympics of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). In 1987, he made he jump to the American Hockey League directing the Canadians farm team in Sherbrooke. He made his mark and the Montreal Canadians of the National Hockey League (NHL) hired him as coach in 1988. In 1990 he was the coach of the selection of Stars to the Prince of Wales Conference at the 41st All-Star Game of the NHL.
For 14 years, he coached four NHL teams back to back, with which he won over 1,000 matches:
- The Montreal Canadians (1988-1992);
- The Toronto Maple Leafs (1992-1996);
- The Boston Bruins (1997-2001);
- The New Jersey Devils (2002-2004) with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2003.
Pat Burns retired in 2005 following his second diagnosis of cancer. In the summer of 2008, there was talk of a return to the NHL for Pat Burns with the Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightening or the New Jersey Devils. He was at this time a consultant for the New Jersey Devils and also assistant coach of Canada’s hockey team for the World Hockey Championship.
In spring 2007, every morning around 7:30 am, he participated by telephone in the program “Sports du lit” with Michel Langevin, Gabriel Grégoire and Jérémie Rainville, broadcast on Corus Sports CKAC 730-AM. In the winter of 2010, his health forced him to give up his daily columns.
Trophies and awards
Pat Burns is the only coach in NHL’s history to have won the Jack Adams trophy three times: in 1989 with the Montreal Canadians, in 1993 with the Toronto Maple Leafs and in 1998 with the Boston Bruins. This trophy is awarded annually to the NHL coach who has contributed most to the success of his team during the season. For the 2002-2003 season, he won the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils. On April 4, 2007, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the QMJHL, alongside among others Luc Robitaille. On November 17, 2014, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
A man known in the world of hockey
Pat Burns had an eventful coaching career. Unfortunately, the man who dedicated his life to his family and hockey succumbed to cancer on the 19th of November 2010, at the age of 58. We will remember Pat Burns as a great coach, a legend and one of the greatest ambassadors of the QMJHL. As the frank, determined and respected man that he was he would have made his sport grow in extraordinary ways over the years. We will also remember Pat Burns for his sense of humor, his humanity and honesty.
Pat Burns' stats as a coach in the NHL
|1988-1989||Montréal Canadiens||80||53||18||9||115||Lost in Stanley Cup final|
|1989-1990||Montréal Canadiens||80||41||28||11||93||Lost in 2nd round|
|1990-1991||Montréal Canadiens||80||39||30||11||89||Lost in 2nd round|
|1991-1992||Montréal Canadiens||80||41||28||11||93||Lost in 2nd round|
|1992-1993||Toronto Maple Leafs||84||44||29||11||99||Lost in 3rd round|
|1993-1994||Toronto Maple Leafs||84||43||29||12||98||Lost in 3rd round|
|1994-1995||Toronto Maple Leafs||48||21||19||8||50||Lost in 1st round|
|1995-1996||Toronto Maple Leafs||65||25||30||10||(60)||(Fired)|
|1997-1998||Boston Bruins||82||39||30||13||91||Lost in 1st round|
|1998-1999||Boston Bruins||82||39||30||13||91||Lost in 2nd round|
|1999-2000||Boston Bruins||82||24||33||19||73||Did not qualify|
|2002-2003||New Jersey Devils||82||46||20||10||108||Stanley Cup champion|
|2003-2004||New Jersey Devils||82||43||25||12||100||Lost in 1st round|