Today, Line Burns, Pat Burns wife, sent us a private email giving her blessing and thanking us for the work we did on behalf of her late husband at the Pat Burns Arena in Stanstead, in his name.
We asked her permission to share the big news, that this legendary hockey coach and leader was being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to have worked with such a wonderful woman as Line, through a process that had to have been very difficult. Congratulations to you Line, your family and the beautiful legacy Pat left for us all.
The Montreal native’s induction was considered long overdue by many in the hockey community. Pat Burns was posthumously inducted as a builder four years after his death at the age of 58. The only coach to win the Jack Adams Award three times as coach of the year, he did so once each with the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins and then captured the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils.
Line Burns, the coach’s widow, was not concerned about any past slights once the announcement was made.
“Honestly, when I got the call, I was very surprised, very overwhelmed. I never thought it would come this soon. You learn to be patient about this, because there are so many people with great talent,” Line Burns explained.
“I know Pat would have been so happy, so grateful, so proud to accept this honor. It’s a very emotional day for the Burns family,” she said. “I have a lack of words today, but one word comes to my mind, it’s grateful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
While there were many blow-ups along the way, Burns was able to retain the affection of most of his players, if not his bosses. Did he have any regrets?
“No, I don’t think so,” Pat Burns said shortly before he died. “I think about that often and I don’t think so. It was the way I went. I pointed that way: I’m going there, either lead, follow or get out of the way. I think the guys liked that.”
To read the complete Globe and Mail article, click here.
Patrick John Joseph Burns (April 4, 1952 – November 19, 2010) was a National Hockey League head coach. Over 14 seasons between 1988 and 2004, he coached in 1,019 games with the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils. Burns retired in 2005 after being diagnosed with recurring cancer, which eventually claimed his life five years later. In 2011, the Pat Burns Arena was built in his honor in Stanstead, Qc. Finally, in 2014, he was posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.