Passings: Canadian hockey icon Pat Quinn was a York alumnus

NHL Coach Pat Quinn
Pat Quinn
Pat Quinn, NHL Coach
Pat Quinn

Legendary hockey icon and York University grad Pat Quinn (BA ’72), spent more than four decades giving National Hockey League (NHL) fans plenty to cheer for—whether as player, coach or general manager. Quinn died on Nov. 24 at the age of 71 after a long illness, a loss that was mourned by hockey fans and the York University community alike.

A native of Hamilton, Ont., Quinn was well-known for his role as head coach of the Canadian Olympic men’s hockey team when they ended a 50-year gold-medal drought during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.

Jennifer Myer, director of Sport & Recreation at York University, said that Quinn was a Canadian hockey legend “who no doubt inspired generations of hockey players, including our very own York Lions, and who built an exceptional legacy by mentoring thousands of future coaches.”

Before becoming known as an NHL coaching legend, Quinn was also a notable player in his own right. After stints in the minor leagues, his NHL career debut came in 1968 as a defenceman for the Toronto Maple Leafs. In total, Quinn played in the NHL for nine seasons until an injury ended his playing career in 1977, during which time he also played for the Vancouver Canucks and the Atlanta Flames.

Though an injury eventually took him out of the sport as a player, Quinn decided to take his expertise behind the bench as NHL coach.  Over the course of 20 seasons, he coached for the Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs.