Philly Sports Live

Canucks celebrate Pat Quinn’s legacy on St. Patrick’s Day (Video) (Puck Daddy)

Pat Quinn was the Big Irishman, in every sense of the nickname: In stature, in comportment, in heart and, as the Vancouver Canucks reminded us on Tuesday night, in legacy. The Canucks honored Quinn, who passed away on Nov. 24, 2014 after a long battle with illness. It was a tremendous ceremony before their game against the Philadelphia Flyers, bringing together some of the biggest names in Vancouver hockey history and others from the rest of Quinn’s career. Quinn coached the Philadelphia Flyers , Los Angeles Kings , Vancouver Canucks , Toronto Maple Leafs, and Edmonton Oilers , and is fifth all-time in the NHL in wins with 684. He reached the Stanley Cup Final twice, making appearances with the Flyers in 1980 and the Canucks in 1994. He won the Jack Adams Award in 1980 and 1982; an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada in 2002 (Canada’s first in 50 years); IIHF U18 and U20 gold in 2008 and 2009, respectively; and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.  The ceremony features dignitaries – wearing their team jerseys – that included Cliff Fletcher repping the Atlanta Flames, where Quinn played for five seasons; Bobby Clarke of the Philadelphia Flyers; whom Quinn coached; and Markus Naslund of the Canucks, whom Quinn acquired in one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history. But the biggest ovation came for a trio of Vancouver hockey legends: Team president Trevor Linden, former goalie Kirk McLean and Hall of Famer Pavel Bure, whose presence made the crowd explode. All three helped the Canucks make the 1994 Stanley Cup Final. The ceremony included Quinn’s wife and children, and an rendition of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.” Well done, Vancouver. And what a tribute to Pat Quinn to have so many from the hockey world there to honor his memory.