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Pat Quinn

A Pro Stock Hockey Top 9 Coach


Pat Quinn

Pat Quinn and hockey go hand in hand. John Brian Patrick Quinn (1943-2014) was an accomplished hockey player, coach and NHL executive who is probably best remembered for his success behind the bench. Not only was Pat Quinn an NHL hockey coaching standout, he also fared exceptionally well as an international coach.

Quinn, born in Hamilton, Ontario, was a defenseman whose playing career stretched from 1958-59 to 1976-77. Pat Quinn in the NHL played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Atlanta Flames. In 606 regular-season NHL games, Quinn recorded 18 goals and 113 assists.

Pat Quinn — Hockey Coach

Here’s a team-by-team look at Quinn’s head coaching record. 

  • Philadelphia Flyers. Quinn was behind the bench in Philadelphia from 1978-79 to 1981-82, leading the Flyers to the playoffs each year and losing in the Stanley Cup Final to the New York Islanders in 1979-80. His regular-season record was 141-73-48.
  • Los Angeles Kings. Quinn was in LA for two-plus seasons, from 1984-85 to midway through 1986-87. His regular-season record was 75-101-26, but took the Kings to the playoffs in his first season.
  • Vancouver Canucks. Quinn spent three full seasons as head coach, from 1990-91 to 1993-94. With a 141-111-28 regular-season record, he led the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Playoffs each year, losing to the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final in 1993-94. 
  • Toronto Maple Leafs. Quinn coached the Leafs from 1998-99 to 2005-06. Amassing a regular-season record of 300-196-52-26, he reached the playoffs in his first five seasons.
  • Edmonton Oilers. Quinn returned from junior league coaching to take the reins in Edmonton for the 2009-10 season. The Oilers struggled, finishing last in the league. 
  • In international play:
    • Quinn coached Canada in the 2002 Winter Olympics, capturing the gold medal over the U.S. team. Believe it or not, it was Canada’s first Olympic gold since the 1952 Olympics.
    • In 2004, Quinn led Canada to first place in the 2004 World Cup, winning every game.
    • In junior hockey, Quinn had numerous successes, including an undefeated record and title in the 2009 World Junior Championships.

Pat Quinn — NHL Stats and Trivia 

  • Richard scored his 50 single-season goals in 50 games in 1944-45.
  • Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion was the second player to score 50 goals in a season, which he did in 1960-61 — 16 years later.
  • Richard’s record of 50 goals in 50 games was unmatched until 1981, when Mike Bossy did it.
  • Bobby Hull scored 54 goals in 1965-66, but in a 70-game season.
  • To date, only three players besides Richard and Bossy have scored 50 goals in their first 50 regular-season games. The others are Wayne Gretzky (three times), Mario Lemieux, and Brett Hull (twice).
  • Richard retired in 1960. When asked how he would replace Richard, Canadiens coach Toe Blake said, “With two men.”
  • In 2003-04, there was a three-way tie for the most goals scored in the NHL, and three Richard Trophy winners: Rick Nash, Ilya Kovalchuk and Jarome Igninla. They each scored 41 goals.
  • In 2009-10, there was a two-way tie between Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos. Each recorded 51 goals.
  • Alexander Ovechkin has won the Maurice Richard Trophy an amazing seven times. Nobody else has won it more than twice.
  • Two-time Maurice Richard Trophy winners: Pavel Bure, Jarome Iginla, Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby.
  • Quinn coached 1,400 regular-season games, currently 10th in the NHL.
  • His 684 career coaching wins places him 8th all-time. 
  • With 94 playoff wins, Quinn holds 6th place all-time.
  • Coaching the Flyers in 1979-80, Quinn led Philly to a 35-game unbeaten streak, an NHL record — and an astounding one at that. The streak, comprised of 25 wins and 10 ties, is the longest in any major professional sport in North America.
  • Quinn won the Jack Adams Award (best NHL coach) twice — 1980 with the Flyers and 1992 with the Canucks.
  • Quinn was Chairman of the Board of the Hockey Hall of Fame from 2013 until his death in 2014. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously, in 2016.
  • He earned a law degree, but never practiced law.
  • Quinn may not have been the most talented player to take the ice, but he was never intimidated. As a player for the Maple Leafs in 1969, he put a massive hit on Bobby Orr, which made him an unwelcome figure in Boston forever. 

Pat Quinn — Coaching Style

Pat Quinn was a larger-than-life figure, a man who earned the respect of his players and peers. He was often described as competitive, classy and fun to be around. He could be tough on players, but never embarrassed them publicly. The fact that he was successful as a coach of NHL superstars as well as junior players speaks to his versatility, winning personality and total commitment to the game of hockey.

(Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons)