Before the drop of the puck Saturday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs hosted a stirring tribute to former coach Pat Quinn. Quinn, the second-winningest coach in Leafs’ history, died Sunday night in Vancouver after a long illness. He was 71.
The manic, gum-chewing disciplinarian coached the Leafs from 1998 to 2006 and took Toronto to the playoffs every year but his last. The Leafs went to the conference finals twice during his tenure. With Mats Sundin and Curtis Joseph, the team were always contenders in the East.
“Pat was exceptional,” said Barry Trotz to CSN Washington during intermission. “He had great presence and he commanded respect.”
The Leafs pulled out all the stops for the man who both played for the team and rooted for them growing up.
He was on the cover of the Team Program.
Pat Quinn on the cover of Leafs program tonight pic.twitter.com/t7wjKjeDNM
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) November 29, 2014
All members of the organization wore this ceremonial pin.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 29, 2014
And the players wore this special patch on their jerseys, which they will do for the rest of the year.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 25, 2014
But it was the special pre-game ceremony where it got emotional.
Video by @myregularface
While also honoring the recently deceased Leaf Murray Oliver, the Leafs showed a highlight package of Quinn while the song The Parting Glass played, an old Irish tune.
(Is it just me or did Ashley just start cutting onions in here?)
Great job, Toronto.
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