John Brian Patrick "Pat" Quinn (born January 29, 1943, in Hamilton, Ontario), is a former head coach in the National Hockey League, most recently with the Toronto Maple Leafs between 1998 and 2006. He is also a retired NHL defenceman. He has won the junior league's Memorial Cup as both a player and an owner. He is sometimes known by the nickname "The Big Irishman".
J.B. Patrick Quinn was a member of the 1963 Memorial Cup champion Edmonton Oil Kings, where he was a teammate of fellow future NHL player, coach, and manager Glen Sather." After several years in the minor leagues in the EHL, CHL and WHL, he was called up by the Maple Leafs in 1968. During this tenure, he is probably best remembered for an open-ice elbow to the head of Bobby Orr in the 1969 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Boston Bruins which left him unconscious and provoked not only a bench-clearing brawl, but a suspension for Quinn. In 1970, the Vancouver Canucks claimed Quinn in the 1970 NHL Expansion Draft. After two years in Vancouver, he again was left unprotected in the 1972 NHL Expansion Draft, and spent the next five years with the Atlanta Flames (their first in the NHL) and served as their captain before retiring in 1977.
Quinn became an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Flyers in 1977 under Fred Shero, and was named Head Coach of the AHL Maine Mariners (the Flyers farm club) the following season. Quinn returned to the Flyers late that season, however, as Head coach of the NHL club (with McCammon going back to Maine), and during the 1979-80 NHL season (his first full season with the Flyers) Quinn led the team to a record breaking 35-game unbeaten streak that culminated in a trip to the Stanley Cup finals, where they were upset by the New York Islanders in six games. Quinn won the Jack Adams Award for his effort. Quinn stayed with the Flyers two more years, but was replaced late in the season during his fourth year. Quinn briefly left hockey (but remained in the Philadelphia area) at this time to attend law school at Widener University and finished his degree at the University of San Diego while he was also coaching the Los Angeles Kings.
Pat Quinn exhibit, Hockey Hall-of-Fame
Pat Quinn mural
For the 1984-85 season, he was hired by the Los Angeles Kings. In his first season, he returned them to the playoffs after a two year absence with a 23-point improvement in the standings. In December 1986, Quinn signed a contract to become the President and General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks for the 1987-88 NHL season while still under contract with the Kings. Quinn, a lawyer, maintained that the Kings had missed a deadline on an option on his contract, which had a clause allowing him to negotiate with other teams. NHL President John Ziegler banned Quinn from coaching the Kings for the rest of the 1986-87 season and coaching the Canucks until 1990. The Kings tried unsuccessfully to sue the Canucks for tampering.
For the 1987-88 season, he moved to the Canucks as President and General Manager. In 1991, with the coaching ban lifted, he took over the head coach position with the Canucks, and in the following season, won his second Jack Adams Award as a dramatically improved Canucks succeeded in winning the Smythe division, and they captured the division title again in 1992-93. In 1994, despite a lackluster regular season, Quinn led the Canucks to their first Stanley Cup final in 12 years, out coaching the Maple Leafs' Pat Burns in the conference finals. In the finals, they pushed the first-place New York Rangers to a thrilling seven game series. After this success Quinn gave up his coaching duties to focus on his duties as President and General Manager. In the mid 1990s, the Canucks ownership gradually shifted from the Griffiths family to a new group led by John McCaw. In November 1997, Quinn was shockingly fired by the new ownership, with whom Quinn did not see eye-to-eye.
In 1998 he moved to Toronto to become head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He eventually assumed the additional duties of general manager. In his first season as coach the Maple Leafs' record improved dramatically. As a result of Quinn's coaching the Leafs reached the conference finals but lost to the Buffalo Sabres. Pat Quinn was again runner-up for the Jack Adams Award. Under Quinn, the Toronto Maple Leafs had consistently been contenders, but were never able to reach the Stanley Cup finals during his tenure. Quinn's best results were making the Eastern Conference finals in 1999 and 2002.
In the summer of 2003, Quinn relinquished his managerial duties to John Ferguson, Jr. though retaining his position of head coach.
On April 20, 2006, Quinn was let go along with the Maple Leafs assistant coach and former teammate Rick Ley. Neither were offered another position within the organization. Quinn was dismissed because the Leafs had failed to reach the playoffs, though others criticized Ferguson's signings, all of which had little impact in the Leaf's late season run to secure a postseason berth.
Quinn was the winningest active coach in the NHL and 4th all time with 616 wins and is recognized by the hockey community as one of the top coaches of the NHL. Quinn's NHL coaching record includes 11 first round playoff wins in 16 seasons. He had a winning percentage of 50%.
Quinn is a part-owner of the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League who won the Memorial Cup in 2007.
At the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, Quinn coached Team Canada to their first Olympic Gold Medal in ice hockey at the Olympic Games since 1952, with a 5-2 victory over Team USA in the gold medal game.
In 2004, Pat Quinn coached Team Canada to victory in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey with a perfect 6-0 record, capping with a 3-2 victory over Finland in the Final.
In their quest for Olympic gold, Hockey Canada, the umbrella organization that overseas Canadian hockey, turned to Quinn to lead Team Canada's effort for a second consecutive Olympic Gold Medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics held in Turin, Italy. Despite top seeding, Canada went 3-2 through the preliminary round, losing to Switzerland and Finland (both by 2-0 shutouts), then lost to Russia (again by a 2-0 score) in the quarter-finals.
In 2006, Pat Quinn resumed his coaching by leading Team Canada to the 2006 Spengler Cup final.
He served as head coach for Team Canada in the 2008 IIHF World U18 Championships, taking Canada to the finals against Russia, played on April 23, 2008, a match which Canada won 8-0, taking the title.
In 2008 was named the head coach of the Canadian Junior National team.
Pat Quinn Parkdale Arena
Pat Quinn is a member of the committee that determines who is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
On June 9, 2005, The city of Hamilton honoured Pat Quinn at a special ceremony at Parkdale Arena, on the corner of Main Street East and Parkdale Avenue North, where the arena was officially renamed the Pat Quinn Parkdale Arena.
On June 8, 2006, Pat Quinn returned to his hometown in Hamilton, Ontario to accept an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from McMaster University. He addressed the convocation of Social Sciences graduates, saying that "education is a toolbox to make career changes. It is good advice for you to follow your dreams, listen to your heart and obey your passion".
Quinn is a cousin of former professional wrestler "Big" John Quinn.
Quinn continues to reside in Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife Sandra and daughters Valerie and Kalli.
Quinn graduated with a B.A. from York University in Toronto, Ontario, and an LLB from the Widener University School of Law.