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Tribute to Pat Quinn

A few people have contacted me in recent days to ask if I might share memories of working with Pat Quinn as a personal advisor during his later years with the Maple Leafs and through the rest of his career. I thought what I would do is provide links to earlier posts here at VLM, as well as a link to an audio interview Pat was kind enough to do with me for this site back toward the end of 2010. He shared a lot of wonderful memories during that conversation.

He certainly had a tremendous influence on my life and it’s clear from seeing and reading tributes from around the hockey world that he impacted the lives of countless others.  I’ll sorely miss not being able to pick up the phone and have Pat pick up at the other end.

Here are the links to those earlier posts:

Thanks to those who commented on my earlier post about Pat. 

I'll be back to commenting on the Leafs soon...


  1. That Hall of Fame will drive you bonkers, on the best of days. With the saga we went through with the "other Pat" (Burns, equally menacing, respected and loved), the voting criteria and results were cryptic and frustrating, to say the least. In Quinn's case, I worry that with the Hall being so NHL-centric, his success on the world stage might not carry the weight it obviously deserves.

    On the plus side Michael, things like this blog tend to pretty much neuter the relevance and impact of more traditional accolades, as at least us fans get to have their say, and we're definitely not a silent bunch. I'd like to give you a personal shout out as well, as your blog is a really positive and comfortable place to offer a few thoughts, whether they're spot on and misguided. I never get the feeling that there's overly aggressive posters, waiting in the weeds and trolling for an argument, and it just offers such a relaxed experience. My guess is that it's a reflection of your personality, as you seem to be able to ride that fine line between offering concise opinion, versus just fragrantly throwing players or management under the bus.

    Well done.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments about Quinn, Russ. Hopefully those who make these decisions will look at the entirety of Pat's remarkable career and determine he is indeed someone who should be in the Hall.

      As for this site, I think you've well captured what I've tried to help create here for the last five plus years. There are plenty of other sites out there and they all contribute something to the Leaf dialogue. Here, I simply try to provide some passing thoughts on the current Maple Leafs without trying to be analytical and without the lens of advanced stats. I try to offer some historical perspective at times. I guess I've been around so long that I recognize how easy it is to fall into the trap of just criticizing everything.

      Mostly, the tone has been built because those who post here recognize it's important to have a place where we can all be comfortable just talking about hockey and the Leafs without vitriol. We all see things differently, and that's great. We're here because we enjoy hockey and have followed the Leafs for most of our lives. Thanks Russ.

  2. Michael, thank you for adding the links and, especially, the interview (though I should let you know that only your track/side of the interview can be heard in the recording... not sure if it's just me, but reloads didn't work, so am wondering if you are having this problem?).

    I heard Brian Burkes press conference today and it is a fitting tribute to a friend and mentor (kinda' heart wrenching on the 7th anniversary of my Dad's passing)... I think you would appreciate his heartfelt words:

    Thanks again for continuing to provide such a fine forum and kudos to Russ for expressing our appreciation so well.

    1. That link sure tugs at the heartstrings, InTimeFor62. I was sometimes frustrated with Burke during his tenure in Toronto, but thought he was positive for the franchise overall, and always fiercely loyal.... almost to a fault. One thing I was never disappointed with was Burke's dedication and work in the community, especially with his support for both the LGBT community, and the homeless of the city. Brian would rather go to war with a boardroom full of suits, than pick on the disenfranchised.

      Not a knock at Brian in the least, but the one thing he never quite managed to do was to navigate the trip wires and land mines of the media, the way that Pat Quinn did. I hope some ambitious You-Tuber puts up a compilation of some of Quinn's better media scrums post-game, as they could be as entertaining as the game itself.