The mayor of the town of Stanstead, Quebec, Philippe Dutil, is pleased to announce Friday that the NHL and four member clubs contributed a total of $50,000 toward the construction of the Pat Burns Arena and the creation of a Scholastic Fund. Thanks to the initiative of Montreal Canadiens President, Pierre Boivin, all four NHL teams coached by Pat Burns during his career accepted to contribute to the fundraising effort. Along with the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils, the National Hockey League joined their member clubs in supporting this cause.
"This generous contribution is adding further to the amounts awarded by the various levels of governments last March. We are very pleased with the donations received thus far and look forward to getting started with the construction of the arena soon," said Mayor Dutil. The new rink will benefit Stanstead citizens, neighboring communities as well as students registered in the hockey and scholastic program at Stanstead College who will all enjoy the state-of-the art facility in a safe environment."
"The creation of this scholastic fund and the construction of this arena reflect Pat Burns' enduring commitment to the improvement of his players as competitors and as positive forces in the community", said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. "The NHL is indeed pleased to join the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Bruins and Devils in this noble undertaking that will serve future generations of Stanstead students and athletes."
According to Boivin, "The National Hockey League, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils all responded promptly and favorably to our call to support this worthy and unifying cause. Their unanimous decision to lend a helping hand did not come as a surprise. Pat touched a lot of people wherever he went and still does today, in part because of the courage he is showing in his fight against cancer, and people recognize the determination and character he is known for."
"The Toronto Maple Leafs are extremely pleased to assist with the construction of the Pat Burns Arena and scholastic fund," said Brian Burke, President and General Manager of the Maple Leafs. "Our fans, and those individuals associated with our hockey club during Pat's tenure in Toronto, were witness to his tremendous strength and fortitude. We know that this project will provide future opportunities for the citizens of Stanstead to exhibit those same qualities in a first class facility."
"The New Jersey Devils have been fortunate to have Pat Burns as part of our family for the past eight years, which includes our 2003 Stanley Cup Championship," said Devils' President/CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello. "We would like to thank Stanstead College for naming their new facility 'Pat Burns Arena,' and are pleased to assist the Stanstead community with this outstanding project."
"We are certainly pleased to be able to support the Pat Burns scholarship fund and the arena. The Bruins were extremely blessed to have Pat's passion on and off the ice during his tenure with us. For the citizens of Stanstead, this project will be a first-class reminder of a first-class hockey hero. We are honored to participate," said Charlie Jacobs, Principal and Alternate Governor, Boston Bruins.
As a reminder, last March 26, the Federal and Provincial governments announced a $5.3 million contribution to help finance the construction of the arena in this Eastern Township town. The project estimated at $8 million calls for a 350-seat arena to be located in the vicinity of Stanstead College.
Anyone interested in making a donation can do so on-line at arenapatburns.com.