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Former NHL coach Pat Burns dies at 58

Friday, 11.19.2010 / 7:41 PM / News

Associated Press

SHERBROOKE, Quebec (AP) -Former NHL coach Pat Burns, who led the New Jersey Devils to the 2003 Stanley Cup title, died of cancer on Friday. He was 58.

Burns battled cancer of the colon and the liver in 2004 and 2005 and hoped he had beaten the disease, but in January 2009 doctors found it had spread to his lungs.

"Just as they will remember Pat for his success as a coach, hockey fans also will remember his humor, his honesty, his humanity and his courage," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "As it mourns the loss of an outstanding contributor to the game, the National Hockey League sends heartfelt condolences to Pat's family and friends."

Burns became the Devils coach in 2002, leading the team to a 46-26-10 record and 108 points. New Jersey beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in seven games to win the franchise's third Stanley Cup title in his first season.

"On behalf of the ownership, management, staff, and players of the New Jersey Devils, we are all deeply saddened by the loss of Pat Burns," Devils President Lou Lamoriello said in a release. "Pat was a close friend to us all, while dedicating his life to his family and to the game of hockey. He has been part of our family here in New Jersey for eight years."

Burns also coached Boston, Toronto and Montreal, reaching the Stanley Cup finals with the Canadiens and twice leading the Bruins to the playoffs.

"Today, the hockey world has lost a great friend and ambassador," Lamoriello said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Line, and the entire Burns' family."

Burns was the first three-time winner of the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach, receiving the honor with the Bruins, Maple Leafs and Canadiens. He had a career mark of 501-353-165 (.573) in 1,019 NHL games.

Survivors include Burns' wife, Line; his daughter, Maureen; son, Jason; stepdaughter, Stephanie; and stepson, Maxime.

Funeral arrangements will be announced over the next few days.

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