Ken Daneyko went to Pat Burns with a cigar, a smile, a handshake and a mea culpa on June 10, 2003, less than 24 hours after Burns essentially reserved his place in the Hockey Hall of Fame by leading the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup championship.
"That's when Pat said, 'You know, Kenny, it's all part of it and I knew it was going to make a difference,'" said Daneyko, the former Devils defenseman. "It was about winning. It always was about winning."
Burns won 501 games in a Hall of Fame career, but it was his victory with the Devils on June 9, 2003 that brought him to the pinnacle of the sport. One of the last monumental coaching decisions of his life happened the day before he became a champion. Daneyko was at the center of it.