Pat Quinn said earlier this summer he was looking to get back into the NHL. For at least one day this winter, he will be close.
It was announced Thursday that Quinn will coach the Toronto Maple Leafs alumni team as part of the 2013 Winter Classic festivities.
Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman will coach the Detroit Red Wings alumni when the teams meet at Comerica Park on Dec. 31, one day before the current NHL teams meet at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
Quinn, who last coached the Edmonton Oilers in 2009-10, will be joined behind the bench by Hall of Famer Red Kelly, who played for Toronto and Detroit during his 20-year career. Barry Smith will be Bowman's assistant. The pair was together for Red Wings Stanley Cups in 1997, 1998 and 2002.
There will be two alumni games involving former Red Wings and Maple Leafs on New Year's Eve due to interest from many players.
Quinn told the Vancouver Province in late June he was looking to get back into the League, perhaps in a role similar to Bowman, who works for the Chicago Blackhawks as a senior advisor to hockey operations.
"I miss making a contribution somehow and I don’t know if that will happen again, but I would certainly be open-minded," Quinn said then. "… I like what’s happening to Scotty because you still have to have that feeling of doing something of self-importance."
Quinn, now 69 years old, played 606 NHL games, his first 99 for the Maple Leafs. He coached 1,400 games, including six seasons with Toronto (1998-2004).
Bowman, 78, won an NHL record 1,244 games. His final nine seasons were spent with the Red Wings, ending in 2002 after winning his third Stanley Cup with Detroit. He won five Cups as coach of the Montreal Canadiens and another with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.
Kelly, 85, won four Stanley Cups as a player with both the Red Wings and Maple Leafs. He was traded by Detroit to Toronto during the 1959-60 season after a deal to the New York Rangers fell through. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.
Smith, 59, a longtime assistant, coached the first five games of the 1998-99 season for the Red Wings while Bowman recovered from knee surgery.
Among those expected to play for the Maple Leafs alumni are Mats Sundin, Tie Domi, Darryl Sittler, Rick Vaive, Darcy Tucker, Felix Potvin, Mike Palmateer, Dave Andreychuk, Doug Gilmour, Curtis Joseph, Johnny Bower, Wendel Clark, Jim McKenny, Kevin Maguire and Ron Ellis.
Red Wings alumni who plan to play include Mickey Redmond, John Ogrodnick, Luc Robitaille, Chris Chelios, Larry Murphy, Mark Howe, Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon, and all four members of Detroit's infamous "Grind Line" -- Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty and Joey Kocur. Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio and Gordie Howe are expected to make appearances but not play.
The inaugural SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival will feature outdoor games from several levels of hockey at the rink in Comerica Park, the home of the Detroit Tigers.
Tickets for the 2012 Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown include both games and go on sale Aug. 1 to season-ticket holders for each team. Ticket sales to the general public will begin in mid-August.