What's been the most enjoyable aspect of the game of hockey for you? Is it being a player, a coach, or a manager? Pat Quinn:
Well, I think most of the people that have been in this game for a long time and have had the opportunity to play would still say playing is the best and I fondly remember my playing days, although it's been a longer out now than playing, and I played fourteen seasons as a pro, so, but that was fun. I mean you could get out there and forget everything and just compete against somebody else. And it was a wonderful time. I was really blessed to be able to play.
| Pat Quinn learned to use his leadership skills throughout his career. |
So, if you were to meet someone that had no idea what you did for a living, and maybe asked what you did in your life, you would say hockey player above and beyond coaching or managing despite the success you may have had at it? Pat Quinn:
I think that's just the start of it. You know, when you're talking about the length of a career, everyone knows that professional athletes have a certain timeline, and you're not gonna get beyond very far. So, no, I think someone that looked at me now would say you're a little old to be a player, so obviously time goes on and you have to make some changes and staying in the game was nothing that I particularly planned, but it sure worked out well, and I've been able to enjoy this beautiful game since I was 15 years old. Brian Duff:
What did you think of yourself as a player? How would you have described you - the player? Pat Quinn:
Well, I could play a physical game. I wasn't a terrific skater, but knowledge of the game and my own skills allowed me to play at a high level. I had leadership skills. I was the captain on many teams that I played for, and one thing I could do is pass the puck. I could get it moving and find the right pass and around the front of my net - that is what I really took pride in and tried to do a very good job there. I wouldn't be called an offensive guy, but I did get my share of points. But the big thing for me was the physical contact. I used to love that and loved to get some contact in when possible. Brian Duff:
Could you use the word "bully" to describe you?
| Brian Duff was able to get Pat Quinn to open up in this 30-minute special. |
I don't think so. I think I was tougher than most guys - probably all of them at one point of time during my career. Tougher in the sense of fighting. There are a lot of tough guys that don't fight. I could scrap, but I could also play a hard, tough game, and I wouldn't call it a bully. The role of the enforcer in those days was a little bit different - you had to be able to play as well . And so we went through the 70's era where the enforcers couldn't play. They were truly just enforcers. So I always followed the simple rules that you didn't start stuff unless you're intending to finish it and generally when I started it, it was to defend one of my teammates. I very seldom was fighting on my own behalf unless it was to defend myself. The other one was hit first - ask questions later. That's something I always tried to live by. Tune in Thursday night for the rest of In Conversation With ... Pat Quinn and watch for future episodes of this exclusive Leafs TV programming