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Quinn To Just Coach?

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO (CP) -- Pat Quinn is "open" to the possibility of relinquishing his role as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Quinn, appearing on TSN's Off the Record Monday, told host Michael Lansberg that he may have to give up the role with the team's new ownership structure set to take the reins on July 1.

"It is very possible," Quinn said when asked if he wouldn't be the team's GM next season. "I don't think there's any guarantees at this point. It's very possible. "I'm open to it."

Quinn, 59, was hired as Toronto's coach prior to the 1998-99 season, and added the GM role a year later when Mike Smith fled to Chicago.

Quinn, under contract to the team for the next two years, said that he prefers his coaching role.

Will Quinn step down from the front office?
Getty Images/NHLI
"I came to coach. I still want to coach," he said. "I think that's what satisfies me the most."

Quinn and team president Ken Dryden agreed to review the position at the end of each season when he took both jobs.

He said that he hadn't been replaced because he and Dryden had different candidates in mind for the job and they decided that everything was going well with Quinn at the helm.

"You'd put names forward - it was Ken and I that would talk about this thing," Quinn said. "Eventually the decision was, 'it's going fine you go ahead and do it again."'

Steve Tambellini, Vancouver's vice-president of player personnel, seems to be the front-runner to replace Quinn as GM. The Canucks have given the Maple Leafs permission to talk with him.

"Steve is an excellent guy," Quinn said of Tambellini. "He's smart, he's young, he's aggressive. . . . I'd love to have him."

While on the program, Quinn also addressed the issue of scoring in the NHL.

Quinn prefers to employ an offensive game but with defensive teams like New Jersey and Anaheim fighting for the Stanley Cup, Quinn conceded that the Leafs may have to alter their style to be successful.

"We may have to," Quinn said of the possibility. "I hate it. I want this to be an entertaining hockey team.

"I've always believed that we can entertain and win too, (but) I'm sitting here without a Stanley Cup."
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