Sympathies poured in from around the NHL Friday evening in memory of three-time Jack Adams
Award-winning coach Pat Burns, who passed away earlier in the day.
"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. 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."
-- National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman
"On behalf of the Maple Leafs, I want to convey our deepest sympathies to Pat's family, and the long list of his close friends throughout the hockey community. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of grief."
-- Toronto Maple Leafs President and General Manager Brian Burke
"Pat forged a tremendous bond, not only with a very good veteran team in Toronto, but also with Leafs fans everywhere. He commanded respect from the players and the team quickly had great success while taking on the identity of the head coach. The Leafs' rise at the time was a testament to Pat's strength, toughness and determination. Hiring him 18 years ago was easily my best decision in hockey, and we developed a great friendship that I will always treasure. Pat will be greatly missed."
-- Cliff Fletcher, Toronto Maple Leafs senior advisor and the general manager during Burns' tenure
"On behalf of the ownership, management, staff, and players of the New Jersey Devils
are all deeply saddened by the loss of Pat Burns. 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. Today, the hockey world has lost a great friend and ambassador. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Line, and the entire Burns' family."
-- Devils' President/CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello
"On behalf of the Jacobs family and the entire Boston Bruins
family, I would like to express our deep sorrow on the passing of Pat Burns. Pat was a great coach and more importantly a wonderful man. The Bruins are honored to have him as a part of our history. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Burns family."
--Cam Neely, president of the Boston Bruins
"Obviously sad. The first time I went to a Stanley Cup Final we lost in Game 7 in New Jersey and Pat was coaching the team. Just watching overall his coaching career, he coached over 1,000 games in the League, won over 500 games, had a great career and obviously has been battling like crazy over the last six years, and eventually submitted. I pray for his family. He was a real good man and a real good coach and will be remembered in hockey circles forever."
--Detroit coach Mike Babcock, who lost to Burns in Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final while coaching the Anaheim Ducks
"I'm sorry to hear that. I know Pat was very ill. He was a great coach for me in New Jersey, and I had my best years under Pat. As a coach he really knew how to get me going and fire me up. He taught me a lot about myself and how to play in this League, so I'm very thankful to have known Pat Burns."
"I watched him when he coached the Toronto Maple Leafs
, being a Toronto boy. He had Dougie Gilmour and (Dave) Andreychuk and Wendell Clark, and I always wanted them to win a Cup. When L.A. beat ‘em out that one time, I hurt just as much as they did when they went out, so when we all won the Cup together in (New) Jersey, it was nice."
--John Madden, Minnesota Wild center and a Toronto native who played for Burns on New Jersey's 2003 Cup-winning team