The 2014 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees have been announced. Finally, the late Devils coach Pat Burns sits in the Hall of Fame where he deserves to be.
Burns was the coach for the last of the 3 Devils Stanley Cups and stepped down during the 2003-04 NHL season after he was diagnosed with colon cancer. A fan petition in 2010 pushed Burns onto the ballot while his health continued to deteriorate and Burns was snubbed in 2010. Later that year, on November 19th, Burns passed away after dealing with 3 nasty diseases (colon, liver, and lung).
Tom Gulitti had a very substantial blog post today full of great quotes from Lou Lamoriello. Here is what he also had to say about Burns’ accomplishments:
Burns, who had been eligible to be voted in since 2007, won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year a record three times in his 14 seasons—in 1989 with Montreal, in 1993 with Toronto and in 1998 with Boston. He guided the Devils to their most recent Stanley Cup in 2003 and also made it to the Cup Final with Montreal as a first-year NHL head coach in 1989.
During his final season of 2003-04 – he stepped down afterward because he had been diagnosed with colon cancer – Burns became just the ninth coach in league history to reach 500 wins and only the 11th to coach in 1,000 games. He still ranks 17th all-time with 501 wins and 19th with 1,019 regular season games.
Burns coached the Devils for only two seasons before he became ill, going 89-53-22 in the regular season and 17-12 in the playoffs. Lamoriello thought he was the right fit for his team when he hired him in June of 2002 after a disappointing season in which the Devils were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Carolina.
The other inductees to this year’s class is the legendary goaltender Dominik Hasek, Peter Forsberg, Mike Modano, Rob Blake, and referee Bill McCreary.
Just like last year, Hall of Fame profiles will be posted in the coming days.