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A look back at Pat Quinn's life in hockey (Videos & Photos)

A look back at Pat Quinn's life in hockey (Videos & Photos)

Posted by Juan Gavasa on November 25, 2014

Former National Hockey League coach and executive Pat Quinn, who led teams to 15 playoff appearances and coached Canada to its first Olympic hockey gold after a 50-year drought, has died. He was 71 years old.

Quinn’s death was announced Monday by the Vancouver Giants, a major junior hockey team in the Western Hockey League that he co-owned.

Team North America's (from left to right) Mark Messier of the Vancouver Canucks, Eric Lindros of the Philadelphia Flyers and coach Pat Quinn of the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL All-Star game practice in Toronto, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000. (Kevin Frayer / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

"Words cannot express the pain we all feel today for the Quinn family," Giants majority owner Ron Toigo said in a statement posted to the team’s website.

"Pat was an inspiration to all of us. He always said that respect was something that should be earned, not given, and the respect that he garnered throughout the hockey world speaks for itself. He will be sorely missed."

The Quinn family has asked for privacy, the statement concluded.

As an NHL player, coach and general manager, Pat Quinn was involved in some memorable moments in hockey history.

Quinn, who died at the age of 71 on Sunday night in Vancouver, is being remembered as one of the game's icons.

Here’s a look at some of his career highlights:

The Hit

Quinn will forever be known as the man who delivered a crushing hit on Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr.

The check occurred during the 1969 playoffs. Orr was skating along the boards with his head down when Quinn, a Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman, dropped the Boston great with a hit that rendered Orr unconscious. Naturally, a bench-clearing brawl ensued.

Quinn discussed the incident years later, claiming he led with his shoulder.

The Streak

As coach of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1979-80 season, Quinn guided his team to a record 35-game unbeaten streak — still the longest in NHL history. For his effort, Quinn won the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach. However, the Flyers suffered a heart-breaking loss in the Stanley Cup final, highlighted by New York Islanders forward Bob Nystrom’s Stanley Cup-clinching goal in overtime of Game 6.

The Final

By the 1987-88 season, Quinn had moved on to became president and general manager of the Vancouver Canucks. He shifted to the bench in 1991, and with a powerful roster that included goaltender Kirk McLean, along with offensive dynamos Trevor Linden and Pavel Bure, Quinn coached the Canucks to the Stanley Cup final against the New York Rangers in 1994. The Canucks fought valiantly, erasing a 3-1 series lead to force a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. But, like the 1980 final, his team fell short once again. Things turned ugly back in Vancouver as rioting engulfed the streets.

The Gold

There would no greater accomplishment for Quinn than when he led the Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team into the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games. With the weight of a 50-year gold medal drought hanging over the team, head coach Quinn, executive director Wayne Gretzky and captain Mario Lemieux, Canada got off to a horrific start, losing 5-2 to Sweden. But the composed and experienced squad rallied and beat the Americans in their own backyard in the gold medal game.

The kids

Often criticized for lacking patience with young players, Quinn was nevertheless appointed by Hockey Canada to coach the 2009 world junior team — one that included current NHLers John Tavares, Jordan Eberle and P.K. Subban. The semifinal game against the Russians looked dire before Eberle forced overtime after scoring with only 5.4 seconds left in regulation time. Eberle then netted the shootout winner and the Canadians would go on to win gold. It remains Canada’s last world junior title.

Quinn famously knocked out Bobby Orr with a check in the 1969 playoffs.

Playing against the Canadiens in 1970 at the Forum.

With his coach of the year award in 1992.

After coaching the team to gold at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Quinn sports two black eyes after getting hit with some pucks in 2005.

Not happy with the ref while coach of the Leafs in 2006.

Being inducted into the Canucks Ring of Honour in 2014.

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