John Brian Patrick Quinn (born January 29, 1943),[1] is a former head coach in the National Hockey League (NHL), most recently with the Edmonton Oilers.[2] Known by the nickname "The Big Irishman",[3] he has also coached for the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs, reaching the Stanley Cup Finals twice with the Flyers in 1980 and the Canucks in 1994. Internationally, Quinn has coached Team Canada to gold medals at the 2002 Winter Olympics, 2008 IIHF World U18 Championships and 2009 World Junior Championship, as well as World Cup championship in 2004.

Prior to coaching, Quinn was an NHL defenceman, having played nine seasons in the league with the Maple Leafs, Canucks and Atlanta Flames. Coming out of the junior ranks with the Edmonton Oil Kings, he won a Memorial Cup with the club in 1963. He later won another Memorial Cup as part-owner of the Vancouver Giants in 2007.[4][5]

Playing careerEdit

Quinn began his junior career with the Hamilton Tiger Cubs and Hamilton Kilty B's in the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). After graduating high school, Quinn accepted a scholarship from Michigan Tech, but was declared ineligible to play by the NCAA because he had already signed his rights to the Detroit Red Wings.[5] He instead joined the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Central Alberta Hockey League (CAHL), helping the club to the 1963 Memorial Cup in his only year with Edmonton, playing alongside fellow future NHL player, coach, and manager Glen Sather."[6]

Quinn turned pro in 1963–64 and began stints in several minor leagues, including the Eastern Hockey League (EHL), Central Hockey League (CHL) and Western Hockey League (WHL). While playing with the Tulsa Oilers, Quinn was called up by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1968, making his NHL debut. During his rookie season with the Maple Leafs, he is probably best remembered for an open-ice bodycheck on Bobby Orr in the 1969 playoffs against the Boston Bruins that left Orr unconscious and provoked a bench-clearing brawl.

After two seasons with the Maple Leafs, the Vancouver Canucks claimed Quinn in the 1970 NHL Expansion Draft. He played two seasons in Vancouver, before being again left unprotected in the 1972 NHL Expansion Draft, where he was claimed by the Atlanta Flames and served as team captain.[7] Quinn retired prematurely in 1977 after suffering an ankle injury.[8]

Management and coachingEdit

Philadelphia FlyersEdit

Quinn became an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Flyers in 1977 under Fred Shero, and was named head coach of the Flyers' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Maine Mariners, the following season. Quinn returned to the Flyers late that season, however, as head coach of the NHL club (with McCammon going back to Maine), and during the 1979–80 NHL season (his first full season with the Flyers) Quinn led the team to a record breaking 35-game unbeaten streak that culminated in a trip to the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals, where they were upset by the New York Islanders in six games. Quinn won the Jack Adams Award for his effort. He stayed with the Flyers two more years, but was replaced late in the season during his fourth year.

Los Angeles KingsEdit

Quinn briefly left hockey (but remained in the Philadelphia area) at this time to attend law school at Widener University. In 1984, he was named head coach of the Los Angeles Kings and went on to finish his degree at the University of San Diego.[8]

File:Pat Quinn Exhibit.JPG

In his first season back coaching, he returned the Kings to the playoffs after a two-year absence with a 23-point improvement in the standings. In December 1986, Quinn signed a contract to become the President and General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks for the 1987–88 NHL season while still under contract with the Kings. Quinn, a lawyer, maintained that the Kings had missed a deadline on an option on his contract, which had a clause allowing him to negotiate with other teams. NHL President John Ziegler banned Quinn from coaching the Kings for the rest of the 1986-87 season and coaching the Canucks until 1990. The Kings tried unsuccessfully to sue the Canucks for tampering.[9]

Vancouver CanucksEdit

File:Pat Quinn Toronto.JPG

Restricted from coaching, Quinn joined the Canucks the following season in 1987–88 as President and General Manager. He made his first significant transaction, bringing in future franchise goaltender Kirk McLean from the New Jersey Devils along with forward Greg Adams, for centre Patrik Sundström and the Canucks' 1988 fourth-round draft pick (Matt Ruchty), on September 15, 1987. Quinn continued to make an impact in his first two NHL Entry Drafts, selecting future team captain Trevor Linden second overall in 1988 and Pavel Bure 113th overall in 1989. Linden went on to become the franchise's all-time leading scorer and have his jersey retired by the Canucks. Bure, meanwhile, won the Calder Memorial Trophy as league rookie-of-the-year in his first year and recorded three 50-goal seasons with the Canucks.

Bure's selection was highly controversial, however, as Quinn had seemingly chosen him a year ahead of his eligible draft season. At the age of 18, Bure was available to be chosen in the first three rounds of the draft, but in order to be selected any later than that, he would had to have played in at least two seasons (with a minimum of 11 games per season) for his elite-level European club, the Central Red Army. The Canucks' head scout at the time, Mike Penny, discovered that Bure had played in additional exhibition and international games to make him an eligible late-round draft choice a year early, however.[10][11] Quinn originally intended to draft Bure in the eighth round, but after receiving word that the Edmonton Oilers had similar intentions, he selected him in the sixth. Team executives reportedly stormed the Met Center stage in Minnesota, where the draft was being held, protesting the choice immediately following its announcement. The league investigated the selection and originally deemed it illegal. Quinn and the Canucks appealed the decision and it was not until the eve of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, in which Bure would have been re-entered, that the draft choice was upheld.[12]

In 1991, with the coaching ban lifted, he took over the head coach position with the Canucks for the remaining 26 games of the 1990–91 season. Entering his first full season as Canucks head coach in 1991–92, Quinn met further resistance regarding Bure, who was set to play his rookie season, from the Soviet Ice Hockey Federation. Soviet officials called for Bure's contract with the Central Red Army and the two sides went to court in October 1991 with the Soviets agreeing to a $250,000 settlement.[10][13] Quinn signed Bure to a four-year contract soon thereafter, on October 31,[14] worth a reported $2.7 million with an $800,000 signing bonus. Quinn went on to win his second Jack Adams Award as a dramatically improved Canucks squad succeeded in winning the Smythe division. The Canucks repeated as division champions the following season in 1992–93 before appearing in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers. Despite a lackluster regular season in which the Canucks finished with the seventh seed in their conference, Quinn's draft selections Linden and Bure led the Canucks on a Cinderella run, past the Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars and Toronto Maple Leafs in the first three rounds. The Canucks pushed the first-seeded Rangers to a seven-game series in the final, but lost the seventh and deciding game.

Following his second Stanley Cup Finals appearance, Quinn gave up his coaching duties to focus on his role as President and General Manager. In the mid 1990s, the Canucks ownership gradually shifted from the Griffiths family to a new group led by John McCaw, Jr.. In November 1997, Quinn was fired by the new ownership, with whom Quinn did not see eye-to-eye.[15]

Toronto Maple LeafsEdit

In that year, he moved to Toronto to become head coach of the Maple Leafs. In his first season, the Maple Leafs improved dramatically, transitioning from a plodding checking team to a speedy scoring team that reached the conference finals, losing to the Buffalo Sabres. He was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award,Template:Citation needed and was given the additional duties of General Manager. Three years later, the Maple Leafs made it to the 2002 Conference Finals, but were eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes. In August 2003, Quinn was succeeded as general manager by John Ferguson, Jr., who became the league's youngest general manager at 34,[16] but still retained his coaching duties.

Following the 2004–05 NHL lockout, the Maple Leafs failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time with Quinn as head coach in 2005–06. As a result, Quinn was fired along with assistant coach and former teammate Rick Ley on April 20, 2006.[16] The Maple Leafs had suffered season-ending injuries from key players Eric Lindros, Jason Allison, Alex Khavanov and Ed Belfour, all of whom had been signed as free agents by Ferguson the preceding off-season. Despite losing all four players to injury, the Maple Leafs finished the season going 9-1-2 with a younger lineup of prospects, many of whom were drafted by Quinn during his tenure as general manager.[16] Aside from Toronto's lack of success, however, it was speculated that the decision to fire Quinn was a result of friction between him and general manager Ferguson; although, this was denied by Ferguson.[16] Amid speculation of his firing leading up to the official announcement, team captain Mats Sundin and veteran Darcy Tucker had both pledged support for Quinn through the media.[17]

At the time of his departure, Quinn was the winningest active coach in the NHL,Template:Citation needed and fourth all-time.[16] Under Quinn, the Maple Leafs had consistently been contenders, recording three 100-point seasons and making the playoffs every season until his last, despite never advancing past the conference finals.[17]

Edmonton OilersEdit

After a three-year absence from the NHL, in which he coached for Team Canada's Spengler Cup, under-18 and junior teams, Quinn was named the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers on May 26, 2009, replacing Craig MacTavish.

Quinn's NHL coaching record includes 11 first-round playoff series wins in 16 seasons. Quinn is known for promoting a rugged puck possession oriented style of offensive hockey.[18]

Pat Quinn was replaced by Tom Renney as the head coach on June 22, 2010[19]. He coached the Oilers to last place in 2009-2010, earning the Oilers the 1st overall selection in the 2010 Entry Draft.

After being replaced by Renney, Quinn was given the title of Senior Adviser on Hockey Operations for the Oilers, which is the position he currently holds.


At the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, Quinn coached Team Canada to their first Olympic gold medal since 1952, with a 5–2 victory over Team USA in the gold medal game. He subsequently received a standing ovation from the fans in Montreal for his efforts in his first NHL game back from the Olympics.[20]

Two years later, in 2004, Quinn coached Team Canada to victory in the 2004 World Cup with a perfect 6-0 record, capped off by a 3–2 victory over Finland in the final.[21]

Looking to defend their 2002 Olympic gold medal, Hockey Canada chose Quinn once again to coach Team Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Despite high expectations, Canada went 3-2 through the preliminary round, losing to Switzerland and Finland, both by 2-0 shutouts, then lost to Russia, again by a 2-0 score, in the quarter-finals.

Without an NHL coaching job, having been let go by the Maple Leafs at the end of the 2005–06 season, Quinn was chosen to coach Team Canada at the 2006 Spengler Cup. They made it to the final game against HC Davos, but lost 3–2.[22]

Two years later, Quinn turned to junior hockey, serving as head coach for Team Canada in the 2008 IIHF World U18 Championships. He led Canada to the finals against Russia, taking the title by an 8–0 score.[23] With established success at the junior international level, Quinn was chosen to coach the Canadian under-20 team for the 2009 World Junior Championships as the host country in Ottawa. He led Canada to an undefeated record in tournament play and a fifth consecutive gold medal, defeating Sweden 5–1 in the final.


File:Pat Quinn Parkdale Arena.JPG

Quinn is a member of the committee that determines who is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.[24]

On June 9, 2005, the city of Hamilton, Ontario, honoured Quinn at a special ceremony at Parkdale Arena, on the corner of Main Street East and Parkdale Avenue North, where the arena was officially renamed the Pat Quinn Parkdale Arena.[25]

On June 8, 2006, Quinn returned to his hometown in Hamilton to accept an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from McMaster University. He addressed the convocation of Social Sciences graduates, saying that "education is a toolbox to make career changes. It is good advice for you to follow your dreams, listen to your heart and obey your passion".[26]


Quinn grew up in eastern Hamilton, Ontario.[8] He is a cousin of former professional wrestler "Big" John Quinn.[27]


Quinn graduated with a B.A. in economics in 1972 from York University in Toronto, Ontario, three years after he began his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs.[8][28] After retiring from his playing career in 1977, Quinn considered law school, but instead accepted a coaching position with the Philadelphia Flyers. Nearly five years later, he was fired by the Flyers in time to take the exam for spring acceptance into law school. On account of being still under contract with the Flyers, his tuition was subsidized by the NHL club.[8] He finished his law degree at the University of San Diego School of Law in California, while coaching the Los Angeles Kings.[29]

Quinn never actually practiced law, but utilized his acquired knowledge in his subsequent executive positions with the Vancouver Canucks and Maple Leafs.[8]

Career statistics Edit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1958–59Hamilton Tiger CubsOHA200110
1959–60Hamilton Tiger CubsOHA270110
1963–64Knoxville KnightsEHL7263137217
1964–65Tulsa OilersCPHL703323520230000
1965–66Memphis WingsCPHL6721618135
1966–67Seattle TotemsWHL351344950002
1966–67Houston ApollosCPHL15103336
1967–68Tulsa OilersCPHL51315181781114519
1968–69Tulsa OilersCHL1706625
1968–69Toronto Maple LeafsNHL4027995400013
1969–70Tulsa OilersCHL20116
1969–70Toronto Maple LeafsNHL5905588
1970–71Vancouver CanucksNHL7621113149
1971–72Vancouver CanucksNHL5723563
1972–73Atlanta FlamesNHL7821820113
1973–74Atlanta FlamesNHL77527329440006
1974–75Atlanta FlamesNHL8021921156
1975–76Atlanta FlamesNHL802111313420112
1976–77Atlanta FlamesNHL59112135810000
NHL totals 606 18 113 131 950 11 0 1 1 21

Coaching recordEdit

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
G W L T OTL Pts Finish W L Win % Result
PHI1978–79 301884 - (95)2nd in Patrick Division35.375Quarter-Finalist
PHI1979–80 80481220 - 1161st in Patrick Division136.648Stanley Cup Finalist
PHI1980–81 80412415 - 972nd in Patrick Division66.500Quarter-Finalist
PHI1981–82 7234299 - (87)3rd in Patrick Division - - - (fired)
PHI Total 262141
- .630 2217.5643 Playoff Appearances
LA1984–85 80343214 - 824th in Smythe Division03.000Preliminary Round
LA1985–86 8023498 - 545th in Smythe Division - - -
LA1986–87 4218204 - (70)4th in Smythe Division - - - (resigned)
LA total 20275
- .436 03.0001 Playoff Appearance
VAN1990–91 269134 - 224th in Smythe Division24.333Division Semi-finalist
VAN1991–92 80422612 - 961st in Smythe Division67.461Division Finalist
VAN1992–93 8446299 - 1011st in Smythe Division66.500Divisional Finalist
VAN1993–94 8441403 - 852nd Pacific159.625Stanley Cup Finalist
VAN1995–96 6330 - (79)3rd in Pacific24.333Conference Quarter-Finalist
VAN total 280141
- .554 3130.5085 Playoff Appearances
TOR1998–99 8245307 - 972nd in Northeast98.529Conference Finalist
TOR1999–00 824527731001st in Northeast66.500Conference Semi-Finalist
TOR2000–01 823729115903rd in Northeast74.636Conference Semi-Finalist
TOR2001–02 8243251041002nd in Northeast1010.500Conference Finalist
TOR2002–03 82442873982nd in Northeast34.429Conference Quarter-Finalist
TOR2003–04 8245241031032nd in Northeast67.462Conference Semi-Finalist
TOR2005–06 824133 - 8904th in Northeast - - -
TOR total 574300
.591 -4139.5136 Playoff Appearances
EDM2009–10 822747-8625th in Northwest - - -
EDM total 8227
.378 - - - - 0 Playoff Appearances
Total 1,400684
.555 9489.51415 Playoff Appearances


Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.