Quinn’s unusual way

Canada has the most experienced coach behind its bench

26.12.2008
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Pat Quinn won the 2008 World U18 Championship with Canada. Photo: IIHF/HHoF

Canada's coach at this year's U20 is Pat Quinn. The 65-year-old is doing things in reverse. Normally, a U20 coach is young and uses the tournament as a steppingstone to the NHL.

From Mike Keenan to Dave King, Mike Babcock, Tom Renney, and Brent Sutter, the tournament is a perfect place for an aspiring coach to earn his wings and move on to the NHL. But Quinn is hands down the most experienced coach ever to make his U20 debut.

Consider his resume: after a lengthy playing career in the NHL, Quinn coached the Philadelphia Flyers starting in 1978. He was there for four years during which time his team set one of the game's most amazing records: 35 games without a loss. He then moved on to Los Angeles (three years), Vancouver (five years), and Toronto (seven years). He twice took teams to the Stanley Cup finals – in 1980 with the Flyers and 1994 with the Canucks – and he led Canada to a gold medal in the 2002 Olympics as well as the World Cup of Hockey championship two years later.

After he was fired by the Maple Leafs in 2006, he has been one of Hockey Canada's go-to coaches. He led Canada to Spengler Cup victory in 2006 and this past April led Canada's U18 team to a gold medal as well. Without question, Quinn's 30 years of experience will be vital to leading a young Canadian team in Ottawa.

ANDREW PODNIEKS

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