EDITORIAL: A good man gone

The country lost one of those people on the weekend. Pat Quinn died in Vancouver on Sunday night. He was 71

In an age of bad actors, there are still sports figures who have a positive effect on lives outside their chosen game.

The country lost one of those people on the weekend. Pat Quinn died in Vancouver on Sunday night. He was 71.

Quinn came from humble beginnings. He grew up in the rough and tumble east end of Hamilton, where he had a paper route for some time, delivering The Globe and Mail. Eventually, the rink near his boyhood home was renamed Pat Quinn Arena.

A tough customer in a time when everyone had to be a tough customer in the NHL, Quinn’s most famous playing moment may have been a thunderous check in the 1969 playoffs that provoked a bench-clearing brawl between Quinn’s Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins. The target of Quinn’s hit, the player he knocked unconscious? Bobby Orr.

After success as a coach in Philadelphia, Quinn made his way to Los Angeles and then Vancouver, in 1986. He has worked elsewhere since that time, but always kept his Vancouver home.

After bringing in players like Trevor Linden, Pavel Bure and Kirk McLean, the Quinn-led Canucks gave the province a thrill by getting to within one win of the Stanley Cup in 1994.

He also led the Canadian Olympic team to its first gold medal in 50 years in Salt Lake City in 2002.

As we see sometimes in sports, the biggest, toughest of them all can be the most gentle, giving people off the playing field or ice. As the tributes poured in the last couple of days, we hear more about his selfless work for Canuck Place, a children’s hospice.

Pat Quinn leaves many legacies across the country. He insisted the people he brought on board to work with him — players and coaches — be good citizens in the community. He also never stood in the way of someone who could advance their careers elsewhere. Current Canucks president Linden is one of those legacies and may be the only Canucks figure more loved and respected in this province than Quinn.

As a sports executive ages, pundits like to look at his tree, the branches that have sprouted careers for others throughout the league. Pat Quinn’s tree has many branches, but in the end it won’t be the hockey results that trace back to the roots of his tree. It will be the community-minded, selfless attitude he instilled in others that will enrich the lives of many for years to come.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Parksville Beach Festival Society launches campaign for outdoor stage

Public invited to event May 25 to help with kickoff

Crime Report: Oceanside RCMP receive 328 complaints in one-week span

Vandalism and theft of a wheelchair among listed incidents

Controversial cell tower proposal in Coombs clears another hurdle

Committee indicates Rogers satisfactorily completed requirements

Parksville advocate to discuss harm-reduction measures for addicts

Morris, along with a panel of professionals, will be at the PCC on May 21

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Campbell River police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

RDN looking into providing bus service 365 days a year

RDN transit committee to consider adding bus service on Christmas, New Year’s and Good Friday

One year after heartbreaking B.C. search, wife reflects on late husband

First anniversary of Ben Kilmer’s disappearance, and a search that galvanized Vancouver Island

Most Read