Cherry makes his case for Burns
'Will be in the Hall of Fame'
Pat Burns, the three-time NHL coach of the year who is terminally ill with lung cancer, didn't make it into the Hockey Hall of Fame in June, despite a big campaign from media and fans alike to get him elected.
It's a mistake that Don Cherry wants rectified.
The Hockey Night in Canada analyst made his case for including Burns in the Hall of Fame in Toronto during his latest Coach's Corner segment on Saturday.
"Think about it: He won the Stanley Cup, he was a three-time coach of the year in three different cities," Cherry said. "And he doesn't make the Hall of Fame?"
Burns is one of the most successful coaches in NHL history, with a 501-350-175 career record from 1998 to 2004 with Montreal, Toronto, Boston, and New Jersey. The Montreal native is the only three-time winner of the Jack Adams NHL coach of the year award, winning the honour with Montreal in 1989, Toronto in 1993 and Boston in 1998.
Topping it all off was his Stanley Cup victory with New Jersey in 2003.
"You should've been in the Hall of Fame," Cherry said. "You will be in the Hall of Fame. I'm making a case for you right now."
Burns, 58, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2003, forcing him to step away from the Devils bench to battle the illness. He fought it off twice before he was diagnosed with cancer for a third time in 2009, this time deciding not to undergo treatment.
It was erroneously reported that he passed away on Sept. 17, before Burns contacted a number of media outlets to reaffirm that he was still alive.
His last public appearance was on Wednesday, when he participated in the groundbreaking ceremony at the new arena which will be built in his name in Stanstead, Que.
A visibly frail Burns needed assistance during the ceremony, but had one thing to tell reporters as he walked by:
"I'm not dead yet."