VANCOUVER — Late NHL and Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team coach Pat Quinn was honoured Saturday with a statue outside the home of the Vancouver Canucks.
The life-sized bronze statue, located outside Rogers Arena near Pat Quinn Way, was sparked by a small group of his former colleagues, business partners, family friends and fans who sought to honour his legacy in a permanent way.
“This is going to be remembered forever — everywhere — because it’s actually something that is life-sized, and tangible, that people can come and experience,” said Quinn’s daughter Kalli.
The statue depicts Quinn coaching the Canucks during the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs, when they lost in the Cup final in seven games to the New York Rangers, and includes him holding a roster card engraved with each player’s name.
“It is overwhelming and it is a bit strange,” said Kalli Quinn. “I just want to reach out and touch him.”
Quinn, who died at the age of 71 in 2014 following a long illness, was head coach of the Canucks from the 1990-91 to 1995-96 season. He also served as the team’s president and general manager.
In addition, Quinn, also a former NHL player, held coaching and executive positions with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings. Internationally, he guided Canadian Olympic, World Cup, world junior and under-18 teams to gold medals.
The sculpture also includes “Pat’s Bench” — a facsimile of the spot where Quinn conversed with Canadian Olympic athletes outside of Canada House in Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
“It’s where Pat loved to be,” said Canucks president Trevor Linden, a former Vancouver captain who took part in the unveiling ceremony. “He loved to be behind the bench.”
The statue was created by Norm Williams, who also sculpted a nearby statue that depicts late Canucks coach Roger Neilson waving a white towel on the end of a hockey stick during the 1982 Stanley Cup finals.
Calgary Flames president Brian Burke, a former Canucks executive who worked under Quinn, was among the participants in the unveiling ceremony, along with former Vancouver players and others.
A post-secondary scholarship in Quinn’s name has also been established for hockey players and other athletes.