Burns pulls for ex-Leafs

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

Coach Pat Burns hopes two of his former Maple Leafs are among up to four players going in the Hockey Hall of Fame today.

Doug Gilmour and Glenn Anderson are near the top of the list with 2007 runner-up Igor Larionov, when the Hall's selection committee meets today.

"Dougie, pound for pound, was the toughest player I've ever coached," Burns said yesterday. "Not to put down anyone else they're looking at, but as a leader, he was always there, he endured pain, big hits, but also liked to have a bit of fun."

Burns admired Gilmour long before he came to the Leafs, when the former St. Louis Blue and Calgary Flame was en route to 1,414 career points and a Cup with Calgary.

"He just went out there, never saying all kinds of bull he couldn't back up," Burns added.

Burns re-connected with Anderson in Quebec City last month when he was helping coach Team Canada at the world championships.

"It was great, he's still a top notch guy, who brought something different to the (four) teams he played on. He got a bad rap lots of times, but you had to know him to understand him and I never had a situation with him in Toronto."

Anderson, winner of six Cups, has been overlooked a few years. Larionov, whose international career outshone his NHL deeds, became eligible after three years in '07, but there was no room in the superstar class of Al MacInnis, Scott Stevens, Mark Messier and Ron Francis.

"If it happens I'll be thrilled, privileged and honoured, if not, there's nothing I can do." Larionov told The Canadian Press.

Also in the mix are Pavel Bure, Dino Ciccarelli, Phil Housley, Steve Larmer, Rick Middleton, Adam Oates, Tom Barrasso, Ron Hextall, Mike Liut, Andy Moog and Mike Richter.


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