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D-Day for Burns' Hall quest

Former NHL coach Pat Burns at a news conference on March 26, 2010 announcing that a new arena in...

Former NHL coach Pat Burns at a news conference on March 26, 2010 announcing that a new arena in Quebec will be named after him. (CLAUDE CROISETIERE/QMI Agency)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:34 AM ET

Warren Weeks and 71,000 members of a Facebook campaign to get the ailing Pat Burns in the Hockey Hall of Fame this year will get their answer Tuesday.

The selection committee meets in Toronto and will reveal their choices for the player and builder category on an afternoon conference call. There is a chance both 1990s Maple Leafs icons Burns and Doug Gilmour will be admitted, but the patient Gilmour might be eclipsed again by first-year eligibles such as Joe Nieuwendyk and Pierre Turgeon.

Oakville resident Weeks started his campaign for Burns a couple of months ago after Burns’ emotional news conference when he said he might not be around for the completion of a hockey rink named in his honour in Quebec. A couple of hundred signed on the first day and it has been rising ever since.

One member of the committee must put Burns’ name forward, but there is no Hall precedent to move ahead because of someone’s illness.

“We (himself and pals John Perenack and Mark Fieldhouse) created this group so a few friends could show their support for getting Pat inducted while he’s still with us,” Weeks said. “Today, that voice is more than 70,000 strong. For us, this was never about whether or not Pat belongs in the Hall. His career accomplishments (more r than 1,000 games coached, 501 wins and a Stanely Cup) speak for themselves. It was simply about ‘when’.

“Hopefully the selection committee have taken advantage of this opportunity. It would be amazing to hear Pat’s name on the list of inductees for 2010.”

Weeks said they have not heard from Burns directly, but his son Jason has been in touch to thank them for their efforts.

The committee, from all walks of hockey life, includes co-chairs Jim Gregory and Pat Quinn, as well as Bill Hay, Scotty Bowman, David Branch, Colin Campbell, John Davidson, Jan-Ake Edvinsson, Lanny McDonald, Mike Gartner, Serge Savard, Harry Sinden, Peter Stastny, Bill Torrey and media members Dick Irvin, Mike Emrick, Eric Duhatschek, Yvon Pedneault and Michael Farber.


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