New Bruins GM talking to Quinn

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

Crushing a Boston sports icon such as Bobby Orr usually would get you tarred, feathered and dumped into the Charles River.

So how did Pat Quinn escape the wrath of Beantowners when he flattened Orr during the 1969 playoffs between Quinn's Maple Leafs and Orr's Boston Bruins?

Quinn's response to that question over the years always was the same.

"I guess they had a soft spot for my Irish background in a town with so many Irishmen," Quinn said.

More than 37 years later, Irish eyes could be smiling in the Hub after it was learned that the Boston organization is interested in the one-time Maple Leafs coach.

Incoming general manager Peter Chiarelli this week held face-to-face discussions with Quinn, who was relieved of his duties with the Leafs at the end of the 2005-06 season. The two were seen dining together at a Ottawa restaurant Tuesday.

While Chiarelli also met with incumbent Bruins coach Mike Sullivan last week, he has been tight-lipped concerning Sullivan's future. There has been speculation in Boston that Sullivan, who has a season left on his contract, could be on borrowed time behind the Bruins bench.

Quinn, 63, has missed the playoffs just twice in his 17 years as an NHL head coach.

From the Bruins' perspective, there could be legitimate concerns that Quinn might be a bit long in the tooth to run the team's youth movement.

At the same time, Quinn might be reluctant to jump into a situation involving a young rookie general manager after going through a similar process in Toronto with John Ferguson Jr.


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