Quinn staying?

New Leafs GM John Ferguson Jr. and Pat Quinn at a presser August 29, 2003 at the ACC. (SUN/Fred...

New Leafs GM John Ferguson Jr. and Pat Quinn at a presser August 29, 2003 at the ACC. (SUN/Fred Thornhill, Toronto Sun)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, TORONTO SUN

, Last Updated: 11:27 AM ET

Does Pat Quinn have a future behind the Maple Leafs bench? Obviously team management thinks he does, judging by the fact the two sides are talking about a possible extension for the veteran coach, whose deal runs out at the end of the season.

"Discussions have progressed," Leafs general manager John Ferguson Jr. said last night, an indication the organization is interested in retaining Quinn's services if the price is right.

Don't be surprised if an announcement is made during the next week. The Leafs would like the issue resolved by Jan. 15 -- next Saturday -- at which time the team reportedly would have to pay Quinn $500,000 US in the event his deal is not extended.

Should no agreement be reached, Quinn potentially could have coached his final game with the Leafs as the lockout continues to threaten the 2004-05 season.

While indications seem to be pointing to a return for Quinn for at least one more season, he refused to comment other than to express his strong desire to stay on.

"I have some unfinished business here," Quinn said, referring to his quest to bring a Stanley Cup to Toronto. "I love this place."

Quinn, who could be facing a pay cut in order to remain with the Leafs, said any talks he has held with Ferguson have been "in good faith."

"But those things will take care of themselves. Right now there are more pressing priorities in the game, namely the labour situation."


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