Even as the black clouds gathered around him earlier this week, Pat Quinn insisted his days as an NHL coach weren't done.
Of course, he was equally adamant that he wanted that career to continue in Toronto, the fourth NHL team he has guided.
"I don't know if that's an appropriate question at this point. I want to coach here," Quinn said Monday when asked bluntly if he would pursue a coaching job elsewhere if this was to be his final season Toronto. "I am a coach and very proud of my association with this organization."
That association now will be limited to paying out the $1.5 million US remaining on his contract. But speculation already is humming that Quinn will surface elsewhere, either as a coach or in senior management.
"He's an excellent coach," Ottawa coach Bryan Murray told The Canadian Press. "If he wants to coach further, somebody is going to get a heck of a coach."
Earlier this week, media in Vancouver speculated that Quinn may be a candidate as Canucks president. Quinn has strong ties to Vancouver where he was the NHL coach of the year in 1991-92 and led the Canucks to the Stanley Cup final in 1993-94.
He is also part-owner of the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League and senior management at Orca Bay, which fired him in 1997, is gone now. Furthermore, current Canucks coach Marc Crawford is said to be on shaky ground.
Quinn, no doubt, will be linked to any job opening that may arise over the next few weeks. Besides Crawford, Mike Sullivan's future is suspect in Boston. Sullivan has a year remaining on his contract with the Bruins, but management has yet to endorse him for next season.
A name such as Quinn's would go over well in Beantown where he might also be a fit with the Harry Sinden-led old guard.
And what about Phoenix, where Wayne Gretzky is non-committal about returning to coach the Coyotes? Quinn and Gretzky have close ties through Team Canada at the past two Olympics and the 2004 World Cup.
Though his first stint in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s didn't end on good terms, the franchise is another that is looking. Coach Andy Murray was fired a month ago and earlier this week general manager Dave Taylor got the axe.
The GM's job is also available in Pittsburgh where yesterday Craig Patrick was canned.