'Total mistake,' says Great One's dad

MARY GAZZE -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

The Great One's dad was stunned when the Sun broke the news to him yesterday that Pat Quinn was out as Leafs coach.

"That's a total mistake," said Walter Gretzky, who was at the Blue Jays Way restaurant bearing his son's name.

"Wayne chose Pat Quinn to be his partner at the Olympics. That's how much faith Wayne had," he said. "Wow, he was good enough to win the Olympic gold ..."

Former Leaf captain Darryl Sittler, who played for Quinn in the 1980s in Philadelphia, was also at Gretzky's for a scholarship announcement.

"It's too bad for Pat that when a team doesn't make the playoffs, somebody's got to be the fall guy." he said.

"He's a quality person and I'm sure he'll pick up the pieces and someone will hire him -- I'll miss him and his wife, Sandra," Sittler said.

On the streets near Gretzky's, Quinn's ouster got mixed reviews.

"I don't think he's the reason why they lost," said consultant Sheila Stiles, 30. "I think the leafs should go with youth, they have to keep players like [Kyle] Wellwood and [Alex] Stein."

Educational consultant Steven Milne, 38, thought it was time for a change and he's already got the new coach picked out.

"I hope Paul Maurice gets the new job. He managed to put on a great season with the baby Leafs."

"Pat Quinn," spotted having a gin and tonic at his downtown bar P.J. O'Brien's on Colborne St., didn't mince his words.

"I think it's an absolute disgrace," said the man known as the other Pat Quinn.

"We'd love to have another Pat Quinn working the bar here," he said, adding he and his son Pat Jr. "would never fire a Quinn. We couldn't pay him the kind of money he was making, but we'd treat him better."


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