Quinn in no rush to get back

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

HAMILTON -- In his address to graduating students in the Faculty of Social Sciences at McMaster University yesterday, Pat Quinn stressed the importance of setting goals and improving one's self along the way.

Whether Quinn, who was humbled to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the university in his hometown, will achieve his final hockey goal remains uncertain.

Quinn later spoke of perhaps winning the Stanley Cup, but he is not sure when he will get that opportunity.

"I am not in a hurry to jump back in necessarily," Quinn, 63, said. "The six weeks or so that have gone by (since he was fired by the Maple Leafs on April 20), I miss the routine. So, I'm going to have to find something to do to give some self-worth. I don't want to sit at home, I don't want to golf every day. I am not ready for that yet. But there is nothing that is happening right now (as far as an NHL job goes) and what the next step is, I am not really sure."

Quinn carries a presence in any room, and in the Great Hall at Hamilton Place, it was no different. Clad in a red and maroon gown, Quinn mixed in some hockey anecdotes with a clear message to the graduates: Attitude, passion and the continuous pursuit of knowledge all are integral factors in achieving success. Some humility doesn't hurt, either.

"You have the ticket, so get yourself into the game and decide how you want to play," Quinn, who earned a law degree at Widener University in Delaware in the 1980s, said.

At another point in his address, and whom Quinn may have had in mind might not be debatable, he said: "You can't soar with eagles when you're involved with a bunch of turkeys."

Quinn said later he is not pulling for either the Carolina Hurricanes or Edmonton Oilers in the Cup final, but watching is bittersweet. Quinn had a greater sense than usual during the regular season that the adage that anything can happen in the playoffs would ring true this spring. He was right.

"It was one of those years, where it was 'Geez, get in the door and see what happens,'" he said. "I don't think there is one hockey guy in the world who predicted Edmonton and Carolina."

After giving advice to a theatre full of young people on the cusp of new beginnings, Quinn was asked if he had any advice for new Leafs coach Paul Maurice.

"I wouldn't pretend to offer Paul (advice), I was busy trying to figure out how to give myself advice (when he coached the Leafs)," Quinn said. "Paul knows a lot about coaching and I wish him luck."


Videos

Photos