Pat Quinn was sitting at the Maple Leafs table at the 2004 entry draft in Carolina when Toronto selected Prince George goaltender Justin Pogge.
A year ago, Quinn, along with the rest of the country, watched Pogge backstop Canada to a gold medal at the world junior championship.
But if Quinn had any hopes to one day coach the Leafs' so-called "goalie of the future," those aspirations appeared to be squelched last spring when the ornery Irishman was relieved of his duties by the Toronto organization.
Now, eight months later, Quinn finally will get the chance to witness Pogge do his thing first hand.
As coach of the Canadian entry at next week's Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, Quinn will have a couple of Leaf prospects at his disposal. Both Pogge and defenceman Jay Harrison, his teammate with the Marlies, will be participating in the tournament for Canada under the guidance of Quinn.
"I heard about Pogge from our scouts, read reports on him and kept up to date with his progress during my time with the Leafs, but now I finally have the opportunity to coach him," Quinn said last night during a phone interview from Vancouver.
"What I remember most about him is what a big step he took during his draft year, then followed it up with another one the next season."
With five games in six nights, Quinn figures both Pogge and Devan Dubnyk, one of Pogge's backups at last year's world juniors, will see action.
"The Leafs have always been good at allowing kids to play in this tourney," Quinn said. "We had Ian White and Brendan Bell take part when I was there."
Harrison, meanwhile, is thrilled to be heading over to Switzerland. He is no stranger to international competition, having taken part in the 2001 and '02 world juniors.
"Any time you have a chance to represent your country and wear that red-and-white maple leaf on your chest, you have to jump at it," Harrison said yesterday. "Those opportunities don't come up very often. Besides, I know the coach."
And vice versa.