Honours for Quinn Saturday: Burke

MIKE ZEISBERGER, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:17 PM ET

MONTREAL — Brian Burke promises that Pat Quinn will be honoured in some capacity during his return to the Air Canada Centre Saturday.

“Pat was here for a long time and did some great things,” Burke said Thursday from Toronto. “It would be wrong not to acknowledge that.”

Quinn knows Burke well, having hired him as director of hockey operations with the Vancouver Canucks in 1987. To that end, Quinn feels Burke has the right makeup to handle the rigours of being the Maple Leafs GM.

“Because of all the scrutiny and second guessing there, you have to have the self-confidence to believe in what you are doing and stick to the plan, even if you keep getting criticized for it,” Quinn said.

“Brian has that.”

Quinn also has ties with Leafs bench boss Ron Wilson, who was brought in as an assistant coach under Quinn with the Canucks in 1990.

Interestingly, Tomas Kaberle is the only player on the Leafs roster who played for Quinn in Toronto.

“It’s always exciting when you play against a former team or coach,” Kaberle told the Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan. “He was my first coach so there are a lot of memories there.

“I never had a problem with him. When we had some issues, we would talk it out and stuff. He was always good to me.”

Quinn’s Oilers beat Wilson’s Leafs 3-1 in Edmonton Dec. 31.

While Saturday will be Quinn’s first NHL game at the ACC since being fired by the Leafs four years ago, he was behind the Team Canada bench for a world junior exhibition game there against Sweden in Dec. 2008.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca


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