Hundreds expected to say good-bye to Burns

New Jersey Devils coach Pat Burns announced on April 18, 2004 that he has been diagnosed with colon...

New Jersey Devils coach Pat Burns announced on April 18, 2004 that he has been diagnosed with colon cancer. (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:22 AM ET

MONTREAL — The hockey world will gather in Montreal Monday as former NHL coach Pat Burns is laid to rest.

Burns was surrounded by his family at La Maison Aube-Lumiere in Sherbrooke, Que., when he died Nov. 19 after a long battle with cancer. He was 58.

Burns coached for more than 14 seasons and was behind the bench for the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils before retiring in 2005.

His death was felt across the hockey world.

"Pat was a close friend to us all, while dedicating his life to his family and to the game of hockey," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a statement the day of Burns' death. "Today, the hockey world has lost a great friend and ambassador."

He was a man who commanded respect from players, said Cliff Fletcher, who was general manager of the Leafs when Burns' was the team's coach.

"Pat forged a tremendous bond, not only with a very good veteran team in Toronto, but also with Leafs fans everywhere," Fletcher said. "The Leafs' rise at the time was a testament to Pat's strength, toughness and determination. Hiring him 18 years ago was easily my best decision in hockey, and we developed a great friendship that I will always treasure."

Burns is survived by his wife, Line, daughter, Maureen, and son, Jason.

The funeral will be held at 2:30 p.m. at Cathedrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde.


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