Sports: Hockey Pat Burns coming to Broughton
Ex-Leafs coach to run hockey school

by Dave Salter
Northern News Services

NNSL (OCT 28/96) - One of the greatest coaches in Toronto Maple Leafs history will hold a hockey clinic in Broughton Island next month.

Former Leafs mentor Pat Burns, along with three other instructors will run a three-day camp starting Nov. 17.

The visit will come just two days after the opening of the hamlet's new 300-seat Qikittamiut Arena.

Burns' visit is partly sponsored by RCMP officers who are flying Burns to Broughton Island from Iqaluit after he arrives from Montreal.

In fact, Gerry Minto, a local RCMP officer, helped arranged the trip. His brother-in-law is an acquaintance of Burns and he extended the invitation to the ex-Leafs boss.

Dave Reid, Broughton Island's recreation director, says the town is buzzing in anticipation of Burn's visit.

"Most of the people here are in disbelief that Pat Burns, an NHL coach, is coming to town," said Reid.

"We've never had anyone like him come here. Most of the people up here know of him and they're big hockey fans."

With the new arena opening, Reid says setting up hockey schools and clinics was a priority.

"We wanted to get something going right away. We could have had other instructors, but when you get a chance to have someone like Pat Burns you have to jump at it," says Reid.

"He'll be teaching the basics like skating and stick-handling because kids haven't had much exposure to ice hockey."

Burns was a police detective in Hull, Que., before quitting to coach full-time for that city's Quebec Junior Hockey League team in the mid-1980s.

He joined the Montreal Canadiens organization in 1987-88, piloting the Canadiens American Hockey League affiliate in Sherbrooke, Que.

Burns was named head coach of the Canadiens in 1988 and led them to the Stanley Cup finals, where they lost to the Calgary Flames.

After four seasons in Montreal, Burns quit to accept the head-coach position with the Maple Leafs.

Burns led the Leafs to two semi-final appearances in three-and-a-half seasons in Toronto before being fired last season.

He was the first Leafs coach to post consecutive 40-win seasons (1992-93 and 1993-94) and was twice named the NHL's top coach.

He is currently an analyst for Soiree du Hockey - Radio-Canada television's version of Hockey Night in Canada.

Reid says Burns' visit won't soon be forgotten.

"Kids here can tell their grandchildren that Pat Burns taught them to skate."