For the second time in the last two months, the media is reporting that famed NHL coach Pat Burns has succumbed to cancer. Unfortunately, it looks like there are no journalistic mistakes this time. The New Jersey Devils website released a statement saying that Burns had died at age 58 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Media outlets had reported almost two months ago to the day that Burns had died of cancer, but he was actually out buying groceries.
“I’m still alive and kicking,” Burns told the Toronto Star that same day. He then later phoned TSN, which is one of Canada’s sports network owned by ESPN, and said “Here we go again – They’re trying to kill me before I’m dead. I come to Quebec to spend some time with my family and they say I’m dead.”
Burns was one of the most successful coaches of the NHL in the last decade and a half, compiling a 501-353-151-14 record in 1,019 games behind the bench of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils.
The former Montreal cop already had two previous bouts with cancer, but the third one was too much. He previously had defeated colon cancer and liver cancer in the early 2000s. This time it was lung cancer.
Pat Burns is survived by his beloved wife, Line, his daughter, Maureen, son, Jason, stepdaughter, Stephanie, stepson, Maxime, and grandson, Samuel.