Canadian Hockey Icon Pat Quinn Honoured in Vancouver

March 18, 2015 Updated: March 19, 2015

Vancouver celebrated St. Patrick’s day this year with a special tribute to former Canucks coach and Canadian hockey icon Pat Quinn.

Throngs of green and blue-clad fans cheered outside Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver for the unveiling of Pat Quinn Way on Tuesday.

Quinn died in Vancouver last November. He was 71.

The former NHL defenceman and longtime executive coached the Vancouver Canucks to the 1994 Stanley Cup final.

He also led Team Canada to gold at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, the country’s first men’s hockey gold medal in 50 years.

“We think about the numbers of games Pat won and that’s part of it, but the reason we’re here today is because Pat Quinn cared about people,” said former Canucks player Trevor Linden, who became the team’s president of hockey operations last year.

“He loved his players. He loved his community.”

There was also an on-ice ceremony prior to game between the Canucks and Flyers inside Rogers Arena that included Quinn’s family and a number of hockey greats.

Among the tributes on St. Patrick’s Day to the man known as “The Big Irishman” was a pipe band, as well as a rendition of the song “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” sung by Canucks anthem singer Mark Donnelly.

The notables from the hockey world in attendance to honour Quinn were Linden, Bobby Clarke, Markus Naslund, Pavel Bure, Kirk McLean, Stan Smyl, Orland Kurtenbach, Rick Ley, Cliff Fletcher and Bob Nicholson.