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Pat Burns Does Not Belong in the Hall of Fame

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11-10-2010, 09:57 AM
  #1
Epsilon
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Pat Burns Does Not Belong in the Hall of Fame

I didn't really want to touch this one (because who wants to go negative against a guy with cancer?) but reading a lot of tripe on the main board and in the hockey media about WHAT AN OUTAGE~! it is that Pat Burns wasn't inducted into the Hall of Fame (which they apparently decided needed an encore this week due to the HoF ceremony), I feel compelled to make the following argument.

There is currently no "Coaches Wing" of the Hall of Fame. Now personally I think the Hall would benefit from making that distinction, but for now any coach inducted has gone in under the "Builders" category.

I've done a quick but somewhat thorough scan of the NHL coaches who are in the HHoF. Of those who were not inducted as players, but rather has builders, almost all of them were in addition general managers, owners, or "team builders" in some capacity other than just being an on-ice coach. There are the obvious ones such as Scotty Bowman, the Patricks, Art Ross, and so on. Other examples include Herb Brooks, Bob Johnson, and Rudy Pilous (along with many others of course).

The only coaches I can find that do not have extensive and/or significant stints in upper management or ownership are Al Arbour, who coached a new team into a dynasty and spent 20 years as that team's coach (in addition to other time spent in management roles between coaching stints), and roger Neilson, who is most well known for innovations he brought to the game.

Now, on to Pat Burns. Obviously he was an outstanding hockey coach, and no one would argue otherwise. If there was a Hall designation for pure coaching, he would be a shoo-in. But how does he fit as a builder? As successful as he was (a Stanley Cup and multiple Adams trophies), Burns never spent more than 4 seasons as the coach of a single team. He also never built a team from the ground up the way Arbour (and other coaches) did. In fact, every team he joined had its most successful season in his first year behind the bench. He was undoubtedly a great motivator and tactician with an experienced lineup, but never really did anything outside of that setting.

Burns doesn't fit as a builder, and until the HoF decides to explicitly honor coaches, I just don't think he belongs, even if that makes me unsentimental.

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11-10-2010, 10:01 AM
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GKJ
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I'm for the movement, but Burns has to wait for Fred Shero. Unfortunately, that means that he may not be able to be around if/when he gets in.

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11-10-2010, 10:14 AM
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Painfully, I have to agree. This is an excellent argument for opening a Coaches' wing.

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11-10-2010, 11:03 AM
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Let Burns in! It'll be used to open the "Builder" category to more coaches, if nothing else.

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11-10-2010, 11:06 AM
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seventieslord
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I'm not going to argue too strongly for Burns, because he is a borderline candidate at best, but you do make a compelling argument against his induction.

Having been in a number of all-time drafts, where the best of the best are compared on an annual basis (used to be semi-annual), I think it's fair to say Burns is in the 15th-20th range among coaches. Based on the usual standards applied to coaches, that makes him a decent inductee.

However, the point about Fred Shero is well-made too. As long as Shero stays out, all bets are off with coaches getting in as builders.

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11-10-2010, 12:32 PM
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I agree, and it's a hard opinion to express because everyone got up in arms about Burns not being inducted because he's dying.

His coaching stats are basically equivalent to the likes of Joel Quenneville and Marc Crawford, but nobody ever suggested that those guys are anywhere close to a HOF nomination. Burns is only suggested because he's sick and used to coach Montreal and Toronto. He doesn't deserve it.

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11-10-2010, 12:41 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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I agree with the original post, unfortunately. Great coaches like Shero and Burns deserve enshrinement, but the fact is that there is no real category for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
I agree, and it's a hard opinion to express because everyone got up in arms about Burns not being inducted because he's dying.

His coaching stats are basically equivalent to the likes of Joel Quenneville and Marc Crawford, but nobody ever suggested that those guys are anywhere close to a HOF nomination. Burns is only suggested because he's sick and used to coach Montreal and Toronto. He doesn't deserve it.
Utter nonsense. Comparing a guy like Burns, who has 3 Jack Adams trophies, was a huge factor in getting a well-past-its-prime NJ team to put it all together for one last hurrah in 2003, not to mention taking the Maple Leafs farther than they had been since the 60s? And if you love stats, just look at how much better teams became defensively the instant Burns arrived. And you compare all that to Mark Crawford, who basically rode the coattails over Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy to a Cup, before settling into a position as typical run-of-the-mill NHL coach?


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11-10-2010, 12:54 PM
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seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I agree with the original post, unfortunately. Great coaches like Shero and Burns deserve enshrinement, but the fact is that there is no real category for them.



Utter nonsense. Comparing a guy like Burns, who has 3 Jack Adams trophies, was a huge factor in getting a well-past-its-prime NJ team to put it all together for one last hurrah in 2003, not to mention taking the Maple Leafs farther than they had been since the 60s? And if you love stats, just look at how much better teams became defensively the instant Burns arrived. And you compare all that to Mark Crawford, who basically rode the coattails over Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy to a Cup, before settling into a position as typical run-of-the-mill NHL coach?
Yeah, there's no comparison there. Burns is well out of their league.

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11-10-2010, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
I agree, and it's a hard opinion to express because everyone got up in arms about Burns not being inducted because he's dying.

His coaching stats are basically equivalent to the likes of Joel Quenneville and Marc Crawford, but nobody ever suggested that those guys are anywhere close to a HOF nomination. Burns is only suggested because he's sick and used to coach Montreal and Toronto. He doesn't deserve it.
I hate to agree with this because Burns was a well liked coach and..........well God forbid this doesn't happen to him, but he may die soon.

I'm not a big fan of Roger Neilson in there either, I know the innovator and "Captain Video" tag on him are well deserved but was it a big enough impact or just a well loved guy in the hockey world who was dying? I don't want to decide, which is why I hate going against Burns too.

The truth is if Burns was healthy right now no one would want him inducted. That is a big issue right there when you think about it.

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11-10-2010, 04:18 PM
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Rudy Pilous in in the Hall of Fame? Well, I'll be going to bed sadder but wiser this evening.

And folks have a problem with Dick Duff?

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11-10-2010, 05:08 PM
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Shero deserves to be enshrined and it's been far too long and no one cared to induct Shero when he died in 1990.
http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/...l_of_Fame.html

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11-10-2010, 05:17 PM
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Shero deserves to be enshrined and it's been far too long and no one cared to induct Shero when he died in 1990.
http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/...l_of_Fame.html
It's not because the Hall went wrong with Shero that it has to go wrong with Burns.

Besides, Shero has a rep as the BSB coach.

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11-10-2010, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
The truth is if Burns was healthy right now no one would want him inducted.
And that's why I find the "outrage" from this website, CBC and TSN over this to be ridiculous.

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11-10-2010, 10:36 PM
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Boo-urns! Boo-urns!

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Old
11-10-2010, 11:51 PM
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The Hall of Fame is broken then.

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11-11-2010, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I hate to agree with this because Burns was a well liked coach and..........well God forbid this doesn't happen to him, but he may die soon.

I'm not a big fan of Roger Neilson in there either, I know the innovator and "Captain Video" tag on him are well deserved but was it a big enough impact or just a well loved guy in the hockey world who was dying? I don't want to decide, which is why I hate going against Burns too.

The truth is if Burns was healthy right now no one would want him inducted. That is a big issue right there when you think about it.
Fully agree here except with the Neilson comment.

His stamp is all over the modern game.

I'm sure that dozens of future NHL players went through his hockey camps and Nielson was a real student of the game and was responsible for some minor rule changes as well.

I'm not sure if that is really enough for the HHOF but having a "coaches corner" in the Hall would be a good place to put coaches and a certain guy from CBC as well.

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11-11-2010, 12:30 AM
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Illness aside, I never understood the call for Burns to be inducted? Was he a great coach, obviously yes. But as stated in the OP, he doesn't fit into the builders category. I don't believe the HHOF needs to change their stance on coaches either, the ones that deserve to be in the Hall, for the most part, are in.

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11-11-2010, 04:30 AM
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Good post, and I agree.

You can't induct a guy just because he's dying....

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11-11-2010, 05:37 AM
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looking at how you interpret the builders category it seems that you are willing to give a guy like Bowman the benefit of the doubt for being terrible in management roles but because he held one at all he gets in. Bowman's record as coach is obviously in a level far higher than Burns, but make no mistake. Bowman isn't in the hall for being a shrewd manager of the game. Montreal and Detroit both passed him over, and Buffalo, who did give him a chance, went down the toilet. His place is behind the bench and that's why he is in the hall.

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11-11-2010, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Fully agree here except with the Neilson comment.

His stamp is all over the modern game.

I'm sure that dozens of future NHL players went through his hockey camps and Nielson was a real student of the game and was responsible for some minor rule changes as well.

I'm not sure if that is really enough for the HHOF but having a "coaches corner" in the Hall would be a good place to put coaches and a certain guy from CBC as well.
Nielson has no business being in the hall. He was a mediocre NHL coach that had mediocre results throughout his career.

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11-11-2010, 06:12 AM
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I was thinking coaches here, recent ones with Stanley Cup and their possibilities. Other than Burns, to be exact.

Johnson: already in
Bowman: already in
Demers: Not very successful outside of Habs Cup run
Keenan: Up to Rangers year, a very strong CV. After that, nothing worth of note, so no
Lemaire: already in as a player
Crawford: coached very strong team to title, but after that not worthy
Hitchcock: not bad in Philly outside of last part-season, helped Jackets into playoffs. But I say no.
Robinson: already in as a player
Hartley: coached powerhouse team to Cup, no success outside that. Not in.
Tortorella: One of key persons in Lightning success, but Rangers and US national team not so strong. However, easily 10 years of career left
Laviolette: Islanders years and rest of Hurricanes career no. Helped Flyers to finals then, but he's only 45 so he has lots of coaching years left
Carlyle: Early years in Ducks were better than what he's done in last two years. Needs success elsewhere too.
Babcock: He looks good so far, but so many years left, so it's not possible to make final conclusions
Bylsma: Way too early to say anything
Quenneville: One Cup as an assistant also. Blues years were good but not great. Avs had lost their glory but still decent performances. Lots of years still left for him.

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11-11-2010, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish on The Sand View Post
looking at how you interpret the builders category it seems that you are willing to give a guy like Bowman the benefit of the doubt for being terrible in management roles but because he held one at all he gets in. Bowman's record as coach is obviously in a level far higher than Burns, but make no mistake. Bowman isn't in the hall for being a shrewd manager of the game. Montreal and Detroit both passed him over, and Buffalo, who did give him a chance, went down the toilet. His place is behind the bench and that's why he is in the hall.
True, but Bowman did bring lots of innovations to the game, even from behind the bench, notably integrating various European strategies into the North American game. Burns was a very good coach, but really wasn't an innovator in any way.

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11-12-2010, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
True, but Bowman did bring lots of innovations to the game, even from behind the bench, notably integrating various European strategies into the North American game. Burns was a very good coach, but really wasn't an innovator in any way.
Shero did some of the same as Bowman, including going to Russia and bringing that system to the Flyers (and then knowing how to beat it in 1976). He was the first to hire assistant coaches, and one of if not the first to fully institute a system, which is used by any organized professional or junior hockey team today.

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11-19-2010, 05:54 PM
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I'm siding with Bob McKenzie on this issue.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=334094

In all the years I've been involved in this game -- 30 plus -- I don't know that I've ever been more emotionally disturbed by something that has happened than that. That's no disrespect intended to any of this year's honorees, none whatsoever. It's just that, for me, Pat Burns going into the Hall of Fame is a no brainer. I mean, he's won more Jack Adams Trophies (3) than any other coach ever. He's won a Stanley Cup with the Devils, got the Canadiens to the final and almost got the Maple Leafs there. His 501-353-151-14 regular-season record is 14th alltime amongst NHL coaches and had he not been afflicted with cancer, who knows how high on the list he would have been by now? He coached three Original Six franchises and is a commanding presence in hockey.

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11-19-2010, 06:00 PM
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Let's keep condolences in the thread on the main board.

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