The Boston Bruins made Pat Burns their head coach on Wednesday, trusting the two-time coach of the year with Toronto and Montreal to restore another traditional NHL franchise.
Burns, 45, becomes only the second man to coach three of the NHL’s “Original Six” teams, and the first since Dick Irvin joined the Canadiens in 1940 after coaching the Blackhawks and Maple Leafs.
“I think we have to make these players believe that being a Bruin is very important,” Burns said. “This is a hockey hotbed. Growing up as a kid, the Bruins were something you had to respect… . Getting a chance to be part of another Original Six team, for me, it’s really something.”
Burns took Montreal to the finals and made it to the conference finals twice with Toronto. But the Maple Leafs fired him near the end of the 1996 season during an eight-game losing streak.
The Bruins fired Steve Kasper after two seasons that included this season’s 26-47-9 record and the team’s first absence from the playoffs in 30 years.
Burns was 174-104-42 with the Canadiens from 1988-92, leading them to the Stanley Cup finals his first year and earning coach of the year honors. With Toronto, he was 133-107-41 and earned his second coach of the year honor following the 1992-93 season.
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