MONTREAL -- After being diagnosed with colon cancer two and a half years ago, it seems Pat Burns might turn up again behind a National Hockey League bench, if we are to believe what he said in an interview with RDS (Reseau des sports).
"I haven't given up on the possibility of coaching again," he said without missing a beat Thursday.
Burns was all smiles and the picture of health when he showed up for the interview in front of the cameras.
The former Habs coach learned of his colon cancer in March 2004. After 30 months of trying to win the most important game of his life, he says he's healthy and in good spirits.
WORKING FOR DEVILS
He's even back in hockey, working for the New Jersey Devils as a consultant in the southeastern United States where he checks up on various players and teams.
"I must say I like the job," he says. "But when the subject of hockey comes up with people like (Canadiens coach) Guy Carbonneau, that's when the coaching bug hits me even more."
Burns spends the winter in Florida with his wife Line and he's having a good time. He even boasts, jokingly, that his golf game is pretty good. He also rides a motorbike.
Still, hockey is his greatest passion.
"Hockey has always been part of my life, to be sure, and I don't want that to change."
Jacques Demers, another ex-coach of the Canadiens, doesn't doubt that teams will be eager to pounce on Burns when he's ready to come back.
Burns is the only coach in NHL history to have won the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year with three different teams. He did it with Montreal in 1989, the Maple Leafs in 1993 and the Bruins in 1998.
He also won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2003.
In 14 NHL seasons, the 54-year-old Burns has coached 1,109 games, posting a record of 501 wins, 350 losses, 161 ties and 14 overtime losses.