OAKVILLE, ON, April 8 /CNW/ - Less than two weeks after its launch, an online movement to fast-track former NHL coach Pat Burns into the Hockey Hall of Fame has attracted over 50,000 members.
Burns, one of the most accomplished and respected coaches in NHL history, has terminal cancer. In late March, three Oakville, Ontario residents launched a Facebook group called 'Let's Get Pat Burns into the Hockey Hall of Fame - NOW!' The group has attracted more than 50,000 members and has been profiled by media outlets across North America.
"We're sending a message to the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee that we'd like to see Pat Burns on the ballot on April 15 and that the voting and induction processes should be accelerated in light of his illness," said the group's organizers. "This isn't a debate about whether Pat Burns belongs in the Hall of Fame - his accomplishments speak for themselves, and 50,000 hockey fans agree. This is about expediting the process so he and his family can enjoy this great honour while he's still with us. It's about the hockey community seizing a rare and fleeting opportunity to do the right thing for one of their own."
The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee must submit its nominations for this year's class by April 15.
"The larger our numbers, the louder our voice," said the organizers. "We're asking Canadians to take a few seconds to visit www.patburns.ca and join the group to show their support for getting Pat Burns into the Hockey Hall of Fame now."
Burns won the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2003. He is also the only NHL head coach in history to win the Jack Adams Award (for Coach of the Year) three times. His exceptional coaching career, which included 501 regular season wins, was cut short by a cancer diagnosis in 2004.
To show your support, please visit www.patburns.ca.
For further information: For further information: Warren Weeks, (416) 238-6361, firstname.lastname@example.org; John Perenack, (416) 238-2576, email@example.com