Quinn will take another crack at ending drought

Updated: May 6, 2004, 4:10 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Toronto Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn will return next season, ending speculation that the team would make a change after failing to get past the second round of the playoffs.

"Pat will be back. He's our coach and his record speaks for itself," Toronto general manager John Ferguson said Thursday.

Quinn, who last summer relinquished his duties as the team's general manager, has one year left on his contract.

Ferguson wouldn't say if Quinn will be offered an extension this summer, but he did say that he hopes Quinn will coach beyond next season.

"He's had well over 600 career victories, a franchise-record 103 points this season," Ferguson said. "We knocked out Ottawa in the playoffs. We failed to advance past Philadelphia, but all in all it was a strong season for us."

The Philadelphia Flyers eliminated the Maple Leafs from the playoffs for the second straight year. Ferguson said the team failed to meet its goal of winning the Stanley Cup -- something they haven't done since 1967.

"Make no mistake we had a team capable of winning the Cup, not just competing for it," said Ferguson, who thinks Quinn is capable of leading them to a championship. "His record of success over time, and his ability to compete for that Cup over time gives me a great deal of confidence."

Quinn acknowledged he's coaching for a new contract.

"I'm driven to help this team reach it's goal," Quinn said. "During my tenure here we've had six very good hockey teams, but we haven't won it all and that's what's going to drive me."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press