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Maple Leafs Fire Pat Quinn

April 21, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Toronto Maple Leafs fired Pat Quinn on Thursday, two days after they missed the playoffs for the first time in his seven seasons as coach.

The 63-year-old Quinn led Toronto to a 41-33-8 record this season. It was only the second time in his 19-year coaching career that he missed the playoffs.

Quinn had one year remaining on his contract. Longtime assistant Rick Ley was also fired.

"We did not achieve what we wanted to," General Manager John Ferguson said.

Overall, Quinn went 300-222-52 with 26 shootout and overtime losses as Toronto's coach, twice leading the Maple Leafs to the Eastern Conference finals, losing to Buffalo in 1998-99 and Carolina in 2001-02.

He's fourth all-time in coaching victories with 657 behind Scotty Bowman (1,244), Al Arbour (781) and Dick Irvin (692).

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Craig Patrick, the Hall of Fame general manager who built the Pittsburgh Penguins' Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992 but had to rebuild the club because of financial problems, is being let go after nearly 17 years on the job.

Patrick's contract expires July 1, and team President Ken Sawyer said the team would look for a new general manager.

The Penguins last were contenders in 2000-01, the season Mario Lemieux ended his retirement. Led by Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, the Penguins reached the Eastern Conference finals, but haven't been back to the playoffs since.

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The Kings will have the 11th selection in the 2006 NHL draft, which will be held in Vancouver beginning June 24. The St. Louis Blues won the top pick in a lottery that determined the order of the first 14 picks. The other 16 spots will be determined at the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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Defenseman Erik Johnson of the U.S. National Team Development Program's Under-18 team heads the list of eligible players in North America for the 2006 NHL entry draft, according to NHL Central Scouting Service's final rankings.

The rankings feature the top 210 skaters and 30 goaltenders in North America and top 160 skaters and 18 goaltenders from Europe.

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The Ducks will produce the telecasts of Games 5 and 7 of their first-round playoff series against Calgary with their own crew, if those games are necessary, and air them on KDOC Channel 56 instead of using OLN's feed, a club spokesman said.

KDOC is available in more homes in the market than OLN because OLN is a cable network and KDOC is a "must-carry" station that is available over the air as well as on satellite and cable.

OLN will broadcast Games 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7, but those games will be blacked out locally.

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King forward Sean Avery lost his commentating job with Canada's Sportsnet before he began, but someone else with King connections will be on the airwaves this weekend. Former Coach Andy Murray, fired by the Kings with 12 games left in the season, is among the analysts hired by the CBC, and has been assigned to the Flame-Duck series.

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Times staff writers Helene Elliott and Chris Foster contributed to this report.

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