As president, general manager and coach of the Vancouver Canucks, Pat Quinn pretty much bears all the responsibility for a team that is in grave danger of missing the Stanley Cup playoffs for the fourth time in five years.
Wearing his other two hats, Quinn fired coach Bob McCammon Thursday and assumed on-ice direction of the team. Yesterday he was running practice at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center, trying to turn around an outfit that has won only twice in 18 games.
Watching him was Washington Coach Terry Murray, who played for Quinn at Maine in the American Hockey League and later with the Philadelphia Flyers, where Quinn was NHL coach of the year in 1980.
"Pat was a players' coach," Murray said. "I learned a lot from him and I have a lot of respect for him."
Quinn said: "I have a great deal of respect for Terry as a person and as a young player, but I don't know him as a coach. I do know that he was the kind of guy who listened and tried to learn. He was a student of the game."
Quinn last coached in Los Angeles in January 1987 and he was asked how it felt to be back behind the bench.
"On the basis of one game, holy smokes," said Quinn, whose Vancouver coaching debut Saturday resulted in a 9-1 loss at Los Angeles. "I was rusty, but I also was excited."
Quinn faces a difficult situation trying to revive the Canucks. Yesterday was one of the few occasions the team will find to practice on a five-game trip that goes on to Philadelphia, the New York Rangers and New Jersey.
"I'm a practice person," Quinn said. "A lot of coaches have different philosophies, but I guess it's the influence of Fred Shero that makes me believe games are won at practice. It's repetitive and sometimes boring, but you have to drill fundamentals into them.
" When you're in a funk, what do you do to change it if you're just traveling and playing games? When you lose practice time, it affects your conditioning and skill level."Ciccarelli, Iafrate Cousins
The father of Washington winger Dino Ciccarelli was a practice visitor yesterday and passed on the information that Dino and Al Iafrate are third cousins. Iafrate's great-grandmother and Dino's fraternal grandfather were sister and brother.