Canucks alumni praise opportunities for young hockey players at the Pat Quinn Classic

Burnaby, B.C. – Two veterans of the Vancouver Canucks were thrilled to be a part of the 2022 Pat Quinn Classic, after two years of COVID-19 pandemic cancellations.

Dennis Kearns and Darcy Rota handed out medals and trophies on the final day of the 2022 tournament.

“To be here to present awards is special,” says Rota, who played for the Canucks from 1979 to 1984 and then was the team’s media relations director in the late 1980s, working for Quinn, who was the team’s president and general manager at that time. “It’s fantastic to see these different teams and the young players. You can just see the emotion on their faces. This is a very special tournament with a long history.”

Burnaby has hosted a holiday season minor hockey tournament since 1962. It was renamed the Pat Quinn Classic in 2015.

Kearns was a member of the Canucks from 1971 to 1981. Pat Quinn was his teammate in 1971-72. “Pat was very good friend and a first-class gentleman. It’s an easy call when I hear Pat Quinn’s name and an honour to be here representing the Vancouver Canucks Alumni.”  He says Quinn is a “player’s coach” and a “mentor to many.”

Both Kearns and Rota are impressed with the achievements of past recipients of the Vancouver Canucks Alumni Scholarships. Three $1,000 scholarships are available annually for tournament participants.

“It’s impressive to see how these young players give back to their communities,” adds Rota. 

“Both Dennis and I have great respect for Pat Quinn,” concludes Rota. “We are here because of what Pat meant to both of us. It’s a first-class tournament. Our Canucks Alumni are delighted to be a part of this.”

Photo:  Dennis Kearns (left) and Darcy Rota after presenting medals at the Pat Quinn Classic on December 31, 2022.



The Burnaby Minor Hockey Association began hosting the annual December Bantam hockey tournament in 1962. It is now the longest-running event of its kind in the world. The tournament became the Pat Quinn Classic in 2015, named after the legendary player, coach, general manager and team owner. Pat Quinn is internationally-recognized as one of the hockey’s greatest coaches and ambassadors. Proceeds go to the Pat Quinn Scholarship Fund. Managed by Hockey Canada, the fund supports players in post-secondary education after their hockey careers. Quinn is one of the most recognizable faces in Canadian sport and has made an enormous contribution to sport in British Columbia and Canada.

The objective of the Pat Quinn Classic is to create a top international-calibre tournament in Western Canada to showcase local teams alongside some of the strongest programs in Canada, the U.S. and around the world. Organizers worked with the Quinn family to create a unique tournament that strikes the right balance between exciting hockey, skill and leadership development and community engagement. Pat motivated players at all levels to work hard on the ice and live with passion and integrity off the ice. The vision of this tournament exemplifies his love of hockey and his unwavering commitment to give back to the community.

After being cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pat Quinn Classic returned for a sixth edition in December 2022.