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He made his last official public appearance in early October, the groundbreaking for an arena to be named in his honor in Stanstead, Quebec. The frail, yet wisecracking Burns couldn’t resist taking a shot at the media, some of whom had reported a few weeks earlier that he had died.

“I’m not dead yet,” he said in a hushed tone, his body thin body and cheeks sunken. “I’m still alive.”

At an earlier outing in March, Burns acknowledged he likely wouldn’t live another year. An online petition gathered thousands of names urging he be put in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello said Burns would be inducted in the “very near future,” but when the 2010 inductees were announced his name was not among them.

Bourque addressed the subject Monday.

He’s “a guy that probably should have been in the Hall of Fame this past year and will be in the Hall of Fame someday,” he said.