The ceremony came at the end of a promising season that turned bad for the Canucks, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. There are some parallels between what the 71-year-old Quinn faced in 1987 and the task being handed to new Canucks president Trevor Linden.
Quinn took over a money-losing franchise and helped turned it into a high-scoring team that came within one win of capturing the Stanley Cup in the 1994 finals against the New York Rangers.
“When you are first starting you know one thing,” Quinn said. “I always wanted to be a team player.
“No one person wins a hockey game, no one person builds a franchise. I got pretty lucky in putting this team together.”
Quinn also traded for players such as Kirk McLean, Cliff Ronning, Dave Babych, Jyrki Lumme, Greg Adams, Geoff Courtnall and Markus Naslund.
It was through Quinn that Brian Burke, Dave Nonis, Steve Tambellini and George McPhee received their first NHL jobs.
“When I came here in the 1970s it was hard to find a Canuck fan,” he said. “Now we are all Canuck fans.
“Thanks for how you treated me.”