There was a time when Pat Quinn thought he would settle in Oklahoma.
Now, for the first time since 1994, the legendary hockey coach and current senior adviser for the Edmonton Oilers, is back in Oklahoma. He's working with the Oilers' American Hockey League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons.
Quinn arrived in Oklahoma City on Tuesday and watched the Barons' 3-0 win over Lake Erie at the Cox Center. He's expected to attend Friday night's 7:05 game at the Cox Center when the Barons host San Antonio.
Quinn played for the original Central Hockey League's Tulsa Oilers during the 1964-65 season. He decided to stay in the offseason and attend the University of Tulsa.
He returned to Tulsa during the next two offseasons after playing in Memphis and Houston.
After being a late cut in training camp by St. Louis in 1967, the Blues asked Quinn to report to Kansas City.
Quinn had enough of fighting to get to the NHL and decided to return to Tulsa to finish his undergraduate studies and work for Oklahoma Tank Lines, where he'd become good friends with company founder Keith Price.
But Tulsa Oilers owner Ray Miron lured Quinn back to the game.
"I was 24 then, retired, and decided that maybe hockey wasn't going to be it, but Mr. Miron enticed me to play the home games in Tulsa," Quinn said. "That became all the games, and that year we happened to beat Oklahoma City to win the championship. The next year, I was in Toronto.
"It's funny how things work."
Quinn went on to play 606 NHL games as a defenseman. He then became one of the NHL's top coaches, making stops in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton. Quinn guided Philadelphia (1979-80) and Vancouver (1993-94) to the Stanley Cup finals.
In between the Barons' games and practices this week, Quinn has spent some time with Price's sons. They have become close friends and planned on making a trip to Tulsa to see Miron, who reorganized the CHL in 1992.