Charles Frederick Burns (born February 14, 1936) is a retired American-born Canadian professional ice hockey forward who played 749 games in the National Hockey League. He played for the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Oakland Seals, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Minnesota North Stars. Burns was mainly known for being an excellent skater, playmaker and defensive player who performed checking and penalty-killing. His trademark was the heavily padded helmet that he was forced to wear after suffering a serious head injury while playing junior hockey in 1954–55.
In 1959, he was the only US-born player in the NHL. Although Burns was born in Detroit, Michigan, his family moved to Toronto, Ontario when he was a child. Burns chose Canadian citizenship when he turned 21 and later played for the 1958 World Champion Whitby Dunlops.
Burns had three spells as a player-coach, twice with the San Francisco Seals (1965-66 & 1966-67) and one with the Minnesota North Stars (1969–70). He coached the Stars again in 1974-75 after his retirement. Curiously, all of these were midseason assignments. He currently coaches youth hockey for the Wonderland Wizards of Bridgeport, Connecticut in his spare time.
- ^ Shorthanded: The Untold Story of the Seals: Hockey's Most Colorful Team (p. 47), by Brad Kurzberg, AuthorHouse (2006), ISBN 1425910289
- ^ The Pappy Line, Time Magazine, March 2, 1959
- ^ Kurzberg, p.48
By Dean Hanley
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