11/26/2014 10:01 EST | Updated 01/26/2015 05:59 EST

Don Cherry recalls Pat Quinn as an old-school coach revered by his players

TORONTO - Don Cherry remembers Pat Quinn as an old-school coach with a special way about him.

Quinn, a former NHL defenceman, coach and executive, died Sunday night in Vancouver after a lengthy illness. He was 71.

"He was one of the good old boys. We're all going fast," the 80-year-old Cherry told The Canadian Press.

"He wasn't one of those guys with the Xs and Os but he had the touch. That's what I think of Pat Quinn, he had the touch."

That included his relationship with his players.

"The players loved him," Cherry said. "If you noticed (about) all the old-school coaches, the players loved them. Because they were one of them more or less."