Pat Burns was remembered by fans and family on Sunday as a hockey arena, named after the only three-time NHL coach of the year, officially opened in Stanstead, Que.

The Pat Burns Arena officially opened on the campus of Stanstead College on Sunday, a little more than a year after the memorial was announced.

Burns, a tough-talking cop turned successful NHL coach, died in November 2010 after a long battle with cancer.

He left behind his wife Lyne and children Jason and Maureen.

Burns coached in Montreal, Toronto, Boston and New Jersey during his 14 years in the NHL.

He led the New Jersey Devils to a Stanley Cup championship in 2003 and won the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year three times over the course of his career. Burns is the only person to ever with the honour three times.

Hockey greats Henri Richard, Guy Carbonneau and Patrice Brisebois were to attend a ceremony marking the inauguration Sunday afternoon.

The venue will not only be used by the private school, but also by residents of Stanstead and surrounding municipalities in the Quebec-Vermont border region.

MP Denis Lebel was on hand for the inauguration and said the new arena would play an integral role in the region's daily life.

"Construction of the arena being inaugurated today helped to create jobs. Its opening will now encourage young people to adopt a healthy lifestyle," Lebel said in a statement. "It's very exciting for a sports fan like myself to be here as we pay tribute to Pat Burns, a great coach and a great Canadian."

Construction of the Pat Burns Arena was announced last year to replace a former community arena built in 1954.

The governments of Canada and Quebec covered two-thirds of the $8 million price tag. The City of Stanstead raised the rest by selling hockey memorabilia and holding charity events over the past year.

The 3,750-square metre arena seats 350 people and will also be used by the neighbouring communities of Magog and Coaticook.