(Burns, lifting the Stanley Cup in 2003 during his tenure as Devils head coach)

Or if you prefer, Reports Of Pat Burns’ Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated.  The Star’s Rosie DiManno reports that Maple Leafs spokesperson Cliff Fletcher told the media earlier today that Burns — currently fighting liver cancer — had shuffled off this mortal coil.  Except, well, he’s still alive.

“I extend my deepest apologies to Pat Burns and his family, Fletcher said.

œUnfortunately, I was misinformed by a friend earlier today and my public comments were completely inaccurate.”

After Fletcher™s initial declaration, Kevin Dixon, Burns™ close friend, said, œPat says he is not dead yet.

œHey all, just talked to Pat, and he is grocery shopping, Dixon said in an email.

œHe can™t decide if he will have pork chops this evening or steak.

œFinally, it will be pork chops. He said he had steak last night at the restaurant. Reporters screwed up big-time.

When Dixon got Burns on the phone, he teased him by saying: œI got your box here ready for you. Got to get you in there before the end of the day.