September 07, 2011

Remembering Brad McCrimmon

Brad McCrimmon was one of the top defensive defensemen in the 1980s, and one of the most underrated hockey players of all time.

A fantastic junior player with the Brandon Wheat Kings, McCrimmon broke in with the Boston Bruins when Ray Bourque and Gord Kluzak were also just youngsters. McCrimmon was deemed expendable and was moved to Philadelphia for Pete Peeters.

McCrimmon really came into his own in Philadelphia, particularly when he assumed the spot along side highly skilled defenseman Mark Howe. The fierce competitor was never a star, but was a valuable member of the Flyers. He would take care of the defense and physically manhandling players in his own zone allowed Howe to take chances offensively and become one of the best (and most underrated) defenseman in history.

McCrimmon was never an offensive threat at the NHL level, he did put up some decent numbers from 1984 through 1987. Though it wasn't until his trade to the Calgary Flames in the summer of 1987 that saw him emerge from Howe's shadow. He was named as a second team All Star as he posted a league high + 48 as well posting 42 points without Howe.

The Flames traded a 1st round draft pick to Philadelphia in exchange for McCrimmon. The trade came shortly after the 1987 Stanley Cup finals in which McCrimmon was a key performer for the eventual runner up Flyers. The Flames were seeking some veteran leadership, defense and toughness to help guide them to the Stanley Cup finals, and in McCrimmon's second season in Cow Town, that is just what happened. Only this time McCrimmon was the bride and not the bridesmaid, as the Flames won their first Stanley Cup in 1989.

Later also playing in Detroit, Hartford and Phoenix, Brad McCrimmon retired with 81 goals, 322 assists and 403 points in an amazing 1222 games career. He added 11 goals and 29 points in 116 playoff games.

Brad McCrimmon went on to become a highly respected assistant coach with in New York, Calgary, Atlanta and Detroit. But he really wanted to be a NHL head coach. In order to get more experience running his own bench, he headed to Russia's KHL to coach Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

Here is Brad McCrimmon's full biography.

1 comment:

Maclynda said...

Sincere condolences to Brad's family.

Lynda & Bob MacPherson