August 22, 2013

Dan Vincelette

There was some high hopes coming for Dan Vincelette when he came out of junior hockey. Chicago's 3rd pick (74th overall) in 1985 was a consistent 35 goal scorer with well over 200 minutes in penalties in his finally two seasons with Drummondville of the QMJHL. The Hawks were hoping that Vincelette would be able to come into the NHL and play his crash and bang style while contributing some offense.

"Vinny" was given every chance to make an impression with the Hawks in his first 2 years of pro hockey. He played 69 games (6 goals, 17 points, 109 PIM) in his rookie season and 66 games (11 goals, 15 points, 119 PIM) the year after that. However Dan's contributions failed to make a big impression with the Hawks who were growing rapidly inpatient with him. Vincelette's lack of speed and proper conditioning were his two biggest flaws. He also lacked the hand skills to be much more than a mucker and grinder.

Dan was sent to the minor leagues in his third season. He was playing well down there (49 games, 16 goals, 29 points, 262 PIM) but found himself traded to Quebec at the NHL trading deadline on March 5, 1990. He was involved in the big Michel Goulet deal. The Nords had hoped that the Verdun-born former QMJHL star could fulfill his promise in the French speaking city. He finished the 1989-90 season with the Nords but did little. When the Nords season was over, he joined their farm team for the AHL playoffs where again he was a non-factor.

Dan started the 1990-91 season with Quebec but faltered miserably, scoring only 1 assist and 38 PIM in 16 games before he was banished to the minor leagues. He was rescued exactly one year after his first trade as the Nords traded Dan at the trading deadline on March 5, 1991. Dan, much to many people's surprise, was sent back to Chicago with Paul Gillis for Mike McNeill and Ryan McGill.

Though he finished the 1991 season with Chicago's farm team, he rebounded in 1991-92 to play again with the Hawks, albeit only 29 games. (He also spent 16 in the minors). He scored 3 times and had 8 points.

The Hawks left him unprotected in the Ottawa/Tampa Bay expansion draft. Vincelette was selected by Tampa but never played for them. Instead he found himself again in the minor leagues. During the season his rights were traded to Philadelphia but again, he never had a sniff of action with them either.

At the end of 1992-93 season Vincelette left North American hockey. He wasn't offered a contract by the Flyers and no one else was interested in a slow grinder who couldn't score and wasn't a great fighter. He played a few games in Britain before retiring. He did make a comeback attempt in 1995-96 with the San Francisco Spiders of the IHL but it was less than noteworthy.

Daniel Vincelette played in 193 NHL games, not bad for a 3rd round gamble of a draft pick. He scored 20 goals and had 42 points to go with his 351 PIM.

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