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June 09, 2014

Fred Hucul

This is Fred Hucul, a puck rushing defenseman who enjoyed some great years in the old professional Western Hockey League. He often teamed with his brother, Sandy, most notably with the Calgary Stampeders.

"We complimented each other," said Sandy. "Fred was a great puck carrier, had really good moves and a great shot. I'd to into the corner or along the boards and the puck for him. I got a lot of my assists on goals Fred scored."

While Sandy, the more stay-at-home defender, never made it to the NHL, the Chicago Blackhawks gave Fred a good look with 127 games over 4 seasons in the early 1950s.

Described a good puck moving defenseman, Hucul saw his fair share of power play time. It did not translate to a lot of offense in the NHL - scoring 11 goals and 41 points in his career. But in the WHL he enjoyed seasons with 21, 19, 18 and 16 goals and was often pushing the 60 point mark in an era where that was nothing short of fantastic.

Despite all those years in the minor leagues - 13 to be exact - Fred Hucul never got another sniff in the NHL until the league expanded from six to twelve teams in 1967. He spent the bulk of the 1967-68 season with the first year St. Louis Blues, scoring 2 goals and 15 points.

Hucul's 13 years between NHL games ties a record for the longest such drought. Larry Zeidel, once Hucul's teammate in Chicago, found himself in very similar circumstances.

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