Skip to main content

Wayne Merrick


Wayne Merrick is one of the forgotten members of the New York Islanders' dynasty years. The quick defensive center was part of all four Islander Stanley Cup championships between 1980 and 1983. 

Merrick centered the "Banana Line" with John Tonelli and Bob Nystrom on the wings - a line so dubbed because coach Al Arbour once said that line doesn't monkey around. Merrick dilligently worked hard and provided speed and smarts, though he let his wingers do the heavy work along the boards.

Merrick was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues (9th overall in 1972). He was an offensive player out of the Ottawa 67s junior team, and put up decent numbers in 3 1/2 years in St. Louis before moving to the California Seals organization and, to his disappointment, moved with the organization to Cleveland in 1976. Merrick said joining the Seals/Barons organization was good for him as he got lots of ice time.

One of the areas he gained more ice time was on the penalty kill. The Islanders liked what they saw when scouting him. They traded J.P. Parise and Jean Potvin in exchange for a package highlighted by Merrick.

It was a decision that the Islanders would not regret. Merrick certainly never got nearly as much acclaim as Bryan Trottier or Butch Goring, the Islanders top two centers or Brent Sutter a little later, but he was a much appreciated member of a Stanley Cup dynasty.

He was never so appreciated as the night in 1981 when he scored the Stanley Cup winning goal:


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M