February 10, 2015

Hockey Top Ten: Weird Hockey Birthplaces

This is Eddy Beers. The Calgary Flames were astute enough to unearth him. He starred at the University of Denver in the late 1970s. He was never drafted as it was still uncommon to see NCAA players jump to the NHL, although Denver was the one exception to that rule.

Beers did make the jump and had a couple of really strong seasons in Calgary before a chronic back injury shortened his career. The Flames were able to move him to St. Louis before he was forced off the ice for good in 1986. Oh did I mention they managed to snag super scorer Joey Mullen in exchange for Beers?

I always thought Beers was born in British Columbia. Most sources correctly suggest his hometown is Merritt, BC. However I just recently realized he was not actually born in BCs country music capital. No. He was actually born in Zwaag, Netherlands.

Let's take a look at some other weird birthplaces of NHL players:
  1. Beirut, Lebanon: Ed Hatoum played 47 NHL games with Detroit and Vancouver in the 1970s. Nicknamed "Sock" (his last name is pronounced ha-too-em, so the nickname is supposed to sound like sock it to 'em!) he was born in Lebanon before emigrating to Ottawa when he was 10. He quickly took up Canada's national game.
  2. Seria, Brunei: Craig Adams has enjoyed a long NHL career as a 4th line forward and has won Stanley Cups in Carolina and Pittsburgh. He was born in Brunei in Southeast Asia while his father was on business with Shell Oil.
  3. Caracas, Venezuela: Rick Chartraw, a veteran of 420 NHL games, was born in South America as his father worked their as an engineer.
  4. Moshi, Tanzania: Chris Nielsen played 52 games with Columbus at the beginning of the 21st century. His parents were Canadian diplomats in the East African country.
  5. Zaria, Nigeria: Rumun Ndur was a NHL tough guy who bounced the minor league circuit for many years. He may have been born in Africa, but he grew up in Ontario.
  6. Recife, Brazil: Long time NHL rearguard Robyn Regehr was born in South America as his parents were Mennonite missionaries. His brother and fellow NHL player Richie Regehr was born in Indonesia.
  7. Grostenquin, France: Paul MacLean, former Winnipeg Jets marksman and now NHL coach, was born at an air force in France before growing up in Nova Scotia. His father was in the military.
  8. Taipei, Taiwan: Rod Langway, the only Hockey Hall of Famer on this list, was also a military brat. His father was a US serviceman stationed in Taiwan at the time of Rod's birth. He grew up playing football and hockey in Massachusetts.
  9. Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Claude Vilgrain was born in Haiti but grew up in Quebec. He represented Canada at the Olympics.
  10. Johannesburg, South Africa: Long time Washington Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig may be the most international player ever. His parents are German, hence why Kolzig represented Germany internationally. But Olaf was actually born in South Africa's largest city. Yet they moved to Canada where Olaf fell in the love of the game. He spent his junior and professional career in the United States.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For Robyn Regehr you said he was born in Recife, Brazil so shouldn't that be South America instead of South Africa?