April 23, 2015

Tony Currie

Tony Currie was quoted as saying he loved the game and the opportunities it presented.

Currie, the son of a military man, was born in small town Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia and later grew up and starred as a peewee in small town Oromocto, New Brunswick. No one knew back then that this local whiz kid would leave to play junior hockey in British Columbia, Edmonton and Portland, Oregon, play nearly 300 NHL games with St. Louis, Hartford and Vancouver, compete for the Stanley Cup in Vancouver, and finish his hockey career in Germany and Italy.

The St. Louis Blues would draft Currie 63rd overall in 1977, the year after he led all Canadian junior right wingers with 73 goals in 72 games.

Currie played five seasons with the Blues, scoring on his very first shot and once setting a post-season team record for assists (12) in one playoff year (since broken). Currie was a 20 goal-threat from the third line.

The Blues made a big trade with the Canucks midway through the 1981-82 season, sending Currie, Jim Nill, Rick Heinz and a draft pick all in exchange for goalie Glen Hanlon. Canucks fan may have briefly been excited to hear they traded for Currie before realizing it was Tony Currie and not Edmonton's Jari Kurri!

It was a good move for Tony Currie and his fellow former-St. Louis co-horts. The Canucks went on an unexpected run all the way to the Stanley Cup finals in 1982 before losing the championship to the New York Islanders. It was an exciting time even though Currie only played three times in the playoffs, and did not play in the finals vs. the Islanders.

Currie only played sparingly for the Canucks over the next two years. While most players take the news of being demoted to the minor leagues hard, Currie at least had the comfort of going home. The Canucks farm team back then was out of Fredericton, New Brunswick. Currie had an especially strong 1982-83 season with the Express, scoring 47 goals and 95 points in just 68 games.

Currie was released from his Canucks contract half way through the 1983-84 season, allowing him to return to the NHL as a free agent with the Hartford Whalers. He would play parts of two seasons with the Whalers before exiting the NHL for good.

Tony Currie played in 290 NHL games, scoring 92 goals, 119 assists for 211 points. After a few more years in the minor leagues he headed overseas to Germany and Italy. He later settled back in New Brunswick, playing with several senior league teams in Fredericton.

While returning to the rink as an amateur he enrolled at the University of New Brunswick, earning a business degree specializing in marketing. He became an account executive for an IT services firm in Canada's Atlantic region. He has since relocated to Toronto as a senior account executive with Saba software.

1 comment:

mine1 said...

Tony Currie was an underrated and highly skilled player in the late 70s-early 80s NHL. He was a good, smooth skater with decent but not outstanding speed. His main attributes were his amazing stickhandling talent and his excellent wrist shot. Tony was one of the very best one-on-one players of his era. His ability to embarrass and trick a defenseman or goalie. He took a back seat to no one in his skill with the puck and was a pleasure to watch play.