Skip to main content

Pat Daley

There has never been much NHL representation out of France. That is starting to change, with the likes of Antoine Roussel emerging in Dallas, with Max Sauve and Stephane Da Costa also getting looks.

It is rare to have a Phillippe Bozon or Cristobal Huet in the NHL - true French raised players. Mind you, the few who have made it tend to begin their elite training in the Quebec junior league.

More likely French NHLers were born in France but raised in Canada from an early age. Take Andre Peloffy, the very first Frenchman, or Paul MacLean, the player with the best NHL resume among those technically born in France.

Pat Daley is another such example. Daley was born in Mareville, France on March 27th, 1959 but grew up in Chatham, New Brunswick.

By the age of sixteen he left home to play three seasons with the Laval National and one more with the Montreal Juniors of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Playing with the likes of future NHLers Glen Currie and Gilles Hamel, Daley steadily emerged as a solid prospect himself. In 1978 he scored 120 points to go along with 174 penalty minutes and earned a spot on the Canadian world junior team. That was the year Wayne Gretzky played for Canada at the world juniors.

That was enough to get him noticed by National Hockey League scouts. Good size. Feisty streak. Can make plays and goes to the net well, they said. The original Winnipeg Jets liked him most, taking him 82nd overall in the deep 1979 NHL Entry Draft. He was selected immediately ahead of Anton Stastny, Mark Reeds, Dirk Graham and Alan Haworth.

Those aforementioned gentlemen went on to long NHL careers. Daley did not.

His career started out promisingly enough. He scored his first NHL goal in his very first NHL game, getting the puck past Los Angeles Kings' goalie Ron Grahame just 2:53 into the game. Winnipeg won the game 5-3.

Unfortunately Daley never picked up another tally or an assist in 11 more NHL games over two seasons. He spent most of his time trying to establish himself in the American Hockey League.

After two seasons in the Jets organization Daley was let go. He signed as a free agent with the Quebec Nordiques, but only played in the minor leagues.

Perhaps frustrated with life in the minors, Daley took an offer to go overseas and return "home." He would play with several club teams in France through to 1994. He also twice skated for the French national team at World Championships.


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