August 05, 2015

Mike Blaisdell

Mike Blaisdell is one of the rare players to have played both major junior hockey in Canada and NCAA hockey. He spent most of the 1978-79 seasons skating for the University of Wisconsin Badgers, scoring seven goals in 20 games.

Blaisdell left college hoping to improve his draft stock in the 1980 draft. He certainly did that as Blaisdell was a junior scoring sensation with the Regina Pats. In a total of 69 career junior games he scored an amazing 76 goals to go with 119 points. He added another 20 goals in 22 playoff games in 1980, leading the Pats to the Memorial Cup.

The Hockey News had him rated as the ninth best prospect in 1980, while the Detroit Red Wings selected "Blazer" 11th overall. He had good size, excellent speed and a blistering though erratic shot. At the pro level he would score in bunches, which meant he'd go for long stretches without scoring, too. His defensive game was too suspect to make up for the inconsistent production.

After apprenticing in his rookie pro season, Blaisdell emerged as a 20 goal threat in 1982 and 1983. However the Wings would trade Blaisdell to the New York Rangers with Willie Huber and Mark Osborne for Ron Duguay, Eddie Mio and Eddie Johnstone on June 13, 1983.

Blaisdell would not get untracked in New York and spent most of his two seasons with the organization playing in the minor leagues. He soon became a true journeyman.

The Pittsburgh Penguins plucked Blaisdell off the waiver wire in 1985. After a full season with the Pens in 1985-86 Blaisdell was again a minor league player by year two.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Blaisell as a free agent in 1987 but he would only get in to 27 NHL games over two seasons.

Blaisdell played in Germany and with the Canadian national team in the 1989-90 season, reigniting his love of the game and his ability to score. He found the international game was very much to his liking. He would soon end up in Britain where "Wally" became a legendary scorer and coach for many seasons.

Education remained important to him as he took classes at the University of Regina in the summers while he played in the NHL. When he returned from Britain he completed his education, earning a Masters of Business Administration at Regina. He then opened his own hockey skills training academy in Saskatchewan after having previously owned two health clubs in the Saskatchewan capital city. He also has coached at Saskatchewan's famed Notre Dame college.

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