Skip to main content

Gary Sampson

Gary Sampson played 4 full professional seasons, including over 100 games with the NHL's Washington Capitals. But his pre-NHL career is just as interesting.

Sampson's hockey career began at Boston College in the ECAC. Gary played four years of collegiate hockey at BC from 1978 to 1982. He scored 31 goals and 94 points in 106 games before joining the United States National Team for the 1982-83 season. He also played for the National Team in 1983-84 and was a member of Team USA at the 1984 Winter Olympics. The Olympics were the highlite of Gary's career.

“It was really special because my father played in the Olympics, too, in the ’56 Olympics. And when you come from a town like mine, which was only 6,000 people, it was special. So I was excited to make it because I had no plans of making it. So it was kind of a big surprise. I guess playing for your country was memorable especially with all the recognition we had because it was right after the 1980 Games and they had high expectations of us hopefully maybe winning another gold. So the coverage we had was just unbelievable. And we played in several countries over in Europe. Everywhere we went, we were big celebrities. It didn’t matter who you were. But again, coming from a small town, it was just unbelievable. Most of the time I didn’t get to travel. So playing in Tokyo and Finland and Holland and Switzerland, those memories, you just can’t forget them.”

Following the Olympics, Sampson signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals. Gary finished the season playing in 15 games with the Capitals to close out the 1983-84 campaign. He scored his first NHL goal in Minnesota which was extra special for Gary.

"Of course you always remember your first goal which was against Minnesota, my hometown. So that was something I’ll never forget.”

Gary added his second career goal in the 1984 playoffs.

Gary played in a career high 46 games with Washington in 1984-85, recording 10 goals, 15 assists and 25 points, all career bests.

Sampson split the following two seasons between the Capitals and their AHL affiliate in Binghamton before playing his final year of professional hockey in 1987-88 with the Baltimore Skipjacks of the American Hockey League.

Upon hanging up the blades, Sampson’s career NHL statistics included 13 goals, 22 assists and 35 points in 105 regular season games.

Following his playing career, Sampson entered the coaching ranks before opening up a very successful fishing lodge in Alaska.

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