Skip to main content

Nick Libett

Nick Libett enjoyed a lengthy NHL career. He broke in with the Detroit Red Wings following expansion in 1967. He spent the next 12 years in the Motor City. The Wings were a particularly bad hockey team for much of the 1970s, but Libett was one of the few bright spots.

"I've always been known as a defensive player, but I've got almost 250 goals in the the National Hockey League, which isn't bad for a defensive player" Libett points out.

Born in the same Ontario town as the great Howie Morenz, Libett was never confused with the Stratford Streak. But he did have some good numbers. 6 times he scored better than 20 goals, including a career high 31 in 1971-72. He was a consistent player on a consistently bad team for basically his entire career.

In the summer of 1979, Detroit traded their long time left winger to Pittsburgh for Peter Mahovlich. It was a tough transition for Libett at first.

"Its tough having played all your career and all of a sudden you don't play much. Mentally you have to adjust and I think I have adjusted to my new role. I think my role is to help out the younger kids. If somebody's having trouble playing left wing and I can help them, I will try the best I can."

Being a team leader was not a natural thing for Libett.

"I've never considered myself a team leader. I think the fact that I have played 14 years in the NHL, maybe some of the younger guys do look at that as a leadership quality."

Over those 14 years, Libett saw a lot of changes in the NHL.

"The major difference when I first broke in is there were few young guys on the team - most of the guys were late 20s or early 30s. Now, its just the opposite - there are very few older guys, most of the guys are 25 and under." Libett commented.

"Its almost tougher to play in the National Hockey League today for a long period of time then it was when I broke in. There are so many guys you played junior with that are the same age, that are as tough as you are, that are constantly testing you. Its tough to play 10 or 15 years in the type of atmosphere."

Libett was smart and prepared for life after hockey a long time before he was willing to hang up the skatesd.

"I had 12 good years in Detroit and my friends are there and there are good business opportunities. I sell automotive industrial parts in bulk quantities in the Detroit area during the off seasons."

Comments

Graham Clayton said…
Libett survived a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in the late 1980’s.

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