February 19, 2016

Darren Jensen

Darren Jensen's arrival in the NHL came under the worst of circumstances.

On November 11th, 1985, the Philadelphia Flyers Vezina trophy winning goaltender Pelle Lindberg died in a drinking and driving automobile accident. Jensen, who had just one game of NHL experience prior to that season, was summoned from the minor leagues to join the Bob Froese as the Flyers new goaltending tandem.

Jensen was no Pelle Lindberg, but he had a pretty good track record as a goalie. He led the University of North Dakota to NCAA championships in 1980 and 1982. He also had two pro seasons under his belt, including a real strong rookie season with the IHL's Fort Wayne Komets. The Hartford Whalers had drafted him back in 1980, but he never signed with the team.

Jensen had a good season in what was a tough year for the Flyers in 1985-86. Jensen made the first start for the Flyers after the accident, defeating Wayne Gretzky's Oilers in Edmonton by a score of 5-3. Jensen would post a 15-8-1 record that season and shared the Jennings trophy with Froese as the Flyers allowed the fewest goals against in the entire league that season.

That would prove to be Jensen's only NHL season. Ron Hextall arrived the next season, forcing Jensen back to the minor leagues. He was traded to Vancouver in the summer of 1987, but never played for his home-province Canucks who had settled on Kirk McLean as their goaltender for the next several years.

Jensen retired in 1989, citing he had lost his passion for the game.

Jensen was known for his lack of hair at a young age. He wore a toupee and later set up the now defunct NHLHair.com, selling products to help the follicly challenged. He later settled in Kelowna, British Columbia and established newcarselloff.com, helping customers find cars throughout western Canada.

He also coach youth and junior hockey in BC's beautiful Okanagan region.

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