March 31, 2016

John Arbour

John Arbour was a junior star with his hometown Niagara Falls Flyers back in the 1960s. Niagara Falls was a powerhouse at the time. Arbour's teammates included future NHLers Derek Sanderson, Gary Dornhoefer, Terry Crisp, Bill Goldsworthy, Bernie Parent and Don Awrey. Arbour helped the Flyers reach the Memorial Cup final in 1963, and helped the Flyers win Canada's national junior championship in 1965.

Arbour developed a nice reputation as a tough as nails defender, putting up significant penalty minute totals despite his average size. He also put up decent offensive numbers, too. He could move the puck well and had a good shot from the point.

Niagara Falls was a junior development team for the Boston Bruins, though Arbour only would play 6 games with the Bruins upon turning pro. He would bounce around to Pittsburgh and Vancouver, again making brief appearances, before finding a home with the St. Louis Blues in 1970.

The stocky Arbour was an opportunist in St. Louis. The Blues back end was decimated by injuries, with most notably Bill Plager out with a long term injury. The Blues bought Arbour's rights from Vancouver and employed him for 70 games over two seasons before demoting him to the minor leagues.

Arbour decided to take his chances with the upstart World Hockey Association in 1972. It turned out to be a good move for Arbour, who found a home with the Minnesota Fighting Saints. Playing 335 games over five seasons in the WHA Arbour was a very serviceable defender, scoring 30 goals and 194 points while rocking opponents with 568 points.

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