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April 13, 2016

Chris Dahlquist

In defenseman Chris Dahlquist's very first NHL game he set up the fourth goal of the evening by superstar Mario Lemieux.

"Little did I know his seven-point night would be more points than I would get in my next three years," he said.

Okay so unlike Mario Lemieux and so many of his Pittsburgh teammates back then Chris Dahlquist's job was not to score goals. In 532 career NHL contests he only scored 19 times (and assisted on 71 others for 90 career points).

Dahlquist was a defensive defenseman who hit hard. That often led to a few after-the-whistle disagreements. Dahlquist could handle in himself that way, but he was not a goon by any stretch. First and foremost he was physical defender who was at his best when he kept his game simple.

Born in Fridley, Minnesota, Dahlquist headed to Michigan in 1981 to play for Lake Superior State University. He served as team captain in his final three seasons there while also finding time to earn a degree in business administration. He was named as LSSU's student athlete of the year in 1985 and was inducted in to the school's athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.

Despite the strong collegiate career, Dahlquist was never drafted by a NHL team. The Pittsburgh Penguins did sign him as a free agent upon graduation in 1985. Over the next six seasons he became a regular on the Penguins blue line.

The 1990-91 season was a bitter sweet one for Dahlquist. The Penguins traded him away after 22 games. It is never easy being traded, especially since the Penguins were on the verge of winning the next two Stanley Cup championships. The blow was initially softened when Dahlquist learned he was returning home to play for the Minnesota North Stars. But even that became bitter sweet as the North Stars would lose to the Penguins in the Stanley Cup final.

Dahlquist would play one more season in Minnesota before playing two seasons in Calgary and another two in Ottawa.

In the fall of 1994 Dahlquist began preparing for life after hockey. With a work stoppage on the ice as the NHL and NHLPA, Dahlquist went home to Minnesota and began working in the financial services industry with a small investment firm. He would continue to gain experience in the field in subsequent off-seasons. By the time he retired from the game in 1997, Dahlquist was well prepared for a career as a financial advisor.

He also stayed involved with hockey by coaching his kids. His daughter Charly played hockey at the University of North Dakota.

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