April 06, 2016

Randy Ladouceur

Randy Ladouceur lasted a long time in the NHL by playing a steady if simple role as a depth defenseman.

Ladouceur played 930 career NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, Hartford Whalers and Anaheim Ducks.

He was big and strong at six-foot-two and 220 pounds. Ladouceur was never a fighter but embraced the physical game, clearing the front of the net and bashing oncoming opponents. His limited foot speed and agility limited his skating ability, but he compensated by playing effective positional hockey.

And therein lied the secret of how hockey Randy Ladouceur was an effective NHL defenseman for nearly 1000 games. He learned to play within his own limitations. He never pretended to be an offensive player. He never tried to rush the puck out of his own zone. He rarely overhandled the puck, preferring to get it to the safety of the neutral zone.

He was a solid pro who came to work hard every day, be it in practice or game day. Coaches and teammates could always rely on Randy Ladouceur to be in the right spot at the right time, sacrificing for the good of the team.

And he was always a great teammate, always willing to help the younger players grow from his experience. It should come as no surprise that Ladouceur would become a career coach after hanging up his skates.

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