July 23, 2016

Randy Rota

Randy Rota was the 33rd overall draft pick in 1970 by the California Seals, only to be traded to the Montreal Canadiens before turning professional. Randy - a cousin of NHLer Darcy Rota - became an even higher touted prospect after a spectacular AHL playoff series with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs in 1973.

The Creston, British Columbia native not surprisingly had a tough time cracking the deep Montreal lineup, but was a top player in their minor league system. Twice he scored 30+ goals and was a playoff hero in each of his two seasons on the farm. In his final stint with Nova Scotia he was on fire, leading all AHL playoff goal getters with 10 in 13 contests. Rota even got his first two games of NHL action under his belt in 1972-73, and registered his first goal and first assist while playing on a line with famous brothers Peter and Frank Mahovlich.

The Los Angeles Kings offered the Habs a deal they couldn't when they offered a 1st round draft pick in exchange for Rota and another spare part in Montreal, cagey Bob Murdoch. That first round pick turned out to be long time NHLer Mario Tremblay.

The deal would haunt LA for years to come. Rota never panned out. After coming in with some fanfare, Rota scored just 10 times in 58 games in Hollywood. He was left off the team's protected list for the 1974 expansion draft.

Refusing to write off Rota's promise because of one poor season, the expansion Kansas City Scouts took a chance on the diminutive center and left winger. However the gamble never paid off for the Scouts either. Rota gave the Scouts two full seasons, scoring 27 goals and 59 points in that time, but was also a combined -77!

The Scouts moved the entire franchise to Denver and became known as the Colorado Rockies, but aside from one game, Rota was not included. He was temporarily demoted to the minors before a trade sent him to the WHA Edmonton Oilers. Rota finished out his career with 93 games over two years in the Alberta capital, scoring just 17 goals and 45 points.

Randy scored 38 goals and 77 points in 212 NHL games, and added 1 assists in 5 NHL post season games.

Randy relocated to Kamloops, BC in retirement and worked in the insurance industry.

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