August 06, 2016

Luc Dufour

Luc Dufour was born and raised in Chicoutimi, Quebec. So it was only fitting that he would go on to star for the local QMJHL team the Chicoutimi Sagueneens from 1980-1982.

The Sagueneens really wanted the home grown talent, selecting him ninth overall in the 1980 QMJHL midget draft. He would not disappoint, scoring 98 goals, 113 assists and 211 points in 131 games.

The Boston Bruins liked what the saw out of the young left winger, too. They drafted him 35th overall in the 1981 NHL draft. They allowed him to play that second season in the "Q" but had him in their lineup full time in the 1982-83 season.

Dufour played a limited role as a NHL rookie. In 73 games he had 14 goals and 25 points. But the coach trusted him enough to keep him playing in all 17 of the Bruins Stanley Cup playoffs games that spring. He only scored one goal but was a nice complimentary player.

While there was hopes that Dufour would become a scorer at the NHL level, that never really happened. But he was a really good defensive forward given his inexperience. In those 1983 playoffs Dufour was often matched up against none other than the New York Islanders' goal scoring machine Mike Bossy.

Dufour frustrated Bossy at every turn. Or, as reporter Neil Campbell wrote, "If you missed seeing Mike Bossy last night, it was because Bossy was wearing Luc Dufour's sweater with Dufour still in it.

Dufour was playing on a line with Steve Kasper, another youngster who would go on to be more famous for his defensive acumen. But Dufour was every bit as good at this stage.

"It's tough to score goals with a guy draped all over you like that," said Bossy, who also complained about the refereeing. At least publicly.

"Bossy has a lot of character. He didn't talk to me at all except to wish me luck before the game and he never complained. I don't know how he could take all that," said Dufour, who could barely speak English as a NHL rookie.

Dufour suffered the sophomore jinx in year two, struggling mightily while with the Bruins and spending half the season in the minor leagues. The next season he got looks in Quebec and St. Louis, but could never return to form. By 1986 he was playing in Italy.

Dufour, who became the brother-in-law of former NHLer Alain Cote, was really shaken by the news of Bruins forward Normand Leveille suffering a brain hemorrhage. The two grew up playing together in Chicoutimi.

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