August 08, 2016

Mark Renaud

He was an undersized defenseman who lacked upper body strength, but Mark Renaud was a heck of a hockey player.

Renaud was a real brainy player, understanding the oncoming attack better than most. A four year veteran of the OHL, in his final season he was voted in a coach's poll as the top defensive defender in the entire league. He moved the puck strongly and manned the point on the power play well.

His fine junior career earned him a chance at the National Hockey League. The Hartford Whalers drafted Mark 102nd overall in 1979, passing on the likes of Thomas Steen, Mike Krushelnyski, Doug Crossman and Tim Watters.

Renaud would played in 152 NHL games, almost all with Hartford, over five seasons. The bulk of those games came in his only full NHL season in 1982-83. He participated in 77 of the 80 scheduled games, and had a nice three goal, 28 assists performance.

The next season he was moved to Buffalo and only played in 10 games before being farmed out to the minor leagues, never to return. By the end of 1985 he was out of hockey altogether.

Renaud later became a Canada Customs agent and minor hockey coach in Windsor. His son Mickey captained the Windsor Spitfires and was drafted by the Calgary Flames. Some believed he, too, would one day make it to the NHL, however tragedy struck in 2008. Renaud suffered an attack of an non-diagnosed heart ailment and died at the age of 19.

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