September 07, 2016

Bob Dailey

Bob Dailey is one guy who might prefer the international hockey icing rule as opposed to the National Hockey League's.

In international hockey, players don't have to skate back and touch the puck in order for the referee to whistle the play dead and have a puck drop back in the offending team's zone. The NHL keeps the touch up rule because it can often be considered an exciting play if there is a fast speed chase to eliminate the icing call.

However those high speed chases have led to a number of injuries over the years. One of the worst happened one November night in 1981.

Bob Dailey, a Philadelphia Flyers veteran defenseman, raced back to freeze the puck before the Buffalo Sabres left winger Tony McKegney could get to the puck. The two collided. McKegney skated away, but Dailey remained on the ice in obvious pain, his ankle shattered.

"I was simply going in with McKegney for an icing. I was going full tilt, the way I always played. That's the only way I knew how. But I hit a rut in the ice with my skate. That's what did it. Not McKegney. And when I hit, my ankle shattered into what seemed like a hundred pieces." said the 6'5" 230lb giant of a defenseman.

"I had a good hunch my career was over that night" he added. He attempted to make a comeback, but it was ultimately unsuccessful.

Nicknamed "the Count," the Toronto Marlies defenseman was originally a 9th overall draft pick by the Vancouver Canucks in 1973 after Dailey, Mark Howe and Mike Palmateer led the Marlies to the Memorial Cup championship. However Dailey's experience in Vancouver was mixed.

"The organization wasn't the greatest in the world, " said the native of Kingston Ontario, "but the city was great. It was the city that made it easier to play for the Canucks."

Dailey also learned a lot from the Canucks veterans.

"I have to give a lot of credit to guys like Bobby Schmautz, Orland Kurtenbach and Gary Smith. Those veterans taught young guys like me how to live the game of hockey, to enjoy it. They helped me mature very quickly after I began playing in the pros."

The Flyers, looking for a mobile yet rugged defenseman, traded Larry Goodenough and Jack McIlhargey to Vancouver part way through the 1976-77 season. The move was done with the idea that Dailey could be the last piece of the Flyer's puzzle to returning to championship glory, but in his 5 years in Philly, the Flyers played second fiddle to Montreal and the New York Islanders.

Daily had an incredible first full year in Philadelphia - scoring 21 goals and 57 points in 76 games. That was strong enough to get him a nod in his first NHL all star game appearance. And while he never came close to putting up such strong numbers again, he remained among the top defensemen in the league. He returned to the NHL All Star game in 1981.

Dailey was on his way to his second decade of service in the National Hockey League before the ankle injury shattered his career. He tried to make a comeback some 4 years later when he appeared in 5 games with the Hershey Bears, but it just wasn't in the cards.

Bob Dailey played in 561 NHL games, scoring 94 times plus assisting on 231 others for 325 points. He added 12 goals and 34 points in 63 games in the playoffs.

Dailey became a real estate agent in New Jersey following his hockey playing days.

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