Skip to main content

Neil Komadoski

Neil Komadoski grew up in frigid Winnipeg in the 1960s. Like so many kids on the Canadian prairies, Komadoski didn't let extreme winter conditions prevent him from playing hockey every chance he could get. He was going to make his dream come true - he was going to play in the National Hockey League.

That dream did come true, but it was probably a lot different than when he was playing in the driveway in the middle of yet another snowstorm.

There was only six teams when Komadoski was a kid. By the time he arrived on the NHL scene, expansion saw the league more than double. There was no way the kid with the frozen feet would ever believe he would play in the NHL, but not with Montreal or Toronto, but in California.
Komadoski, a noted hipchecker, was drafted 48th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 1971. After a year in the minor leagues, he was a regular on the Kings blueline until 1978. He was often paired with Gilles Marotte or Gary Sargeant.

"Bob Pulford was our coach there," he told Paul Patton in the writer's famed Globe and Mail column Where Are They Now? "He was a strict disciplinarian and we were defensive-oriented. We had good goaltending with Rogie Vachon and Gary Edwards and enough scoring with Butch Goring and Marcel Dionne and Juha Widing, and as long as we stuck to his system, we did well.

"We got into the quarter-finals two years in a row against Boston, and though we came up empty both times, they were good series. I remember in the sixth game one year we played them in The Forum and we were trailing 3-1 with about four minutes left and Mike Corrigan scored one goal and Tommy Williams tied it, and then Goring scored the winning goal with just a minute left in the second overtime."

Komadoski knew his role with the team well.

"I knew my job was preventing them, blocking shots and playing the body."

And as such, he was rewarded. Fans in Los Angeles voted Komadoski the team's unsung hero award in 1975-76.

He was traded to St. Louis in 1978 where he rounded out his career. In total he played 502 games, scoring 16 goals and 92 points with 622 penalty minutes.

Komadoski stayed in St. Louis after he hung up his skates. He ended up working in the beer distribution business.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M