August 24, 2017

Hockey Heroes: Sylvain Turgeon

"Sly" Turgeon was born on January 17, 1965 in Noranda, Quebec. He is the older brother of Pierre Turgeon. 
Sylvain was the Hartford Whalers 1st round pick (2nd overall) in the 1983 Entry Draft. While Turgeon would have good career, the two players picked directly after him (Pat Lafontaine, 3rd and Steve Yzerman 4th) would go on to incredible careers. In his last season of junior hockey with the Hull Olympiques, he posted 54 goals, 109 assists for 163 points! 

Turgeon would make the Whalers look good immediately. He made the jump from junior to the NHL in his first season and was one of the league's top rookies. He scored 40 goals and 72 points in 76 games. He'd slip to 31 goals in an injury shortened season of 64 games, but blossomed into his best season in 1985-86 when he scored 45 goals and 79 points. 

Turgeon was off to a fantastic 1986-87 season as well. However abdominal injuries began to plague him and limited him to just 41 games. In that time he scored 23 goals and was on pace to equal his previous year's total of 45, and perhaps to challenge the 50 goal mark. 

Turgeon would return to play an almost full schedule in 1987-88 but the abdominal injury was still affecting his play. he struggled to a 23 goal, 49 point season. 1988-89 was even worse for him - 16 goals in just 42 games. 

The Whalers traded Turgeon to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Pat Verbeek. Though Sly was as talented as they come, his proneness to injuries and his lackadaisical play especially in his own zone caused the Whalers to move him.

Turgeon had one good season in New Jersey (30 goals in 72 games) before he was moved to the Montreal Canadiens in 1990 in exchange for Claude Lemieux. 

Turgeon's injury problems plagued him throughout his tenure in Montreal. As a result the French Canadian goal scorer bombed in two seasons with the Habs, scoring just 14 goals in 75 games. 

Turgeon was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the 1992 Expansion Draft. He rebounded to scored 25 goals in a healthy season. However a badly broken arm limited his play the next season. That combined with the emergence of Alexei Yashin and Alexandre Daigle, Turgeon was be pushed aside for the younger players. 

Turgeon would continue his career in the minors and in Europe after leaving the Senators in 1995. 

Turgeon was a talented phenom - a great skater with that special knack for scoring goals. He entered the league with some very high expectations placed on him. His career started out really well but soon injuries would cause him to fail reaching those lofty heights that were predicted for him. 

Sly Turgeon scored 269 goals and 226 assists for 495 points in 669 NHL games. He added 4 goals and 11 points in 35 playoff games.

Turgeon extended his career with several seasons in Switzerland and Germany until a puck hit him in the face, forcing him to the operating room for reconstructive surgery.

Turgeon settled in Calgary and got into the home construction business.

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