September 10, 2017
Legends of Team Canada: John Devaney
Everyone remembers the 1980 Olympics as the year of the American Miracle On Ice upset victory over the Soviets. But Canada had a strong team that year. Though they never won a medal, Team Canada also came close to a miracle of their own.
Team Canada that year had several future NHLers, including future Hall of Famer Glenn Anderson, future Stanley Cup champion Randy Gregg, scoring star Paul MacLean as well as Jim Nill, Time Watters and Ken Berry.
But can you name who led Canada in scoring during the Lake Placid Olympics? Here's a couple of hints - this player never played any notable hockey after the Olympics and was never drafted by a NHL team.
Edmonton native John Devaney led all Canadian scorers with 4 goals and 7 points. But chances are you never heard of him. Let's see what we can learn about John Devaney.
Devaney grew up in Edmonton where his whole family was heavily involved in hockey. He was recruited by several universities in both Canada and the United States but for Devaney the choice was obvious. He would stay home and, like his three older brothers before him, play for the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
In three seasons with green and gold he helped Alberta win two CIAU University Cup national championships and three Canada West conference crowns. Devaney was a CIAU all star and top scorer.
In 1980 Father David Bauer invited Devaney to the Canadian national team program. Bauer was said to be impressed by Devaney's skillset which included "deceptive speed, head's up team play, superbe hand-eye coordination, and fierce competitiveness.
After the Olympics Devaney did play one season of professional hockey with EHC Visp in Switzerland. He returned to Edmonton and completed his bachelor of commerce degree while also serving as an assistant coach with the Golden Bears.
He briefly kept coaching at the junior level but gave up the game in order to concentrate on building his career as a chartered accountant.