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October 06, 2017

Legends of Team Canada: Dave Donnelly


Dave Donnelly began the 1984 Olympics playing on an all speed line with junior stars Russ Courtnall and Dave Gagner. But by the end of the Games most of the lines were shuffled up. Donnelly began playing with Kirk Muller and and Dave Tippett.

Donnelly was outspoken of coach Dave King's constant lineup changes.

'It's disheartening to play beside a guy all year, then in this series they start dropping like flies. Still, whoever is being brought in has to be good to stay with us.''

Canada lost the bronze medal game 2-0 to Sweden. 

''We were trying too hard, kind of panicking,'' Donnelly said. ''It was probably the biggest game everyone on our team has played. We were representing our country and we felt that (pressure) so much.''

Donnelly jumped to the NHL right after the Olympics. 

Originally drafted by Minnesota 27th overall in the 1981 draft, he and Rob Palmer were traded to Boston at the 1982 draft so that the Bruins would not select Brian Bellows. The Bruins took Gord Kluzak instead. It was a dream come true as Donnelly was always a Bruins fan growing up.

The University of North Dakota alum had some strong moments in two seasons with the Bruins, but never quite found a regular spot in the lineup. He looked good on a top line with Barry Pederson and Rick Middleton but slid down the line up after that.

His only full season came in 1986-87 with Chicago. He finished his NHL career with a brief appearance with his hometown Edmonton Oilers.

Donnelly extended his playing days by playing in Europe before returning to the AHL for one final season in 1991.

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