October 01, 2017

Legends of Team Canada: Kevin Maxwell

Meet Kevin Maxwell - hockey's Mr. Jekyl and Dr. Hyde.

John Mariucci, who scouted Maxwell and convinced the Minnesota North Stars to draft him 63rd overall in 1979, nicknamed Maxwell "Choir Boy" because of his appearance.

"He looks so sweet and innocent when he's off the ice you can just see him singing in a choir at church."

He may have looked that way, but not if you watched him play.

"I guess you could call me a shit disturber" proudly described Maxwell of his own style of play.

"I enjoy mixing it up" continued Maxwell, who was compared to Kenny Linseman. "If I don't play that way, and with emotion, then I might as well not suit up because that is my game."

Kevin, not related to Stars defenseman Bryan Maxwell, first made a name for himself during the playoffs in 1981. After appearing in just 6 NHL regular season games, the tempestuous skater came out of nowhere to play a utility role on the North Stars Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup Finals. In 16 playoff games Maxwell scored 3 goals and 4 assists despite seeing limited ice time. His job was to kill penalties and irritate the other team's top attackers. 

Maxwell did that very effectively. In the first round series agains Boston, the Bruins rugged and feared winger Terry O'Reilly came away asking "Who is that little beast?"

Unfortunately for Maxwell and the Stars, a back injury cost him a chance for full duty in the Finals against the New York Islanders, who swept the Stars to earn the Stanley Cup.

Injuries played a big role in Maxwell's career. Just 5'9" and 165lbs, his size made him a questionable prospect to start with. Playing his aggressive style against much bigger players cost him a wide array of injuries - including sprained ankle, torn groin and fractured thumb.

Despite his promising post season, the Stars sold Maxwell to the Colorado Rockies on New Years Eve, 1981. Over the next three years he played in a total of 48 games for the Rockies/New Jersey Devils franchise. Unfortunately for Kevin, most of his time was spent in the minors and on the injured reserve list.

Following his last appearance in the NHL in the 1983-84 season, Kevin continued to play in the minors for 4 years.

Before his pro career Maxwell played at the University of North Dakota and for the 1980 Canadian Olympic team.

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