November 20, 2023

The Unknown Members of the 1980 Canadian Olympic Team

One of the cool old features in The Hockey News was the Where Are They Now feature. They were instrumental in establishing my love of learning about players I previously didn't know. 

Usually only one player was profiled in each article but in this November 25th, 1983 special previewing the upcoming 1984 Olympic Games in Sarajevo Eric Duhatschek looked back at what became of the members of the 1980 Canadian Olympic team.

That team feature some notable NHL names like Glenn Anderson, Randy Gregg, Paul MacLean, Tim Watters and Jim Nill.

Let's focus on the lesser known names. Using Duhaschek's 1983 piece as a starting point, I tried to update the stories to more recent times.


BOB DUPUIS—As Duhatschek explains goaltender "Dupuis will be remembered as the man who allowed a 100-foot goal against Finland that cost Canada the game and a chance to advance to the medal round." Dupuis, who played the tournament with a broken bone in his hand, signed with the Edmonton Oilers but only played one game. After a season in the minor leagues Dupuis moved to North Bay, Ontario and became a student at Canadore College by day and a city police dispatcher by night.

PAUL PAGEAU—Pageau joined the team six weeks before the Olympics from Shawinigan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and despite his inexperience he became the team's back up goalie, playing in four games. He went on to play a single NHL game and several years in the minor leagues. After hanging up his skates he worked his way up in the business world, eventually becoming vice president of Slush Puppy, an ice beverage company in Canada. 

RON PATTERSON—Pattersson was the third goalie for Team Canada, and as such he was designated to play only in an emergency situation where either Dupuis or Pageau got injured. He wasn't even allowed to stay at the famed Athlete's Village, further diluting his Olympic experience. As the record books note he never did get to play a game in those Olympics, and he actually spent the tournament working as a spotter for ABC television during the games. Paterson returned to the University of British Columbia after the Olympics, completed his degree and began working for Molson’s Breweries in Vancouver for the next couple of decades. He always remained active on the minor hockey hockey scene in the lower mainland and owned junior hockey teams and camps as well. He was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2023.


WARREN ANDERSON—Anderson partnered with Randy Gregg on the 1980 team, but could not follow the doctor to the National Hockey League. Instead Anderson returned to school to get his teacher's certificate before returning to the ice in Switzerland. Needing defensemen for the 1984 Olympic team, Dave King brought Anderson as the only returnee for the Olympics in 1984. He retired at the conclusion of the Olympics. The University of Toronto Hockey Hall of Famer was one of six U of T Blues players to play on the 1980 team. 

DON SPRING—Not only did Don Spring make the 1980 Olympic Team, but he spring boarded that showing into a NHL contract. He played 259 NHL games, all with the Winnipeg Jets. Not bad for a hockey player born in Venezuela! Spring was raised in Canada. He was born in South American while his father was working there as an engineer. Spring retired from hockey in 1985 and became president of a fuel distribution company in Kelowna, British Columbia.

JOE GRANT—Another University of Toronto defenseman, at one point Joe Grant was slated to join U of T teammate Warren Anderson as a second returnee for the 1984 Olympics, but he never participated. Since the 1980 games he had played a year in Sweden and a year in Japan, adding to his resume.  He then returned to the University of Toronto to study political science. I don't know much more about Mr. Grant, but he died quite early. He was just 53 when he succumbed to brain cancer in 2011.

TERRY O’MALLEY—O’Malley was 39 years old when he joined the Olympic team in November of 1979. A member of the 1968 Olympic team, O’Malley was an instructor at Notre Dame College in Wilcox, Sask., when the Rev. David Bauer asked him to return for one last Olympics. O’Malley returned to Notre Dame after the Olympics and coached a number of players on the 1984 team, including James Patrick and Gord Sherven.


JOHN DEVANEY—Devaney was one-third of the team’s University of Alberta line, centering Dave Hindmarch and Kevin Primeau. Devaney played one season for the Davos team in Switzerland before returning home to finish school. Currently, he then became an accountant in Edmonton.

RON DAVIDSON—Davidson returned to Queen’s University to complete his law studies following the Olympics. He then played a season for the Swedish club team Vastra Frolunda before trying out for the 1984 Olympic team. When Davidson did not make it, he went home to complete his articling year. He remained as a notable coach and helped Howie Meeker set up his famous hockey schools and teaching programs. 

DAN D’ALVISE—D’Alvise returned to the University of Toronto to finish his economics degree, then played two seasons with the Narano team in Italy. Although D’Alvise had a year remaining on his contract, he elected not to go back to Italy this year and instead took a management position with a manufacturing firm in Toronto and later worked as a rink manager in Etobicoke.

STELIO ZUPANCICH— Former Oshawa Generals forward Stelio Zupancich played three years for the University of Toronto following the 1980 Games. Zupancich returned and almost made the 1984 Olympic team. He did not get cut until after the current Olympic team discovered the new eligibility rules and recruited a number of additional forwards. He finished his education and became a successful banker. Stelio's life was quite fascinating. He was raised by dad, a former soccer pro in Europe, from the age of two. His estranged mother made national headlines when she was murdered after giving Stelio $2 million after winning the lottery. But his mother's new family did not know she had a son from a previous relationship and she mysteriously died thereafter, with her new husband being charged with manslaughter. 

BRAD PIRIE—Pirie’s versatility secured him the final spot on the Olympic team. He spent the season as Grant’s defense partner, but was moved to forward when Terry O’Malley joined the team. He edged out Shane Pearsall for the final spot on the team just days before the Olympics began. Pirie had a long career with an office supplies supplier company that was founded by his father. 

DOUG BUCHANAN - Before the 1980 Olympics Buchanan had spent five years playing in Japan after graduating from the University of British Columbia. He ended up being cut just before the Olympics, and hung up his skates shortly after. He became a prominent New York city lawyer. 

SHANE PEARSALL - Pearsall played, lived and trained with the national team all season, but was cut just before the Olympics. Pearsall enrolled at the University of Calgary, where he played for the Dinos hockey team and even tried out for the 1984 Olympic team before hanging up the skates. He remained in Alberta, working in the profitable oil industry while also being very active with various Canadian Olympic associations. 

CARY FARELL1 - A former OHL star who was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens, when Farelli was cut from the 1980 Canadian Olympic team he never gave up on his Olympic dream. And he eventually made it a reality, even if it was in unconventional fashion. He almost immediately moved to Italy where he had a lengthy hockey career dating well into the 1990s. He ended up representing Italy at the 1984 Olympics as well as five world championships.  But he also became an excellent wood carver and made custom wood pieces.

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