Denis Potvin: Wikis

  
  
  
  

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Born October 29, 1953 (1953-10-29) (age 56),
Hull, Quebec, CAN
Height
Weight
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Pro clubs New York Islanders (NHL)
Ntl. team  Canada
NHL Draft 1st overall, 1973
New York Islanders
Playing career 1973 – 1988
Hall of Fame, 1991

Denis Charles Potvin (born October 29, 1953) is a former defenceman and team captain for the New York Islanders in the National Hockey League and cornerstone for the Islanders' four Stanley Cup championship teams in the early 1980s. His brother, Jean Potvin, was also an NHL defenceman and the brothers were teammates for a number of years. He was a cousin of former NHL player Marc Potvin.

Contents

Biography

Playing career

After a stellar junior hockey career with the Ottawa 67s, Potvin was drafted first overall in the 1973 National Hockey League Amateur Draft by the struggling expansion Islanders, which had recorded the worst record in modern National Hockey League (NHL) history the previous season. Right after Bill Torrey drafted Potvin, Montreal Canadiens General Manager Sam Pollock approached Torrey, hoping to trade for Potvin. Pollock's strategy was to offer a "quick-fix" package of mature players to exchange for the top draft pick. Torrey ultimately turned down the offer since he felt that Potvin would be a long-term asset to the team.

Potvin came into the league with extraordinarily high expectations of being the savior of the franchise as well as the next Bobby Orr. While he did not dominate the game as did the great Boston defenceman, Potvin became an immediate star, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year in 1973–74 and the James Norris Memorial Trophy as league's top defenceman in 1975–76, 1977–78, and 1978–79. Upon Orr's decline and retirement he was widely acknowledged, along with Larry Robinson, to be the premier backliner in the game.

Potvin was known for being intelligent, articulate, and outspoken off the ice. Throughout the 1970s, his Islander teammates often were turned off as these traits made Potvin come across as arrogant.[citation needed] He offended many hockey fans by stating publicly that he had played better in the 1976 Canada Cup than Bobby Orr, and that the latter's selection as tournament MVP was for sentimental reasons. However, as Potvin matured, he became a great leader as he learned to use these same qualities to positively affect his teammates.

His best season offensively was 1979, during which he became the second defenceman (Orr being the first) to score 30 goals and 100 points in a single season, marks which even today few defencemen have reached. Potvin was awarded his third Norris trophy for the regular season, which the Islanders finished first in the NHL. However, despite being heavily favored to win their semifinals series against the New York Rangers, the Islanders lost in six games.[1] Clark Gillies stepped down as captain during the off-season, and Potvin became the team's third captain, a position he held until relinquishing it in 1987. In 1979–80, Potvin's first year as captain, the Islanders won their first of four Stanley Cups. Potvin led the team during its glory years: in addition to the four consecutive championships and five straight finals appearances, in the eight seasons he served as captain, the Islanders never failed to reach the playoffs.

Potvin retired as the National Hockey League's leader in goals and points by a defenceman. Potvin's mark was later surpassed by Paul Coffey and Raymond Bourque.

In retrospect, he was a more traditional defender than Orr and an extremely physical player who nonetheless toppled Orr's career scoring marks, although Potvin played 403 more games than Orr. Potvin averaged just under a point per game in his career, while Orr averaged 1.39 points per game. After his peak years, Potvin suffered a series of injuries that impeded optimal performance, especially during the regular season, but remained a star, retiring after the 1988 season. Potvin declined an offer to come out of retirement and play for then-Rangers coach Mike Keenan in 1993.[2]

Current life

Potvin was a color commentator for Florida Panthers television broadcasts on FS Florida from the team's inception in 1993 through the 2008–09 NHL season. At various times, he was paired with Jeff Rimer, Dave Strader and Steve Goldstein. On May 6, 2009, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the Panthers would not renew his contract in order to save money. He is being replaced by former Florida Panthers' player Bill Lindsay.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1968–69 Ottawa 67's OHA 46 12 25 37 83
1969–70 Ottawa 67's OHA 42 13 18 31 97 5 2 1 3 9
1970–71 Ottawa 67's OHA 57 20 58 78 200 11 4 6 10 26
1971–72 Ottawa 67's OHA 48 15 45 60 188
1972–73 Ottawa 67's OHA 61 35 88 123 232 9 6 10 16 22
1973–74 New York Islanders NHL 77 17 37 54 175
1974–75 New York Islanders NHL 79 21 55 76 105 17 5 9 14 30
1975–76 New York Islanders NHL 78 31 67 98 100 13 5 14 19 32
1976–77 New York Islanders NHL 80 25 55 80 103 12 6 4 10 20
1977–78 New York Islanders NHL 80 30 64 94 81 7 2 2 4 6
1978–79 New York Islanders NHL 73 31 70 101 58 10 4 7 11 8
1979–80 New York Islanders* NHL 31 8 33 41 44 21 6 13 19 24
1980–81 New York Islanders* NHL 74 20 56 76 104 18 8 17 25 16
1981–82 New York Islanders* NHL 60 24 37 61 83 19 5 16 21 30
1982–83 New York Islanders* NHL 69 12 54 66 60 20 8 12 20 22
1983–84 New York Islanders NHL 78 22 63 85 87 20 1 5 6 28
1984–85 New York Islanders NHL 77 17 51 68 96 10 3 2 5 10
1985–86 New York Islanders NHL 74 21 38 59 78 3 0 1 1 0
1986–87 New York Islanders NHL 58 12 30 42 70 10 2 2 4 21
1987–88 New York Islanders NHL 72 19 32 51 112 5 1 4 5 6
OHA totals 254 95 234 329 800 25 12 17 29 57
NHL totals 1060 310 742 1052 1356 185 56 108 164 253
  • *Stanley Cup champion

Career achievements and facts

See also

References

  1. ^ Fischler, Stan; Botta, Chris (1996). Pride and Passion: 25 Years of the New York Islanders. Walsworth Publishing Co.. p. 77. ISBN 1882608135. 
  2. ^ Vecsey, George (March 22, 1994). "Sports of The Times; Blues Faded After Keenan Said 'Potvin'". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9407E6D8153CF931A15750C0A962958260. 
  3. ^ Vecsey, George (February 24, 2009). "Potvin Chant Endures With a Smile, Not a Snarl". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/sports/hockey/24vecsey.html?_r=1&ref=sports. 

External links

Preceded by
Billy Harris
NHL first overall draft pick
1973
Succeeded by
Greg Joly
Preceded by
Clark Gillies
New York Islanders captains
197987
Succeeded by
Brent Sutter
Preceded by
Bobby Orr
Winner of the Norris Trophy
1976
Succeeded by
Larry Robinson
Preceded by
Larry Robinson
Winner of the Norris Trophy
1978, 1979
Succeeded by
Larry Robinson
Preceded by
Steve Vickers
Winner of the Calder Trophy
1974
Succeeded by
Eric Vail







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