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Born November 20, 1952 (1952-11-20) (age 57),
Petrolia, ON, CAN
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Right
Pro clubs Montreal Canadiens
Colorado Rockies
Buffalo Sabres
Quebec Nordiques
Ntl. team  Canada
NHL Draft 14th overall, 1972
Montreal Canadiens
Career 1973 – 1984

John Martin Van Boxmeer (born November 20, 1952 in Petrolia, Ontario) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player. He has also served extensively as a hockey coach with various teams from 1984 to the present.


John Van Boxmeer was considered a top prospect, and was drafted 14th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 1972. He was so highly regarded that he began his professional career by travelling to Moscow for the 1972 Summit Series at the request of tournament organizer Alan Eagleson, though he did not play in the famous series.[1] He played 46 games for the Stanley Cup champion Canadiens in 1975-76, but his name for some reason was left off the cup. Ultimately, Van Boxmeer had a tough time cracking a Montreal lineup which was very deep in talent, and rather than spend the majority of his time in the minor leagues, he requested a trade. He was dealt to the Colorado Rockies in 1976 in exchange for Craig Levie.

In Colorado, Van Boxmeer finally received the opportunity to establish himself as a full-time NHL player. When former Canadiens' coach Scotty Bowman moved to the Buffalo Sabres, he acquired Van Boxmeer to bolster the Sabres' blueline, recalling how he had reluctantly traded the defenceman in 1976. Van Boxmeer responded with a +40 season and helped the Sabres climb to first place in their division, and the defenseman's best statistical seasons as a pro would be in Buffalo.

With the emergence of Phil Housley on the Buffalo blueline, Van Boxmeer became expendable, and he was claimed by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1983 NHL waiver draft. He would spend the majority of his time in the AHL, and played his final gane with the Rochester Americans in 1984 before retiring.

Since retiring, he has served as the head coach of the Rochester Americans and the Long Beach Ice Dogs, and has also been an assistant coach at the NHL level with the Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings. He served as head coach of SC Bern of Switzerland's Nationalliga A until march 2009.

Van Boxmeer suffered a heart attack in August, 2008, but recovered quickly and returned behind the SC Bern bench.[2]


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