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Born July 4, 1947(1947-07-04),
Oulu, FIN
Died December 30, 1984 (aged 37),
Height
Weight
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
Pro clubs New York Rangers
Los Angeles Kings
Cleveland Barons
Edmonton Oilers
Career 1967 – 1978

Juha Markku "Whitey, Flying Finn" Widing (July 4, 1947, in Oulu, Finland – December 30, 1984, in Kelowna, British Columbia) was a professional ice hockey centre who was the third Finnish-born player to play in the National Hockey League. Widing played in the National Hockey League for eight seasons, mostly with the Los Angeles Kings.

Contents

Playing career

Widing, although born in Finland, grew up in Sweden and both his parents were Swedish. In 1964, along with his family, he moved to Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, to play junior hockey for the Brandon Wheat Kings. He played three seasons there, improving his point total each season from 38 to 114 and then finally to 144 in only a 50-game schedule. Widing joined the New York Rangers of the NHL in 1969–70, however after only forty-four games he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings along with Réal Lemieux for Ted Irvine. It was in LA where he developed into a legitimate scoring threat, garnering at least 55 points in five consecutive seasons. It was also in L.A. that Kings' owner Jack Kent Cooke gave him the nickname "Whitey" and instructed his announcers to pronounce his last name as "why-ding" as opposed to the real pronunciation of "vee-ding." He often played on a line with Bob Berry and Mike Corrigan known as "the hot line."

However by 1976–77 his productivity had dropped considerably, and he was traded to the Cleveland Barons. In 1977–78, Widing played for the Edmonton Oilers of the World Hockey Association, scoring 42 points in his final professional season. After the season, he was traded to the Indianapolis Racers for Bill Goldsworthy, but he was already finished playing hockey. After retiring, Widing settled in British Columbia. He died on December 30, 1984 from a heart attack, aged 37.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1966–67 Brandon Wheat Kings MJHL 43 70 74 144 64 9 5 10 15 6
1969–70 NYR/LA NHL 48 7 9 16 12 -- -- -- -- --
1970–71 Los Angeles Kings NHL 78 25 40 65 24 -- -- -- -- --
1971–72 Los Angeles Kings NHL 78 27 28 55 26 -- -- -- -- --
1972–73 Los Angeles Kings NHL 77 16 54 70 30 -- -- -- -- --
1973–74 Los Angeles Kings NHL 71 27 30 57 26 5 1 0 1 2
1974–75 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 24 36 60 46 3 0 2 2 0
1975–76 Los Angeles Kings NHL 67 7 15 22 26 -- -- -- -- --
1976–77 LA/CLE NHL 76 9 16 25 18 -- -- -- -- --
1977–78 Edmonton Oilers WHA 71 18 24 42 8 -- -- -- -- --
WHA totals 71 18 24 42 8 -- -- -- -- --
NHL totals 575 144 226 370 208 8 1 2 3 2

Awards and achievements

  • MJHL Second All-Star Team (1967)

References

  • Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHL by Andrew Podnieks page 907 ISBN 0-385-25999-9.

External links

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