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Brad Park

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Bradpark

Douglas Bradford (Brad) Park (born July 6, 1948 in Toronto, Ontario) is a retired defenceman in the National Hockey League (NHL) and is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He played for the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings.

Playing careerEdit

Park was drafted by the New York Rangers in the first round (2nd overall) in the 1966 NHL Amateur Draft and, after a brief stint with the minor-league Buffalo Bisons of the AHL, began playing for the Rangers in 1968. He quickly became the Rangers' best defenceman and drew comparisons with the great Bobby Orr. His offensive skill, stickhandling and pugnacity attracted much attention from fans.

Park was made the alternate captain of the Rangers and briefly served as their captain. In 1972 Park led his team to the Stanley Cup finals but lost to Orr and the Boston Bruins. That same year he was the runner-up for the Norris Trophy and was named Best Defenceman in the 1972 Summit Series. In 1975–76, the Rangers got off to their worst start in ten years and the team began getting rid of their high-priced veterans. On November 7, 1975, one of the biggest trades of the era was made. Park, star centre Jean Ratelle and minor-leaguer Joe Zanussi were traded to Boston for superstar scoring champion Phil Esposito and defenceman Carol Vadnais.

While Esposito and Vadnais remained effective players for the Rangers, the Bruins had struck gold. In Boston Park served under coach Don Cherry and continued his great success. He came second in the Norris Trophy race twice in a Bruins' uniform. In 1977 and 1978 Park went with Boston to the Eastern Conference finals but lost to Montreal both times. His last hurrah with Boston was in the 1983 playoffs, when he scored a long-remembered overtime goal to beat the Buffalo Sabres in the seventh game of their playoff series.

The following season Park signed with the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent and won the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance that same year, having set a record for assists by a Red Wings' defenceman. After the 1985 season, still an effective player but hobbled by repeated knee injuries, he announced his retirement. The next year he briefly served as Detroit's coach.

In 1988 Park was elected in his first year of eligibility to the Hockey Hall of Fame in his hometown of Toronto. Park has resided in Massachusetts for almost 30 years, with his wife Gerry. He has five children and at current four grandchildren.

Honors and achievementsEdit

  • Named to the First All-Star Team in 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976 and 1978.
  • Named to the Second All-Star Team in 1971 and 1973.
  • Runner up in Norris Trophy voting in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1976 and 1978
  • Received both the most First Team All-Star nominations (other than Earl Seibert, who retired before the trophy was awarded) and was runner-up for the Norris more times without winning the Norris than any other defenceman in NHL history.
  • Played in the All-Star Game in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978.
  • Retired as the all time Assists leader among defenceman- 683, later surpassed by Denis Potvin and currently held by Ray Bourque (1169)
  • Retired as the all time Assists leader among defenceman (including playoffs) - 773 (683 regular season and 90 playoffs), surpassed by Denis Potvin and currently held by Ray Bourque- 1308 (1169 regular season & 139 playoffs)
  • Retired as the leading defence scorer in Rangers' history and the second leading defence scorer in Bruins' (and NHL) history to Bobby Orr.
  • At the time of his retirement, had played the most seasons in league history for a player never missing the playoffs.
  • Currently 11th all-time in NHL history in defence scoring.
  • Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.
  • Along with Butch Goring, one of the last two active players who had played in the 1960s.
  • In 1998, he was ranked number 49 on List of 100 greatest hockey players by The Hockey News.

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1968–69 New York Rangers NHL 54 3 23 26 70 4 0 2 2 7
1969–70 New York Rangers NHL 60 11 26 37 98 5 1 2 3 11
1970–71 New York Rangers NHL 68 7 37 44 114 13 0 4 4 42
1971–72 New York Rangers NHL 75 24 49 73 130 16 4 7 11 21
1972–73 New York Rangers NHL 52 10 43 53 51 10 2 5 7 8
1973–74 New York Rangers NHL 78 25 57 82 148 13 4 8 12 38
1974–75 New York Rangers NHL 65 13 44 57 104 3 1 4 5 2
1975–76 New York Rangers NHL 13 2 4 6 23 -- -- -- -- --
1975–76 Boston Bruins NHL 43 16 37 53 95 11 3 8 11 14
1976–77 Boston Bruins NHL 77 12 55 67 67 14 2 10 12 4
1977–78 Boston Bruins NHL 80 22 57 79 79 15 9 11 20 14
1978–79 Boston Bruins NHL 40 7 32 39 10 11 1 4 5 8
1979–80 Boston Bruins NHL 32 5 16 21 27 10 3 6 9 4
1980–81 Boston Bruins NHL 78 14 52 66 111 3 1 3 4 11
1981–82 Boston Bruins NHL 75 14 42 56 82 11 1 4 5 4
1982–83 Boston Bruins NHL 76 10 26 36 82 16 3 9 12 18
1983–84 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 5 53 58 85 3 0 3 3 0
1984–85 Detroit Red Wings NHL 67 13 30 43 53 3 0 0 0 11
18 Seasons NHL Total 1113 213 683 896 1429 161 35 90 125 217


Awards
Preceded by
Lanny McDonald
Bill Masterton Trophy Winner
1984
Succeeded by
Anders Hedberg
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Vic Hadfield
New York Rangers captains
1974-75
Succeeded by
Phil Esposito
Preceded by
Harry Neale
Detroit Red Wings head coach
1985–1986
Succeeded by
Jacques Demers

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