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Earl Heiskala

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Earl Heiskala
Position Left Wing
Shot Left
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
185 lb (84 kg)
Teams Hamilton Red Wings (OHA)
Oakvile Oaks (OHA)
Cincinnati Wings (CHL)
Knoxville Knights (EHL)
Seattle Totems (WHL)
Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
Quebec Aces (AHL)
San Diego Gulls (WHL)
Los Angeles Sharks (WHA)
Greensboro Generals (SHL)
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born November 30 1942 (1942-11-30) (age 73),
Kirkland Lake, ON, CAN
Pro Career 19641974

Earl Waldemar Heiskala (b. November 30, 1942 in Kirkland Lake, Ontario) is a former professional left winger who played in three National Hockey League seasons for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Heiskala enjoyed some solid seasons in the Ontario Hockey Association with the Hamilton Red Wings prior to beginning his pro career. He even won the 1962 Memorial Cup with Hamilton.

In 1963-64, he made his pro debuts with the Cincinnati Wings, playing in a mere two games. From next season on however, he enjoyed more regular ice time. In his first full pro season, with the Knoxville Knights of the Eastern Hockey League, Heiskala scored 25 goals. He would then move to the West Coast to join the Seattle Totems of the Western Hockey League for three seasons, where he established himself as a decent offensive player, but also as a tough guy.

His tenure in Seattle caught the attention of Keith Allen, former Totems' head coach who had joined the upstart Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League when they were admitted into the league in 1967. Allen believed in him and decided to give him a chance in the City of Brotherly Love when he loaned Bob Courcy and Ray Larose plus future trade considerations (who turned out to be Art Stratton and John Hanna) to the Totems for Heiskala. Heiskala was exactly the kind of player the Flyers were building their future success upon: skilled players not afraid to drop the gloves. Unfortunately for him, he could never reach his potential in Philadelphia. He played one full season with the Flyers (scoring eight goals and seven assists in 65 games, playing on a line with Garry Peters and Dick Cherry) plus part of two others before it was over for him in the NHL.

Having been picked by the newly created Los Angeles Sharks of the equally new World Hockey Association in the 1972 WHA General Player Draft, Heiskala decided he would stay longer in the warm Californian sun (he had played the previous season partly with the Flyers, partly with the San Diego Gulls of the WHL) by agreeing to a contract with the Sharks in 1972-73. After roughly a year and a half in Los Angeles, Heiskala was traded to the New York Golden Blades with Russ Gillow to acquire Jim McLeod in January 1974. He refused to play there however; he preferred joining the Greensboro Generals of the Southern Hockey League and play four games there, registering 2 goals and 3 assists before calling it quits and retiring.

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