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Mark Major

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Mark Major
Position Left wing
Shot Left
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
216 lb (98 kg)
Teams Detroit Red Wings
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born March 20 1970 (1970-03-20) (age 46),
Toronto, ON, CAN
NHL Draft 25th overall, 1988
Pittsburgh Penguins
Pro Career 1996 – 1996

Mark Major (born March 20, 1970 in Toronto, Ontario) is a retired ice hockey left winger. He was drafted 25th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the National Hockey League's 1988 entry draft. Major acquired many penalty minutes over his career due to his playing style, which involved battling in front of the net for loose pucks, scoring garbage goals, and blocking the goaltenders view. Major only played in two NHL games, for the Detroit Red Wings. He also enjoyed a short career as a professional roller hockey player in Roller Hockey International (RHI). Taking into account all of his hockey games played at a professional level, Major played in 1,339 games and acquired 4,334 penalty minutes, giving Major an average of 3.24 penalty minutes per game during his career. He spent 4 seasons and won 2 Championships as Head Coach of the Amherstview Jets Junior A team.

Professional careerEdit

Junior and early minor-league careerEdit

Major started receiving attention from NHL scouts while playing for the Don Mills Flyers of the Metropolitan Toronto Hockey League in 1986. He advanced to the North Bay Centennials of the Ontario Hockey League for the 1987–88 season and put up 33 points in 57 games to go along with a whopping 272 penalty minutes (PIM). Major averaged almost 5 penalty minutes a game, but his hard-nosed style was admired by NHL scouts and Major was selected 25th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1988 NHL Draft. Now as an NHL prospect, Major gained confidence and began the 1988–89 season again with the Centennials before being traded 11 games in to the Kingston Raiders. He would remain in Kingston for that season and the next (when they were renamed the Kingston Frontenacs), scoring 112 points and 361 PIMs, before moving up to the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League. Major remained with the Lumberjacks for three seasons, scoring 77 points and 617 PIMs. He led the team in penalties during the 1991–92 season with 302 and would add another 29 PIMs in the Lumberjacks' playoff run which saw them lose four games to none in the finals to the Kansas City Blades. After his last season with the Lumberjacks, that included a relocation to Cleveland, Major was let go by the parent club Pittsburgh and quickly signed as a free agent by the Boston Bruins on July 22, 1993.

Major started play with Boston's affiliate the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League. He scored 26 points along with 176 PIMs during the 1993–94 season, but Providence failed to make the playoffs. He was let go by the Bruins, and joined the Detroit Vipers of the IHL for the following season. He continued to play aggressively, with his 36 points and 229 PIMs helping push the Vipers into the playoffs, but his play couldn't help them past the second round.

Major again caught the attention of an NHL team, when the Detroit Red Wings signed him as a free agent on June 26, 1995. He began play for the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL in the 1995–96 season and scored 29 points while racking up 234 PIMs for second on the team. He was known as a player who wouldn't back down from a fight, and he was involved in several fights during Adirondack's short playoff run that season, receiving 21 PIMs in just three games.

NHL appearanceEdit

Major finally received his first shot in the big leagues during the 1996–97 NHL season when he was brought up from Adirondack for two games starting on November 2, 1996. In his very first game, halfway though the second period, Major fought veteran instigator Tie Domi of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Major held his own against Domi but was rewarded with a bloody nose and a five minute major. Major played the following night and failed to impress the Detroit staff, which resulted in him being sent back down to the minors. Finishing the season with Adirondack, and leading the team in PIMs with 213, Major was let go by Detroit.

Late minor-league careerEdit

Major still had NHL interest and was quickly signed as a free agent on August 20, 1997 by the Washington Capitals. He started out in their farm system playing for the Portland Pirates of the AHL. In his first season, Major was first on his team and second in the league for penalty minutes with 355. This was his career high for PIMs in a season and as of 2007, he still holds the team record for penalty minutes in a single season. Major wasn't finished with 355 and added 52 more PIMs in 10 playoff games that year. The following season he again led the team in PIMs and saw his point production decrease to only nine points in 66 games. He was let go by Washington and began play for the Houston Aeros of the IHL in 1999. After just 20 games (with 81 PIMs), Major was signed as a free agent by the Flint Generals of the United Hockey League. He was named team captain and finished out the 1999–00 season with the Generals scoring 41 points, his highest point total in years, and helped the team win the Colonial Cup. He put up great numbers the following season when he finished with 46 points and 163 PIMs. Generals coach Billy Thurlow had this to say about Major's style of play:

"Anytime he's on the ice, people have to respect us. Nobody's going to shove us around."[1]
He would also go on to join the AHL's Hershey Bears for two games in the 2000–01 season. In 2001 he joined the Wheeling Nailers of the East Coast Hockey League and would go on to score 84 points in two seasons with the Nailers. The coach, John Brophy, had this to say about Major returning for his second season in Wheeling:
"We are very fortunate to have Mark return to the Nailers, not only are we getting a great player and a natural team leader, but a guy who is good in the community and represents the Nailers and Penguins organizations with class."[2]

The 2003–04 season would be Major's last, playing in 40 games for the Laval Chiefs of the QSMHL and 12 games for the Kalamazoo Wings of the UHL.

Awards and achievementsEdit

  • Colonial Cup Champion:2000 (Flint Generals - UHL)

Career statisticsEdit

Ice hockeyEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1987–88 North Bay Centennials OHL 57 16 17 33 272 4 0 2 2 8
1988–89 North Bay Centennials OHL 11 3 2 5 58
1988–89 Kingston Raiders OHL 53 22 29 51 193
1989–90 Kingston Frontenacs OHL 62 29 32 61 168 6 3 3 6 12
1990–91 Muskegon Lumberjacks IHL 60 8 10 18 160 5 0 0 0 0
1991–92 Muskegon Lumberjacks IHL 80 13 18 31 302 12 1 3 4 29
1992–93 Cleveland Lumberjacks IHL 82 13 15 28 155 3 0 0 0 0
1993–94 Providence Bruins AHL 61 17 9 26 176
1994–95 Detroit Vipers IHL 78 17 19 36 229 5 0 1 1 23
1995–96 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 78 10 19 29 234 3 0 0 0 21
1996–97 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 78 17 18 35 213 4 0 0 0 13
1996–97 Detroit Red Wings NHL 2 0 0 0 5
1997–98 Portland Pirates AHL 79 13 2 15 355 10 2 1 3 52
1998–99 Portland Pirates AHL 66 5 4 9 250
1999–00 Houston Aeros IHL 20 1 0 1 81
1999–00 Flint Generals UHL 36 23 18 41 135 15 8 3 11 67
2000–01 Flint Generals UHL 53 16 30 46 163
2000–01 Hershey Bears AHL 2 0 0 0 10
2001–02 Wheeling Nailers ECHL 71 26 19 45 102
2002–03 Wheeling Nailers ECHL 68 17 22 39 135
2003–04 Laval Chiefs QSMHL 40 14 12 26 149 5 1 3 4 15
2003–04 Kalamazoo Wings UHL 12 5 4 9 33 5 1 1 2 9
NHL totals 2 0 0 0 5
Career totals 1149 285 299 584 3578 77 16 17 33 229


  1. Dean Howe. "Major Uses Games to Mask Personal Pain", The Flint Journal, 2000-10-19. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 
  2. Press Release. "Mark Major is returning to Wheeling",, 2002-09-05. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. 

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