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Mike O'Connell

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Mike O'Connell
Position Defenceman
5 ft 09 in (1.75 m)
185 lb (84 kg)
Teams Chicago Black Hawks
Boston Bruins
Detroit Red Wings
Nationality Flag of the United States American
Born November 25 1955 (1955-11-25) (age 60),
Chicago, IL, USA
NHL Draft 3rd Round; 43rd overall, 1975
Chicago Black Hawks
Pro Career 1977 – 1990

Michael Thomas O'Connell (November 25, 1955, in Chicago, Illinois) is Director of Pro Development for the Los Angeles Kings. O'Connell was also a former professional player and general manager. He played 860 NHL regular season games between 1977 and 1990 and later served as the general manager of the Boston Bruins from 2000 until 2006. He is the son of former National Football League quarterback Tommy O'Connell and brother of former World Hockey Association player Tim O'Connell.

Playing careerEdit


O'Connell was raised in Cohasset, Massachusetts and grew up playing hockey and football at Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree He moved to the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League Kingston Canadians as a teenager following the recommendation of Bruins GM Harry Sinden and was promptly named best OMJHL defenceman in 1974–75.


Mike O'Connell was chosen with the 43rd pick overall by the Chicago Black Hawks in the 1975 NHL Entry Draft. His professional career for the Hawks began in the minors with the CHL Dallas Black Hawks in 1976–77. He became the first Chicago native to play for the Chicago Black Hawks in 1978, but most of his career was spent in his adopted home state of Massachusetts with the Bruins, who obtained him in a trade for Al Secord in 1980. An excellent skater, O'Connell was a solid all-around player, being both reliable in the defensive zone and consistently effective on offense, with a hard, accurate shot from the point. His best years were spent in Boston, helping to make up an impressive defensive squad that included Brad Park and Ray Bourque. He played in the 1984 NHL All-Star Game while with the Bruins and also represented the United States at the 1981 Canada Cup and 1985 Ice Hockey World Championship tournaments. O'Connell finished his NHL career as a penalty killer and defensive specialist with the Detroit Red Wings in 1989, who had obtained him in a trade for Reed Larson in 1986.

Management careerEdit

Following retirement as a player, O'Connell served as head coach of the San Diego Gulls of the International Hockey League in 1990–91 before rejoining the Bruins organisation. He coached the Bruins' top farm team the Providence Bruins between 1992 and 1994. He was named Boston assistant general manager in 1994, also became vice president of hockey operations in 1998, and alternate governor in 2000. The Bruins named O'Connell vice president and general manager on November 1, 2000, and signed a five-year contract extension on June 21, 2002. He was however fired from the job on March 25, 2006 following a controversial number of player trades that did not work out well for the Bruins. Notably, O'Connell took part in the decision that allowed high-scoring center Adam Oates to leave the team.

In 2003-2004 season, under his direction, the Bruins finished 1st in the Northeast Division, 2nd in the Eastern Conference, and 4th overall in the NHL with 104 points. The NHL locked out the players for the 2004-05 season and the Bruins lost five players previously acquired by O'Connell (Michael Nylander, Brian Rolston, Sean O'Donnell, Mike Knuble and Sergei Gonchar) to free agency. Many blame the owners of the Bruins for the decision to not re- sign the free agents.

In 2005, he traded away top center Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks. The Bruins received players Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau; Thornton went on with the San Jose Sharks to win the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player and the Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion. In trading Thornton, however, Boston freed up the necessary cap space to sign or re-sign free agents such as Zdeno Chára, Andrew Ference, Chuck Kobasew and Marco Sturm. He was replaced in his position as general manager by Peter Chiarelli.

Many important players on the Bruins roster are products of O'Connell's drafting, including Patrice Bergeron, Mark Stuart, P. J. Axelsson, David Krejci . O'Connell is currently Director of Pro Player development with the Los Angeles Kings.

Awards and achievementsEdit

  • OMJHL First All-Star Team (1975)
  • CHL First All-Star Team (1977)
  • Most Valuable Defenseman - CHL (1977)
  • Played in NHL All-Star Game (1984)

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1973–74Kingston CanadiensOHA7016435981
1974–75Kingston CanadiensOMJHL5018557347
1975–76Dallas Black HawksCHL7063743501028108
1976–77Dallas Black HawksCHL631553683051450
1977–78Dallas Black HawksCHL62645517513111128
1977–78Chicago Black HawksNHL61122
1978–79New Brunswick HawksAHL355202521
1978–79Chicago Black HawksNHL48422262040004
1979–80Chicago Black HawksNHL78822305270110
1980–81Chicago Black HawksNHL345162132
1980–81Boston BruinsNHL481022324231342
1981–82Boston BruinsNHL8053540751122420
1982–83Boston BruinsNHL80143953421735812
1983–84Boston BruinsNHL75184260423
1984–85Boston BruinsNHL781550556451560
1985–86Boston BruinsNHL638212947
1985–86Detroit Red WingsNHL1317816
1986–87Detroit Red WingsNHL7752631701614514
1987–88Detroit Red WingsNHL486131938100448
1988–89Detroit Red WingsNHL66115164160004
1989–90Detroit Red WingsNHL664141822
NHL totals 860 105 335 440 605 82 8 24 32 64

External linksEdit


Boston Bruins Head Coaches
RossDennenyRossF. PatrickRossWeilandRossClapperBoucherL. PatrickSchmidtWatsonSchmidtSindenJohnsonGuidolinCherryCreightonSindenCheeversSindenGoringO'ReillyMilburyBownessSutterKasperBurnsKeenanFtorekO'ConnellSullivanLewisJulien

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