PICKING THE TEAM
Picking an all-time pro hockey team from Prince Edward Island certainly will spark some solid debate and arguments. The idea has floated in my head on several occasions but until Cody McKay at CBC in Charlottetown asked me to come up with such "dream team|" I never put it to pen and paper. McKay did a blog on CBC's web page at Christmas, 2017 to spark some talk on how an all-Island pro team would look.
Although some 30 players have made it to the NHL for at least one game over the years, many have played in the minor pros.
I base my criteria for making the team on those who first of all made it to the National Hockey League and had long careers and those who had significant minor professional careers. Each individual had to be born on PEI, raised in the province or played on a team for a number of years on the Island even if they were not born here. That would justify players like Joel Ward and Jerry Flemming making the list.
Statistics of course are an important factor in making up any all-time team. But you can’t go on stats alone.
I never saw some of the players on the list actually play as they were before my time. But I have heard stories on these greats like Buck Whitlock and heard from many who played with them or saw they play to create an opinion.
It is a daunting task to come up with a team and reserves but thankfully PEI has a great hockey history and the task at hand was not very hard.
I think one thing is sure about the team listed and the reserves - it would be one tough, gritty outfit with lots of talent in the play making and scoring department.
I would love to hear your opinion by going on line to our Twitter account @PucksPei
Reserves: Jamie Kennedy, Hilliard Graves, Charlie Cahill, Hickey Nicholson, Windy Steele, Angus Carroll, Alfie Handrahan, Joel Ward, Steve Ott, John Chabot, Peter Williams, Jerry Flemming, Angus Beck, Bobby MacGuigan, Garth MacGuigan, Shane MacEachern, Tyler Larter, Johnny Squarebriggs, M.F. Schurman, Kent Paynter (defense), Kevin Smith (defense), Todd MacDonald (goalie), Bill Ranford (goalie), Jason MacDonald, Dave Flanagan, Darryl Boyce, Darren Langdon, Billy McGuigan
ALL-TIME TEAM PEI
Drew MacIntyre Played a handful of games with Vancouver, Buffalo, Toronto / 2.41 GAA in 6 games/ standout in minors
Gary Simmons Charlottetown born/5 NHL seasons with California, Cleveland/Los Angeles/ 30-57-15 record/3.56 GAA in '70's
Adam McQuaid Stay at home defenseman/has battled lots of injuries/tough & gritty/shot blocker/2011 Stanley Cup with Bruins
Bobby Stewart Another stay at home defenseman/played on poor teams in '70's in California/Cleveland/died from cancer in 2017
John Hughes Played in the last WHA game in 1979 with Edmonton/from Cornwall/Vancouver/Edmonton/NY Rangers early 80's
Nathan McIver Played in 36 NHL games with Vancouver/Anaheim 2007-2009/long minor league career
Mark Flood 39 NHL games with NY Islanders/Winnipeg/long career in minors
Brandon Gormley 1st round pick of Phoenix Coyotes (13th overall) in 2010/58 NHL games with Arizona/Colorado
Brad Richards Two Stanley Cups/2004 Tampa Bay/2015 Chicago/PEI's all-time leading NHL scorer/298 goals/634 assists/932 points
Rick Vaive First Toronto Maple Leaf to score 50 goals (3 times in early 80's/ 441 goals in NHL/788 points
Errol Thompson 70's star in Toronto/43 goals 1975-76 playing with Sittler/McDonald/208 career goals & 393 points/great backhand
Bob MacMillan Minnesota (WHA), NY Rangers/St. Louis/Atlanta, Calgary,Colorado, New Jersey, Chicago 70's 80's/228 goals, 577 pts
Billy MacMillan Played on Memorial Cup champs St. Mike's '61/Olympic bronze Canada '68/NHL career with Toronto, Atlanta, NYI
Al MacAdam Great skater/play maker /240 NHL goals, 591 points Philadelphia, California, Cleveland, Minnesota, Vancouver
Gerard Gallant 211 goals, 480 points in 80's & 90's with Detroit & Tampa Bay/back injury in late career/now coaching Las Vegas
Forbie Kennedy Played in the 50's, 60's in Original 6/PEI legend/70 goals & 178 points plus 888 minutes in penalties
David Ling 4 goals & 8 points in 93 NHL games with Montreal & Columbus/still was playing at age 42 in minors
Kevin Devine Played 1975-1983 in WHA & NY Islanders/74 goals, 155 points in WHA/Best season '78-79 San Diego 36 goals, 72 pts
Bobby Whitlock Most of career in minors & WHA/'74-75 Indianapolis 31 goals, 57 pts/said to have heavier shot than Bobby Hull
Dave Cameron Injuries took their toll/25 goals, 53 pts in 168 NHL games with Colorado & New Jersey/now NHL coach
Wes "Bucko" Trainor Great stick handler & skater/just one NHL season 1948-49 with NY Rangers/career minor leaguer/World War II vet
Buck Whitlock Turned invite down to play with Montreal after World War II/437 goals, 973 pts in Maritime Senior in 40's & 50's