top of page
  • Writer's pictureDerek Ochej

The man advantage specialist men

Special teams are the key part of a successful hockey team. While all NHL teams would love a roster full of players capable of starring on both the power play and penalty kill as well as it even strength, that just isn't possible. This reality carves out a nice role for players who can specialize as either power play snipers or penalty killers extraordinare.

Dan Quinn, featured in this post, is an example of a player how made a living on the power play. He scored 266 goals in his NHL career, 123 of them with the man advantage, good for 46.2 % of his career goal total. In honour of Quinn, I decided to see if any other NHL player in the top 150 power play goal scorers of all-time had as large a percentage of his career goals come on the power play (thanks to Quant Hockey for ability to export to Excel!). It turns out there is only one, and I've featured him along with the other top players below:

  1. Tomas Holmstrom, 50.5 % (243 career goals, 122 on the power play). A man who made a living taking a beating in front of the net on the Detroit Red Wings teams of the 1990s and 2000s, he seven times scored 10 or more power play goals in a season. Such a specialist, he scored more goals on the power play than at even strength!

  2. Dan Quinn, see paragraph above. Quinn recorded 21 power play goals in 1987-88.

  3. Camille Henry, 45.5 % (279 career goals, 127 on the power play). Henry led the NHL in power play goals three times in his career, including 20 in his rookie season of 1953-54. That rookie season was two years before the NHL changed the rule book for power plays, no longer requiring a player to serve the full two minutes if his team was scored on (you can thank Jean Beliveau and the Canadiens' power play for this rule).

  4. Dave Andreychuk, 42.8 % (640 career goals, 274 on the power play). Andreychuk led the league in power play goals in 1991-92 (28) and 1992-93 (32) and held the career record for most power play goals until passed recently by Alex Ovechkin in 2021.

  5. Andrew Brunette, 42.5 % (268 career goals, 114 on the power play). A player I didn't expect to see on this list, Brunette recorded 10+ power play goals in a season only three times.

Card 357- Jeff Norton

A defenceman, Norton was drafted while playing high school hockey in Massachusetts, going 62nd overall to the New York Islanders. He played the next three seasons with the Michigan Wolverines, joining the US National Team in 1987-88, playing in the1988 Olympics. Following the Olympics, Norton turned pro, playing in 15 games for the Isles that season.

During his first full NHL season he scored 31 points, and the following season scored a career-high 53 points in 60 games. From 1990 to 1992 Norton played in only 72 games over two seasons due to injuries. Deemed healthy for the 1992-93 season, he scored a career-high 12 goals and added 50 points.

Despite his return to form, Norton was dealt to San Jose for a draft pick in the summer of 1993. He lasted a season and a half with the Sharks before a March 1995 trade to St. Louis as part of a package for Craig Janney. Over the next six seasons, Norton would be involved in six trades and two free agent movements:

  • After 64 games with the Blues he was traded to Edmonton in a four-player deal;

  • After 92 games with the Oilers (the most with one single team in this stretch), his time in Edmonton ended with a March 1997 trade to Tampa Bay for Drew Bannister;

  • Less than a calendar year later, Norton was traded with Dino Ciccarelli to inter-state rival Florida for Mark Fitzpatrick and Jody Hull; after 22 games over two seasons, he was traded back to San Jose in November 1998;

  • Parts of two seasons with the Sharks ended with Norton signing as a free agent with Pittsburgh for the 2000-01 season;

  • 32 games into his term with the Penguins Norton was traded back to San Jose for Bobby Dollas and the Moose, Johan Hedberg;

  • 2001-02 saw Norton sign with Florida for a second go round, ending with a deadline day trade to Boston for a draft pick.

The Bruins would prove Norton’s final NHL stop, playing three regular season and three playoff games before leaving the NHL. He had one final pro season in Norway before retiring in 2003. Norton became the classic NHL journeyman in the latter stages of his career, although he did start his pro career with four 30+ point seasons. His most successful playoffs were with the Sharks, a pair of Western Conference Semi-Finals appearances in 1994 and 2000.

Norton played 15 NHL seasons for eight franchises, appearing in 799 games, scoring 52 goals and 384 points. Of the eight franchises he represented, Norton played more than 82 games for only three of them (New York, San Jose and Edmonton)

YouTube clip: staring down Wayne Gretzky in a confrontation during a game between San Jose and Los Angeles

Card 358 - Dan Quinn

A centre, Quinn was drafted 13th overall by Calgary in 1983. During that draft season he scored 147 points with the Belleville Bulls. Quinn started the following season in the OHL before jumping to the NHL scoring 52 points in 54 games with Pittsburgh.

Quinn’s goal and point totals would climb steadily the next two seasons, culminating in a 30 goal, 72 point season in 1985-86 as the Flames would face the Montreal Canadiens in the 1986 Stanley Cup Finals. The Flames would lose the series, with Quinn scoring eight goals and 15 points, while leading the playoffs with five powerplay goals.

Early the following season he was traded to Pittsburgh for Mike Bullard. Quinn continued scoring at a point-per-game pace, netting a career-high 40 goals in 1987-88 followed by a career high 94 points the following season. At the mid point of the 1989-90 season he was traded to Vancouver in a six-player trade. With the Canucks he scored 34 goals and 83 points over parts of two seasons before another trade, going to St. Louis with Garth Butcher for five players and a draft pick.

Quinn lasted only 14 games with the Blues before he was traded to Philadelphia. He was shipped with a young Rod Brind’Amour to the Flyers in exchange for Ron Sutter and Murray Baron, in a trade surely regretted by the Blues. Quinn continued on the journeyman trail, signing as a free agent with Minnesota for the 1992-93 season. He lasted only 11 games with the North Stars before being released from his contract due to accusations of sexual assault.

Quinn started the 1993-94 season in Switzerland, then signed with this hometown Ottawa Senators. He scored seven goals in 13 games with the Sens, parlaying that return into a free agent contract with Los Angeles for 1994-95. His Kings debut was delayed by the lockout, so after starting the season back in Switzerland, he played 44 games with the Kings. 1995-96 came and Quinn returned to Ottawa, scoring 24 points in 28 games before the incompetent management of the Senators organization traded Quinn back to Philadelphia for cash. His final NHL season came in 1996-97 with Pittsburgh, recording three assists in 16 games.

Over 14 NHL seasons, Quinn played in 805 games, scoring 266 goals and 685 points. In retirement he has continued a life in pro sports, both as a player and caddy in professional golf. Quinn has played in some lower-level tour events, and caddied for stars such as John Daly and Ernie Els.

YouTube clip: getting flattened by the Flyers’ Gord Murphy with a textbook hip check.

Card 359 - Michel Petit

A defenceman, Petit was drafted 11th overall by Vancouver in 1982, having won defensive rookie of the year, and the Mike Bossy Trophy as the best pro prospect in the QMJHL. He played one more season of junior, appearing in two games for the Canucks in 1982-83. The following season Petit spent some time with the Canadian National Team, getting in 44 games with the Canucks, scoring six goals and 15 points.

His next three seasons saw some stints in the minors, but most of Petit’s time was spent in the NHL; in his final full season with the Canucks (1986-87) he scored 12 goals. Early the following season he was traded to the New York Rangers, recording a career-high 258 penalty minutes that season. Prior to the start of the 1989-90 season Petit was sent to Quebec for Randy Moller, lasting less than two seasons with the Nords before a trade to Toronto. The 1990-91 season, split between Quebec and Toronto, was a career-year for Petit, scoring 13 goals and 39 points, his fourth straight season of 30+ points.

Despite a career-season, Petit was sent to Calgary after just over a calendar year in Toronto, going to the Flames as part of the infamous Doug Gilmour trade. The Flames represented a relatively long stay for Petit (134 games over three seasons) before he signed with Los Angeles as a free agent in 1994. Early in the 1995-96 season he was traded to Tampa Bay for Steven Finn, playing 45 games for the Lightning before joining Edmonton in 1996-97, the fifth Canadian franchise for which he would suit up.

Petit’s time in Edmonton lasted only 18 games, as he was selected by Philadelphia off waivers, playing in 20 regular season games and 3 playoff games as the Flyers went to the Stanley Cup Finals, being swept by Detroit. Petit’s final NHL stop was in 1997-98, playing 32 games with Phoenix, scoring four goals and six points.

Not yet done with pro hockey, Petit played four more pro seasons, appearing in the IHL, Germany and Italy before retiring after the 2001-02 season. In 16 NHL seasons, Petit played in 827 games, scoring 90 goals, 328 points and recording 1839 penalty minutes. Upon retiring he had played for 10 NHL franchises, a record held until surpassed by Mike Sillinger and his12 career franchises. According to LinkedIn Petit currently works as a sales manager for an industrial sand mining company.

YouTube clip: getting one punched by the much larger Bob Probert. Their fight was a result of Petit running Wings Captain Steve Yzerman into the boards on an icing, probably not the best idea with Probert being the Wings’ enforcer.

Card 360 - Eric Desjardins

A defenceman, Desjardins was drafted 38th overall by Montreal in 1987. In the season following the draft, he would win QMJHL Defenceman of the Year, joining the Habs in 1988-89 for 36 games, scoring two goals and 14 points. Desjardins’ playing time increased over the next two seasons, appearing in 55 and 62 games. 1991-92 was his breakthrough season, playing in 77 games, scoring six goals and 38 points.

Desjardins became a Habs legend in 1992-93; following a 12 goal, 45 point performance in the regular season, he added four goals and 14 points in the playoffs as the Habs won the Stanley Cup. Game 2 of the Cup Finals was Desjardins’ crowning moment, scoring all three goals in a 3-2 overtime win over Los Angeles. He was the first, and to this date, only, defenceman to score a hat trick in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Less than two years after his heroics, Desjardins was traded to Philadelphia with Mark Recchi and Gilbert Dionne for Mark Recchi and a third round draft pick. His offensive game bloomed with the Flyers, scoring 12+ goals in four of his first six seasons, along with five 45+ point seasons. Desjardins was named a second team all-star in 1999 and 2000, finishing top five in Norris Trophy voting both seasons. He played a total of 11 seasons with the Flyers, serving as assistant captain from 1995 to 1999 and captain from 2000 to 2002. Desjardins appeared in his second Cup Finals in 1997, scoring 10 points in 18 games as the Flyers were swept by Detroit.

His career ended after the 2005-06 season, with 17 seasons played, 1143 games, 136 goals and 575 points. Desjardins played in three all-star games (1992, 1996, 2000) and also recorded a healthy 23 goals and 80 points in 168 career playoff games. He has stayed out of hockey in retirement, with the exception of one season as a development coach with Philadelphia in 2008-09.

YouTube clip: as much as I wanted to post something other than highlights from the 1993 finals, they are pretty much all of the available video. Enjoy the version above, en francais!

Card 361 - Kevin Hatcher

A defenceman, Hatcher was drafted 17th overall by Washington in 1984. He played an additional season with North Bay in the OHL, and also appeared in his first two NHL games in 1984-85, scoring his first NHL goal. Hatcher found his stride in his third NHL season, scoring 14 goals and 41 points in the regular season, while finishing second on the Capitals in playoff scoring with five goals and 12 points in 14 games.

1990-91 saw Hatcher score 24 goals and 74 points, good enough to lead the team in both categories. He also finished sixth in Norris Trophy voting that season. After a slight dip in production, Hatcher set career-highs in 1992-93, leading the league in goals for a defenceman with 34, and adding 79 points. That season the Caps had three defencemen score 20+ goals (Hatcher, Al Iafrate with 25 and Sylvain Cote with 21).

Despite being named team captain for the 1993-94 season, Hatcher would hold out to start the following season due to a contract dispute and was traded prior to the start of the lockout shortened 1994-95 season. In January 1995 he was traded to Dallas for Mark Tinordi and a prospect. United with brother Derian on the Stars, Kevin lasted two seasons in Dallas before a trade in summer 1996 to Pittsburgh for future Hall of Famer Sergei Zubov.

Hatcher played three seasons with the Penguins, scoring 54 points in his first season with the team. In 1998-99 he scored 11 goals, the 12th consecutive season he broke the 10+ goal mark. Just prior to the start of the 1999-00 season he was traded to the New York Rangers, lasting one season before signing with Carolina as a free agent. Hatcher’s final season came in 2000-01, scoring 18 points in 57 games.

In 17 NHL seasons, Hatcher played in 1157 games, scoring 227 goals and 677 points. He played in five all-star games and was named to the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010. In retirement he has coached minor hockey in his home state of Michigan and is also involved in hydroplane racing as both a competitor and boat owner.

YouTube clip: highlight video from being named one of the top 40 Capitals history during the franchise’s 40th anniversary:

Card 362 - Jiri Sejba

A left winger, Sejba was drafted 182nd overall by Buffalo in 1985. 22 years old at the time of his drafting, he had already played pro hockey in his home country of Czechoslovakia since 17. Sejba played another six years in Europe before coming to North America for the 1990-91 season. Scoring at just under a point-per-game pace with Rochester, he played 11 games with the Sabres that season, recording two assists.

Sejba played the entire 1991-92 season in Rochester and then returned to Europe for good. He played a season in Finland followed by 1993 to 1997 in Czechoslovakia/Slovakia, 1997 to 2000 in Germany and one final pro season in the Czech Republic in 2000-01.

Sejba represented his country numerous times in international hockey, winning a World Championship in 1985 and two bronze medals in 1987 and 1989. Following his retirement he coached in the Czech Republic, including as an assistant with the national under 18 team in 2006-07. Sejba has also been a head coach in the Czech and Polish professional leagues, most recently with HC Poruba in the Czech second league in 2021-22.

YouTube clip: scoring a shorthanded goal against Canada in the gold medal game of 1985 World Championship. This goal also gave him a hat trick for the game.

2 views0 comments


bottom of page