Marcel Dionne

Marcel Elphège “Little Beaver” Dionne (born August 3, 1951) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey centre who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Detroit Red WingsLos Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. Marcel Dionne was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992.

Junior career

Dionne’s first junior season was in 1968 for the Drummondville Rangers of the former Quebec Junior Hockey League, in which he scored over two goals a game in Drummondville’s losing effort in the Memorial Cup playoffs.

When the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League formed in 1969, Dionne departed to play in the Ontario Hockey Association, then-regarded as a higher-calibre level of competition, spending the next three seasons with the St. Catharines Black Hawks. He became the league’s preeminent star, winning scoring titles in 1970 and 1971 and adding a record 122 points in 43 playoff games.

Dionne’s scoring feats were marred by one of the most infamous events in Canadian junior hockey during the 1971 Richardson Cup finals against the Quebec Remparts. Following a riot in Quebec City after the penalty-filled fourth game of the series in which Dionne’s Black Hawks’ team bus was attacked by the mob,[1] the fifth game was played at a neutral site, and the remainder of the series was not played due to fears of further violence.[2]

Dionne finished his junior career by shattering the OHA’s career scoring record, which was not broken until Dale McCourt did so in the 1977 season.[3] He was subsequently drafted in the first round (second overall, behind Rempart rival Guy Lafleur) by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1971 NHL Entry Draft.

[edit]NHL career

Dionne played his first four seasons with the Red Wings, where he was one of the few stars on an otherwise stagnant team that failed to make the playoffs.

[edit]Los Angeles Kings

Despite having legendary teammates such as Alex Delvecchio and Mickey Redmond, Dionne’s frustrations with losing were evident. His agent, Alan Eaglesonpushed for more money and found it in an unlikely place. The owner of the Los Angeles Kings, Jack Kent Cooke, offered Dionne $300,000 per year. A deal was struck with the Red Wings for compensation, and Dionne signed with the Kings and became its franchise player. At the time, it was the richest deal in hockey history.[4]

During his time with the Los Angeles Kings, he played 11 and a half seasons and formed the famed “Triple Crown Line“, centreing Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor. Despite his high scoring production during the regular season he was frustrated with the Kings’ lack of playoff success; they made the postseason from 1976–82 but only advanced to the second round three times for a total of 43 playoff games. During the 1986–87 season, Dionne mentored the rookies of the Kings as Mickey Redmond mentored him during his rookie years in Detroit. He took eventual Calder Trophy winner Luc RobitailleJimmy Carson andSteve Duchesne under his wing.

Despite the strong rapport with the rookies, there was also a falling out with Coach Pat Quinn. With the Kings on track to miss the playoffs, he demanded a trade. Dionne had hoped that his threat would get General Manager Rogie Vachon to make some major moves to rejuvenate the stagnating team, and he was surprised and disappointed when Vachon actually traded him to the New York Rangers.

[edit]New York Rangers

He played his remaining two and a half seasons there, where the Rangers lost in the first round of the playoffs and missed the next two. He retired in 1989.[5] One consolation was that he would finally have Guy Lafleur as his teammate to mark the beginning of the 1988–89 NHL season.


In January 2004, Dionne was featured on a Canadian postage stamp. As part of the NHL All-Stars Collection, Dionne was immortalized along with five other All-Stars.[6]


During his first season for Detroit in 1972, he set an NHL record for scoring by a rookie with 77 points. This record has since been surpassed.

His best season was 1979–80 when he had 137 points. That season, he was tied for the league lead in points with Wayne Gretzky. Dionne was awarded the Art Ross Trophy for scoring two more goals than Gretzky. (Interestingly, from 1969 to 2001, Dionne and Bryan Trottier were the only single-time winners of the scoring title, while Phil EspositoBobby OrrGuy LafleurWayne GretzkyMario Lemieux, and Jaromir Jagr had won it on multiple occasions.) Dionne also won the Ted Lindsay Award (formally called the Lester B. Pearson Award) in 1979 and 1980, and the Lady Byng Trophy in 1975 and 1977.

Dionne was the third of six men to reach the 700-goal plateau, and currently ranks fourth among all-time goal scorers, with 731. He is ranked fifth in points, with 1771. He is ninth in career assists with 1,040. He was second in assists, goals, and points when he retired in 1989 (he is 70 goals, 9 assists, and 79 points behind Gordie Howe in all categories).

He was also the last active player in the NHL that participated in the 1972 Summit Series. Despite not playing in the 1972 Summit Series, he did play for Team Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup and the 1981 Canada Cup. For the 1976 Canada Cup, his linesmates were Bobby Hull and Phil Esposito. He was also on a line with Lanny McDonald and Darryl Sittler and they were on the ice when the tournament winning goal was scored. While on the 1981 team, he was on a line with Wayne Gretzky and Guy Lafleur.[4]

Dionne is third in the NHL for most 100+ point seasons. He has had eight 100+ point seasons in his NHL career, only behind Wayne Gretzky’s fourteen 100+ point seasons and Mario Lemieux’s ten 100+ point seasons.

Marcel Dionne was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. In 1998, he was ranked number 38 on The Hockey News list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, the highest-ranking player to have not won a Stanley Cup since 2001 when No. 14-ranked Ray Bourque won with the Colorado Avalanche. Dionne had not come close to doing so, as he never advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs. When the Los Angeles Kings finally reached the Stanley Cup finals in 1993, after advancing to and winning their first conference finals, Dionne gave Dave Taylor a congratulatory call.

The former Centre Civique arena in Drummondville was renamed Centre Marcel Dionne in his honour after his retirement.

Dionne’s younger brother Gilbert also played in the NHL and won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. Gilbert is Marcel’s junior by nineteen years.

Prior to the start of the 1993-94 season, Dionne helped to create local interest in the ECHL‘s newest franchise, the South Carolina Stingrays. With the help of some young players, Dionne gave an on-ice demonstration of the rules of hockey to the southern audience.[7]

Dionne currently resides in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and owns Marcel Dionne enterprises. He is an occasional member of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team despite never playing, or living there as a player.

He is also a Royal Ambassador for the Kings organization.

[edit]Career statistics

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1968–69 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA 48 37 63 100 38 18 15 20 35 8
1969–70 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA 54 55 77 132 46 10 12 20 32 10
1970–71 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA 46 62 81 143 20 15 29 26 55 11
1971–72 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 28 49 77 14
1972–73 Detroit Red Wings NHL 77 40 50 90 21
1973–74 Detroit Red Wings NHL 74 24 54 78 10
1974–75 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 47 74 121 14
1975–76 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 40 54 94 38 9 6 1 7 0
1976–77 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 53 69 122 12 9 5 9 14 2
1977–78 Los Angeles Kings NHL 70 36 43 79 37 2 0 0 0 0
1978–79 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 59 71 130 30 2 0 1 1 0
1979–80 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 53 84 137 32 4 0 3 3 4
1980–81 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 58 77 135 70 4 1 3 4 7
1981–82 Los Angeles Kings NHL 78 50 67 117 50 10 7 4 11 0
1982–83 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 56 51 107 22
1983–84 Los Angeles Kings NHL 66 39 53 92 28
1984–85 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 46 80 126 46 3 1 2 3 2
1985–86 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 36 58 94 42
1986–87 Los Angeles Kings NHL 67 24 50 74 54
1986–87 New York Rangers NHL 14 4 6 10 6 6 1 1 2 2
1987–88 New York Rangers NHL 67 31 34 65 54
1988–89 New York Rangers NHL 37 7 16 23 20
1988–89 Denver Rangers IHL 9 0 13 13 0
OHA totals 148 154 221 375 104 43 56 66 122 29
NHL totals 1348 731 1040 1771 600 49 21 24 45 17

[edit]International play

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
1972 Team Canada SS 0 0 0 0 0
1976 Team Canada CC 7 1 5 6 0
1978 Team Canada WCh 10 9 3 12 0
1979 Team Canada WCh 7 2 1 3 0
1981 Team Canada CC 6 4 1 5 0
1983 Team Canada WCh 10 6 3 9 0
1986 Team Canada WCh 10 4 4 8 0





[edit]Trade history

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