Saturday, November 6, 2010
Vincent Damphousse played his junior hockey first with the Laval Voisins of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the 1983-84 season and made his junior debut a noteworthy one, coming up just a point shy of averaging a point per game, finishing with 29 goals and 36 assists for 65 points in 66 games. Laval won the league playoff championship that season and Damphousse contributed five goals and eight points in 12 games.
His second season with the Voisins was a large step forward for Damphousse. While he raised his goal totals from 29 to 35, he nearly doubled his assists from 36 to 68. As a result, his overall points went from 65 to 103.
The Laval club would change its name from the Voisins to the Titan for the 1985-86 season and Damphousse would again take another quantum leap in his game. 45 goals and 110 assists gave Damphousse fifth place in the league scoring race with 155 points in 69 games.
That performance would leave Damphousse squarely in the sights of the scouts and the Montreal native was drafted 6th overall in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His NHL career began on October 9, 1986 against his hometown Canadiens with a 7-4 win. The Maple Leafs got off to a strong start that season and went into their 13th game with a 7-2-3 record. They travelled to Minnesota and Damphousse would score his first NHL goal on this date in 1986 as the Maple Leafs fell to the Minnesota North Stars by a score of 4-1.
Damphousse would play in all 80 games that season and finish with 21 goals and 46 points. The following season he would miss five games, yet score two more points overall.
Over the course of the next three seasons he would play in 239 of a possible 240 games. 1988-89 saw his point total raise to 68 and in 1989-90 Damphousse set personal highs in goals, assists and points with his first 30 goal season, totaling 33. His 61 assists pushed his point total to 94, one shy of the team lead.
His successful season contributed to his being selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game the following season in which he was named the MVP of the game after tying a record by scoring four goals.
The Maple Leafs would take a big drop in the standings the next season, which affected everyone's point totals, and although Damphousse's total dropped from 94 to 73, it was enough for him to lead the team in scoring for the first time.
Looking to revamp their lineup after finishing 20th out of 21 clubs, the Maple Leafs sent Damphousse, goaltender Peter Ing, Scott Thornton, Luke Richardson and cash (something the Maple Leafs were not known to part with under previous owner Harold Ballard's rule!) to the Edmonton Oilers for Grant Fuhr, Glenn Anderson and Craig Berube, ending Damphousse's days in Toronto.
Damphousse's stay in Edmonton would be short, as he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens after just one season. The trade to his hometown Canadiens would energize Damphousse, who set a career high with 97 points to lead the team in scoring. Once in the playoffs, he would continue to lead the club in scoring with 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 20 games to lead Montreal over the Los Angeles Kings 4 games to 1 to capture the Stanley Cup.
During his seven seasons in Montreal, he would record two more seasons with over 90 points, lead the club in scoring three times and be named team captain in 1996. He would also make his only international appearance in 1996 when he was a member of Team Canada for the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
In March of 1999, Damphousse was dealt to the San Jose Sharks where he would play the final six seasons of his career. He would play every game of his final three seasons and also serve as team captain for part of his final season. 2002 would see him play in his third NHL All-Star Game, after an appearance in 1992.
He had signed with the Colorado Avalanche for 2004-05, but the NHL lockout prevented him from playing for the Avalanche and brought an end to his playing days. His career would conclude with 432 goals and 1205 points in 18 NHL seasons.
Just announced four days ago was the news that Damphousse would be inducted into the QMJHL Hall of Fame on April 6, 2011 in Montreal.
Today's featured jersey is a 1986-87 Toronto Maple Leafs Vincent Damphousse jersey, as worn during his rookie season in the NHL. This jersey was actually used by winger John Anderson starting in 1983 before being recycled to Damphousse in 1986.
The Maple Leafs adopted this style back in 1970 when they introduced the new modern version of their team logo.
Against the wishes of the club, the team capitulated and added names to the back in 1978 and maintained the use of this style through the 1991-92 season. The success of their Turn Back the Clock jersey that season led to a redesign for the following year which incorporated the retro style leaf as a secondary logo and a return to a classic striping pattern for the jersey.
In today's video section, Damphousse scores in overtime to defeat la Rangers.
Here, Damphousse scores the first goal in the Canadiens new home, the Molson Centre at 6:13 of the first period when the Canadiens defeated the Rangers 4-2. And there was much rejoicing.
In this next video, Damphousse completes a dramatic comeback by the Sharks over the Kings.
Finally, Vincent is looking fine and seems quite fond of touching his own hair.