Dennis Vial
Position Defence
Shoots Left
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
200 lb (91 kg)
Teams Flint Spirits
Binghamton Rangers
New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings
Adirondack Red Wings
Ottawa Senators
Chicago Wolves
Sheffield Steelers
Columbia Inferno
Verdun Dragons
Missouri River Otters
Richmond Riverdogs
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born April 10 1969 (1969-04-10) (age 51),
Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada
NHL Draft 110 overall, 1988
New York Rangers
Pro Career 1989 – 2005

Dennis Vial (born April 10, 1969 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada) is a retired professional hockey player who played in NHL with the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, and Ottawa Senators. He played defence and shot left-handed.


After playing with the Hamilton Steelhawks in the OHL for 3 years, Vial was drafted by the New York Rangers in the 6th round, 110th overall in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. That year he went back to the OHL and played with the Niagara Falls Thunder, followed by a year with the Flint Spirits in the IHL for the 1989–1990 season, scoring 35 points in 79 games and registering 351 penalty minutes. Throughout this time Vial established himself as a hard hitting enforcer and defenceman and got the call up midway through the 1990–1991 season to join the Rangers. He played in 21 games before being traded to the Detroit Red Wings that same season, appearing in another 9 games. Vial then split the next two seasons between the Red Wings and the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL.

Prior to the 1993–1994 season Vial was traded from the Red Wings to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was left unprotected in the 1993 NHL Expansion Draft and was picked up by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim a few weeks later. Finally, in Phase II of the Expansion draft Vial was picked up by the Ottawa Senators, with whom he made his greatest NHL impact. With a Senators' lineup not deep in talent, Vial was able to make the team and play full time, and in 1993-94 he was given the team's Frank Finnigan Award as its most improved player. He led the Senators in penalty minutes, major penalties, and fighting majors. Known as a fearless combatant, Vial's time in Ottawa was highlighted by a long, intense, and often bloody feud with Rob Ray of the divisional rival Buffalo Sabres.

Unfortunately, Vial's aggressive and all-out playing style resulted in many injuries throughout his career and he played in at least half of the games in a season only twice. His last season in the NHL was the 1997–1998 season.

For the next 7 seasons Vial played with a number of minor league teams including two years in England in the BISL. He retired following the 2004–2005 season where he played in the UHL with the Missouri River Otters and Richmond Riverdogs.

British Ice Hockey League Brawl/SuspensionEdit

In 2001, while a member of the British Ice Hockey League's Sheffield Steelers, Vial incited a much publicized brawl against the Nottingham Panthers which resulted in the league handing out several suspensions totaling 28 games and fines worth 8,400 pounds ($18,750) Vial was suspended for six games and fined 750 pounds ($1,675 Cdn) for offences including instigating the brawl by cross-checking Nottingham's Greg Hadden, and squirting water at fans in the stands.

Britain's Press Association described the event, which escalated into a 36 man bench clearing brawl, as "one of the worst scenes of violence ever seen at a British ice hockey rink."

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1985–86Hamilton SteelhawksOHL3111266----------
1986–87Hamilton SteelhawksOHL5318919480008
1987–88Hamilton SteelhawksOHL52317202291322449
1988–89Niagara Falls ThunderOHL501027372301517844
1989–90Flint SpiritsIHL7962935351400010
1990–91Binghamton RangersAHL40279250----------
1990–91New York RangersNHL2100061----------
1990–91Detroit Red WingsNHL900016----------
1991–92Adirondack Red WingsAHL202461071713443
1991–92Detroit Red WingsNHL2710172----------
1992–93Adirondack Red WingsAHL30211131771111214
1992–93Detroit Red WingsNHL901120----------
1993–94Ottawa SenatorsNHL55257214----------
1994–95Ottawa SenatorsNHL2704465----------
1995–96Ottawa SenatorsNHL64145276----------
1996–97Ottawa SenatorsNHL1101125----------
1997–98Chicago WolvesIHL241348610002
1997–98Ottawa SenatorsNHL1900045----------
1998–99Chicago WolvesIHL55145213----------
1999–00Sheffield SteelersBISL2625782701110
2000–01Sheffield SteelersBISL423710171802220
2001–02Columbia InfernoECHL688111913750004
2002–03Columbia InfernoECHL69315181581701127
2002–03Verdun DragonsQSPHL21017----------
2003–04Columbia InfernoECHL5451520101400020
2004–05Missouri River OttersUHL4604466----------
2004–05Richmond RiverdogsUHL2917819----------
NHL Totals24241519794----------

External linksEdit

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