|6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
200 lb (91 kg)
New York Rangers
St. Louis Blues
|Born||June 16, 1946,|
Niagara Falls, ON CAN
|Pro Career||1965 – 1978|
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
He played junior hockey in his hometown. He helped the Niagara Falls Flyers of the Ontario Hockey Association win a Memorial Cup championship in 1965 and Sanderson won the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as the league's leading scorer. In 1967 Sanderson appeared in two games as a centre with the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL). The following season he became a Bruin regular and was voted the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's 1968 Rookie of the Year.
For the next five years he was an integral part of the Bruins team that won Stanley Cup championships in 1970 and 1972. Although he had been a leading scorer in junior hockey, his role on the high-scoring Bruins was to centre their defensive line with wingers Ed Westfall and Don Marcotte. They became one of the best defensive lines in the league and Sanderson played a pivotal role as one of the most highly regarded penalty killers and faceoff men in hockey. During the 1970 Stanley Cup finals Sanderson laid a perfect pass on the stick of Bobby Orr that resulted in the goal that not only won the Bruins their first Stanley Cup in twenty-nine years, but became the most widely published photo in hockey history. The Bruins went on to finish first in the league for the next two seasons, winning the Cup again in 1972.
Nicknamed "Turk," Sanderson was a fan favorite who received much publicity for his flamboyant "mod" lifestyle. He drove a silver Rolls Royce, flashed diamond rings, and wore a mink coat. Named by Cosmopolitan Magazine as one of the sexiest men in America, he was the subject of the gossip columns, a frequent guest on television talk shows, and regularly photographed in the company of numerous beautiful women. He is famously quoted as having told a reporter who asked about his dining habits that his pre-game meal was a steak and a blonde.
After the 1972 season, Derek Sanderson signed a contract with the Philadelphia Blazers of the newly-formed World Hockey Association. His $2.6 million salary made him the highest-paid athlete in the world at the time. Unfortunately, his play did not live up to the expectations of his salary—nor, realistically, could it have—and between an early-season injury, intemperate remarks to the press, and Blazer financial troubles, Sanderson was bought out before season's end.
He promptly returned to the Bruins but was traded to the New York Rangers after the following season. Meanwhile, in a distraction from his hockey career, along with New England Patriots receiver Jim Colclough, and the New York Jets star quarterback Joe Namath, Sanderson opened "Bachelors III", a trendy nightclub on New York City's Upper East Side. Negative publicity over some of the club's less than reputable patrons led to problems and eventually Sanderson had to get out of what went from a "goldmine" to a money-losing venture.
His lifestyle arising from money and fame, combined with abuse of alcohol and drugs, resulted in Sanderson's health deteriorating, and his career began to go downhill. While he still played effectively when healthy, he began to be dealt from team to team and even spent some stints in the minor leagues: to the St. Louis Blues early in the 1976 season, to the Vancouver Canucks on waivers midway through the 1977 season. He signed as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Penguins for the stretch run in 1978, after which—hobbled by repeated knee injuries—he retired.
He lost millions of dollars in bad investments and with the substance abuse problems, he wound up penniless, in poor health, and crippled to the point that he needed crutches to get around. Forced to accept the charity of friends who gave him a place to live, several years after his retirement, publicity about his situation brought a second chance from the goodwill of people in the city of Boston, a place of which Bobby Orr said the fans and citizens were the most loyal and decent in the world.
Sanderson beat his addictions and took a job as a professional sports broadcaster. He worked for ten years in broadcasting with NESN and then helped organize State Street Global Advisors, where he was Director of the Sports Investment Group that provided professional financial advice to athletes to ensure they did not wind up impoverished as he had.
Derek Sanderson is currently Vice President and Senior Investment Professional with Howland Capital in Boston, where he invests for young athletes and high networth individuals. He is involved with a variety of charitable organizations and makes a number of guest appearances at charitable events to help raise awareness and funding for their cause.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Video[edit | edit source]
Nearly three hours of video from the Bruins-Maple Leafs game on January 6, 1968. All goals are shown including one by Bobby Orr which tied the game 3-3. An interview with Derek Sanderson is shown in the first intermission. During the second intermission, highlights from the December 27, 1967 Bruins-Black Hawks game are shown including a Hat trick by Phil Esposito. Milt Schmidt is then interviewed.
External Links[edit | edit source]
|Winner of the Calder Trophy
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