|6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
196 lb (89 kg)
New York Rangers
St. Louis Blues
Regina, SK, CAN
St. Louis, MO, USA
|NHL Draft||1st overall, 1980|
|Pro Career||1980 – 1994|
Career[edit | edit source]
Wickenheiser was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. A superstar in Major Junior hockey with the Regina Pats, he led the Western Hockey League in goal scoring (89) during the 1979–80 WHL season, captained the Pats to a berth in the Memorial Cup, and was the CHL Player of the Year. Wickenheiser was rated by The Hockey News as the top draft prospect in 1980 and was subsequently selected first overall by the Montreal Canadiens. Many Canadiens' fans, particularly French Canadian fans who desperately wanted the club to select francophone star Denis Savard, were unhappy with the selection, and Montreal media attention soon turned negative. While Wickenheiser struggled to adjust to the NHL game, Savard (drafted third overall) would quickly become a superstar with the Chicago Blackhawks, further angering some Montreal fans.
In his fourth season with the Canadiens, the club lost patience with Wickenheiser's slow development and traded him to the St. Louis Blues. Probably his most famous moment with the Blues was during the 1985–86 playoffs in a game dubbed the "The Monday Night Miracle" on May 12, 1986, when after St. Louis made a large comeback against the Calgary Flames, Wickenheiser scored the overtime winner to force a Game 7 in the Campbell Conference Finals. The Blues would lose the deciding game 2–1, however.
During his NHL career, Wickenheiser also played for the Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals. In 556 games, he scored 111 goals and 165 assists and is widely regarded as one of the NHL's greatest draft busts.
Battle with Cancer[edit | edit source]
In August 1994, Wickenheiser had a malignant cyst removed from his wrist - which he had first noticed four years earlier in 1990. Three years later, in October 1997, he was diagnosed with an inoperable form of cancer in his lung. Wickenheiser was only 37 when he died from lung and brain cancer on January 12, 1999, in St. Louis, Missouri. He is survived by his wife and three daughters. His life story was memorialized in the book The Last Face Off: The Doug Wickenheiser Story written in March 2000 by Ted Pepple, Wickenheiser's father-in-law. The Mid-States Club Hockey Association, the governing body for high school hockey in St. Louis, named their championship trophy for small school/second division teams in his honor. He is interred at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Valley Park, Missouri.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
While the St. Louis Blues did not retire his number 14, Blues' players wore a special helmet decal with the wick of a candle and the number 14 during parts of the 1997–98 and 1998–99 seasons. In 1999 a banner with that logo, which became the symbol of The Fourteen Fund, the official Blues charity established in his memory, was permanently placed in the rafters at the Blues home rink. The emblem was worn by all NHL players in the 1999 NHL All-Star Game, and was also sold to the public for a small donation and became a popular trend among youth hockey players in St. Louis.
|CHL Player of the Year
|NHL First Overall Draft Pick
|Montreal Canadiens first-round draft picks|
|Monahan • Chagnon • Bouchard • Myre • McCann • Plasse • Houle • Tardif • Martyniuk • Lefley • Lafleur • Arnason • Wilson • Shutt • Larocque • Gardner • Van Boxmeer • Gainey • Connor • Risebrough • Chartraw • Tremblay • McTavish • Sadler • Mondou • Lee • Schutt • Baker • Napier • Dupont • Geoffrion • D. Hunter • Wickenheiser • M. Hunter • Delorme • Ingman • Heroux • Turcotte • Svoboda • Corson • Charbonneau • Chorske • Pederson • Cassels • Charron • Vallis • Stevenson • Bilodeau • Wilkie • Koivu • Brown • Ryan • M. Higgins • Ward • Chouinard • Hainsey • Hossa • Komisarek • Perezhogin • C. Higgins • A. Kostitsyn • Chipchura • Price • Fischer • McDonagh • Pacioretty • Leblanc • Tinordi|
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