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Poul Popiel
Poul Popiel.jpg
Position Defenceman
Shot Left
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
176 lb (80 kg)
Teams St. Catharines TeePees (OHA)
St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)
Buffalo Bisons (AHL)
St. Louis Braves (CHL)
Hershey Bears (AHL)
Boston Bruins (NHL)
Springfield Kings (AHL)
Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Cleveland Barons (AHL)
Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
Houston Aeros (WHA)
EV Innsbruck (ÖEL)
Houston Apollos (CHL)
Edmonton Oilers (NHL)
Muskegon Mohawks (IHL)
Nationality Flag of Denmark Danish
Flag of Canada Canadian
Born February 28th 1943,
Sollested, Denmark
Pro Career 19631982

Poul Peter Popiel (b. February 28 1943 in Sollested, Denmark) is a former Danish professional defenceman who also held the Canadian nationality. He also briefly served as head coach for the Muskegon Mohawks in 1981-82.

Born in Sollested in Denmark, Popiel emigrated to Canada at a young age with his parents. There, he played his junior hockey with the St. Catharines TeePees and St. Catharines Black Hawks - as per the system that existed at the time, by playing for that team, Popiel's rights belonged to the Chicago Blackhawks. In 1963, Popiel turned pro by joining the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League. He played several seasons in the minors in the Hawks system, without success at cracking the Hawks' roster. He won the Ken McKenzie Trophy in 1964, awarded to the best Central Hockey League rookie of the year.

His rights were transfered to the Boston Bruins in 1965. There, he could finally make his National Hockey League debuts in 1965-66. Those were rather modest debuts: one assist in three games. Popiel had to wait a couple more seasons before returning to the NHL, as his rights were ceded to the Los Angeles Kings. There again, he failed to play more than four games, including three playoffs games. He scored once in the playoffs.

In 1968-69, he finally played a full NHL season, this time with the Detroit Red Wings. He scored twice and added thirteen assists in his rookie season. He would play half of another season with Detroit (the other half with the Cleveland Barons of the AHL) before joining the Vancouver Canucks for two seasons. His first season in Vancouver turned to be his best in the NHL, as he registered 10 goals and 22 assists in 78 games.

In 1972, Popiel jumped to the upstart World Hockey Association, joining the Houston Aeros. There, he had finally found his niche and blossomed, playing five solid seasons in Texas and making twice the second all-stars team of the league; on top of it, he won two times the AVCO Cup with the Aeros. He would then make a one year stint with EV Innsbruck of the Österreicher Eishockey Liga and one with the Edmonton Oilers, where he once again had a hard time staying in the big league, being soon downgraded to the CHL.

Popiel took a year off in 1979-80 before returning as a player-coach for the Muskegon Mohawks of the International Hockey League. He began the season as assistant to the current head coach, Gerry Moore and replaced him 27 games into the season as the Mohawks finished dead last in the league with 64 points in 82 games. He did not return the following season, as Doug McKay was hired as head coach.

External links

Poul Popiel's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database