Danny Lawson

Danny Lawson was an under-sized scoring star who never could quite find his niche in the NHL.

Lawson, was an Ontario junior hockey star in the Detroit Red Wings system. In his final season in junior, 1967-68, Lawson was named the first team all star on right wing after he notched 52 goals in 54 games.

Danny made the unlikely jump directly to the NHL the following season, but couldn't translate his junior success at the NHL level. After just 44 games, Lawson was moved to the Minnesota North Stars along with Brian Conacher for Wayne Connelly.

In two and a half seasons in Minnesota, Lawson never got untracked. He played in 96 games over that time, but was often used sparingly. And despite appearances in the minor leagues, he probably could have benefitted from regular playing time for an extended period to help his development as a player.

The Buffalo Sabres picked up Lawson in an intra-league draft for the 1971-72 season. Lawson played a full season with the Sabres, scoring a career high 10 goals as well as 16 points in 78 games. Essentially he was disposable journeyman however.

Lawson's fortunes changed dramatically in 1972-73 thanks to the World Hockey Association. The WHA's Philadelphia (later Vancouver) Blazers signed the 5'10" and 180 pound right winger and he immediately clicked with a center with a very similar career story to Lawson in Andre Lacroix. Suddenly these two fogetable hockey players were on top of the hockey world.

Lacroix's brilliant playmaking worked exceptionally well with Lawson's newly found confidence and trigger skills. Lawson, who had 28 goals and 29 assists for 57 points in 219 games in his entire NHL career, exploded for 61 goals and 106 points in 1972-73. Lawson not only led the entire WHA in goal scoring, but he had better numbers than any NHL player, including the goal scoring machine Phil Esposito.

Lawson proved his numbers were no fluke the following season, as he reached the 50 goal total again. This despite the fact that his playmaking centerman Lacroix did not return with the Blazers in 1973-74.

Danny would play three more years in the WHA, also seeing time with the Calgary Cowboys and the Winnipeg Jets. He never scored less than 30 goals in a single season. in 392 WHA games he scored 218 goals, the 8th highest total in WHA history. He added 204 assists for 422 career points.


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