Bob Corkum

Bob Corkum was a tough physical player who could play all three forward positions. He was a decent skater with otherwise average-at-best skills. He rarely handled the puck, always looking to dump it in or make a short pass.

The Sabres drafted Corkum in the third round of the 1986 draft following a stellar career with the University of Maine. The transition to pro hockey was not an easy one for Corkum. Despite is size, he really needed work on his puck skills and hockey sense. Despite scoring on his first NHL shot, Corkum would only play in 28 regular season games in his first two years, although was always recalled from the minors for the physical NHL playoffs.

Corkum finally cracked the Sabres lineup on a full time basis in 1992-93, but was strictly a 4th liner. He had a chance to prove himself the following season when the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim selected him in the expansion draft. Corkum exploded for 23 goals and 51 points in that first year with the Ducks. No expansion player blossomed like Corkum did that year. It was a prime example of a player taking full advantage of increased ice time and responsibility.

The offensive spurt was short lived however. As the expansion team was able to stock itself with more and more NHL quality talent, Corkum struggled and was unable to reproduce numbers like those. Eventually was returned to 3rd and 4th line checking duties, a position more akin to his abilities.

Though he never returned to the 20 goal level, Corkum remained a useful if limited cog in the NHL as a checking center and a fore-checking winger. He would bounce around the league, making stops in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Los Angeles, New Jersey and Atlanta before finally returning to the Sabres late in the 2001-02 season. He was able to translate that into a 720 game NHL career including 97 goals and 203 points.


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