Michel Deziel

The Buffalo Sabres have had pretty good success with players out of the QMJHL. Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin, Rene Robert, Pierre Turgeon, Pat Lafontaine have all starred for the Sabres.

One player who the Sabres were hoping would join that group was Michel Deziel (shown here in the spectacular Providence Reds jersey)

Historically, and especially in the 1970s, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has had a reputation for developing one dimensional offensive forwards. Deziel fit that description perfectly. He was an explosive scorer in junior.

Get this. In his final year of junior hockey, Deziel scored 92 goals and 227 points! If you think that is ridiculous, check this out: even with those numbers, Deziel failed to lead his team in any major scoring category. Pierre Larouche scored 94 goals, 157 assists for a then-record 251 points. Jacques Cossette led the team in goals with 97.

Larouche of course went on to be a pretty good NHLer. Cossette was given over 64 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but never panned out. The Sorel Black Hawks team that Deziel and company played on also featured future NHL stalwarts Pierre Mondou and Lucien Deblois.

Despite the scoring stats, Deziel was never considered to be a top prospect. The Sabres utilized their 47th overall pick in the 1974 draft. The 3rd round selection indicated most pro scouts didn't think Deziel's defensive abilities or size was up to NHL standards, and that his scoring stats were inflated by the incredible junior team he played on.

Ultimately, the scouts were proven to be correct. Deziel had a couple of decent seasons with the Hershey Bears of the AHL before quickly disappearing, and only got one game in the National Hockey League.

Deziel's one game was interesting at least. He is one of only 24 players to have seen their only NHL action in the heat of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Deziel dressed for a single, lonely game during the Sabres playoff run of 1975. Having never seen NHL action before, it was baptism under fire for the rookie's introduction.

Although the Sabres thought he could help in that playoff game, he never was given another chance. By doing so Deziel joins a small group headlined by Don Cherry as players who never played a regular season game but did play in the Stanley Cup playoffs.


  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP