Norm Gratton

Norm Gratton was a smallish left winger with big expectations. However his promise was never realized.

Norm was drafted 11th overall by the New York Rangers back in 1970 after starring with the Montreal Junior Canadiens. His spectacular junior career included back-to-back Memorial Cup championships in 1969 and 1970.

However Norm's lack of size (he was just 5'11" tall and 160 pounds) hindered him at the professional level. After just two years of minor league hockey and just 3 games with the Rangers, he was left exposed in the 1972 expansion draft.

The Atlanta Flames grabbed the quick and skilled winger and gave him his first real shot at the National Hockey League. However after scoring just 3 goals in 29 games the Flames were willing to let him go. The Buffalo Sabres obviously saw something in and traded tough guy Butch Deadmarsh in order to get him.

Norm found a home in Buffalo over the next three seasons, but never emerged as more than a third liner. At times he, along with linemate Steve Atkinson, proved to be very effective, then at other times he was quiet.

Late in the 1974-75 season Norm and a 3rd round draft choice were traded to the Minnesota North Stars for centre Fred Stanfield. Offensively Norm enjoyed his best days in Minnesota, scoring 14 goals in less than half a season with his new club. However he wasn't able to duplicate that success in 1975-76, and after a slow start found himself demoted to the minor leagues.

The once promising career of Norm Gratton came to a quiet end in 1977. Norm found himself without a contract for the 1976-77 season. He ended up playing with the Maine Nordiques of the NAHL, which was the WHA's Quebec Nordiques farm team. He scored 41 points in 52 games but never was considered as a call up to the WHA.

Norm, the brother of former NHL/WHA goalie Gilles Gratton, appeared in 201 NHL games, scoring 39 goals and 83 points.


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