Sunday, March 22, 2009

Walt Poddubny

Sad news comes today of Walt Poddubny's passing away. Poddubny was a talented player who had some nice scoring years in the mid 1980's. Drafted in 1980 by the Oilers 90th overall after
a 33 goal OHL season, he spent the following two years with Edmonton's top farm club in Wichita. He was traded to the Maple Leafs in exchange for Laurie Boschman and promptly collected 7 points in 11 games. 1982-83 he bagged 28 goals and 59 points and led the sub .500 Leafs with a +8 rating. He also led the squad with 3 playoff goals in 4 games.
The following three injury riddled years would see him play no more than 38 NHL games each season. In the summer of '86 he was dealt to the Rangers where he flourished with 87 and 88 point seasons. Quebec Nordiques aquired him for the 88/89 season in which he produced 75 points in 72 games. Poddubny's knee injuries would begin to take their toll and he played parts of three more seasons with the New Jersey Devils. His final NHL numbers are a very respectable 422 points in 468 games.
Following productive years in the German second and third divisions, Poddubny took up coaching and had six fairly successful seasons leading the Anchorage Aces of the WCHL before hanging up his whistle in 2002. He would return home to Thunder Bay to spend time with his family and coach minor hockey. Walt Poddubny was 49.

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