Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bouncing around the NHL

Dallas Eakins was introduced recently as the new head coach of the Toronto Marlies, AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Big deal right? Not really, but in reading the article in the Toronto Star I learned that Eakins played a mere 120 NHL games in his career, yet somehow managed to play for eight different NHL teams. He started in 1992/93 with 14 games for the Winnipeg Jets and ended in 2001/02 with 3 games for the Calgary Flames. The most NHL games he played in one season was 23 for the 97/98 Florida Panthers. Apparently his one assist and 44 PIM's warranted being featured on a Panthers program cover, (pictured). So, 120 games for eight teams seemed like a unique and fairly difficult feat.

It turns out it is quite difficult, but not entirely unique. Three players have played for at least eight NHL teams and still played less than 200 career games. Defenseman, Ken Hammond played 193 games for eight teams and Jarrod Skalde also suited up for eight squads for only 115 games, even less than Eakins.

Skalde was a second round pick by the Devils in 1989 and helped junior team mate Eric Lindros and the Oshawa Generals win the 1990 Memorial Cup. He would top out at 22 games with San Jose in 97/98 and managed to be a point-per-game scorer in ten different AHL and IHL seasons.
Of some note, tough guy, Reid Simpson managed to play for nine different NHL teams in only 301 games. Compared to Eakins, Hammond and Skalde he was a veritable NHL regular having played 53 games with Chicago in 98/99.

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