Leetch was last NHL defenceman with 100 points in a season

The last defenceman to score 100 points in a season says it will take a special player on a very good team to do it again.

Brian Leetch

The last defenceman to score 100 points in a season says it will take a special player on a very good team to do it again.

Brian Leetch, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, had 102 points for the New York Rangers in 1991-92 to become only the fifth rearguard, and the first American, to reach 100.

“It was great to see Mike Green have the season he had last year,” Leetch said Tuesday on a conference call, referring to the Washington Capitals defenceman’s 73-point season in only 68 games.

“You’d have to be on a team like that — Washington or Pittsburgh — where they have a lot of talented young players.

“But until you have a forward who puts up 150 or 160 points, it will be tough for a defenceman to get 100. If the forwards are scoring, it’s an opportunity for defencemen to get points. The power play also has to be successful. But it’s not impossible, and the league is trending that way, with higher point totals. But you’d have to be on a team with the right players in place and that plays the right system.”

Leetch was ninth in NHL scoring the year he topped 100, the same season Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux led the way with 131 points in 64 games.

It was one of many accomplishments for the slick, Texas-born blue-liner, who grew up in Cheshire, Conn., and went on to a brilliant 17-year NHL career spent mostly with the Rangers.

The 41-year-old Leetch is part of an exceptional class of Hall of Fame inductees that include his longtime U.S. Olympic and World Cup teammate Brett Hull, as well as Steve Yzerman and Luc Robitaille and, as a builder, New Jersey Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello.

He was inducted in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008, the same year his No. 2 jersey was retired by the Rangers. After winning the Calder Trophy as a rookie of the year for his 23-goal debut season in 1988-89, Leetch won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman in 1992 and 1997.

He was captain of the U.S. squad that won the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and won a silver medal with the American team at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

And he was a huge part of the Rangers team that ended a 54-year Stanley Cup drought in 1994, when he was the first American-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player of the playoffs.

Just Posted

Celebrating 4-20 in Red Deer

For years, 4-20 was a time to protest for the legalization of… Continue reading

Optimism remains for Red Deer hospital expansion

Red Deer’s incoming UCP MLAs both have been strong supporters of expansion

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Dozens hurt in collapse of deck during wedding celebration in Langley, B.C.

LANGLEY, B.C. — Police say dozens of people were injured, some critically,… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $25 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25.5 million jackpot… Continue reading

Uber driver charged in two sexual assault investigations: Toronto police

Toronto police say an Uber driver is facing sexual assault charges in… Continue reading

PEI Green party candidate Josh Underhay and son killed in canoeing accident

CHARLOTTETOWN — With only a few days before voters were to go… Continue reading

Egyptians vote on changes that would extend el-Sissi’s rule

CAIRO — Egyptians cast their ballots Saturday on the first of three… Continue reading

Ex-Marine arrested in North Korea embassy attack in Madrid

WASHINGTON — A man suspected of involvement in a mysterious dissident group’s… Continue reading

New bout of heavy fighting in Yemen kills dozens

SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni officials say heavy fighting in Yemen’s southern Dhale… Continue reading

Most Read