Don Edwards (ice hockey)
Edwards in 1977
September 28, 1955 |
Hamilton, ON, CAN
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Weight||165 lb (75 kg; 11 st 11 lb)|
|Played for||Buffalo Sabres
Toronto Maple Leafs
|NHL Draft||89th overall, 1975
|WHA Draft||135th overall, 1975
San Diego Mariners
Donald Laurie "Dart" Edwards (born September 28, 1955 in Hamilton, Ontario)1 is a retired professional ice hockey goaltender who played ten seasons in the National Hockey League for the Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Edwards started his hockey career in the juniors with the Kitchener Rangers in the OHA-Jr.. He was very successful, playing in 90 games over 2 seasons, but was not considered a high draft pick, because of his small size. Despite that, he was still picked 89th overall in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft by the Buffalo Sabres.
In his first NHL season, Edwards played in 25 games after spending last season in the AHL with the Hershey Bears. He finished the season with and impressive 16 wins, 7 losses and a 2.51 GAA. On February 13, 1977, Edwards played a role in perhaps the most unusual event in Sabres history. A day after Edwards reported to Buffalo from Hershey, Sabres general manager Punch Imlach ordered coach Floyd Smith to have Edwards replace expected starting goaltender Al Smith:
"I got to the locker room at about 5 p.m. for the game. We all went out on the ice and Al Smith took all of the warm-ups. Then I was sitting next to him in the locker room right before game time and said 'Good luck tonight.' He looked at me and said 'You don't know you're playing?'"
"That sort of ended the conversation right there. I was dumbfounded. So they play the anthem and when it ends Al hops off the bench, skates about five strides and says 'See you, Seymour' to Sabres owner Seymour Knox in the crowd. Then he skates off the ice. So it's my first game in the NHL and I was the only goalie in uniform."2
In 1978, Edwards was named the top goalie for the Sabres. He played in 72 games and was selected to the NHL Second All-Star Team. Next season, the Sabres cut Edwards games down because they were afraid of overusing him. Edwards shared his duties with goaltender Bob Sauve and Edwards finished with 26-18-9 record. In 1980, he and Sauve were awarded the Vezina Trophy for their performance. Edwards was also selected to the NHL Second All-Star Team and played in the All-Star Game. On February 24, 1982, Edwards was a part of history as he gave up Wayne Gretzky's 77th goal in a game vs. the Edmonton Oilers at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. With that goal, Wayne Gretzky broke Phil Esposito's record of 76 goals.
Edwards played two more seasons with the Sabres before being traded to the Calgary Flames with teammate Richie Dunn in 1983. In three years in Calgary, Edwards did not reach the same level of play as he had during his time in Buffalo. Calgary traded Edwards in 1986 to the Toronto Maple Leafs, his favorite team as a child. Edwards played in 38 games with the Leafs before the remaining 2 years of his contract were bought out, marking the end of his NHL career. He went on to win an Allan Cup with the Brantford Mott's Clammatos before playing his last game with the Nova Scotia Oilers in the AHL in 1988 where he would officially retire.
Although Edwards enjoyed several successful seasons in Buffalo, he named the Sabres' 6-1 victory over the Soviet Red Army on January 3, 1980 as his greatest moment in a Buffalo uniform. Edwards was named the game's most valuable player.
"I have this belief that hockey is a North American game, and I still believe that today. The Soviets were great intimidators, and I remember Team Canada '72. Then I had the chance to personally go through that intimidation stuff on the ice. Because of it, I had a distinct dislike of the Soviets and wanted to do everything I could to beat them."3
In 1981, Edwards was selected to play for Team Canada in the Canada Cup. Edwards played in only one game because he was the back-up goaltender to Mike Liut. He helped Canada finish second in the tournament.
An outstanding golfer, Edwards spent parts of his off-seasons participating in tournaments. He also held coaching positions in the National Hockey League, serving as the Los Angeles Kings' assistant coach and the Carolina Hurricanes' goaltending coach. He was the general manager of the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League from 2007 to 2008.4
- Selected to the OMJHL First All-Star Team in 1974, 1975.
- Selected to the AHL Second All-Star Team in 1976.
- Selected to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1978, 1980.
- Played in 1980, 1982 NHL All-Star Games.
- Vezina Trophy winner in 1980 (shared with Bob Sauve).
- Allan Cup championship in 1987.
|1985-86||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||38||12||23||0||2009||160||0||4.78|
|1986-87||Brantford Mott's Clammatos||OHA-Sr.||17||14||1||0||966||52||0||3.42|
|1987-88||Nova Scotia Voyageurs||AHL||3||—||—||—||180||18||0||6.00|
|Senior int'l totals||1||1||0||0||60||3||0||3.00|
- Edwards' profile on the Hockey Hall of Fame site.
- Don Edwards's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
and Michel Larocque
|Winner of the Vezina Trophy
with Bob Sauve
Denis Herron, Michel Larocque,
and Richard Sevigny