Al Hamilton

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For the British journalist, see Al Hamilton (journalist).
Al Hamilton
Born (1946-08-20) August 20, 1946 (age 67)
Flin Flon, MB, CAN
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Right
Played for New York Rangers
Buffalo Sabres
Alberta/Edmonton Oilers
National team  Canada
Playing career 1964–1980

Allan Guy Hamilton (born August 20, 1946 in Flin Flon, Manitoba) is a retired Canadian ice hockey defenceman, most notably with the Edmonton Oilers of the World Hockey Association. He also played in the National Hockey League for the Oilers, as well as the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres.

Playing career[edit]

Signed by the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League as a teenager, Hamilton spent his junior career with the Edmonton Oil Kings. He met with great success in juniors, being one of the rare players to play in the Memorial Cup tournament three consecutive years.[1] His final season in 1966 with the Oil Kings saw the team win the Memorial Cup, led by Hamilton's remarkable 82 points in 55 regular season and playoff games, drawing frequent comparisons with his junior contemporary Bobby Orr of the Oshawa Generals. In fact in Hamilton's Memorial Cup-winning final junior year, Hamilton and Orr highlighted the championship game by trading end-to-end rushes.[2]

Hamilton made a rather auspicious debut with the Rangers on a Wednesday night hockey broadcast. As Frank Mahovlich came flying down the boards at the old Maple Leaf Gardens as only the Big M could, 19-year-old Al suddenly entered the playing surface from the New York bench (allegedly) on a line change and decked the unsuspecting Mahovlich with a thundering shoulder check that required smelling salts to the prone Big M. While he played a few games for the Rangers in 1966, he toiled for the next three seasons in the minors, winning all-star accolades for the Omaha Knights of the Central Hockey League in 1967 and spending the two years thereafter with the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League. Hamilton finally cracked the Rangers' lineup in 1969, playing in 59 games, but he had arrived at a time when the Ranger defence was stacked and a new kid named Brad Park was turning heads. Hamilton was left unprotected for the 1970 NHL Expansion Draft and was selected by the Buffalo Sabres as their third choice.[1]

However, when the World Hockey Association began in 1972, Hamilton jumped back to the fledgling league, signing with the Alberta Oilers for their first season. Named the team's captain at the age of 26, he immediately responded with a 61 point season, his best as a pro,[1] A superb defender and leader, he captained the Oilers for four seasons and was chosen to represent Canada in the 1974 Summit Series against the Soviet Union.[2] Overcoming injuries that frequently struck—and which cost him most of the 1975 season—Hamilton remained the leader of the Oilers' defence corps for the whole of the WHA's history.

Retirement[edit]

Hamilton finished his career back in the NHL, playing 31 games with the Edmonton Oilers in 1979–80; however, beset by a lingering eye injury from the previous season, he retired at season's end. His number 3 jersey was the first retired by the franchise.[2]

For the WHA all-time, he is 13th in games played, 15th in assists, 40th in points and 38th in penalty minutes. He was also the franchise leader for the WHA Oilers in games, assists and points, and second in penalty minutes.

Hamilton remains active with the Oiler alumni and community affairs in the Edmonton area.

Family[edit]

His son, Steve Hamilton (born 1973) has served as an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League since the 2010–11 season.[3]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts +/- PIM GP G A Pts +/- PIM
1964–65 St. Paul Rangers CPHL 3 0 2 2 0
1965–66 New York Rangers NHL 4 0 0 0 0
1966–67 Omaha Knights CPHL 68 11 25 36 96 12 4 3 7 16
1967–68 New York Rangers NHL 2 0 0 0 0
1967–68 Buffalo Bisons AHL 72 9 21 30 82 5 0 4 4 23
1968–69 New York Rangers NHL 16 0 0 0 8 1 0 0 0 0
1968–69 Buffalo Bisons AHL 41 4 14 18 61 6 0 4 4 12
1969–70 New York Rangers NHL 59 0 5 5 54 5 0 0 0 2
1970–71 Buffalo Sabres NHL 69 2 28 30 71
1971–72 Buffalo Sabres NHL 76 4 30 34 105
1972–73 Alberta Oilers WHA 78 11 50 61 124 1 0 0 0 2
1973–74 Edmonton Oilers WHA 78 14 45 59 104 4 1 1 2 15
1974–75 Edmonton Oilers WHA 25 1 13 14 42
1975–76 Edmonton Oilers WHA 54 2 32 34 78 4 0 1 1 6
1976–77 Edmonton Oilers WHA 81 8 37 45 60 5 0 4 4 4
1977–78 Edmonton Oilers WHA 59 11 43 54 46
1978–79 Edmonton Oilers WHA 80 6 38 44 +22 38 13 4 5 9 4
1979–80 Edmonton Oilers NHL 31 4 15 19 -2 20 1 0 0 0 0
1979–80 Houston Apollos CHL 4 0 0 0 0
WHA totals 455 53 258 311 +22 492 27 5 11 16 31
NHL totals 257 10 78 88 -2 258 7 0 0 0 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Al Hamilton player profile". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Al Hamilton – Number 3 forever". Edmonton Oilers Heritage Foundation. Archived from the original on 21 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  3. ^ http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=86789
  4. ^ "Al Hamilton profile". Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  5. ^ WHA Hall of Fame Members

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Position created
Edmonton Oilers captain
1972-76
Succeeded by
Glen Sather