Danny Lawson

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Danny Lawson
Born (1947-10-30)October 30, 1947
Toronto, ON, CAN
Died September 15, 2008(2008-09-15) (aged 60)
Calgary, AB, CAN
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for Detroit Red Wings
Minnesota North Stars
Buffalo Sabres
Philadelphia Blazers (WHA)
Vancouver Blazers (WHA)
Calgary Cowboys (WHA)
Winnipeg Jets (WHA)
Playing career 1968–1977

Daniel Michael Lawson (b. October 30, 1947 in Toronto, Ontario - d. September 15, 2008 in Calgary, Alberta) was a professional ice hockey right winger, initially in the National Hockey League, but most notably in the World Hockey Association with the Philadelphia/Vancouver Blazers franchise. He became one of WHA's star players and led the league in goal scoring in its inaugural season

Junior career[edit]

Danny Lawson played junior for the Hamilton Red Wings of the Ontario Hockey Association, who were sponsored at the time by the NHL Detroit Red Wings. Lawson was with the Hamilton team when they went to the Memorial Cup finals in 1967. Lawson's individual offensive totals gradually improved each year until in 1967-68, his last year, when he finished second in the league in goal-scoring with 52 and led his team in points.[1] He was also named to the OHA's First All Star team.[2]

Pro career[edit]

Lawson played a single game with the Detroit Red Wings in the 1968 season, before becoming a full-time professional the next year, shuttling between the Wings and the minor-league Fort Worth Wings of the Central Hockey League. Before season's end he was traded to the Minnesota North Stars, serving the role of a defensive forward on the third and fourth lines. He spent the next two years with the North Stars, further splitting his time between the parent club and the minor leagues, before a trade in the 1971 offseason to the Buffalo Sabres. It was with Buffalo that Lawson finally received substantial ice time, albeit in a checking role shadowing other teams' offensive stars. It was to be his first complete season in the NHL without any time spent in the minors. He would finish the 76 games scoring 10 goals.[3]

In 1972 the WHA[4] came into existence and the upstart league was stealing from the NHL both their superstars and players to simply fill their rosters. Lawson made the jump and signed with the Philadelphia Blazers. Although having had a five-year career in the NHL under his belt, it was not until moving to the WHA that his scoring abilities were fully realized.[5] In the WHA’s inaugural season, despite the presence of superstar Bobby Hull, it was Lawson who on February 22 became the first player to score 50 goals. Playing on a line with Don Herriman and Andre Lacroix, by season’s end he led the league in goals with 61.[3][4][6] Lawson capped that season by being selected to the WHA All Star Team's First Team.[7]

Lawson remained a star in the WHA, almost entirely with the Blazers' franchise through moves from Philadelphia to Vancouver and finally to Calgary. Midway through the 1977 season he was traded to the Winnipeg Jets[8] and reached the Avco Cup final, where the Jets lost to the Quebec Nordiques, after which Lawson retired. In the NHL, Lawson appeared in 219 games, scoring 28 goals and 29 assists. However, in the WHA he played in 392 games, scoring 218 goals and adding 204 assists. Despite not participating in the final two seasons of the WHA's existence he still finished at #8 in all-time WHA goals.

Post NHL[edit]

In August 1986, at age 39, Lawson attempted a comeback in the NHL, attending the Edmonton Oilers training camp, but was released by the club in September.[9][10] Lawson then found employment in German hockey. For the 1986-87 season he played with the third division team EC Hedos Munich helping the team move up to the second division.[11] The next season he coached SV Bayreuth and the team finished fourth out of ten teams in the southern division.[12][13]

On September 15, 2008, just shy of his 61st birthday, Danny Lawson died of cancer.

Honours[edit]

In 2010, he was elected as an inaugural inductee into the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Career Stats". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  2. ^ "Lawson Stars career at NHL.com OHA Allstar reference". Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  3. ^ a b Canadian Press (February 23, 1973). "Lawson's 50th proves winner". The Calgary Herald. p. 33. 
  4. ^ a b Surgent, Scott. The Complete Historical and Statistical Reference to the World Hockey Association (8 ed.). Xaler Press, Tempe AZ. p. 340. ISBN 0-9644774-5-9. 
  5. ^ "Danny Lawson speaks of NHL role vs WHA". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  6. ^ "Philadelphia Blazers Tribute website". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  7. ^ "WHA Season summary including All Star Team". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  8. ^ "Summary of time with Winnipeg, Jets tribute page". Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  9. ^ "Lawson attends Oiler camp". Toronto Star. August 29, 1986. p. F.4. 
  10. ^ "Lawson cut by Oilers". Toronto Star. September 19, 1986. 
  11. ^ "EC Hedos Munich team roster (note that name is misspelled "Lowson")". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  12. ^ "1987-88 Bunesliga Season record". Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  13. ^ "German hockey website for SV Bayreuth". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  14. ^ WHA Hall of Fame Members

External links[edit]