Dennis Kearns

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Dennis Kearns
Born (1945-09-27) September 27, 1945 (age 68)
Kingston, ON, CAN
Height 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight 182 lb (83 kg; 13 st 0 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Played for Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
Dallas Black Hawks (CHL)
National team  Canada
Playing career 1967–1981

Dennis McAleer Kearns (born September 27, 1945) is a retired professional ice hockey defenceman who spent his entire career with the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League.

Playing career[edit]

His rights being held by the Chicago Black Hawks, Kearns served a four year apprentice in the minor leagues, principally with the Portland Buckaroos of the Western Hockey League. Between the 1969 and 1971 seasons, Kearns was a First or Second Team league All-Star all three years.

In the summer of 1971, Chicago - then being deep on defence, behind perennial All-Stars Pat Stapleton and Bill White - exposed Kearns in the Intra-League Draft, and he was claimed by Vancouver, for whom he made his NHL debut that fall. Kearns would play his next ten years in Vancouver, his entire NHL career, becoming a star playmaker with noteworthy skill on offense and the power play despite his small size for a defenceman. His best years were between 1976 and 1978, when having recovered from injuries the previous two years he averaged nearly fifty assists a season, was named to the Canadian national team at the World Championships twice, and was called by The Hockey News the "Denis Potvin of the West."[1] Unfortunately, his feats on the ice never translated to success in the playoffs; during his career Kearns played in only eleven playoff games, and the Canucks won only three playoff matches in his tenure.

His production declined sharply after the 1979 season, and no longer a frontline defenceman as the team moved younger players into prominence, retired after the 1981 season.

International career[edit]

Kearns was a member of Team Canada at the 1977 and 1978 World Ice Hockey Championships.[2]

Retirement[edit]

Kearns finished his career with 31 goals and 290 assists for 321 points in 677 games, adding 386 penalty minutes. His 55 assists in 1977 remains the franchise record for defencemen. His 321 career points was the all-time mark for Canucks defencemen for over three decades until surpassed by Mattias Öhlund at the end of the 2009 season; he remains the franchise leader in assists by a defenceman.

In retirement, he and his family live in Vancouver, where he owns an insurance business and his son, Bracken Kearns, made his NHL debut with the Florida Panthers on October 20, 2011 against the Buffalo Sabres.[3] Bracken is currently on the San Jose Sharks roster.[4]

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1967–68 Portland Buckaroos WHL 68 5 15 20 62 12 2 4 6 2
1968–69 Portland Buckaroos WHL 74 2 42 44 81 11 2 6 8 13
1969–70 Portland Buckaroos WHL 72 11 42 53 67 8 1 6 7 9
1970–71 Dallas Black Hawks CHL 65 8 44 52 65 10 2 5 7 14
1971–72 Vancouver Canucks NHL 73 3 26 29 59
1972–73 Vancouver Canucks NHL 72 4 33 37 51
1973–74 Vancouver Canucks NHL 52 4 13 17 30
1974–75 Vancouver Canucks NHL 49 1 11 12 31 4 0 0 0 4
1975–76 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 5 46 51 48 2 0 1 1 0
1976–77 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 5 55 60 60
1977–78 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 4 43 47 27
1978–79 Vancouver Canucks NHL 78 3 31 34 28 3 1 1 2 2
1979–80 Vancouver Canucks NHL 67 1 18 19 24 2 0 0 0 2
1980–81 Vancouver Canucks NHL 46 1 14 15 28
NHL totals 677 31 290 321 386 11 1 2 3 8

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Hockey News 1978 Yearbook, ed. Ken McKenzie, Toronto, Canada, p. 54
  2. ^ http://www.legendsofhockey.net/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/SearchPlayer.jsp?player=13162
  3. ^ NHL (2011-10-20). "30-year-old rookie debuts for Panthers". NHL.com. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  4. ^ "Sharks sign forward Bracken Kearns". San Jose Sharks. 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 

External links[edit]