Don Blackburn

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Don Blackburn
Born (1938-05-14) May 14, 1938 (age 75)
Kirkland Lake, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 175 lb (79 kg; 12 st 7 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shot Left
Played for NHL
Boston Bruins
Philadelphia Flyers
New York Rangers
New York Islanders
Minnesota North Stars
WHA
New England Whalers
Playing career 1959–1976

John Donald Blackburn (born May 14, 1938 in Kirkland Lake, Ontario) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey left winger who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and Minnesota North Stars. He also played in the World Hockey Association (WHA) with the New England Whalers. He later became the Whalers first coach when they moved to the NHL.

Playing career[edit]

Except for a six game stint with the Boston Bruins, Blackburn spent the majority of the early portion of his career with various minor league teams. He was a dominant force with the Quebec Aces of the AHL during the mid-1960s, including a 36 goal performance in 1965-66. He was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL expansion draft and was a regular contributor during the first to years of the fledgling team's existence. In 1969, he was traded to the New York Rangers, but he played sparingly in two years with the team. He was claimed by the New York Islanders in the 1972 expansion draft, but was traded to the Minnesota North Stars late in the season. He finished his career with three seasons with the WHA's Whalers, scoring 59 points in 1973-74.

Coaching career[edit]

Blackburn was the first ever Hartford Whalers coach. He led them to a 27–34–19 record in the 1979–80 NHL season. In the playoffs, the Whalers were swept by Montreal in three games. Blackburn was fired midway through the 1980–81 season after the Whalers sat with a record of 15–29–16. He was replaced by interim coach Larry Pleau.

NHL coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
New England Whalers (WHA) 1975-76 35 14 18 3 (31) 3rd in East (interim coach)
New England Whalers (WHA) 1978-79 9 4 5 0 (8) 4th in WHA Lost in Semi-Finals
Hartford Whalers (NHL) 1979-80 80 27 34 19 73 4th in Norris Lost in Preliminary Rd.
Hartford Whalers (NHL) 1980-81 60 15 29 6 (46) 4th in Norris (fired)
NHL Total 140 42 63 25

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jack Kelley
Head coach of the Hartford Whalers
1975-76
Succeeded by
Harry Neale
Preceded by
Bill Dineen
Head coach of the New England/Hartford Whalers
1979-80
Succeeded by
Larry Pleau