February 11, 1954 |
Granby, QC, CAN
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|WHA Draft||121st overall, 1974
Michel J. Dion (born February 11, 1954 in Granby, Quebec) is a retired Canadian ice hockey goaltender who was active in the World Hockey Association and National Hockey League from 1975 to 1985. He also played minor league baseball before deciding on a career in professional hockey.
Dion enjoyed a successful junior hockey career with the Montreal Bleu Blanc Rouge and initially hoped for a career as a professional baseball player. During the 1971 and 1972 seasons, Michel played professional baseball in the Montreal Expos' organization with the Cocoa Expos and with the West Palm Beach Expos. Eventually, he gave up on baseball in favor of hockey.
After playing his first two pro seasons with the NAHL's Mohawk Valley Comets, Dion joined the WHA's Indianapolis Racers in the second half of the 1975-76 season. His play in the last 31 games of the season earned Dion the Ben Hatskin Trophy as the league's top netminder.
After playing two years with the Cincinnati Stingers, Dion was claimed by the Quebec Nordiques in the Dispersal Draft following the WHA/NHL merger in 1979. Dion excelled in 50 games in Quebec, and kept them in many games late in the season when they were decimated by injuries.
Dion was traded to the Winnipeg Jets for cash in 1980-81 after abandoning his team during a game against the Boston Bruins. In June, 1981, he signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Penguins and enjoyed his best NHL season. Dion recorded 25 wins for the Pens in 1981-82 and was chosen to play in the NHL all-star game. He also starred in the opening round of the playoffs when Pittsburgh nearly upset the defending Stanley Cup champion New York Islanders. Dion was solid over the next two years but only played ten games in 1984-85. He spent most of the year in the AHL before retiring from hockey.
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