Rob Ramage

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Rob Ramage
Born (1959-01-11) January 11, 1959 (age 55)
Byron, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Right
Played for NHL
Colorado Rockies
St. Louis Blues
Calgary Flames
Toronto Maple Leafs
Minnesota North Stars
Tampa Bay Lightning
Montreal Canadiens
Philadelphia Flyers
WHA
Birmingham Bulls
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 1st overall, 1979
Colorado Rockies
Playing career 1978–1994

George Robert Ramage (born January 11, 1959) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey defenceman who played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Minnesota North Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers. He also played one season in the World Hockey Association (WHA) for the Birmingham Bulls. Ramage was born in Byron, Ontario, but grew up in London, Ontario.

Playing career[edit]

Ramage was selected first overall by the Colorado Rockies in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. He spent his junior career with the London Knights, who have since retired his number 5, and played a season in the WHA for the Birmingham Bulls.

In his rookie season with Colorado, Ramage became a part of history. While the Rockies were playing the New York Islanders, the Rockies' goaltender left the ice for an extra skater after a delayed penalty was called on the Islanders. Presumably before the penalty was called, the puck deflected off the chest protector of Islanders' goalie Billy Smith into the corner. Ramage picked up the puck and accidentally made a blind pass from the corner boards in the opposing zone to the blue line. Nobody was there to receive the pass, and so the puck sailed all the way down the length of the ice and into the Colorado net. Smith had been the last Islander to touch the puck, and so he became the first NHL goalie ever to be credited with a goal.

Ramage was traded to the Calgary Flames by St. Louis, along with Rick Wamsley, for Brett Hull.

Ramage's name is on the Stanley Cup as a member of the 1989 Calgary Flames and the 1993 Montreal Canadiens. He also played in four NHL All-Star Games (1981, 1984, 1986, 1988).

Personal[edit]

He attended Byron Northview Public School and Saunders Secondary School in London, Ontario. Ramage married his high school sweetheart Dawn Van Diepen in 1982. They have three children, Tamara, Jaclyn and John, who is currently a prospect in the Calgary Flames system.

Up until January 23, 2009, Ramage was a broker at the Clayton, Missouri branch of Wachovia Securities (formerly A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. brokerage firm), soon to be acquired by Wells Fargo.

In December 2011, Ramage was named assistant coach of the London Knights after coach Dale Hunter left the team to become head coach of the Washington Capitals.[1]

Rob's son, John Ramage, was selected by the Calgary Flames in the 4th round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. John currently plays NCAA Division I college ice hockey with the Wisconsin Badgers men's ice hockey, and he was named the USA team captain at the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.[2]

On July 30, 2014, Ramage re-joined the Canadiens organization, being appointed Player Development Coach.[3]

Impaired driving conviction[edit]

On December 15, 2003, Ramage was driving former Chicago Blackhawks captain Keith Magnuson to an NHLPA players' alumni meeting when his rented Chrysler Intrepid car swerved into the oncoming lane and collided with another vehicle, killing Magnuson and injuring the driver of the other vehicle. Ramage was charged with impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death. Defense lawyer Brian Greenspan claimed the blood and urine tests were flawed, and the smell of alcohol came from beer cans that exploded after the crash.[4]

On October 10, 2007, Ramage, who had pleaded not guilty, was found guilty on all counts. The Magnuson family had forgiven Ramage and urged the judge not to send him to prison, instead suggesting that Ramage speak to teens about the dangers of drinking and driving.[4] On December 3, 2007, in a Missouri civil suit, Ramage and National Car Rental of Canada were found liable for the death of Magnuson. The family of Magnuson was awarded $9.5 million.[4] On January 17, 2008, Ramage was sentenced to four years in prison. Legal experts described the sentence as the harshest ever handed out in Ontario to a motorist with no previous record for drinking and driving. Ramage remained free on bail until his appeal of the sentence was denied on July 12, 2010.[5]

In July 2010, Ramage began serving his sentence at Frontenac Institution,[6] a minimum security facility in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.[7] In March 2011, Ramage made his first application for day parole and release to a halfway house, but this request was denied. The board did grant him permission to leave the minimum-security prison for three-day unescorted absences once a month. The board cited its belief that Ramage did not yet understand the severity of the actions which led to his incarceration. Their concern centered on Ramage's drinking habits and whether he took responsibility for the crash.[6] On May 5, 2011 Ramage's second request for day parole was granted. He is barred from drinking alcohol and he is restricted from visiting establishments where alcohol is the primary focus. Ramage must undergo psychological counseling and the court order prevents him from driving.[8]

Originally Ramage was not eligible to seek accelerated parole because his crime was considered violent. The federal government is abolishing legal provisions that free some non-violent, first-time offenders as soon as six months into their sentences.[9] Ramage’s sentence expired in July 2014.[10]

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1975–76 London Knights OMJHL 65 12 31 43 113
1976–77 London Knights OMJHL 65 15 58 73 177
1977–78 London Knights OMJHL 59 17 47 64 162
1978–79 Birmingham Bulls WHA 80 12 36 48 165
1979–80 Colorado Rockies NHL 75 8 20 28 135
1980–81 Colorado Rockies NHL 79 20 42 62 193
1981–82 Colorado Rockies NHL 70 13 29 42 201
1982–83 St. Louis Blues NHL 78 16 35 51 193 4 0 3 3 22
1983–84 St. Louis Blues NHL 80 15 45 60 121 11 1 8 9 32
1984–85 St. Louis Blues NHL 80 7 31 38 178 3 1 3 4 6
1985–86 St. Louis Blues NHL 77 10 56 66 171 19 1 10 11 66
1986–87 St. Louis Blues NHL 59 11 28 39 106 6 2 2 4 21
1987–88 St. Louis Blues NHL 67 8 34 42 127
1987–88 Calgary Flames NHL 12 1 6 7 37 9 1 3 4 21
1988–89 Calgary Flames NHL 68 3 13 16 156 20 1 11 12 26
1989–90 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 8 41 49 202 5 1 2 3 20
1990–91 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 10 25 35 173
1991–92 Minnesota North Stars NHL 34 4 5 9 69
1992–93 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 66 5 12 17 138
1992–93 Montreal Canadiens NHL 8 0 1 1 8 7 0 0 0 4
1993–94 Montreal Canadiens NHL 6 0 1 1 2
1993–94 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 15 0 1 1 14
NHL totals 1044 139 425 564 2224 84 8 42 50 218

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bobby Smith
NHL first overall draft pick
1979
Succeeded by
Doug Wickenheiser
Preceded by
Mike Gillis
Colorado Rockies first round draft pick
1979
Succeeded by
Paul Gagné
Preceded by
Rick Vaive
Toronto Maple Leafs captain
198991
Succeeded by
Wendel Clark
Preceded by
Lanny McDonald
Colorado Rockies captain
1981–82
Succeeded by
New Jersey Devils captains
Don Lever