Steve Thomas (ice hockey)

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Steve Thomas
Steve Thomas by Djuradj Vujcic.jpg
Born (1963-07-15) July 15, 1963 (age 51)
Stockport, England, GBR
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Left
Played for NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Blackhawks
New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Detroit Red Wings
AHL
St. Catharines Saints
National team  Canada
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 1984–2004

Stephen Anthony "Stumpy” Thomas (born July 15, 1963) is a retired Canadian ice hockey right winger who played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Detroit Red Wings. He is currently an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Trades and signings[edit]

Traded to Chicago by Toronto with Rick Vaive and Bob McGill for Al Secord and Ed Olczyk, September 3, 1987. Traded to NY Islanders by Chicago with Adam Creighton for Brent Sutter and Brad Lauer, October 25, 1991. Traded to New Jersey by NY Islanders for Claude Lemieux, October 3, 1995. Signed as a free agent by Toronto, July 30, 1998. Signed as a free agent by Chicago. Traded to Anaheim by Chicago for Anaheim's 5th round choice (Chicago drafted Alexei Ivanov) in 2003 NHL Entry Draft, March 11, 2003. Signed as a free agent by Detroit, November 5, 2003.

Playing career[edit]

Thomas went undrafted after his junior career but signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his NHL career in the 1984–85 season. Thomas was born in Stockport, England but was raised in Markham, Ontario, Canada where he attended Markham District High School. As he often coasted in school on his hockey skills, he once had a teacher tell him to "smarten up Steve, hockey can only take you so far". He played junior hockey for the Toronto Marlboros of the OHL (he was the last original Toronto Marlboro to make it to the Maple Leafs of the NHL). Prior to playing in the NHL Thomas won the Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award in 1985 as the top rookie in the American Hockey League, while playing for the St. Catharines Saints.

He developed into a bona-fide NHL goal scorer with Toronto, scoring 35 goals in the 1986–87 season. He was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks that summer and played for Chicago until 1991–92 and was then traded to the New York Islanders.

It would be with the Islanders that Thomas would have his best years. In the 1992–93 season, Thomas scored 37 goals and 50 assists for a career-high of 87 points. During the playoffs, when Islanders superstar Pierre Turgeon was injured by a Dale Hunter check in the first round, Thomas and teammate Ray Ferraro emerged as the unlikely heroes of the Islander's playoff run. Both made the top ten in postseason scoring as the Islanders made their Cinderella run to the Prince of Wales Conference finals. The next year he set a career-high in goals with 42.

Thomas had second stints with the Leafs (1998–2001) and Chicago (2001–2002) before moving to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. His career looked to be over with Chicago, however the trade to the Ducks instantly rejuvenated his career. After scoring just 4 goals with the Blackhawks, Thomas had 10 goals in the final 12 games of the season with the Ducks and added 4 more goals in the postseason as his team made it to their first Stanley Cup Finals.[1] The Ducks had wanted to keep Thomas for 2003-2004 as well, but they ran out of money, and Thomas's absence negatively affected his former linemates.[2]

Despite being considered a great playoff player, Thomas was never able to capture a Stanley Cup in his career. He came close in 2002–03 when his Mighty Ducks of Anaheim made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, the first of his and the team's, but they lost to the New Jersey Devils in a hard fought 7 games.

Thomas signed a one-year contract (2003–2004) with the Detroit Red Wings before the 2004–05 NHL lockout and proved effective playing on a line with youngster Pavel Datsyuk and Brett Hull. At one stretch in the season, Thomas had 10 points in 13 games, and he enjoyed more ice time than he initially expected due to injuries among the Wings' roster.[2] The Wings finished first in the league but lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Calgary Flames.

After the 2004–05 NHL lockout he was invited to the Toronto Maple Leafs tryout in 2005, but he was cut before the regular season started.

Post playing career[edit]

"Stumpy" began working at Plain 'n Simple in Toronto, a promotional sportswear and event company, in November 2006.

He later became the Assistant/Mentor Coach for the St. Michael's Buzzers, a Jr. A team in Toronto.

Plays golf at the National Golf Club and plays to around a 4 handicap.

On September 3, 2010, Thomas was named player development consultant for the Tampa Bay Lightning, working with former Red Wings teammate Steve Yzerman, who serves as Tampa Bay's general manager. Under this position, Thomas monitors and oversees all of Tampa Bay's prospects.[3]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1981–82 Toronto Marlboros OHL 1 0 0 0 0
1982–83 Toronto Marlboros OHL 61 18 20 38 42
1983–84 Toronto Marlboros OHL 70 51 54 105 77
1984–85 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 18 1 1 2 2
1984–85 St. Catharines Saints AHL 64 42 48 90 56
1985–86 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 65 20 37 57 36 10 6 8 14 9
1985–86 St. Catharines Saints AHL 19 18 14 32 35
1986–87 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 35 27 62 114 13 2 3 5 13
1987–88 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 30 13 13 26 40 3 1 2 3 6
1988–89 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 45 21 19 40 69 12 3 5 8 10
1989–90 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 76 40 30 70 91 20 7 6 13 33
1990–91 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 69 19 35 54 129 6 1 2 3 15
1991–92 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 11 2 6 8 26
1991–92 New York Islanders NHL 71 28 42 70 71
1992–93 New York Islanders NHL 79 37 50 87 111 18 9 8 17 37
1993–94 New York Islanders NHL 78 42 33 75 139 4 1 0 1 8
1994–95 New York Islanders NHL 47 11 15 26 60
1995–96 New Jersey Devils NHL 81 26 35 61 98
1996–97 New Jersey Devils NHL 57 15 19 34 46 10 1 1 2 18
1997–98 New Jersey Devils NHL 55 14 10 24 32 6 0 3 3 2
1998–99 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 28 45 73 33 17 6 3 9 12
1999–00 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 81 26 37 63 68 12 6 3 9 10
2000–01 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 57 8 26 34 46 11 6 3 9 4
2001–02 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 34 11 4 15 17 5 1 1 2 0
2002–03 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 69 4 13 17 51
2002–03 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 12 10 3 13 2 21 4 4 8 8
2003–04 Detroit Red Wings NHL 44 10 12 22 25 6 0 1 1 2
NHL totals 1235 421 512 933 1306 174 54 53 107 187

Trivia[edit]

Thomas appeared in the 1986 hockey-themed movie Youngblood alongside Rob Lowe and Keanu Reeves and, in one scene, is memorably towel-whipped by Patrick Swayze.

Steve Thomas appeared in the fourth episode of the fifth season of CBC's Dragons' Den pitching "Zeo Green", a company of which he is a partial owner.

Personal life[edit]

He has two children, a daughter Lauren Thomas and a son Christian Thomas, who plays ice hockey for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. Christian Thomas was drafted 40th overall by the New York Rangers in the 2nd round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.[4][5] In his third OHL season in 2010–11, Christian Thomas finished second in the league with 54 goals and sixth in the league in scoring with 99 points, while also tying for the league lead in power play goals.[6][7][8] Steve and Christian Thomas are the first father son combination to each score 50 goals in a single OHL season.[5][9][10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ Brooks, L. (June 27, 2010). "Rangers Select Thomas, Son of Former Islanders & Devils Forward". New York Post. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  5. ^ a b "Thomas' promise reflected in numbers". newyorkrangers.com. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  6. ^ "2010-11 OHL Goal Leaders". Ontario Hockey League. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  7. ^ "2010-11 OHL Scoring Leaders". Ontario Hockey League. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  8. ^ "2010-11 OHL Power Play Goal Leaders". Ontario Hockey League. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  9. ^ Zwolinski, M. (March 24, 2011). "Generals’ Christian Thomas follows in father Steve’s 50-goal footsteps". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  10. ^ "Nugent-Hopkins tops in WHL". Vancouver Sun. March 14, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 

External links[edit]