Vic Hadfield

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Vic Hadfield
Born (1940-10-04) October 4, 1940 (age 74)
Oakville, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 174 lb (79 kg; 12 st 6 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shot Left
Played for NHL
New York Rangers
Pittsburgh Penguins
AHL
Buffalo Bisons
Baltimore Clippers
National team  Canada
Playing career 1959–1977

Victor Edward Hadfield (born October 4, 1940) is a retired professional ice hockey player. One of the most popular players in New York Rangers history, Hadfield had a sixteen-year career in the NHL, tallying 323 goals and 389 assists with 1154 penalty minutes in 1002 career games with the Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Early career[edit]

Originally signed by the Chicago Black Hawks and assigned to their junior league affiliate St. Catharines Teepees of the Ontario Hockey League, Hadfield established himself as a physical presence, tallying many more penalty minutes than points. With a strong squad in 1959–60 that included future notable NHL players Chico Maki, Roger Crozier, Pat Stapleton, he averaged a point a game in the regular season and playoffs, but racked up an average of five penalty minutes a game in the playoffs en route to the Teepees' second Memorial Cup championship.

Assigned to Chicago's Buffalo Bisons farm team in the American Hockey League the following season, he was left unprotected after the 1961–62 season and claimed by the Rangers in the intra-league draft.

NHL career[edit]

By the 1963–64 season, Hadfield had cemented a place in the Rangers' lineup as an enforcer. Gradually, he focused more on scoring than on fighting - especially with feared enforcer Reggie Fleming on the squad - and paired with teammates Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert, became known as the famous "GAG line" (which stood for Goal A Game). From the 1967–68 season on and with the resurgence of the long-time doormat Rangers as a strong team, Hadfield would never again score less than 20 goals in any full season.

Hadfield's best season was 1971–72. Named the team's captain after the trade of longtime captain Bob Nevin, he became the first Ranger - and only the sixth NHL player - to score 50 goals in a season, nearly doubling his previous best marks; with his linemates Ratelle and Gilbert, the GAG Line totalled 139 goals and 325 points en route to leading the team to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Signed to a lucrative contract the following summer seen to deter Hadfield from defecting to the newly created World Hockey Association, he could not maintain his 1971–72 level of scoring, and was traded after the 1973–74 season to the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenceman Nick Beverley. He scored thirty goals in each of his two full seasons for the Penguins, although plagued by injuries and weight troubles, but sustained a knee injury towards the end of the 1975–76 season which forced his retirement.

Retirement and facts[edit]

At the time of his retirement, Hadfield was fourth in Rangers' franchise history in goals, assists and points (behind his linemates Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert, and Andy Bathgate), second in penalty minutes (behind Harry Howell) and fourth in games played (behind Ratelle, Howell and Gilbert). He currently stands ninth in franchise history in scoring and third in penalty minutes.

His younger brother, Carl, was a 1964 draft choice by the Chicago Black Hawks.

Hadfield now owns the Vic Hadfield Driving Range and instructional centre in Oakville, Ontario.

In 2009, Hadfield was ranked No. 20 on the all-time list of New York Rangers in the book 100 Ranger Greats (John Wiley & Sons).

International play[edit]

After his stellar 1971–72 season, Hadfield was named to Team Canada for the 1972 Summit Series. Controversially, after playing sparingly in just two games, he left the team after the Swedish exhibition games and returned home to Canada, drawing criticism for his move.

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1958–59 St. Catharines Teepees OHA 51 6 14 20 10
1959–60 Buffalo Bisons AHL 1 0 0 0 0
1959–60 St. Catharines Teepees OHA 48 19 34 53 0
1960–61 Buffalo Bisons AHL 62 5 16 21 111 3 0 0 0 11
1961–62 New York Rangers NHL 44 3 1 4 22 4 0 0 0 2
1962–63 New York Rangers NHL 36 5 6 11 32
1962–63 Baltimore Clippers AHL 29 10 9 19 84
1963–64 New York Rangers NHL 69 14 11 25 151
1964–65 New York Rangers NHL 70 18 20 38 102
1965–66 New York Rangers NHL 67 16 19 35 112
1966–67 New York Rangers NHL 69 13 20 33 80 4 1 0 1 17
1967–68 New York Rangers NHL 59 20 19 39 45 6 1 2 3 6
1968–69 New York Rangers NHL 73 26 40 66 108 4 2 1 3 2
1969–70 New York Rangers NHL 71 20 34 54 69
1970–71 New York Rangers NHL 63 22 22 44 38 13 8 5 13 46
1971–72 New York Rangers NHL 78 50 56 106 142 16 7 9 16 22
1972–73 New York Rangers NHL 63 28 34 62 60 9 2 2 4 11
1973–74 New York Rangers NHL 77 27 28 55 75 6 1 0 1 0
1974–75 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 78 31 42 73 72 9 4 2 6 0
1975–76 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 76 30 35 65 46 3 1 0 1 11
1976–77 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 9 0 2 2 0
NHL Totals 1002 323 389 712 1154 74 27 21 48 117

Awards and achievements[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bob Nevin
New York Rangers captain
197174
Succeeded by
Brad Park