October 4, 1940 |
Oakville, ON, CAN
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||174 lb (79 kg; 12 st 6 lb)|
New York Rangers
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
|1958–59||St. Catharines Teepees||OHA||51||6||14||20||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|1959–60||St. Catharines Teepees||OHA||48||19||34||53||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|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||—||—||—||—||—|
|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|
Awards and achievements
- OHA-Jr. First All-Star Team (1960)
- NHL Second All-Star Team (1972)
- Played in NHL All-Star Game (1965, 1972)
- Vic Hadfield's player profile at NHL.com
- Vic Hadfield's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Vic Hadfield's biography at Legends of Hockey
- Vic Hadfield's career statistics at EliteProspects.com
- Vic Hadfield at Hockey-Reference.com
|New York Rangers captain