Éric Bélanger

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Éric Bélanger
Eric Belanger Oilers.jpg
January 2012 with Edmonton Oilers
Born (1977-12-16) December 16, 1977 (age 37)
Sherbrooke, QC, CAN
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for NHL
Los Angeles Kings
Carolina Hurricanes
Atlanta Thrashers
Minnesota Wild
Washington Capitals
Phoenix Coyotes
Edmonton Oilers
AHL
Fredericton Canadiens
Springfield Falcons
Lowell Lock Monsters
IHL
Long Beach Ice Dogs
Serie A
HC Bolzano
KHL
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg
NHL Draft 96th overall, 1996
Los Angeles Kings
Playing career 1997–2013

Éric Bélanger (born December 16, 1977) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. He played the majority of his professional career as a centre in the National Hockey League (NHL), representing the Los Angeles Kings, Carolina Hurricanes, Atlanta Thrashers, Minnesota Wild, Washington Capitals, Phoenix Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers. He was originally drafted in the fourth round, 96th overall, in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by Los Angeles.

Playing career[edit]

Bélanger was drafted in the fourth round, 96th overall, by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft from the Beauport Harfangs. Before making his NHL debut, he played with Beauport and Rimouski Océanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL); the Fredericton Canadiens, Springfield Falcons and Lowell Lock Monsters of the American Hockey League (AHL); and the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the International Hockey League (IHL). He made his NHL debut on October 6, 2000.

During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Bélanger played for HC Bolzano in Italy.

On September 29, 2006, Bélanger and Tim Gleason were traded to the Hurricanes in exchange for Oleg Tverdovsky and Jack Johnson. On February 9, 2007, during the 2006–07 season, Bélanger was traded to the Nashville Predators in exchange for centre Josef Vašíček. The following day, he was sent to the Atlanta Thrashers for defenceman Vitaly Vishnevski. During his time in Atlanta, he helped the Thrashers earn their first-ever Stanley Cup playoff berth where on April 12, 2007, he scored the first-ever Thrashers playoff goal off an assist from defenceman Niclas Hävelid on the power play.

On July 3, 2007, Bélanger signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Minnesota Wild on a three-year contract.

On March 3, 2010, the NHL trade deadline, Bélanger was traded to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. In Game 5 of the Capitals' 2010 playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens, Bélanger took a high stick to the mouth from Canadiens defenceman Marc-André Bergeron, which resulted in Bélanger losing nine teeth. Moments after the hit, the game telecast showed Bélanger on the bench removing a loose tooth from his mouth, using just his fingers and a piece of gauze.[1]

Bélanger signed a three-year, $5.25 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers on July 1, 2011.[2] In his first season in Edmonton, however, he set offensive career-lows, scoring just four goals and 12 assists, the lowest totals in both categories in his NHL career.

During the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season, Bélanger suffered a second successive disappointing year going without a goal in 26 games for the Oilers. On July 4, 2013, he was placed on unconditional waivers in order for a compliance buyout from the final year of his contract with the Oilers.[3]

On July 15, 2013, Bélanger left the NHL and signed a one-year contract abroad in Russia with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).[4] He played in just seven games with Avtomobilist in the 2013–14 season, before opting to return to North America and retire from professional hockey on September 25, 2013.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Bélanger and wife Alexandra have two daughters: Oceanne and Lola Pearl.[6]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1994–95 Beauport Harfangs QMJHL 71 12 28 40 24 18 5 9 14 25
1995–96 Beauport Harfangs QMJHL 59 35 48 83 18 20 13 14 27 6
1996–97 Beauport Harfangs QMJHL 31 13 37 50 30
1996–97 Rimouski Océanic QMJHL 31 26 41 67 36
1997–98 Fredericton Canadiens AHL 56 17 34 51 28 4 2 1 3 2
1998–99 Long Beach Ice Dogs IHL 1 0 0 0 0
1998–99 Springfield Falcons AHL 33 8 18 26 10 3 0 1 1 2
1999–00 Lowell Lock Monsters AHL 65 15 25 40 20 7 3 3 6 2
2000–01 Lowell Lock Monsters AHL 13 8 10 18 4
2000–01 Los Angeles Kings NHL 62 9 12 21 16 13 1 4 5 2
2001–02 Los Angeles Kings NHL 53 8 16 24 21 7 0 0 0 4
2002–03 Los Angeles Kings NHL 62 16 19 35 26
2003–04 Los Angeles Kings NHL 81 13 20 33 44
2004–05 Bolzano-Bozen Foxes Serie A 12 13 10 23 20
2005–06 Los Angeles Kings NHL 65 17 20 37 62
2006–07 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 56 8 12 20 14
2006–07 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 24 9 6 15 12 4 1 0 1 12
2007–08 Minnesota Wild NHL 75 13 24 37 30 6 0 0 0 4
2008–09 Minnesota Wild NHL 79 13 23 36 26
2009–10 Minnesota Wild NHL 60 13 22 35 28
2009–10 Washington Capitals NHL 17 2 4 6 4 7 0 1 1 4
2010–11 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 82 13 27 40 36 4 0 0 0 2
2011–12 Edmonton Oilers NHL 78 4 12 16 32
2012–13 Edmonton Oilers NHL 26 0 3 3 10
2013–14 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg KHL 7 0 0 0 4
NHL totals 820 138 220 358 361 41 2 5 7 28

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Adventures In Hockey Dentistry". NPR.org. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  2. ^ "NHL Free Agent Tracker". The Sports Network. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Edmonton Oilers buyout Belanger's contract". Calgary Herald. 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  4. ^ "Belanger sigs with Yekaterinburg of the KHL". thescore.com. 2013-07-15. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  5. ^ "Eric Belanger has decided to retire". Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  6. ^ "Phoenix Coyotes 2010-11 Media Guide". Scribd.com. 2010-10-01. Retrieved 2010-10-02. 

External links[edit]