Brent Sopel

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Brent Sopel
Brent Sopel 2012-11-21.jpeg
Sopel while playing for Metallurg Novokuznetsk
Born (1977-01-07) January 7, 1977 (age 38)
Calgary, AB, CAN
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Right
Played for Vancouver Canucks
New York Islanders
Los Angeles Kings
Chicago Blackhawks
Atlanta Thrashers
Montreal Canadiens
Metallurg Novokuznetsk
Salavat Yulaev Ufa
NHL Draft 144th overall, 1995
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 1997–2015

Brent Bernard Sopel (born January 7, 1977) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey defenceman who played the majority of his career in the National Hockey League (NHL). Sopel was originally selected 144th overall at the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, the organization he began his NHL career with. He has also played for the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Montreal Canadiens, winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 with Chicago.

In addition to his NHL career, Sopel has also played in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) with Metallurg Novokuznetsk and Salavat Yulaev Ufa, also briefly playing for the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Chicago Wolves before retiring from professional hockey in 2015.

Playing career[edit]

Vancouver Canucks[edit]

Sopel (right) and Matt Cooke during warm-ups with the Vancouver Canucks in 2007.

On April 3, 1996, just under a year after being drafted, Sopel signed his first professional contract with his draft team, the Vancouver Canucks.[1] Sopel scored his first NHL goal on April 10, 1999, against the Edmonton Oilers' Tommy Salo.[2] In 2002, Sopel won the Fred J. Hume Award for Unsung Hero voted by the Vancouver Canucks Booster Club. On December 31, 2001, and January 21, 2002, Sopel won USA Today's NHL Player of the Week award.[3]

Sopel was traded back to the Canucks during their 2006–07 season on February 1, 2007, the NHL trade deadline day. He missed the first game of the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Dallas Stars after he injured his back while picking up a cracker that was dropped by his daughter.[4] The Canucks beat the Stars in quadruple overtime, in the sixth longest game in NHL history.[5]

New York Islanders[edit]

On August 3, 2005, the Canucks traded Sopel to the New York Islanders in exchange for a conditional draft pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.[6] On August 16, just under a week after being traded, Sopel signed a two-year, $4.8 million contract with the Islanders.[7]

Chicago Blackhawks[edit]

Heading into the 2007–08 season with no contract, Sopel was invited to the Detroit Red Wings' training camp.[8] However, on September 28, 2007, Sopel left Detroit's camp, instead signing a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Chicago Blackhawks after the Red Wings had only offered a one-year, $500,000 contract.[9][10] On January 10, 2008, Sopel signed a three-year, $7 million contract extension with the Blackhawks, keeping him in Chicago through to the 2010–11 season.[11] On June 9, 2010, Brent Sopel won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks.

In June 2010, Sopel brought the team's recently-won Stanley Cup to the 2010 Chicago Gay Pride Parade. Sopel brought the Cup to the parade in honour of the late Brendan Burke, son of his former general manager whilst playing for Vancouver, Brian Burke, to display it in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade,[12] stating to the press that honouring Burke's legacy and his father's example of familial support and tolerance was one of his reasons for marching in the parade.[13]

Atlanta Thrashers[edit]

On June 23, 2010, Sopel was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers, along with Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu, in exchange for the 24th (Kevin Hayes) and 54th overall picks (Justin Holl) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Marty Reasoner, Joey Crabb and Jeremy Morin.[14]

Montreal Canadiens[edit]

After playing 59 games for Atlanta, registering two goals and seven points, Sopel was then traded to the Montreal Canadiens, along with Nigel Dawes, in exchange for Ben Maxwell and a fourth-round draft pick in 2011 on February 24, 2011.[15]

Kontinental Hockey League[edit]

On July 29, 2011, Sopel announced that he had signed a two-year contract with Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).[16] During the 2012–13 season, his second with Novokuznetsk, Sopel was traded to Salavat Yulaev Ufa for their playoff campaign on January 31, 2013. During the subsequent summer, he signed a two-year contract extension with Salavat Yulaev.[17]

Chicago Wolves[edit]

On October 10, 2014, the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL) announced that they had signed Sopel to a standard player contract for the 2014–15 season.[18] On February 27, 2015, however, Sopel announced his retirement from professional hockey. [19]

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1993–94 Saskatoon Blades WHL 11 2 2 4 2
1994–95 Saskatoon Blades WHL 22 1 10 11 31
1994–95 Swift Current Broncos WHL 41 4 19 23 50 3 0 3 3 0
1995–96 Swift Current Broncos WHL 71 13 48 61 87 6 1 2 3 4
1995–96 Syracuse Crunch AHL 1 0 0 0 0
1996–97 Swift Current Broncos WHL 62 15 41 56 109 10 5 11 16 32
1996–97 Syracuse Crunch AHL 2 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0
1997–98 Syracuse Crunch AHL 76 10 33 43 70 5 0 7 7 12
1998–99 Syracuse Crunch AHL 53 10 21 31 59
1998–99 Vancouver Canucks NHL 5 1 0 1 4
1999–00 Syracuse Crunch AHL 50 6 25 31 67 4 0 2 2 8
1999–00 Vancouver Canucks NHL 18 2 4 6 12
2000–01 Kansas City Blades IHL 4 0 1 1 0
2000–01 Vancouver Canucks NHL 52 4 10 14 10 4 0 0 0 2
2001–02 Vancouver Canucks NHL 66 8 17 25 44 6 0 2 2 2
2002–03 Vancouver Canucks NHL 81 7 30 37 23 14 2 6 8 4
2003–04 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 10 32 42 36 7 0 1 1 0
2005–06 New York Islanders NHL 57 2 25 27 64
2005–06 Los Angeles Kings NHL 11 0 0 1 1
2006–07 Los Angeles Kings NHL 44 4 19 23 14
2006–07 Vancouver Canucks NHL 20 1 4 5 10 11 0 0 0 2
2007–08 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 58 1 19 20 28
2008–09 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 23 1 1 2 8
2009–10 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 73 1 7 8 34 22 1 5 6 8
2010–11 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 59 2 5 7 16
2010–11 Montreal Canadiens NHL 12 0 0 0 0 7 1 0 1 2
2011–12 Metallurg Novokuznetsk KHL 47 2 6 8 33
2012–13 Metallurg Novokuznetsk KHL 47 4 6 10 12
2012–13 Salavat Yulaev Ufa KHL 4 0 2 2 0 14 4 1 5 6
2013–14 Salavat Yulaev Ufa KHL 38 1 9 10 14 18 0 1 1 19
2014–15 Chicago Wolves AHL 29 1 7 8 46
NHL totals 659 44 174 218 309 71 4 14 18 20
KHL totals 136 7 23 30 59 32 4 2 6 25

Awards[edit]

  • 2001 – Player of the Week (December 31, 2001 – January 6, 2002) [3]
  • 2002NHL Player of the Week (January 21 – 27)
  • 2010 – Won Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks

Transactions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jamieson, Jim (1996-04-04). "Sports". The Province. 
  2. ^ Jamieson, Jim (1999-04-11). "Canucks wear ugly tie". The Province. 
  3. ^ a b Brehn, Mike. usatoday.com. USA Today.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  4. ^ Ziemer, Brad (2007-04-13). "Sopel's heard enough cracker jokes". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  5. ^ Heika, Mike (2007-04-12). "Stars lose to Canucks in fourth OT". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  6. ^ Pap, Elliott (2005-08-04). "Brent Sopel moves on to New York Islanders". The Vancouver Sun. 
  7. ^ "Sopel signs on". The Province. 2005-08-17. 
  8. ^ Hunter, Paul (2007-09-16). "A Leaf training camp hopeful". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  9. ^ "Sopel leaves Wings, signs with Chicago". TSN. 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-09-29. [dead link]
  10. ^ Sassone, Tim (2007-10-17). "Sopel's poise big part of Hawks' early success". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  11. ^ "Sopel inks three-year deal with Hawks". TSN. 2008-01-10. Retrieved 2008-01-10. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Sports' most macho trophy shows new kind of pride". ChicagoTribune.com. June 25, 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "Hawks bringing Cup to Pride Parade". SunTimes.com. June 22, 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2010. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Blackhawks send Byfuglien to Thrashers". NHL.com. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  15. ^ "Habs Acquire Sopel, Dawes from Thrashers for Maxwell, Pick". TSN. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  16. ^ "Kovalev, Sopel to play in KHL: report". CBC Sports. 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  17. ^ "Brent Sopel: Novokuznetsk will always be in my heart". Metallurg Novokuznetsk. 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  18. ^ "Wolves add Sopel and Longpre before Opening Night". Chicago Wolves. 2014-10-10. Retrieved 2014-10-10. 
  19. ^ "Former Blackhawks Defenseman Brent Sopel Announces Retirement". NBC Chicago. 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 

External links[edit]