April 10, 1969 |
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)|
|Played for||Flint Spirits
New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings
Adirondack Red Wings
Missouri River Otters
|NHL Draft||110th overall, 1988
New York Rangers
After playing with the Hamilton Steelhawks in the OHL for 3 years, Vial was drafted by the New York Rangers in the 6th round, 110th overall in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. That year he went back to the OHL and played with the Niagara Falls Thunder, followed by a year with the Flint Spirits in the IHL for the 1989–1990 season, scoring 35 points in 79 games and registering 351 penalty minutes. Throughout this time Vial established himself as a hard hitting enforcer and defenceman and got the call up midway through the 1990–1991 season to join the Rangers. He played in 21 games before being traded to the Detroit Red Wings that same season, appearing in another 9 games. Vial then split the next two seasons between the Red Wings and the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL.
Prior to the 1993–1994 season Vial was traded from the Red Wings to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was left unprotected in the 1993 NHL Expansion Draft and was picked up by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim a few weeks later. Finally, in Phase II of the Expansion draft Vial was picked up by the Ottawa Senators, with whom he made his greatest NHL impact. With a Senators' lineup scarce in talent, Vial was able to make the team and play full-time, and in 1993-94 he was given the team's Frank Finnigan Award as its most improved player. He led the Senators in penalty minutes, major penalties, and fighting majors. Known as a fearless combatant, Vial's time in Ottawa was highlighted by a long, intense, and often bloody feud with Rob Ray of the divisional rival Buffalo Sabres.
Unfortunately, Vial's aggressive and all-out playing style resulted in many injuries throughout his career and he played in at least half of the games in a season only twice. His last season in the NHL was the 1997–1998 season.
For the next 7 seasons Vial played with a number of minor league teams including two years in England in the BISL. He retired following the 2004–2005 season where he played in the UHL with the Missouri River Otters and Richmond Riverdogs.
British Ice Hockey League Brawl/Suspension
In 2001, while a member of the British Ice Hockey League's Sheffield Steelers, Vial incited a much publicized brawl against the Nottingham Panthers which resulted in the league handing out several suspensions totaling 28 games and fines worth £8,400 ($18,750). Vial was suspended for six games and fined £750 ($1,675 Cdn) for numerous offences, including instigating the brawl by cross-checking Nottingham's Greg Hadden, and squirting water at fans in the stands.
Britain's Press Association described the event, which escalated into a 36-man bench clearing brawl, as "one of the worst scenes of violence ever seen at a British ice hockey rink."
|1988–89||Niagara Falls Thunder||OHL||50||10||27||37||230||15||1||7||8||44|
|1990–91||New York Rangers||NHL||21||0||0||0||61||—||—||—||—||—|
|1990–91||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||9||0||0||0||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|1991–92||Adirondack Red Wings||AHL||20||2||4||6||107||17||1||3||4||43|
|1991–92||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||27||1||0||1||72||—||—||—||—||—|
|1992–93||Adirondack Red Wings||AHL||30||2||11||13||177||11||1||1||2||14|
|1992–93||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||9||0||1||1||20||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||Missouri River Otters||UHL||46||0||4||4||66||—||—||—||—||—|
- http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Ottawa/2011/10/19/18845651.html Cheapseats: Out with the Auld!
- "British league suspends Canadian hockey brawlers". CBC News. 2001-02-14.
- "League punishes teams over brawl". BBC News. 2001-02-15. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
- "Brawl taints Panthers' victory". BBC News. 2001-02-10. Retrieved 2010-01-02.