Ken Block (ice hockey)
March 18, 1944 |
Steinbach, MB, CAN
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Played for||Vancouver Canucks
New York Raiders (WHA)
New Jersey Knights (WHA)
San Diego Mariners (WHA)
Indianapolis Racers (WHA)
After a solid junior career with the Flin Flon Bombers, Block turned pro in 1964 and spent three seasons in the New York Rangers farm system without seeing any NHL action before being selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft. He would be a King for just two days before he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the rights to Hall of Famer Red Kelly, who had retired as a player but accepted a job coaching the Kings. Opportunities to break into a deep Toronto squad were slim, and Block spent the next five seasons toiling for the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League, where he played on the same blueline with and was later coached by Don Cherry.
Block would catch a break in 1970 when the owners of the WHL Vancouver Canucks were granted an NHL expansion franchise of the same name. Since the Canucks still owned his WHL rights from a stint there several years prior, his NHL rights were transferred to Vancouver. In 1970–71, Vancouver's inaugural season, Block would play his first and only NHL game.
Well-established as one of the better offensive defenders in the AHL, Block jumped at the chance to play at a higher level and move to the upstart World Hockey Association in 1972, joining the New York Raiders. His first season in the WHA would be the best of his career, as he recorded 5 goals and 53 assists for 58 points, good for 3rd amongst WHA defenders in assists and 6th in points. He would have another strong season in 1973–74, recording 3 goals and 43 assists for 46 points. However, the franchise proved unstable moving first to New Jersey and then to San Diego for the 1974–75 season.
Mid-way through the 1974–75 campaign, Block was dealt to the Indianapolis Racers, where he would play his final 5 seasons before retiring in 1979. In his last season, he played briefly with a young Wayne Gretzky before Gretzky was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers. With the dissolution of the WHA in 1979 and merger with the NHL, Block would be one of the few players to stay in the WHA from the beginning to end of its existence.
Regular season and playoffs
|1962–63||Flin Flon Bombers||SJHL||54||5||11||16||34||6||2||5||7||4|
|1963–64||Flin Flon Bombers||MJHL||62||14||43||57||59||2||1||3||4||0|
|1964–65||New York Rovers||EHL||70||5||31||36||51||—||—||—||—||—|
|1967–68||Memphis South Stars||CPHL||18||5||5||10||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|1972–73||New York Raiders||WHA||78||5||53||58||43||—||—||—||—||—|
|1973–74||New York Golden Blades/New Jersey Knights||WHA||74||3||43||46||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|1974–75||San Diego Mariners||WHA||36||1||11||12||12||—||—||—||—||—|