Marc Crawford

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Marc Crawford
Marccrawford 2006nhlawards.jpg
Marc Crawford at the 2006 NHL Awards Ceremony
Born (1961-02-13) February 13, 1961 (age 55)
Belleville, ON, CAN
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shot Left
Played for Milwaukee Admirals (IHL)
Fredericton Express (AHL)
Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
Dallas Black Hawks (CHL)
NHL Draft 70th overall, 1980
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 1981–1989

Marc Joseph John Crawford (born February 13, 1961) is a Canadian professional ice hockey head coach with the ZSC Lions of the National League A. He was previously the head coach of four other organizations and won a Stanley Cup in 1996 with the Colorado Avalanche. He is also a former professional ice hockey forward who played for the Vancouver Canucks.

Early life[edit]

Marc Crawford was born on February 13, 1961. During his teenage years, Crawford attended Nicholson Catholic College in Belleville, Ontario.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Crawford was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft in the fourth round, 70th overall. After three seasons of major junior in the QMJHL with the Cornwall Royals, he joined the Canucks in 1981–82.

As a rookie, Crawford was a part of Vancouver's 1982 run to the Stanley Cup finals in which the Canucks were defeated by the New York Islanders.

During his six seasons in the NHL, Crawford would split time between Vancouver and their AHL affiliate, the Fredericton Express. As a result of constantly flying between the two cities, which are over 5,000 kilometers apart, he earned the nickname "747",[2] though most contemporary Canucks fans know him as "Crow", a nickname coined during his tenure as a head coach with the team.

In total, Crawford tallied 19 goals, 31 assists and 50 points in 176 games during his NHL career.

After a season in the IHL with the Milwaukee Admirals, Crawford officially retired as a professional hockey player.

Coaching career[edit]

Immediately after retiring as a player, Crawford became a head coach in the OHL with the Cornwall Royals, whom he had previously played for in the QMJHL. After two less-than-stellar seasons with Cornwall, Crawford moved to the AHL, and in his first season with the St. John's Maple Leafs, he took his team to the 1992 Calder Cup finals, losing to the Adirondack Red Wings. The following season, Crawford was awarded the Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL's coach of the year.

In 1994–95, Crawford broke into the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques and achieved immediate success. As a result, he won the NHL's Jack Adams Award as coach of the year. He is the youngest NHL coach in history to win the Jack Adams.[3]

The next season, the Nordiques franchise was relocated to Colorado as the Avalanche, and Crawford won his first and only NHL championship as a coach in 1996, defeating the Florida Panthers in four games. Crawford had previously won back to back Memorial Cups with the Cornwall Royals as a player.

Crawford would continue to post successful regular season with the Avalanche in the next two seasons, but after an early first-round exit in the 1998 playoffs, Crawford resigned on May 27, 1998. Despite reportedly being offered a one-year contract extension by general manager Pierre Lacroix, Crawford decided to "move on and accept a new challenge."[4]

Before his resignation with the Avalanche, Crawford was also the head coach of the 1998 Canadian Olympic hockey team where they finished a disappointing fourth. Many fans questioned his choice of players to take part in the semi-final shootout with the Czech Republic, in which they lost, electing not to use future Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky or Steve Yzerman.

After a brief stint as an analyst on Hockey Night in Canada,[5] Crawford replaced Mike Keenan as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks midway through the 1998–99 season. Joining Vancouver in the midst of a rebuilding period for the franchise, Crawford slowly developed the Canucks into a successful regular season team, playing a fast-paced and offensively emphasized style of play. After one-and-a-half seasons, Crawford led Vancouver back to the playoffs, however, was defeated in the first round by his former team, Colorado.

In 2002–03, Vancouver continued to improve under Crawford and posted a franchise record (since surpassed) of 104 points. The following season, they took the Northwest Division title from the Avalanche, who had won the previous nine division titles (inclusive of the Pacific Division prior to division restructuring, and the year before the move to Colorado as the Quebec Nordiques). Despite Vancouver's regular season success, they only managed to win one playoff series during Crawford's tenure and, compounded by the Canucks' failure to make the postseason in 2005–06, Crawford was let go by management on April 25, 2006, and replaced by Alain Vigneault.

In six-and-a-half seasons' work with the Canucks, Crawford marked himself as the longest-serving and winningest head coach in franchise history, coaching 529 games and 246 wins. On February 3, 2006, one of his last games in Vancouver, he also became the third-youngest head coach in NHL history to reach 400 wins. At 48 years and 342 days, this mark trails only Scotty Bowman and Glen Sather.[6]

Nearly a month after being let go, Crawford was hired by the Los Angeles Kings, a team in a similar situation to that of the Canucks when Crawford first joined them. During his two seasons with the Kings, he missed the playoffs both times, marking the 2003–04 postseason as his last playoff appearance.

He lasted only two years with the Kings, who thought a change was necessary in the coaching position. On June 10, 2008, Crawford was fired by the Kings, although he had one year remaining on his initial contract.[7]

During the 2008–09 season, Crawford did color commentary for Hockey Night in Canada alongside play-by-play Mark Lee.

A year after being fired from the Los Angeles Kings, Crawford was hired by the Dallas Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk to replace previous head coach Dave Tippett.[8]

The Dallas Stars relieved Marc Crawford of his coaching duties on April 12, 2011, two days after the Stars' loss to the Minnesota Wild, that ultimately cost the team the opportunity to capture the eighth playoff berth in the Western Conference.[9]

In the summer of 2012, Marc Crawford was named the new coach of the ZSC Lions of the Swiss National League A having signed a two-year contract. Crawford won the NLA championship with the Lions in the 2013-14 season.

Awards and achievements[edit]

Coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T OTL Pts Finish W L Win % Result
QUE 1994–95 48 30 13 5 65 1st in Northeast 2 4 .333 Conference Quarter-Finalist
COL 1995–96 82 47 25 10 104 1st in Pacific 16 6 .615 Won Stanley Cup
COL 1996–97 82 49 24 9 107 1st in Pacific 10 7 .588 Conference Finalist
COL 1997–98 82 39 26 17 95 1st in Pacific 3 4 .429 Conference Quarter-Finalist
QUE/COL total 294 165 88 41 371 31 21 .596 4 playoff appearances
1 Stanley Cup
VAN 1998–99 37 8 23 6 4th in Northwest Missed playoffs
VAN 1999–2000 82 30 29 15 8 83 4th in Northwest Missed playoffs
VAN 2000–01 82 36 28 11 7 90 4th in Northwest 0 4 .000 Conference Quarter-Finalist
VAN 2001–02 82 42 30 7 3 94 2nd in Northwest 2 4 .333 Conference Quarter-Finalist
VAN 2002–03 82 45 23 13 1 104 2nd in Northwest 7 7 .500 Conference Semi-Finalist
VAN 2003–04 82 43 24 10 5 101 1st in Northwest 3 4 .429 Conference Quarter-Finalist
VAN 2005–06 82 42 32 8 92 4th in Northwest Missed playoffs, fired
VAN total 529 246 189 62 32 583 - 12 19 .387 4 playoff appearances
LA 2006–07 82 27 41 14 68 4th in Pacific Missed playoffs
LA 2007–08 82 32 43 7 71 5th in Pacific Missed playoffs, fired
LA total 164 59 84 21 139
DAL 2009–10 82 37 31 14 88 5th in Pacific Missed playoffs
DAL 2010–11 82 42 29 11 95 5th in Pacific Missed playoffs, fired
DAL total 164 79 60 25 183
Total 1151 549 421 100 77 1,271 43 40 .518 8 playoff appearances

Moore incident[edit]

Crawford, along with Todd Bertuzzi and the Canucks, is the subject of a US$19 million lawsuit by Steve Moore.

Crawford was the subject of substantial criticism following the injury of Steve Moore. On February 16, 2004, Moore caused a concussion to Crawford's captain, Markus Näslund, on a questionable hit. No penalty was called on the play, and the league later reviewed the incident and decided no penalty was warranted. However, Crawford was vocal about the incident and the failure of the league to respond.[10]

During a March 8, 2004 rematch, Todd Bertuzzi grabbed and punched Moore from behind, and rode him into the ice, causing Moore to suffer 3 broken vertebrae, multiple facial lacerations, and ultimately ending his career. According to a Colorado player, Crawford was laughing at the situation at the time it occurred.[11]

Crawford, along with Bertuzzi and the Canucks organization, is the subject of a $19+ million (US) lawsuit by Moore. According to the suit, following the February 16 incident, Crawford encouraged his players to seek revenge, which led in part to the injury to Moore. Specifically, the suit alleges that Crawford, Bertuzzi, and former general manager Brian Burke entered into "an unlawful plan and agreement to assault, batter and injure Moore at a future date for the injuries that Näslund had suffered during the Feb. 16 game."[12]

The Canucks were fined and paid $250,000 USD to the NHL for "...failure to prevent the atmosphere that may have led to the incident."


  1. ^ Nicholson Catholic College
  2. ^ "Marc Crawford". Escapeway, Inc. Retrieved April 18, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Marc Crawford". Archived from the original on October 30, 2001. Retrieved April 19, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Coach Crawford resigns". New York Times. May 28, 1998. Retrieved April 19, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Marc Crawford". Archived from the original on October 30, 2001. Retrieved April 19, 2008. 
  6. ^ "On This Day". Retrieved April 19, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Kings fire head coach Marc Crawford". June 10, 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Stars hire Marc Crawford". CBC Sports. June 11, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2009. 
  9. ^ Hunt, Steve (April 12, 2011). "Dallas Stars fire coach Marc Crawford". Retrieved June 10, 2011. 
  10. ^ TSN : NHL – Canada's Sports Leader
  11. ^ "Police investigate Canucks' Bertuzzi for hit on Moore". CBC News. March 10, 2004. 
  12. ^ "Moore files lawsuit against Bertuzzi, Canucks". CBC News. February 18, 2005. 

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