Marcel Dionne

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Marcel Dionne
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1992
Dionne in 1987
Born (1951-08-03) August 3, 1951 (age 72)
Drummondville, Quebec, Canada
Height 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Right
Played for Detroit Red Wings
Los Angeles Kings
New York Rangers
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 2nd overall, 1971
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career 1971–1989
Medal record
Representing  Canada
Canada Cup
Gold medal – first place 1976 Canada
Silver medal – second place 1981 Canada
World Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1978 Czechoslovakia
Bronze medal – third place 1983 West Germany
Bronze medal – third place 1986 Soviet Union

Marcel Elphège "Little Beaver" Dionne (born August 3, 1951) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey centre who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers between 1971 and 1989. A prolific scorer, he won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer in 1979–80, and recorded 50 goals or more in a season 6 times, and 100 points or more in a season 8 times during his career. Internationally Dionne played for the Canadian national team at two Canada Cups and three World Championships. Dionne was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2017 Dionne was named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.[1]

Junior career[edit]

Marcel Dionne with Team Canada in 1979

Dionne played in the 1962, 1963 and 1964 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournaments with his Drummondville youth team.[2] Dionne's first junior season was in 1968 for the Drummondville Rangers of the former Quebec Junior Hockey League, in which he scored over two goals a game in Drummondville's losing effort in the Memorial Cup playoffs.

When the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League formed in 1969, Dionne departed to play in the Ontario Hockey Association, then regarded as a higher-calibre level of competition, spending the next three seasons with the St. Catharines Black Hawks. He became the league's preeminent star, winning scoring titles in 1970 and 1971 and adding a record 122 points in 43 playoff games. Dionne's scoring feats were marred by one of the most infamous events in Canadian junior hockey during the 1971 Richardson Cup finals against the Quebec Remparts. Following a riot in Quebec City after the penalty-filled fourth game of the series in which Dionne's Black Hawks' team bus was attacked by the mob,[3] the fifth game was played at a neutral site, and the remainder of the series was not played due to fears of further violence.[4]

Dionne finished his junior career by shattering the OHA's career scoring record, which was not broken until Dale McCourt did so in the 1977 season.[5] He was subsequently drafted in the first round (second overall, behind Rempart rival Guy Lafleur) by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1971 NHL Entry Draft.

NHL career[edit]

Detroit Red Wings[edit]

Dionne played his first four seasons with the Red Wings, where he was one of the few stars on an otherwise stagnant team that failed to make the playoffs.

Los Angeles Kings[edit]

Despite having teammates such as Alex Delvecchio and Mickey Redmond, Dionne's frustrations with losing were evident. His agent, Alan Eagleson pushed for more money. The owner of the Los Angeles Kings, Jack Kent Cooke, offered Dionne $300,000 per year. A deal was struck with the Red Wings and Dionne was traded for Terry Harper, Dan Maloney, cash, and draft picks; Dionne then signed with the Kings on June 23, 1975, and became their franchise player. At the time, it was the richest deal in hockey history.[6]

Dionne playing for the New York Rangers in 1987

During Dionne's time with the Los Angeles Kings, he played eleven and a half seasons and formed the famed "Triple Crown Line", centring Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor. Despite Dionne's production during the regular season, he was frustrated with the Kings' lack of playoff success; they made the postseason from 1976 to 1982 but only advanced to the second round three times for a total of 43 playoff games. During the 1986–87 season, Dionne mentored the rookies of the Kings as Mickey Redmond had mentored him during his rookie years in Detroit. He took eventual Calder Trophy winner Luc Robitaille, Jimmy Carson and Steve Duchesne under his wing. As a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in 1979, Dionne, Simmer, and Taylor recorded a song written by Alan Thicke, "Please Forgive My Misconduct Last Night," which appeared as the B side of "Hockey Sock Rock" by Phil Esposito and some of the New York Rangers.

Despite the rapport with the rookies, there was also a falling out with coach Pat Quinn; moreover, the aging Kings were on track to miss the playoffs. Dionne did not want to be part of a rebuilding project and either wanted an immediate upgrade to the roster or a trade to a contender. He was traded to the New York Rangers on March 10, 1987; the Kings did reach the playoffs in the season he was traded.

New York Rangers[edit]

Dionne played his remaining two and a half seasons there, where the Rangers lost in the first round of the playoffs twice and missed the playoffs once. He retired in 1989.[7]


In January 2004, Dionne was featured on a Canadian postage stamp. As part of the NHL All-Stars Collection, Dionne was immortalized along with five other All-Stars.[8]

Dionne has homes in Niagara Falls, Ontario and Clarence Center, New York.[9] He has maintained a large business and investment portfolio since his playing days, owning the Blue Line Diner in Niagara Falls, operating a sports memorabilia store in Buffalo and buying and selling real estate.[10]


During Dionne's first season for Detroit in 1972, he set an NHL record for scoring by a rookie with 77 points. This record has since been surpassed.

Dionne's best season was 1979–80 when he had 137 points. That season, he was tied for the league lead in points with Wayne Gretzky. He was awarded the Art Ross Trophy for scoring two more goals than Gretzky, the only time he won the award. Dionne also won the Ted Lindsay Award (formerly called the Lester B. Pearson Award) in 1979 and 1980, and the Lady Byng Trophy in 1975 and 1977.

Dionne on Gordie Howe Night at Joe Louis Arena In Detroit, MI In 2012.

Dionne was the third of eight men to reach the 700-goal plateau, and currently ranks sixth among all-time goal scorers, with 731. He is ranked sixth in points, with 1771. He is tenth in career assists with 1,040. He was second in assists, goals, and points when he retired in 1989 (he is 70 goals, 9 assists, and 79 points behind Gordie Howe in all categories). Dionne is the highest-scoring player to have never won the Stanley Cup.

He was also the last active player in the NHL to have participated in the 1972 Summit Series. Despite not playing in the 1972 Summit Series, he did play for Team Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup and the 1981 Canada Cup. For the 1976 Canada Cup, his linemates were Bobby Hull and Phil Esposito. He was also on a line with Lanny McDonald and Darryl Sittler and they were on the ice when the tournament winning goal was scored. While on the 1981 team, he was on a line with Wayne Gretzky and Guy Lafleur.[6] Dionne also won a bronze medal in the 1978, 1983 and 1986 World Ice Hockey Championships. In the 1978 edition, he was named the top forward.

Dionne is third in the NHL for most 100+ point seasons. He has had eight 100+ point seasons in his NHL career, only behind Wayne Gretzky's fifteen 100+ point seasons and Mario Lemieux's ten 100+ point seasons.

Dionne was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. In 1998, he was ranked number 38 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, the highest-ranking player to have not won a Stanley Cup since 2001 when No. 14-ranked Ray Bourque won with the Colorado Avalanche. Dionne had not come close to doing so, as he never advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs. When the Los Angeles Kings finally reached the Stanley Cup finals in 1993, after advancing to and winning their first conference finals, Dionne gave Dave Taylor a congratulatory call.

The former Centre Civique arena in Drummondville was renamed Centre Marcel Dionne in his honour after his retirement.

Dionne's younger brother Gilbert also played in the NHL and won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. Gilbert is Marcel's junior by nineteen years.

Prior to the start of the 1993–94 season, Dionne helped to create local interest in the ECHL's newest franchise, the South Carolina Stingrays. With the help of some young players, Dionne gave an on-ice demonstration of the rules of hockey to the southern audience.[11]

Dionne currently resides in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and owns Marcel Dionne Enterprises. He is an occasional member of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team despite never playing, or living there as a player. He is also a Royal Ambassador for the Kings organization.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1967–68 Drummondville Rangers QJHL 48 34 35 69 45 10 14 7 21 4
1967–68 Drummondville Rangers M-Cup 4 9 4 13 5
1968–69 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA 48 37 63 100 38 18 15 20 35 8
1969–70 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA 54 55 77 132 46 10 12 20 32 10
1970–71 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA 46 62 81 143 20 15 29 26 55 11
1971–72 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 28 49 77 14
1972–73 Detroit Red Wings NHL 77 40 50 90 21
1973–74 Detroit Red Wings NHL 74 24 54 78 10
1974–75 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 47 74 121 14
1975–76 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 40 54 94 38 9 6 1 7 0
1976–77 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 53 69 122 12 9 5 9 14 2
1977–78 Los Angeles Kings NHL 70 36 43 79 37 2 0 0 0 0
1978–79 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 59 71 130 30 2 0 1 1 0
1979–80 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 53 84 137 32 4 0 3 3 4
1980–81 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 58 77 135 70 4 1 3 4 7
1981–82 Los Angeles Kings NHL 78 50 67 117 50 10 7 4 11 0
1982–83 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 56 51 107 22
1983–84 Los Angeles Kings NHL 66 39 53 92 28
1984–85 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 46 80 126 46 3 1 2 3 2
1985–86 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 36 58 94 42
1986–87 Los Angeles Kings NHL 67 24 50 74 54
1986–87 New York Rangers NHL 14 4 6 10 6 6 1 1 2 2
1987–88 New York Rangers NHL 67 31 34 65 54
1988–89 New York Rangers NHL 37 7 16 23 20
1988–89 Denver Rangers IHL 9 0 13 13 0
NHL totals 1,348 731 1,040 1,771 600 49 21 24 45 17


Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
1976 Canada CC 1 5 6 4
1978 Canada WC 10 9 3 12 2
1979 Canada WC 7 2 1 3 4
1981 Canada CC 6 4 1 5 4
1983 Canada WC 10 6 3 9 2
1986 Canada WC 10 4 4 8 8
Senior totals 50 26 17 43 24


Awards and honours[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "100 Greatest NHL Players". National Hockey League. January 27, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  3. ^ "Quebec Fans Pelt St. Catharines Club". Calgary Herald. May 10, 1971. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
  4. ^ "St. Kitts' Choice: Play Or Forfeit". Calgary Herald. May 13, 1971. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
  5. ^ Ralph Slate. "Top 25 OHL Career Scorers". Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Triple Crown, Ted Mahovlich, ISBN 978-0-00-639134-0
  7. ^ " – NHL Hockey – Say It Ain't So: Los Angeles Kings – Tuesday February 27, 2001 06:14 PM". CNN.
  8. ^ Canada's Stamp Details, January to March 2004, Volume XIII, No. 1
  9. ^ "Best of WNY Royal Resident Marcel Dionne".
  10. ^ Shoalts, David (February 21, 2004). "Dionne keeps his edge after NHL career - The Globe and Mail". The Globe and Mail.
  11. ^ Scott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. p. 70. ISBN 1-894974-21-2.
  12. ^ Triple Crown, Ted Mahovlich, p.209, ISBN 978-0-00-639134-0

External links[edit]

Preceded by Detroit Red Wings first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Larry Johnston
rotating captaincy ends
Detroit Red Wings captain
Succeeded by
Preceded by Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
Succeeded by
Preceded by Winner of the Art Ross Trophy
Succeeded by