Marcel Dionne

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This article is about the NHL player. For the Quebec politician, see Marcel Dionne (politician).
Marcel Dionne
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1992
Marcel Dionne 1987.JPG
Dionne in 1987
Born (1951-08-03) August 3, 1951 (age 64)
Drummondville, QC, CAN
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

Marcel Elphège "Little Beaver" Dionne (born August 3, 1951) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey centre who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. Marcel Dionne was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992.

Junior career[edit]

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,[1] the fifth game was played at a neutral site, and the remainder of the series was not played due to fears of further violence.[2]

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.[3] 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]

Dionne playing for the New York Rangers in 1987

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 and became their franchise player. At the time, it was the richest deal in hockey history.[4]

During his time with the Los Angeles Kings, he played eleven and one-half seasons and formed the famed "Triple Crown Line", centering 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 1976–82 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.

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.

New York Rangers[edit]

He played his remaining two and a half seasons there, where the Rangers lost in the first round of the playoffs and missed the next two. He retired in 1989.[5] One consolation was that he would finally have Guy Lafleur as his teammate to mark the beginning of the 1988–89 NHL season.


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.[6]


Dionne on Gordie Howe Night at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, BC.

During his 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.

His best season was 1979–80 when he had 137 points. That season, he was tied for the league lead in points with Wayne Gretzky. Dionne was awarded the Art Ross Trophy for scoring two more goals than Gretzky. (Interestingly, from 1969 to 2001, Dionne and Bryan Trottier were the only single-time winners of the scoring title, while Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, Guy Lafleur, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Jaromir Jagr had won it on multiple occasions.) 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 was the third of six men to reach the 700-goal plateau, and currently ranks fourth among all-time goal scorers, with 731. He is ranked fifth in points, with 1771. He is ninth 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).

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.[4] 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 fourteen 100+ point seasons and Mario Lemieux's ten 100+ point seasons.

Marcel 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.[7]

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
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
OHA totals 148 154 221 375 104 43 56 66 122 29
NHL totals 1,348 731 1,040 1,771 600 49 21 24 45 17


Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
1972 Team Canada SS 0 0 0 0 0
1976 Team Canada CC 7 1 5 6 4
1978 Team Canada WC 10 9 3 12 2
1979 Team Canada WC 7 2 1 3 4
1981 Team Canada CC 6 4 1 5 4
1983 Team Canada WC 10 6 3 9 2
1986 Team Canada WC 10 4 4 8 8
International totals 50 26 17 43 24





Trade history[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Quebec Fans Pelt St. Catharines Club". Calgary Herald. May 10, 1971. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "St. Kitts' Choice: Play Or Forfeit". Calgary Herald. May 13, 1971. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Ralph Slate. "Top 25 OHL Career Scorers". Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Triple Crown, Ted Mahovlich, ISBN 978-0-00-639134-0
  5. ^ " – NHL Hockey – Say It Ain't So: Los Angeles Kings – Tuesday February 27, 2001 06:14 PM". CNN. 
  6. ^ Canada's Stamp Details, January to March 2004, Volume XIII, No. 1
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Triple Crown, Ted Mahovlich, p.209, ISBN 978-0-00-639134-0
  9. ^ Triple Crown, Ted Mahovlich, p.208, ISBN 978-0-00-639134-0

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Serge Lajeunesse
Detroit Red Wings first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Terry Richardson
Preceded by
Rotating captains ends
Larry Johnston
Detroit Red Wings captain
Succeeded by
Danny Grant
Preceded by
John Bucyk
Jean Ratelle
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
Succeeded by
Jean Ratelle
Butch Goring
Preceded by
Bryan Trottier
Winner of the Art Ross Trophy
Succeeded by
Wayne Gretzky