Mike Eaves

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Mike Eaves
Born (1956-06-10) June 10, 1956 (age 59)
Denver, CO, USA
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Right
Played for Minnesota North Stars
Calgary Flames
National team  United States
NHL Draft 113th overall, 1976
St. Louis Blues
Playing career 1978–1986

Michael Gordon Eaves (born June 10, 1956) is a Canadian American former NHL player and the current head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers Men's Ice Hockey team. Eaves appeared in 324 NHL regular season games between 1978 and 1985, and has coached since 1985. His father, Cecil Eaves, is a former Denver University ice hockey and football player who became a professor and hockey coach at Ohio State and the University of Windsor. Eaves is also the father of current Dallas Stars forward Patrick Eaves and current SM-Liiga Jokerit forward Ben Eaves and brother of former NHL player Murray Eaves.

Playing career[edit]


Eaves grew up in Ontario where he played junior hockey for the Nepean Raiders.

From 1974 to 1978 he played for the University of Wisconsin–Madison hockey team, where he was a two-time All-American and a member of Coach Bob Johnson's 1977 NCAA championship team. Eaves remains the Badgers' all-time leading career scorer with 267 points (94 goals, 173 assists) in 160 games.[1] He was also a member of the United States national team at the 1976 and 1978 Ice Hockey World Championship tournaments.

He was selected 113th overall in the 1976 NHL Entry Draft by St. Louis, who traded his rights to the Cleveland Barons for Len Frig in 1977. Eaves ended up on the Minnesota North Stars roster after the Barons and North Stars were merged in 1978.

NHL years[edit]

Eaves turned professional following the 1977–78 season, initially joining the CHL Oklahoma City Stars, and also played 3 games with the North Stars during the year. The following year he moved up to be an NHL regular for 56 games. He then played three more consecutive seasons with Minnesota (he was also a member of Team USA at the 1981 Canada Cup tournament), before being dealt to the Calgary Flames with Keith Hanson for Steve Christoff. Chronically injury prone, Eaves played for the Flames from 1983 to 1985, deciding to end his career at the age of 28 after sustaining a head injury at the hands of Quebec Nordiques defenseman Pat Price. Eaves was appointed to an assistant coach position with the Flames, joining Bob Johnson, his former head coach at the University of Wisconsin, behind the bench.

However, in the midst of the 1986 Stanley Cup playoffs Flames forward Carey Wilson sustained an injury, forcing him out of the lineup. Eaves was persuaded to end his retirement in order to shore up the Flames' player roster. With his family's permission he rejoined the Flames, playing 8 of their final 11 games in the playoffs. After the Flames lost in the Stanley Cup finals he ended his playing career permanently.

Coaching career[edit]

Eaves took a head coaching position at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire in 1986, a position he held for one season. The following season he was an assistant coach with St. Cloud State University. He joined the Philadelphia Flyers as an assistant coach in 1988, and was named head coach of the Flyers' American Hockey League affiliate Hershey Bears in 1990. He held the position for three years until the 1993–94 season, when he rejoined the Flyers as an assistant coach.

He took the head coach position at HIFK in the Finnish SM-liiga in 1996 and coached there for the following season. He quit and joined the Pittsburgh Penguins as an assistant coach from 1997 to 2000. The following year he was named head coach of the United States National Junior Team. In the 2002–2003 season Eaves joined his old college team, the Wisconsin Badgers, as their head coach. His first season at UW was full of hardship and controversy, including one of the worst records in the modern era. He had a physical confrontation with Alex Leavitt in November 2002 that led to the University reprimanding Eaves, and Leavitt suing Eaves and the University.[2] The suit was settled by paying Leavitt the value of his lost scholarship, $55,000. However, in 2003–2004, Eaves brought the Badgers just short of the Frozen Four, falling in overtime to Maine. Eaves was also the head coach of the United States men's national junior ice hockey team which won the 2004 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.

Eaves has gradually improved the Badger's skill level, conditioning, and teamwork. After the Badgers had a disappointing finish to the 2004–2005 season, the Badgers returned to national prominence by winning the 2006 NCAA championship by winning the Frozen Four held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After the NCAA season, Eaves was named head coach of the US national team for the 2006 IIHF World Championship in Riga, Latvia.[3] Eaves' 2010 squad returned to the Frozen Four, Wisconsin's 11th Frozen Four appearance, losing in a bid for the Badgers' seventh NCAA title. The 2014-15 season was the worst season in team history. They finished the season with a record of 4-26-5, setting schools records for fewest wins and most losses in a season.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM
1973–74 Nepean Raiders CJHL 54 54 48 102
1974–75 University of Wisconsin–Madison WCHA 38 17 37 54 12
1975–76 University of Wisconsin–Madison WCHA 34 18 25 43 22
1976–77 University of Wisconsin–Madison WCHA 45 28 53 81 18
1977–78 University of Wisconsin–Madison WCHA 43 31 58 89 16
1978–79 Oklahoma City Stars CHL 68 26 61 87 21
1978–79 Minnesota North Stars NHL 3 0 0 0 0
1979–80 Oklahoma City Stars CHL 12 9 8 17 2
1979–80 Minnesota North Stars NHL 56 18 28 46 11
1980–81 Minnesota North Stars NHL 48 10 24 34 18
1981–82 Minnesota North Stars NHL 25 11 10 21 0
1982–83 Minnesota North Stars NHL 75 16 16 32 21
1983–84 Calgary Flames NHL 61 14 36 50 20
1984–85 Calgary Flames NHL 56 14 29 43 10
1985–86 Calgary Flames NHL
NHL totals 324 83 143 226 80


Season Team League GP G A P PIM
1979–80 Minnesota North Stars NHL 15 5 2 7 4
1982–83 Minnesota North Stars NHL 9 0 0 0 0
1983–84 Calgary Flames NHL 11 4 4 8 2
1985–86 Calgary Flames NHL 8 1 1 2 8
NHL Totals 43 7 10 17 14

Awards and honors[edit]

Award Year
AHCA West All-American 1975–76
All-WCHA Second Team 1976–77
AHCA West All-American 1976–77
All-WCHA First Team 1977–78
AHCA West All-American 1977–78


  1. ^ "2009–10 Wisconsin Men's Hockey Fact Book" (PDF). Grfx.cstv.com. Retrieved 2015-07-26. 
  2. ^ "Home At Last After A Tough First Season, Mike Eaves Has The Badgers Back On Top – And Might Have Found His Dream Job In The Process. : Sports". Host.madison.com. 2006-01-08. Retrieved 2015-07-26. 
  3. ^ "Eaves to Coach U.S. at World Championships". College Hockey News. 2006-04-12. Retrieved 2015-07-26. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Brian Walsh
WCHA Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Mark Johnson
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Hannu Kapanen
Head Coach of HIFK
Succeeded by
Erkka Westerlund