Mike Peluso (ice hockey, born 1965)
November 8, 1965 |
Pengilly, Minnesota, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||225 lb (102 kg; 16 st 1 lb)|
|Played for||Chicago Blackhawks
New Jersey Devils
St. Louis Blues
|NHL Draft||190th overall, 1984
New Jersey Devils
Michael David Peluso (born November 8, 1965), is an American former professional ice hockey player. Peluso was known primarily as an enforcer throughout his National Hockey League (NHL) career. Peluso played in the NHL from 1990 until 1998. He is currently a scout for the Edmonton Oilers based in Minnesota.
Mike Peluso, known as a slick defenseman when drafted in 1985 by the New Jersey Devils, played for the University of Alaska Anchorage until 1989 rather than signing a professional contract with the NHL club. He signed as a free agent for the Chicago Blackhawks in 1989, and started his National Hockey League career in 1990.
Upon joining the Hawks, he was switched to forward and encouraged to fight in order to stay in the lineup. He fought Basil McRae of the Minnesota North Stars in his first NHL game and recorded 728 penalty minutes in his first two years in Chicago. With 408 of these coming in 63 games during the 1991–92 NHL season, Peluso became one of only 4 players in NHL history, and the most recent, to have accumulated 400 PIM or more in a single season.
He spent parts of three years in Chicago before going to the new Ottawa Senators as the 21st pick in the 1992 NHL Expansion Draft. During his only season in Ottawa, he set the club record for penalty minutes (318), but was allowed to play a more offensive role, scoring 15 goals along with 10 assists. Nevertheless, on June 26, 1993, he was traded to the New Jersey Devils to complete an earlier transaction that sent Craig Billington, Troy Mallette and Cosmo Dupaul, New Jersey's 4th round choice in 1993 Entry Draft, to Ottawa.
As in Ottawa, Peluso's gritty, hard-nosed and intimidating style made him something of a cult hero in New Jersey. He was an integral part of the infamous "Crash Line" with Randy McKay and Bobby Holík, a fourth-line combination whose energy and timely goal-scoring helped the Devils win their first of three Stanley Cups in 1995.