WHL FAMILY MOURNS THE LOSS OF BRAD McCRIMMON
Calgary, AB – Ron Robison, Commissioner of the Western Hockey League, today released the following statement regarding the tragic passing of Brad McCrimmon:
"The Western Hockey League and Brandon Wheat Kings are devastated by the tragic loss of Brad McCrimmon and members of the KHL Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Hockey Club. Brad was not only one of the greatest players in WHL history, he was a great leader who had a major impact on every team he was associated with. Our thoughts and prayers along with our deepest sympathy are extended to Brad's wife Maureen and their children Carlin and Liam, the McCrimmon family, his friends and former teammates during this very difficult time."
Brad McCrimmon, a native of Dodsland, Saskatchewan, spent three seasons in the Western Hockey League with the Brandon Wheat Kings from 1976 to 1979. In 1979, McCrimmon helped lead the Wheat Kings to their first ever WHL Championship title and an appearance in the Memorial Cup where they lost in overtime to the Peterborough Petes in the Championship game.
Brad McCrimmon was selected 15th overall, by the Boston Bruins in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, a draft many now say was one of the greatest ever with McCrimmon selected among his teammates Laurie Boschman, Brian Propp, Ray Allison and the likes of Mike Gartner, Ray Bourque, Michel Goulet, Dale Hunter, and Kevin Lowe. McCrimmon jumped straight from the Brandon Wheat Kings into the Boston Bruins line-up for the 1979-80 NHL season. He spent three years with the Bruins before being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Pete Peeters deal. With the Flyers, McCrimmon continued his solid play, ending each of his five seasons in Philadelphia on the upside of the plus/minus scale.
Following the 1986-87 season, McCrimmon returned to Western Canada in a trade to the Calgary Flames. In his first season with the Flames, McCrimmon was the NHL's plus/minus leader with a +48 reading and was also chosen as an NHL second-team All-Star. The following season, 1988-89, McCrimmon helped lead the Flames to their first ever Stanley Cup Championship defeating the Montreal Canadiens, in the Montreal Forum, to capture the Holy Grail of professional hockey. McCrimmon continued to perform like a rock in the remainder of his NHL career for the Detroit Red Wings, Hartford Whalers and finally, the Phoenix Coyotes where he retired from on-ice duty in 1996-97. In McCrimmon's 18 year NHL career he appeared in 1222 games, collecting 403 points along with 1416 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 116 NHL playoff games scoring 29 points.
McCrimmon then jumped behind the bench as an Assistant Coach with the New York Islanders in 1997, before returning to Saskatchewan as Head Coach of the Saskatoon Blades from 1998 to 2000. He then spent the next 10 seasons in the NHL as an Assistant Coach for the Calgary Flames, Atlanta Thrashers and Detroit Red Wings.