Esso Hockey since 1936Legends Of Hockey
Esso Hockey since 1936
Shutt, Steve

Shutt, Steve

Steve Shutt first gained attention as a scoring star with the North York Rangers of the tough Metropolitan Toronto Hockey League, but the powerful Toronto Marlboros weren't about to miss out on a local phenomenon like Shutt. He was quickly recruited and eventually formed one of the most potent lines in OHA history with Dave Gardner and Billy Harris. In three junior seasons, Shutt scored 144 goals and was one of the top prospects available in the 1972 Amateur Draft.

Habs general manager Sam Pollock used the same shrewd maneuvering that landed Guy Lafleur in 1971 to acquire the fourth choice in the 1972 draft. As luck would have it, Harris, Jacques Richard and Don Lever were claimed with the first three choices, leaving Shutt available to Montreal.

During his rookie season in 1972-73, Shutt played well on a deep club that went on to win the Stanley Cup. He continued to progress the following year before breaking out with 30 goals in 1974-75 while playing on a line with Pete Mahovlich and Guy Lafleur. The big center Mahovlich was deceptively quick, and Lafleur's natural speed and style tormented the opposition. This gave Shutt sufficient room to fly up and down his wing and release his patented shots. He was also used effectively as the point man on the powerplay since he was able to direct the puck along the ice at high speeds. The trio was so successful that Mahovlich set a Canadiens single-season record for a center with 117 points in 1974-75.

Shutt improved to 45 goals in 1975-76 and the Habs began a four-year Stanley Cup run. A few months later he helped his country win the inaugural Canada Cup. Shutt showcased a wide scoring arsenal - a superior wrist shot and slapshot, and cat-like reflexes that enabled him to tip shots from the point and pounce on rebounds.

In 1976-77, the fleet scorer was partnered with Jacques Lemaire and Guy Lafleur to form the top line in the NHL. Their offensive dominance helped Montreal post the greatest regular season in league history with an astonishing 60-8-12 record. That year Shutt led the NHL with 60 goals and in the process set a new league and team record for left wingers that remained the NHL standard until Luc Robitaille's 63-goal performance in 1992-93. Following the season, he was placed on the NHL's First All-Star Team.

The next year he helped Montreal win its third consecutive Cup by registering a personal best of nine goals and 17 points in the playoffs. Despite the end of the Habs Cup run, Shutt continued to shine. The team remained successful in the regular season and he was paired with the likes of Mark Napier, Doug Wickenheiser, John Chabot and Perry Turnbull. Early in the 1984-85 season, Shutt was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. He recorded 41 points in 59 games, but after 930 regular-season games, he'd had enough of the rigors of the NHL. Shutt retired with 424 goals and in 1993 was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Following his playing career, the effervescent Shutt worked as a television commentator. In 1993-94, he returned to Montreal as an assistant coach and worked there until the end of the 1996-97 season.

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