Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Bob Carpenter
Before Bobby Carpenter, NHL scouts never attended high school games in the United States. After Bobby Carpenter, they all did.

He grew up in Peabody, Massachusetts, a stones throw from the Boston Garden, and his neighbours in town numbered Gerry Cheevers and Bobby Orr. Number Four got to know Carpenter's father, Bob, and agreed to advise the youngster as his career evolved. In school Carpenter's grades were good enough to get him into any university he wanted, but by his final year he knew that what he really wanted was to play in the NHL.

The Hartford Whalers had made public that they would select him with their first pick in the 1981 draft, fourth overall, and Carpenter was looking forward to playing near home. But the night before the draft, Washington made a trade with Colorado, selecting third, and on the big day it was the Capitals, not Whalers that selected him.

Furious, Carpenter, left the Montreal Forum where the draft was running its course, and this was this first of many public relations gaffes that were to dog his career. Carpenter eventually signed with Washington and became the first player to go right from U.S. high school to the NHL, scoring 32 goals as a rookie and setting a record for American-born players when he scored 53 in his fourth year, 84-85. The pervious record had been 41 by Joe Mullen.

He became a staple on America's international teams, though the results were not impressive at the 1981 World Juniors, 1984 and 1987 Canada Cups, or 1987 Worlds. In the summer of 1985 he signed a huge four-year contract with Washington, but within a year he had a falling out with coach Bryan Murray. He left the team and forced a trade, to the Rangers, but within weeks his welcome had run out and he was sent to Los Angeles in a deal that brought Marcel Dionne to Broadway. It was his third team in one season, and even that stay didn't last long.

Carpenter played with Boston, Washington again, and New Jersey (where he won his only Stanley Cup) before retiring, never scoring more than 25 goals in any one year after his big season. A superb career fizzled quickly, and he retired with none of the cockiness he had been known for as a young prospect.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1979-80 St. John's Prep Eagles High-MA 33 28 37 65
1980-81 St. John's Prep Eagles High-MA 18 14 24 38
1980-81 United States WJC-A 5 5 4 9 6
1981-82 Washington Capitals DN-Cup 4 4 0 4 0
1981-82 Washington Capitals NHL 80 32 35 67 69 -23
1982-83 Washington Capitals NHL 80 32 37 69 64 0 4 1 0 1 2
1983-84 Washington Capitals NHL 80 28 40 68 51 0 8 2 1 3 25
1984-85 United States Can-Cup 6 1 4 5 4
1984-85 Washington Capitals NHL 80 53 42 95 87 +20 5 1 4 5 8
1985-86 Washington Capitals NHL 80 27 29 56 105 -12 9 5 4 9 12
1986-87 Washington Capitals NHL 22 5 7 12 21 -7
1986-87 New York Rangers NHL 28 2 8 10 20 -12
1986-87 Los Angeles Kings NHL 10 2 3 5 6 -8 5 1 2 3 2
1986-87 United States WEC-A 10 2 2 4 8
1987-88 United States Can-Cup 5 1 2 3 4
1987-88 Los Angeles Kings NHL 71 19 33 52 84 -21 5 1 1 2 0
1988-89 Los Angeles Kings NHL 39 11 15 26 16 +3
1988-89 Boston Bruins NHL 18 5 9 14 10 +4 8 1 1 2 4
1989-90 Boston Bruins NHL 80 25 31 56 97 -3 21 4 6 10 39
1990-91 Boston Bruins NHL 29 8 8 16 22 +2 1 0 1 1 2
1991-92 Boston Bruins NHL 60 25 23 48 46 -3 8 0 1 1 6
1992-93 Washington Capitals NHL 68 11 17 28 65 -16 6 1 4 5 6
1993-94 New Jersey Devils NHL 76 10 23 33 51 +7 20 1 7 8 20
1994-95 New Jersey Devils NHL 41 5 11 16 19 -1 17 1 4 5 6
1995-96 New Jersey Devils NHL 52 5 5 10 14 -10
1996-97 New Jersey Devils NHL 62 4 15 19 14 +6 10 1 2 3 2
1997-98 New Jersey Devils NHL 66 9 9 18 22 -4 6 1 0 1 0
1998-99 New Jersey Devils NHL 56 2 8 10 36 -3 7 0 0 0 2
NHL Totals 1178 320 408 728 919 140 21 38 59 136


Played in NHL All-Star Game (1985) Traded to NY Rangers by Washington with Washington's 2nd round choice (Jason Prosofsky) in 1989 Entry Draft for Bob Crawford, Kelly Miller and Mike Ridley, January 1, 1987. Traded to Los Angeles by NY Rangers with Tom Laidlaw for Jeff Crossman, Marcel Dionne and Los Angeles' 3rd round choice (later traded to Minnesota - Minnesota selected Murray Garbutt) in 1989 Entry Draft, March 10, 1987. Traded to Boston by Los Angeles for Steve Kasper to complete transaction that sent Jay Miller to Los Angeles (January 22, 1989), January 23, 1989.
Missed majority of 1990-91 due to kneecap injury vs. Montreal, December 8, 1990. Signed as a free agent by Washington, June 30, 1992. Signed as a free agent by New Jersey, September 30, 1993.
Officially announced retirement, August 16, 1999.