Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Ken Linseman
Following a standout junior career with the Kingston Canadiens, Ken Linseman he attempted to sign as an under-aged player with the Birmingham Bulls of the WHA in 1977. The effort exploded into a full-blown legal conundrum that was eventually settled only when Linseman and his family successfully secured a restraining order against the WHA thus lifting the ban on his aim to join the Bulls.

In Birmingham, he got his first opportunity to show the world of professional hockey just what kind of player he could be. He was a scrappy, grinding, shifty centreman who could score, check, kill penalties, and irritate opponents with a mastery rarely ever seen. He also had blinking-quick speed on his skates and a mouth like Don Rickles to boot. He once noted that, in light of his style of play, he'd have felt embarrassed to win the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play.

Linseman joined the Flyers' organization in 1978-79. After half a season with the Maine Mariners of the AHL, he stepped up to the NHL plate for the remainder of his pro career. In Philly, he soon became a leading scorer and agitator with the club. As such, he was thought to be the logical successor to Bobby Clarke as a team leader. It was Clarke in fact who christened Linseman as "The Rat," not because of his chippy play, but because he tended to lean forward like a rat when he skated.

Over his four seasons with the club, he spent most of his time skating on the "Rat Patrol" line with Paul Holmgren and Brian Propp. As time went on, he began to fall out of favour with the club. He attained a reputation for stirring up trouble that he rarely ever finished. His welcome finally wore down to the bare threads as a result of his incessant string of penalties that hurt team objectives.

In 1982, his rights were traded to the Hartford Whalers who in turn shuttled him on to Edmonton on the same day. With the Oilers, Linseman skated on a line with Glenn Anderson and Mark Messier. The trio, along with the rest of the squad, clicked in a big way, dethroning the New York Islanders as reigning league champs in 1984.

The following year, Linseman was traded to Boston where he put in more than five seasons of his trademark Linseman hockey - scoring points, playing solid defense, and pestering the opposition to distraction.

By 1989-90, however, his game began to lose some steam. He was traded back to the Flyers for a short spell and then put in a single-season return engagement with the Oilers. His final NHL stop came with the Leafs where he played only two games in 1991. He then went overseas to play a handful of games in Italy before hanging up his blades in 1992.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1974-75 Kingston Canadians OMJHL 59 19 28 47 70 8 2 5 7 8
1975-76 Kingston Canadians OMJHL 65 61 51 112 92 7 5 0 5 18
1976-77 Kingston Canadians OMJHL 63 53 74 127 210 10 9 12 21 54
1977-78 Birmingham Bulls WHA 71 38 38 76 126 5 2 2 4 15
1978-79 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 30 5 20 25 23 +16 8 2 6 8 22
1978-79 Maine Mariners AHL 38 17 22 39 106
1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 80 22 57 79 107 +26 17 4 18 22 40
1980-81 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 51 17 30 47 150 +9 12 4 16 20 67
1981-82 Canada Can-Cup 4 0 1 1 4
1981-82 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 79 24 68 92 275 +6 4 1 2 3 6
1982-83 Edmonton Oilers NHL 72 33 42 75 181 +16 16 6 8 14 22
1983-84 Edmonton Oilers NHL 72 18 49 67 119 +30 19 10 4 14 65
1984-85 Boston Bruins NHL 74 25 49 74 126 +22 5 4 6 10 8
1985-86 Boston Bruins NHL 64 23 58 81 97 +15 3 0 1 1 17
1986-87 Boston Bruins NHL 64 15 34 49 126 +15 4 1 1 2 22
1987-88 Boston Bruins NHL 77 29 45 74 167 +36 23 11 14 25 56
1988-89 Boston Bruins NHL 78 27 45 72 164 +15
1989-90 Boston Bruins NHL 32 6 16 22 66 +12
1989-90 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 29 5 9 14 30 -7
1990-91 Edmonton Oilers NHL 56 7 29 36 94 +15 2 0 1 1 0
1991-92 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 2 0 0 0 2 -2
1991-92 HC Asiago Italy 5 3 3 6 4 7 3 4 7 47
NHL Totals 860 256 551 807 1727 113 43 77 120 325


OMJHL Second All-Star Team (1977) Traded to Hartford by Philadelphia with Greg Adams and Philadelphia's 1st (David Jensen) and 3rd (Leif Karlsson) round choices in 1983 Entry Draft for Mark Howe and Hartford's 3rd round choice (Derrick Smith) in 1983 Entry Draft, August 19, 1982. Traded to Edmonton by Harford with Dan Nachbaur for Risto Siltanen and the rights to Brent Loney, August 19, 1982. Traded to Boston by Edmonton for Mike Krushelnyski, June 21, 1984. Traded to Philadelphia by Boston for Dave Poulin, January 16, 1990. Signed as a free agent by Edmonton, August 31, 1990. Traded to Toronto by Edmonton for cash, October 7, 1991.