Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Brian MacLellan
Many children have begun skating and playing hockey before they've even begun attending school. Sadly, Brian MacLellan was not one of those children. While his friends were skating, MacLellan was in a leg brace, hampered by Legg Perthes disease, a condition that effects the hip joint. Doctors later recommended that hockey just might help the young MacLellan. The combination of exercise and the cool, moist arena air might improve the condition, doctors posited, so MacLellan joined a house league team in Guelph and began his hockey career--several years behind the progress of his friends.

MacLellan worked intensely on his game, and the hip never troubled him again. By the time he was playing high school hockey, he was a dominant player and had sprouted to a power forward's 6'3". Scouts from U.S. colleges were impressed, and after many offers, he chose to attend Ohio's Bowling Green University. During all four of his years at Bowling Green, MacLellan was chosen to the All-American team. Still, he was ignored in the NHL Entry Draft each year of his eligibility.

MacLellan was signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Kings in 1982, playing eight games that season. The next two years, on a line with Marcel Dionne, MacLellan scored 25 and 31 goals, respectively. But mid-way through his fourth season in L.A., MacLellan was traded with a draft choice to the New York Rangers for Grant Ledyard and Rollie Melanson in December 1985.

New York didn't work out for Brian MacLellan. Coach Ted Sator wanted MacLellan to use his size for a more aggressive game--something that MacLellan was uncomfortable doing. The Rangers' coaching staff gave up on the winger, and MacLellan was dealt to Minnesota for a third-round draft choice before training camp in 1986. The North Stars were able to tap MacLellan's potential, and he responded with an outstanding season in 1986-87, scoring 32 goals and adding 31 assists.

Although very comfortable in Minnesota, MacLellan was blessed with a little good fortune. With twelve games remaining in the 1988-89 season, he was traded to the Calgary Flames to shore up their playoff drive. It worked. Brian MacLellan and the Flames won the Stanley Cup that season. After two full seasons in Calgary, MacLellan was sent to the Detroit Red Wings during the summer of 1991, and he retired at the end of the 1991-92 season. For a young boy unable to join his friends at play, Brian MacLellan enjoyed a most remarkable career.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1978-79 Bowling Green University CCHA 44 34 29 63 94
1979-80 Bowling Green University CCHA 38 8 15 23 46
1980-81 Bowling Green University CCHA 37 11 14 25 96
1981-82 Bowling Green University CCHA 41 11 21 32 109
1982-83 Los Angeles Kings NHL 8 0 3 3 7 -5
1982-83 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 71 11 15 26 40 12 5 3 8 4
1983-84 Los Angeles Kings NHL 72 25 29 54 45 -21
1983-84 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 2 0 2 2 0
1984-85 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 31 54 85 53 +2 3 0 1 1 0
1984-85 Canada WEC-A 4 0 0 0 0
1985-86 Los Angeles Kings NHL 27 5 8 13 19 -13
1985-86 New York Rangers NHL 51 11 21 32 47 -20 16 2 4 6 15
1986-87 Minnesota North Stars NHL 76 32 31 63 69 -12
1987-88 Minnesota North Stars NHL 75 16 32 48 74 -44
1988-89 Minnesota North Stars NHL 60 16 23 39 104 0
1988-89 Calgary Flames NHL 12 2 3 5 14 +3 21 3 2 5 19
1989-90 Calgary Flames Fr-Tour 3 0 1 1 6
1989-90 Calgary Flames NHL 65 20 18 38 26 -3 6 0 2 2 8
1990-91 Calgary Flames NHL 57 13 14 27 55 +15 1 0 0 0 0
1991-92 Detroit Red Wings NHL 23 1 5 6 38 +4
NHL Totals 606 172 241 413 551 47 5 9 14 42


CCHA First All-Star Team (1982)
NCAA West First All-American Team (1982)
Signed as a free agent by Los Angeles, May 12, 1982. Traded to NY Rangers by Los Angeles with Los Angeles' 4th round choice (Mike Sullivan) in 1987 Entry Draft for Roland Melanson and Grant Ledyard, December 9, 1985. Traded to Minnesota by NY Rangers for Minnesota's 3rd round choice (Simon Gagne) in 1987 Entry Draft, September 8, 1986. Traded to Calgary by Minnesota with Minnesota's 4th round choice (Robert Reichel) in 1989 Entry Draft for Shane Churla and Perry Berezan, March 4, 1989. Traded to Detroit by Calgary for Marc Habscheid, June 11, 1991.