Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Mike Peluso
Mike Peluso's life in hockey is a tale of two distinctly different careers.

A product of Minnesota's youth hockey programs, he was characterized as a slick defenseman in what was, at the time, the top NCAA hockey division with the University of Anchorage from 1985-1989. Peluso was an offensive defensman who set school records for points scored and had plenty of size to clear creases at the other end of the rink.

His potential was identified before he ever got to university, having been drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 1984. But Peluso opted to secure his education before turning pro. As such, he didn't join the NHL until he signed as a free agent with Chicago in 1989-90.

After joining the Hawks' organization, their bright prospect was given a complete makeover. He was bumped up to left wing and handed a role as an enforcer with their minor-league affiliate in Indianapolis of the IHL. With his prodigious size and adroit fists, Peluso had little difficulty fulfilling his new position as the team's gunslinger.

Starting in 1991, he spent most of his time with the Hawks where he continued to fight for a living. In his third and final season in Chicago he led the NHL with 408 penalty minutes accentuated by a small handful of points scored between bouts.

Peluso almost escaped his destiny as a team pugilist in 1992-93 when the Ottawa Senators picked him up in the Expansion Draft. They set him loose in an offensive role although his old habits died hard. He scored a career-high 15 goals, but just couldn't say no to opposition toughs.

Lasting only one year as a Senators forward, Peluso was traded to the New Jersey Devils where he got his named etched on a Stanley Cup in 1995. He lasted with the club until 1996 when he was dispatched to St. Louis for a brief spell before ending his career with Calgary in 1997-98.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1983-84 Greenway Raiders High-MN 12 5 15 20 30
1984-85 Stratford Cullitons ON-Jr.B 40 10 35 45 114
1985-86 U. of Alaska-Anchorage GWHC 32 2 11 13 59
1986-87 U. of Alaska-Anchorage GWHC 30 5 21 26 68
1987-88 U. of Alaska-Anchorage GWHC 35 4 33 37 76
1988-89 U. of Alaska-Anchorage GWHC 33 10 27 37 75
1989-90 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 2 0 0 0 15 0
1989-90 Indianapolis Ice IHL 75 7 10 17 279 14 0 1 1 58
1990-91 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 53 6 1 7 320 -3 3 0 0 0 2
1990-91 Indianapolis Ice IHL 6 2 1 3 21 5 0 2 2 40
1991-92 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 63 6 3 9 408 +1 17 1 2 3 8
1991-92 Indianapolis Ice IHL 4 0 1 1 15
1992-93 Ottawa Senators NHL 81 15 10 25 318 -35
1993-94 New Jersey Devils NHL 69 4 16 20 238 +19 17 1 0 1 64
1994-95 New Jersey Devils NHL 46 2 9 11 167 +5 20 1 2 3 8
1995-96 New Jersey Devils NHL 57 3 8 11 146 +4
1996-97 New Jersey Devils NHL 20 0 2 2 68 0
1996-97 St. Louis Blues NHL 44 2 3 5 158 0 5 0 0 0 25
1997-98 Calgary Flames NHL 23 0 0 0 113 -6
NHL Totals 458 38 52 90 1951 62 3 4 7 107


Signed as a free agent by Chicago, September 7, 1989. Claimed by Ottawa frozm Chicago in Expansion Draft, June 18, 1992. Traded to New Jersey by Ottawa to complete transaction that sent Craig Billington, Troy Mallette and New Jersey's 4th round choice (Cosmo Dupaul) in 1993 Entry Draft to Ottawa (June 20, 1993), June 26, 1993. Traded to St. Louis by New Jersey with Ricard Persson for Ken Sutton and St. Louis' 2nd round choice (Brett Clouthier) in 1999 Entry Draft, November 26, 1996. Transferred to NY Rangers from St. Louis as compensation for St. Louis' signing of Larry Pleau as head coach, June 21, 1997. Claimed by Calgary from NY Rangers in NHL Waiver Draft, September 28, 1997.
Suffered eventual career-ending neck injury vs. Phoenix, December 22, 1997.
Officially announced retirement, December 30, 1997.