Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Rick Vaive
As an Ottawa native, Rick Vaive grew up with two stellar visions etched in his mind: play for the Leafs or Canadiens and win a Stanley Cup. Anything less would be great, but not the cigar he hoped to smoke.

Vaive launched his junior career as an offensive leviathan with the Sherbrooke Beavers of the QMJHL. After a stint with the Canadian National Junior team, he headed to the Southern U.S. to play for the Birmingham Bulls of the WHA. In his lone season as an 18-year-old "Baby Bull," he showed strong signs of becoming a power forward who corralled plenty of points and penalty minutes.

The Vancouver Canucks like what they saw and selected Vaive 5th overall in the Entry Draft. Then, after 47 games they decided that they didn't like him so much after all, sending him to the Leafs along with Bill Derlago in 1980.

Wearing the Blue and White, Vaive teamed up with his set-up man, Derlago, to give frustrated Leaf fans a little something to cheer about. Although his team was, for the most part, inept, Vaive used his booming slapshot to become the first Leaf in franchise history to score 50 goals in one season. He got 54 in 1981-82 followed by seasons of 51 and then 52. But for all of the personal adulation he received as a scoring ace, he admitted that his team's inability to win with consistency skimmed some of the magic off the top of his success. He once confided that he'd trade his 50-goal campaigns for a chance to hold Lord Stanley.

Vaive was rewarded for his strong play with the Leafs' captaincy, a post he held until his team launched another of its cyclical house cleanings, sending him along with Steve Thomas and Bob McGill to Chicago in 1987. There, Vaive continued his solid offensive production for a season and a half before being traded to the Buffalo Sabres where he completed his NHL service in 1992.

Since leaving the ice, he has worked as a minor-league coach in such diverse settings as Hamilton, Charleston, St. John, and Mississauga.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1975-76 Colonel Gray High School High-PE
1975-76 Charlottetown Islanders Cen-Cup
1976-77 Sherbrooke Castors QMJHL 68 51 59 110 93 18 10 13 23 78
1977-78 Sherbrooke Castors QMJHL 68 76 79 155 199 9 8 4 12 38
1977-78 Canada WJC-A 6 3 0 3 4
1978-79 Birmingham Bulls WHA 75 26 33 59 248
1979-80 Vancouver Canucks NHL 47 13 8 21 111 -12
1979-80 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 22 9 7 16 77 -4 3 1 0 1 11
1980-81 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 75 33 29 62 229 -16 3 1 0 1 4
1981-82 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 77 54 35 89 157 +12
1981-82 Canada WEC-A 9 3 1 4 12
1982-83 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 51 28 79 105 -13 4 2 5 7 6
1983-84 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 76 52 41 93 114 -12
1984-85 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 72 35 33 68 112 -26
1984-85 Canada WEC-A 10 6 2 8 16
1985-86 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 61 33 31 64 85 -19 9 6 2 8 9
1986-87 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 73 32 34 66 61 +12 13 4 2 6 23
1987-88 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 76 43 26 69 108 -20 5 6 2 8 38
1988-89 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 30 12 13 25 60 -5
1988-89 Buffalo Sabres NHL 28 19 13 32 64 +7 5 2 1 3 8
1989-90 Buffalo Sabres NHL 70 29 19 48 74 +9 6 4 2 6 6
1990-91 Buffalo Sabres NHL 71 25 27 52 74 +11 6 1 2 3 6
1991-92 Buffalo Sabres NHL 20 1 3 4 14 -2
1991-92 Rochester Americans AHL 12 4 9 13 4 16 4 4 8 10
1992-93 Hamilton Canucks AHL 38 16 15 31 34
1993-1998 South Carolina Stingrays ECHL
1998-2000 Saint John Flames AHL
2001-02 Dundas Real McCoys OHA-Sr. 5 2 2 4 24
2002-03 Dundas Real McCoys OHA-Sr. 9 6 5 11 34 4 2 3 5 6
NHL Totals 876 441 347 788 1445 54 27 16 43 111


QMJHL Rookie of the Year (1977) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1982, 1983, 1984) Signed as an underage free agent by Birmingham (WHA), May, 1978. Traded to Toronto by Vancouver with Bill Derlago for Tiger Williams and Jerry Butler, February 18, 1980. Traded to Chicago by Toronto with Steve Thomas and Bob McGill for Al Secord and Ed Olczyk, September 3, 1987. Traded to Buffalo by Chicago for Adam Creighton, December 26, 1988. Signed as a free agent by Vancouver, September 2, 1992.
Named Head Coach of Mississauga (OHL), July 20, 2000.