Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Mick Vukota
There is no confusing the fact that, throughout his career, Mick Vukota has been an enforcer. He learned at an early age that his size and toughness could be used to carve out a niche for himself. It wasn't a particular surprise that he went undrafted even though he led the Western Hockey League in penalty minutes in 1986-87.

It was the New York Islanders that signed Vukota as a free agent on March 2, 1987. The expectation for him was simple: get the puck out, move it ahead, dump it in, remember to finish checks and, most of all, be prepared to fight. Nothing else was required.

In 1987-88, he appeared in his first National Hockey League game and, in that season, scored his first goal--his sole point on the campaign. More importantly, he recorded 82 minutes in penalties to go with the 375 he had accumulated in the American Hockey League.

He got his first suspension in 1991 by getting his third game misconduct of the season. He sat out his automatic one game before returning to action. His second suspension came as a result of a playoff game incident. In the April 5, 1990 game against the Rangers, Vukota pummeled Jeff Bloemberg with two seconds to go in the game. The league barred him from playing the next four playoff games and first six games of the regular season.

A third suspension resulted in 1994 when he left the Islander bench to join an on-ice incident. His penalty for this incident? Ten games. By this time, Vukota had claimed the Islander career record for penalty minutes.

In 1996-97 Vukota found himself in an unusual situation. The Islanders had reassigned him to the Utah Grizzles and he took the puck, skated to center, dumped the puck in, and then headed to the bench. His teammates couldn't believe that he had passed up a 3-on-2 rush and told him so. Vukota laughed, "Really? So that's what that looks like."

Mick Vukota bounced around after that with the 1997-98 season split between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens. He returned to the Utah Grizzles for the next two terms.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1983-84 North Battleford North Stars SJHL
1983-84 Winnipeg Warriors WHL 3 1 1 2 10
1984-85 Kelowna Wings WHL 66 10 6 16 247 6 0 0 0 56
1985-86 Spokane Chiefs WHL 64 19 14 33 369 9 6 4 10 68
1986-87 Spokane Chiefs WHL 61 25 28 53 337 4 0 0 0 40
1987-88 New York Islanders NHL 17 1 0 1 82 +1 2 0 0 0 23
1987-88 Springfield Indians AHL 52 7 9 16 375
1988-89 New York Islanders NHL 48 2 2 4 237 -17
1988-89 Springfield Indians AHL 3 1 0 1 33
1989-90 New York Islanders NHL 76 4 8 12 290 +10 1 0 0 0 17
1990-91 New York Islanders NHL 60 2 4 6 238 -13
1990-91 Capital District Islanders AHL 2 0 0 0 9
1991-92 New York Islanders NHL 74 0 6 6 293 -6
1992-93 New York Islanders NHL 74 2 5 7 216 +3 15 0 0 0 16
1993-94 New York Islanders NHL 72 3 1 4 237 -5 4 0 0 0 17
1994-95 New York Islanders NHL 40 0 2 2 109 +1
1995-96 New York Islanders NHL 32 1 1 2 106 -3
1996-97 New York Islanders NHL 17 1 0 1 71 -2
1996-97 Utah Grizzlies IHL 43 11 11 22 185 7 1 2 3 20
1997-98 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 42 1 0 1 116 0
1997-98 Montreal Canadiens NHL 22 0 0 0 76 -4 1 0 0 0 0
1998-99 Utah Grizzlies IHL 48 8 7 15 226 +8
1999-00 Utah Grizzlies IHL 71 6 15 21 249 +5 4 0 0 0 2
NHL Totals 574 17 29 46 2071 23 0 0 0 73


Signed as a free agent by NY Islanders, March 2, 1987. Claimed by Tampa Bay from NY Islanders in NHL Waiver Draft, September 28, 1997. Traded to Montreal by Tampa Bay with Patrick Poulin and Igor Ulanov for Stephane Richer, Darcy Tucker and David Wilkie, January 15, 1998.
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