Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Steve Atkinson
An evermore-promising career in Niagara Falls in junior was typical of many a flash in the pan NHLer, of which Atkinson is but one. He was drafted a lofty 6th overall in 1966 following four years with the Flyers that featured two Memorial Cups, one in 1965, the other in 68.

He played one game with Boston the next year, in 1968-69, but spent most of the next two years in the minors before being claimed by Buffalo in the Expansion Draft. Here was his chance to shine, but injuries--two concussions--led to lost confidence and run-ins with coach Joe Crozier.

In his four full seasons with the Sabres, his goal production diminished consistently--20...14...9...6--and Atkinson went to Washington with the newest team in the league again, the pitiful Capitals, in the Expansion Draft. GM Milt Schmidt called him a snail after one game, demoted him, and never saw him again in a Caps sweater.

He played a year with the Toronto Toros in the WHA and from there wound up in senior hockey in Brantford, ending his career in 1978.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1964-65 Niagara Falls Flyers OHA-Jr. 15 1 0 1 0
1964-65 Niagara Falls Flyers M-Cup 3 3 2 5 4
1965-66 Niagara Falls Flyers OHA-Jr. 39 8 7 15 12 6 5 2 7 2
1966-67 Niagara Falls Flyers OHA-Jr. 44 31 35 66 42 10 6 5 11 4
1967-68 Niagara Falls Flyers OHA-Jr. 50 37 36 73 61 19 14 10 24 15
1967-68 Niagara Falls Flyers M-Cup 10 7 9 16 2
1968-69 Boston Bruins NHL 1 0 0 0 0 -1
1968-69 Oklahoma City Blazers CHL 65 40 40 80 62 12 4 0 4 13
1969-70 Oklahoma City Blazers CHL 63 29 23 52 63
1970-71 Buffalo Sabres NHL 57 20 18 38 12 +1
1971-72 Buffalo Sabres NHL 67 14 10 24 26 -22
1972-73 Buffalo Sabres NHL 61 9 9 18 36 -5 1 0 0 0 0
1973-74 Buffalo Sabres NHL 70 6 10 16 22 +1
1974-75 Washington Capitals NHL 46 11 4 15 8 -26
1974-75 Richmond Robins AHL 22 11 18 29 6 7 1 4 5 15
1975-76 Toronto Toros WHA 52 2 6 8 22
1975-76 Buffalo Norsemen NAPro 37 30 31 61 38
1976-77 Brantford Alexanders OHA-Sr. 11 9 13 22 8
1976-77 Erie Blades NAPro 28 18 20 38 19
1977-78 Brantford Alexanders OHA-Sr. 33 15 28 43 4
NHL Totals 302 60 51 111 104 1 0 0 0 0


CHL First All-Star Team (1969)
Ken McKenzie Trophy (Rookie of the Year - CHL) (1969)
Traded to Boston by Detroit to complete transaction that sent Leo Boivin and Dean Prentice to Detroit (February 16, 1966), June 6, 1966. Sold to Hershey (AHL) by Boston for cash, June, 1970. Claimed by St. Louis from Hershey (AHL) in Intra-League Draft, June 9, 1970. Claimed on waivers by Buffalo from St. Louis, November 1, 1970. Selected by Dayton-Houston (WHA) in 1972 WHA General Player Draft, February 12, 1972. Claimed by Washington from Buffalo in Expansion Draft, June 12, 1974. WHA rights traded to Toronto (WHA) by Houston (WHA) for cash, September, 1975.