Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- John Barrett
John, like older brother Fred, was stricken with the injury bug. Though he didn’t have the variety or scope of his sibling’s breaks and strains, John’s problem proved to be career-ending. With four seconds to go in a lopsided win over Vancouver in 1987, Barrett, a hard-hitting defender with the Washington Capitals, had a harmless-looking shot hit him in the left leg. The puck found its way between his pads and broke his kneec zap.

He worked hard to recover and, one day before he was scheduled to return to the ice, underwent a stress test to prove his readiness. During the workout he heard a snap — the kneecap was broken again. Part of the joint was removed but Barrett, at age 29, was unable to convince the Capitals — or the Minnesota North Stars after a trade — that he could continue in the NHL.

Strangely, the player Barrett was traded with from Detroit to Washington, Greg Smith, also broke his kneecap shortly after joining the Capitals. He was out of the league in less than two seasons as well.

Defenceman Barrett had been drafted by Detroit in 1978 and after a year and a half of seasoning in the minors was in the Red Wings lineup on a regular basis in 1980-81. He was a mainstay on the blueline for most of six years before going to the Capitals and played one final game, with Minnesota in 1988.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1975-76 Gloucester Rangers ON-Jr.A
1976-77 Windsor Spitfires OMJHL 63 7 17 24 168 9 1 1 2 12
1977-78 Windsor Spitfires OMJHL 67 8 18 26 133 6 2 1 3 30
1978-79 Milwaukee Admirals IHL 42 8 13 21 117
1978-79 Kalamazoo Wings IHL 31 1 12 13 54 15 2 11 13 48
1979-80 Kalamazoo Wings IHL 52 8 33 41 63
1979-80 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 28 0 4 4 59 5 1 2 3 6
1980-81 Detroit Red Wings NHL 56 3 10 13 60 -21
1980-81 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 21 4 11 15 63
1981-82 Detroit Red Wings NHL 69 1 12 13 93 -31
1982-83 Detroit Red Wings NHL 79 4 10 14 74 -18
1983-84 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 2 8 10 78 0 4 0 0 0 4
1984-85 Detroit Red Wings NHL 71 6 19 25 117 -15 3 0 1 1 11
1985-86 Detroit Red Wings NHL 65 2 12 14 125 -29
1985-86 Washington Capitals NHL 14 0 3 3 12 +3 9 2 1 3 35
1986-87 Washington Capitals NHL 55 2 2 4 43 -16
1987-88 Binghamton Whalers AHL 5 0 2 2 6
1987-88 Minnesota North Stars NHL 1 0 1 1 2 -3
1987-88 Kalamazoo Wings IHL 2 0 1 1 2
NHL Totals 488 20 77 97 604 16 2 2 4 50


Brother of Fred Traded to Washington by Detroit with Greg Smith for Darren Veitch, March 10, 1986.
Suffered eventual career-ending knee injury in game vs. Vancouver, January 20, 1987. Traded to Minnesota by Washington for future considerations, February 22, 1988.