Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Mel Bridgman
A scrappy centre who could be effective at both ends of the ice, Mel Bridgman played just under 1,000 games in a solid NHL career. A model of consistency, he reached the 20-goal mark six times and was often at his best in big games or the post-season.

Bridgman averaged nearly two points a game for the Nanaimo Islanders of the BCJHL in 1972-73. This was followed by two exemplary seasons with the WCJHL's Victoria Cougars. In 1974-75, the hard-nosed pivot led the league with 157 points and represented Canada at the World Junior Championships. Shortly after the season ended the was the first player taken at the 1975 Amateur Draft when the Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers called his name.

Bridgman scored 23 goals as a rookie centring Terry Crisp and Bob "Mad Dog" Kelly. He also contributed 14 points as the Flyers reached the Stanley Cup finals where their attempt to "threepeat" fell short against the Montreal Canadiens. Bridgman spent over six years in Philly including the 1979-80 season when they reached the final and set an NHL record by going undefeated in 35 consecutive games. He also succeeded Bobby Clarke as the team's captain that same year.

In November 1981, Bridgman was traded to the Calgary Flames for defenceman Brad Marsh. He scored 75 points in 63 games for his new club but they were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Vancouver Canucks. The next year Bridgman provided gritty leadership and nine power play goals but the Flames faltered in the first round once again.

Prior to the 1983-84 season, Bridgman joined the New Jersey Devils where he registered three straight 20-goal seasons and added a winning attitude to the young club. He became the club's captain and filled that role until 1987. Late in the 1986-87, he was acquired by the Detroit Red Wings as they prepared for the playoffs. Bridgman was a good fit for Jacques Demers' hard-working club which reached the semi-finals. The next year he played on a checking line with a number of wingers as the Wings reached the last four for the second straight year. Bridgman signed as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks then retired after playing 15 games in 1988-89. He served as the first GM of the expansion Ottawa Senators in 1992-93.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1971-72 Victoria Racquet Club Minor-BC
1971-72 Victoria Cougars WCJHL 4 0 0 0 0
1972-73 Nanaimo Clippers BCJHL 49 37 50 87 31
1972-73 Victoria Cougars WCJHL 4 1 1 2 0
1973-74 Victoria Cougars WCJHL 62 26 39 65 149
1974-75 Victoria Cougars WCJHL 66 66 91 157 175 12 12 6 18 34
1974-75 Canada WJC-A 5 4 1 5 9
1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 80 23 27 50 86 +22 16 6 8 14 31
1976-77 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 70 19 38 57 120 +35 7 1 0 1 8
1977-78 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 76 16 32 48 203 +26 12 1 7 8 36
1978-79 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 76 24 35 59 184 +14 8 1 2 3 17
1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 74 16 31 47 136 +13 19 2 9 11 70
1980-81 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 77 14 37 51 195 +28 12 2 4 6 39
1981-82 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 9 7 5 12 47 0
1981-82 Calgary Flames NHL 63 26 49 75 94 +16 3 2 0 2 14
1982-83 Calgary Flames NHL 79 19 31 50 103 -1 9 3 4 7 33
1983-84 New Jersey Devils NHL 79 23 38 61 121 -27
1984-85 New Jersey Devils NHL 80 22 39 61 105 -16
1985-86 New Jersey Devils NHL 78 23 40 63 80 -1
1986-87 New Jersey Devils NHL 51 8 31 39 80 -8
1986-87 Detroit Red Wings NHL 13 2 2 4 19 +1 16 5 2 7 28
1987-88 Detroit Red Wings NHL 57 6 11 17 42 +4 16 4 1 5 12
1987-88 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 2 1 2 3 0
1988-89 HC Sierre Swiss-2
1988-89 Vancouver Canucks NHL 15 4 3 7 10 -4 7 1 2 3 10
NHL Totals 977 252 449 701 1625 125 28 39 67 298


WCJHL First All-Star Team (1975) Traded to Calgary by Philadelphia for Brad Marsh, November 11, 1981. Traded to New Jersey by Calgary with Phil Russell for Steve Tambellini and Joel Quenneville, June 20, 1983. Traded to Detroit by New Jersey for Chris Cichocki and Detroit's 3rd round choice (later traded to Buffalo - Buffalo selected Andrew MacVicar) in 1987 Entry Draft, March 9, 1987. Signed as a free agent by Vancouver, October 4, 1988.