Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Robbie Ftorek
Robbie Ftorek was a skilled forward who made his presence felt in the NHL, WHA, and internationally. Although he was only 155 lbs., the crafty forward was lightning quick and able to avoid many hits during his career. He entered the 2001-02 season as the new head coach of the Boston Bruins.

The native of Needham, Massachusetts, spent a year with the Halifax Junior Canadians of the Nova Scotia junior league before signing up with the U.S. national team. In 1972 he represented his country when they won a silver medal at the Sapporo Olympics. A few weeks later he competed at the World Championships "B" Pool and was selected to the tournament all-star team.

The talented forward was signed by the Detroit Red Wings and played a handful of games in 1972-73 and 1973-74. He spent most of his first two pro seasons with the AHL's Virginia Wings. Always a bit of a free spirit, Ftorek decided to pursue his pro dreams in the World Hockey Association. He was an offensive force for three years on the Phoenix Roadrunners then two seasons with the Cincinnati Stingers. Along the way Ftorek won the Gary Davidson trophy as the league's most valuable player in 1977 and was selected to the league's first and second all-star teams twice each. He also scored five points in five games for the USA at the inaugural Canada Cup in 1976.

Ftorek signed with the Quebec Nordiques as they were about to join the NHL in 1979-80. He was a solid offensive performer for two seasons in La Belle Province then suited up for the U.S. at the 1981 Canada Cup. After a slow start in 1980-81, Ftorek was traded to the New York Rangers and scored 32 points in 30 games then helped the Rangers reach the second round of the playoffs. The tricky forward was a major asset when the Blueshirts extended the Stanley Cup champion Islanders to six games in the quarterfinals. Ftorek remained a solid role player in New York until the end of the 1984-85 season.

After playing briefly with the AHL's New Haven Nighthawks, Ftorek retired early in the 1985-86 season. He eventually returned to the NHL in 1987-88 as the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings and was on hand when Wayne Gretzky joined the team in 1988-89. Ftorek then joined the New Jersey Devils organization as coach of their Albany River Rats club in the AHL. He led the team to the Calder Cup in 1995 and was named the AHL's top coach that year as well as in 1996. He was then promoted to the assistant coaching position in New Jersey and later took over the head reigns from 1998 to late in the 2000 season. After nine seasons in the Devils organization, Ftorek coached parts of two seasons with the Boston Bruins before being relieved of his duties in the latter stages of the 2002-03 season.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1968-69 Needham Hilltoppers High-MA 18 38 36 74
1969-70 Needham Hilltoppers High-MA 23 54 64 118
1970-71 Halifax Atlantics MJrHL 28 23 37 60 34 12 15 9 24 18
1971-72 United States Nat-Tm 51 25 47 72 36
1971-72 United States Olympics 6 0 2 2 0
1971-72 United States WEC-B 6 7 3 10
1972-73 Detroit Red Wings NHL 3 0 0 0 0 0
1972-73 Virginia Wings AHL 55 17 42 59 36 5 2 2 4 4
1973-74 Detroit Red Wings NHL 12 2 5 7 4 +1
1973-74 Virginia Wings AHL 65 24 42 66 37
1974-75 Tulsa Oilers CHL 11 6 10 16 14
1974-75 Phoenix Roadrunners WHA 53 31 37 68 29 5 2 5 7 2
1975-76 Phoenix Roadrunners WHA 80 41 72 113 109 5 1 3 4 2
1976-77 United States Can-Cup 5 3 2 5 16
1976-77 Phoenix Roadrunners WHA 80 46 71 117 86
1977-78 Cincinnati Stingers WHA 80 59 50 109 54
1978-79 Cincinnati Stingers WHA 80 39 77 116 87 3 3 2 5 6
1979-80 Quebec Nordiques NHL 52 18 33 51 28 +6
1980-81 Quebec Nordiques NHL 78 24 49 73 104 -19 5 1 2 3 17
1981-82 United States Can-Cup 4 0 0 0 0
1981-82 Quebec Nordiques NHL 19 1 8 9 4 -2
1981-82 New York Rangers NHL 30 8 24 32 24 +8 10 7 4 11 11
1982-83 New York Rangers NHL 61 12 19 31 41 +11 4 1 0 1 0
1983-84 New York Rangers NHL 31 3 2 5 22 +2
1983-84 Tulsa Oilers CHL 25 11 11 22 10 9 4 5 9 2
1984-85 New York Rangers NHL 48 9 10 19 35 -7
1984-85 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 17 9 7 16 30
1985-86 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 1 0 0 0 0
NHL Totals 334 77 150 227 262 19 9 6 15 28


WEC-B All-Star Team (1972)
WHA Second All-Star Team (1976, 1978)
WHA First All-Star Team (1977, 1979)
Gordie Howe Trophy (Most Valuable Player - WHA) (1977)
Selected by New England (WHA) in 1972 WHA General Player Draft, February 13, 1972. Signed as a free agent by Detroit, August 15, 1972. WHA rights traded to Phoenix (WHA) by New England (WHA) for cash, June, 1974. Signed as a free agent by Cincinnati (WHA) after Phoenix (WHA) franchise folded, May 30, 1977. Signed as a free agent by Quebec, August 13, 1979. Traded to NY Rangers by Quebec with Quebec's 8th round choice (Brian Glynn) in 1982 Entry Draft for Jere Gillis and Dean Talafous (later changed to Pat Hickey (March 8, 1982) when Talafous decided to retire), December 30, 1981.