Jerry "King Kong" Korab was an imposing mix of brute force and offensive smarts during his career as an NHL defenceman with four different teams. His 6'3" 220 lb. frame allowed him to stand up to any of the league's rough players while his heavy shot was a handful from the point and useful when clearing his own zone.
The native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario played two years with the Chicago-sponsored St. Catharines Black Hawks of the OHA. He played two seasons of minor pro in the IHL and WHL before suited up for the Hawks as a rookie in 1970-71. Chicago had plenty of offense from the blueline so Korab was asked to keep the front of his own net clear. He did a fairly decent job and helped the team reach the Stanley Cup final in 1971. He continued to play the same role for the next two seasons but did jump up to score 12 goals in 1972-73 and help the team reach its second final in three years.
In May 1973, Korab and backup netminder Gary Smith were sent to the Vancouver Canucks for Dale Tallon. His stay on the West Coast lasted only 31 games before he was shipped to the Buffalo Sabres for John Gould and Tracy Pratt. This proved to be the most beneficial move of Korab's career as he blossomed into an effective defenceman on one of the best young teams in the league.
Korab played physically on defence while getting a chance to rush with the puck and shoot more from the point. He hit double figures in goals four times and helped the Sabres reach their first Stanley Cup final in 1975. He was picked to play in the 1975 and 1976 NHL All-Star Games and was a popular figure at the Memorial Auditorium.
The burly defender's time in Buffalo ended when he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for a first round draft choice that was used to claim offensive defenceman Phil Housley. Korab spent over three years with the offensive-minded Kings and helped the team to a dramatic playoff upset of the powerful Edmonton Oilers in 1982. In 1983 he retired but two months into the season he was offered a chance to make a comeback in Buffalo.
Korab added experience to the Buffalo defence in the last 48 games of the season and three playoff matches before he was released. The next year an offer came from the Minnesota North Stars but Buffalo coach Scotty Bowman wouldn't let him pass through waivers and claimed him for 25 games. Korab finally retired at the end of that season with 455 career points and worked a year in the Sabres' public relations department.