Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Dale McCourt
Centre Dale McCourt was expected to be an NHL superstar after an outstanding amateur career. He ended up having a reasonably productive seven-year NHL career and also excelled in Europe.

The native of Falconbridge, Ontario was a junior superstar in the OHA with three different clubs. During each of his last three years as an amateur, he scored at least 50 goals. McCourt also represented Canada at the 1977 World Junior Championships where he was tournament all-star and led the Hamilton Fincups to the Memorial Cup in 1976. He also won the Stafford Smythe Memorial trophy as Memorial Cup MVP in 1976, was named the Canadian Major Junior player-of-the-year in 1977, and placed on the OHA first all-star team both years.

After being the first overall pick at the 1977 Amateur Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, McCourt impressed with 33 goals. His creativity on a line with Paul Woods and Bill Lochead as well as the power play helped the club reach the playoffs for the first time since 1970. Following this rosy first season, the young forward's energy was taxed during a nasty court battle when he refused to report to the L.A. Kings after being awarded as compensation for Detroit's signing of goalie Rogie Vachon. The matter was resolved and McCourt remained in Detroit but his play never progressed after his solid rookie year.

McCourt was a solid point producer for Detroit but the team never built on its success in 1977-78. The club's absence in the post-season enabled the clever pivot to represent Canada at the 1979 and 1981 World Championships. After recording a career-high 86 points in 1980-81, McCourt's market value was fairly high on the trade market. Early in the 1981-82 season, he and teammate Mike Foligno were the keys to a multi-player deal with the Buffalo Sabres.

The enigmatic centre was placed on a line with Tony McKegney and Alan Haworth but he struggled to gain the confidence of coach Scotty Bowman. He scored three goals when the Sabres came within a game of reaching the semi-finals in 1983 but was released the following October. McCourt was signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs and scored 19 goals during the team's failed bid to make the playoffs. In 1984-85, he played his first of seven years with Ambri Piotta of Switzerland. Along the way, McCourt topped the 40-goal mark twice and helped the team earn promotion to the Elite Division before retiring in 1991.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1972-73 Welland Sabres ON-Jr.A 34 35 28 63 39
1972-73 Sudbury Wolves OHA-Jr. 26 6 11 17 0 4 0 1 1 0
1973-74 Hamilton Red Wings OHA-Jr. 69 20 38 58 45
1974-75 Hamilton Fincups OMJHL 69 52 74 126 57 17 10 17 27 0
1975-76 Hamilton Fincups OMJHL 66 55 84 139 19 14 20 8 28 12
1975-76 Hamilton Fincups M-Cup 3 0 4 4 2
1976-77 St. Catharines Fincups OMJHL 66 60 79 139 26 14 7 13 20 6
1976-77 Canada WJC-A 7 10 8 18 14
1977-78 Detroit Red Wings NHL 76 33 39 72 10 +10 7 4 2 6 2
1978-79 Detroit Red Wings NHL 79 28 43 71 14 -27
1978-79 Canada WEC-A 7 0 1 1 6
1979-80 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 30 51 81 12 +1
1980-81 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 30 56 86 50 -17
1980-81 Canada WEC-A 4 1 0 1 2
1981-82 Detroit Red Wings NHL 26 13 14 27 6 -3
1981-82 Buffalo Sabres NHL 52 20 22 42 12 -1 4 2 3 5 0
1982-83 Buffalo Sabres NHL 62 20 32 52 10 -12 10 3 2 5 4
1983-84 Buffalo Sabres NHL 5 1 3 4 0 -2
1983-84 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 72 19 24 43 10 -16
1984-85 HC Ambri-Piotta Swiss-2 26 22 14 36 14 12 11 23
1985-86 HC Ambri-Piotta Swiss 35 41 15 56
1986-87 HC Ambri-Piotta Swiss 35 25 28 53 3 5 2 7
1987-88 HC Ambri-Piotta Swiss 35 33 22 55 4 6 6 12
1988-89 HC Ambri-Piotta Swiss 38 42 24 66 6 1 4 5
1989-90 HC Ambri-Piotta Swiss 38 18 26 44 2 0 0 0 0
1990-91 HC Ambri-Piotta Swiss 35 10 12 22
1991-92 HC Ambri-Piotta Swiss 5 4 1 5 2
NHL Totals 532 194 284 478 124 21 9 7 16 6


OMJHL First All-Star Team (1976, 1977)
Memorial Cup All-Star Team (1976)
Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy (Memorial Cup - MVP) (1976)
WJC-A All-Star Team (1977)
Named Best Forward at WJC-A (1977)
OMJHL MVP (1977)
Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year (1977)
Rights transferred to Los Angeles by Detroit as compensation for Detroit's signing of free agent Rogie Vachon, August 8, 1978. McCourt remained property of Detroit pending result of litigation hearing. Rights traded to Detroit by Los Angeles for Andre St. Laurent and Detroit's 1st round choices in 1980 (Larry Murphy) and 1981 (Doug Smith) Entry Drafts, August 22, 1979. Traded to Buffalo by Detroit with Mike Foligno and Brent Peterson for Danny Gare, Jim Schoenfeld and Derek Smith, December 2, 1981. Signed as a free agent by Toronto, October 22, 1983.