Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Wayne Merrick
As a junior with the Ottawa 67's from 1969 to 1972, Wayne Merrick played hockey in a manner most pleasing to the searching eyes and instincts of NHL scouts. He looked like such a complete package who could perform so effectively at both ends of the rink as well as in the middle.

He was selected 9th overall in the 1972 Amateur Draft by the St. Louis Blues. And, after a 22-game warm-up in the minors, he launched his NHL career, on a permanent basis, at the Checkerdome in St. Louis.

As a big-league centreman, Merrick simply took his junior game and brought it to the NHL level. The foundation of his balanced game rested on swift skating, determined defense, good playmaking skills, a deft shot, and a slightly conservative streak that had him turn up ice toward his own zone at the appearance of any turnovers.

Merrick lasted through parts of four seasons with the Blues before being dispatched to the California Golden Seals in late 1975. In Oakland, he continued to play his usual game through the end of the campaign and then joined his club as they folded and re-emerged as the Cleveland Barons.

In Cleveland, he performed steadily until early 1978. It was at that time that the rising New York Islanders secured his rights to add some much-needed size up the middle. With the Isles, Merrick stepped into a dream job on a line with John Tonelli on one side and Bob Nystrom on the other. As the club's third contingent, they were charged with shutting down the opposition's top scorers. But in the process, especially during the playoffs, the trio tended to shift their game into overdrive to score key goals.

As the club was in the process of securing four straight Stanley Cup victories between 1980 and 1983, Nystrom scored two overtime winners while Merrick scored an overtime Cup-winning goal to defeat the North Stars in 1981.

The crafty centreman lasted with the club until shortly after the Isles' Stanley Cup glory was stolen away by the Edmonton Oilers in 1984. Merrick packed it in for good at the end of the season.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1968-69 Sarnia Black Hawks Minor-ON
1969-70 Ottawa 67's OHA-Jr. 51 10 17 27 10 5 0 2 2 0
1970-71 Ottawa 67's OHA-Jr. 62 34 42 76 41 11 6 8 14 4
1971-72 Ottawa 67's OHA-Jr. 62 39 56 95 21 18 13 6 19 0
1972-73 St. Louis Blues NHL 50 10 11 21 10 -2 5 0 1 1 2
1972-73 Denver Spurs WHL 22 6 13 19 6
1973-74 St. Louis Blues NHL 64 20 23 43 32 -11
1974-75 St. Louis Blues NHL 76 28 37 65 57 +29 2 1 1 2 0
1975-76 St. Louis Blues NHL 19 7 8 15 0 0
1975-76 California Golden Seals NHL 56 25 27 52 36 -3
1976-77 Cleveland Barons NHL 80 18 38 56 25 -21
1976-77 Canada WEC-A 10 4 3 7 10
1977-78 Cleveland Barons NHL 18 2 5 7 8 -10
1977-78 New York Islanders NHL 37 10 14 24 8 +2 7 1 0 1 0
1978-79 New York Islanders NHL 75 20 21 41 24 +13 10 2 3 5 2
1979-80 New York Islanders NHL 70 13 22 35 16 +12 21 2 4 6 2
1980-81 New York Islanders NHL 71 16 15 31 30 +12 18 6 12 18 8
1981-82 New York Islanders NHL 68 12 27 39 20 +4 19 6 6 12 6
1982-83 New York Islanders NHL 59 4 12 16 27 -3 19 1 3 4 10
1983-84 New York Islanders NHL 31 6 5 11 10 +2 1 0 0 0 0
NHL Totals 774 191 265 456 303 102 19 30 49 30


Traded to California by St. Louis for Larry Patey and California's 3rd round pick (later traded back to California - California/Cleveland selected Reg Kerr) in 1977 Amateur Draft, November 24, 1975. Transferred to Cleveland after California franchise relocated, August 26, 1976. Traded to NY Islanders by Cleveland with Darcy Regier and Cleveland's 4th round pick (draft pick cancelled by the Cleveland-Minnesota merger) in 1978 Amateur Draft for J. P. Parise and Jean Potvin, January 10, 1978.
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