Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Rich Preston
Rich Preston played one season of junior hockey with the Regina Pats of the SJHL before heading south to attend the University of Denver. There, he excelled as an offensively productive forward for four seasons, graduating in 1974.

As property of the Chicago Blackhawks, Preston was promptly informed that he'd be starting out his pro career in Texas with their minor-league affiliate in Dallas. He and Terry Ruskowski did head to the Lone Star State, but not to join the Hawks. Instead, they jumped to the WHA's Houston Aeros where the prospect of playing with Gordie Howe looked more rewarding than toiling in the minors.

So Preston launched a successful four-year stint in Houston where he developed into an outstanding two-way player who, as he put himself, was a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. At least, until he joined the Winnipeg Jets for the WHA's final season in 1978-79. During the playoffs, Preston was stellar, being voted as the MVP of the tournament. His Jets won the last Avco Cup ever awarded.

After weathering a contractual dispute between the Blackhawks and Jets as the two leagues merged, Preston landed on his blades in the Windy City, thanks in part to his friendship with Keith Magnuson and Cliff Koroll from their University of Denver days.

In his first season, Preston leapt from the starting gate, corralling 31 goals and 30 assists -- his best single-season NHL result. In all, he put in five solid years with the Hawks before jumping to the New Jersey Devils for two seasons.

In 1986-87, he re-signed as a free agent with the Hawks where he played 77 games and then retired.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1969-70 Regina Pats SJHL 36 15 15 30 4
1970-71 University of Denver WCHA 17 0 1 1 0
1971-72 University of Denver WCHA 33 3 11 14 18
1972-73 University of Denver WCHA 39 23 25 48 24
1973-74 University of Denver WCHA 38 20 25 45 36
1974-75 Houston Aeros WHA 78 20 21 41 10 13 1 6 7 6
1975-76 Houston Aeros WHA 77 22 33 55 33 17 4 6 10 8
1976-77 Houston Aeros WHA 80 38 41 79 54 11 3 5 8 10
1977-78 Houston Aeros WHA 73 25 25 50 52
1978-79 Winnipeg Jets WHA 80 28 32 60 88 10 8 5 13 15
1979-80 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 80 31 30 61 70 +16 7 0 3 3 2
1980-81 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 47 7 14 21 24 -15 3 0 1 1 0
1981-82 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 75 15 28 43 30 0 15 2 4 6 21
1982-83 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 79 25 28 53 64 +14 13 2 7 9 25
1983-84 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 75 10 18 28 50 -21 5 0 1 1 4
1984-85 New Jersey Devils NHL 75 12 15 27 26 -24
1985-86 New Jersey Devils NHL 76 19 22 41 65 +3
1986-87 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 73 8 9 17 19 -8 4 0 2 2 4
1987-1991
1991-1995 Chicago Blackhawks NHLMGNT
1995-1997 Regina Pats WHL
1997-2000 Calgary Flames NHLMGNT
NHL Totals 580 127 164 291 348 47 4 18 22 56


Playoff MVP Trophy - WHA (1979) Selected by Houston (WHA) in 1973 WHA Professional Player Draft, June, 1973. Traded to Winnipeg (WHA) by Houston (WHA) for cash, July 6, 1978. Claimed by Chicago from Winnipeg in Expansion Draft, June 13, 1979. Traded to New Jersey by Chicago with Don Dietrich and Chicago's 2nd round pick (Eric Weinrich) in 1985 NHL Draft for Bob MacMillan and New Jersey's 5th round pick (Rick Herbert) in 1985 NHL Draft, June 19, 1984. Signed as a free agent by Chicago, July 14, 1986.
Named Assistant Coach of San Jose, June 25, 2000.
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