Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Mike Rogers
As a smallish player in any league, Mike Rogers always faced a gauntlet thrown in his path that said, "Prove it". At times, he himself experienced doubts about his own ability to achieve success. But then he'd observe his talent in action and feed upon its momentum to blow the top off anyone's expectations.

He played his junior hockey with the Calgary Centennials of the WCJHL from 1971 to 1974. During most of that time he skated with future NHLer Danny Gare. Together, they burned out goal-light bulbs with their offensive exploits.

But as would always be the case, Rogers' size became a factor in the NHL Draft of 1974. With the "Broad Street Bullies" in full force, teams were looking for big tough players to hold their own in a league gone wild. As such, Rogers had to sit tight until the Vancouver Canucks picked him up in the 4th round.

But the promise of immediate ice time with the WHA's Edmonton Oilers lured Rogers away from the NHL. He skated for the club for just over a season and a half until he was dealt to the New England Whalers. In New England, he found a real home. His numbers began to increase on the strength of his emerging confidence and skill. His success was based on his quick skating, good shot, which he could release off-stride, and his ability to dart and spin into the corners against bigger wingers while emerging with the puck. Of course, having Gordie and Mark Howe on his line helped as well.

In 1979, New England joined the NHL and became the Hartford Whalers. In the process, Rogers expected to be claimed by the Canucks who still held his rights. But GM Harry Neale committed the error of his career by not claiming the feisty little spark plug. So Rogers remained a Whaler, but to his surprise, was offered only a two-way contract.

Again he found himself faced with the usual doubts about his size. To make it at the NHL level, he'd have to prove himself again. This time he got some help by centering a line with Pat Boutette and Blaine Stoughton. The trio, known as "The Stash-Dash-Bash Line" clicked as Rogers soared to the upper echelon of league scoring with 105 points during both of his two NHL campaigns with Hartford.

But in 1981, the Whalers went shopping for more defenseman, using Rogers as collateral. He was sent to the New York Rangers in exchange for Kris Kotsopoulos and Doug Sulliman.

In the Big Apple, he continued to be a solid offensive performer, netting at least 60 points, and usually more, each year. His career sailed along until the start of the 1985-86 campaign. After only nine games with the Rangers he was sent to the AHL to toil for the New Haven Nighthawks. Shortly thereafter he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers where he played briefly before heading back to the AHL with the Nova Scotia Oilers where he finished the year. In 1986-87, Rogers played one season with Ambri-Piota in Switzerland and then hung up his blades for good.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1971-72 Calgary Centennials WCJHL 66 27 30 57 19 13 2 4 6 2
1972-73 Calgary Centennials WCJHL 67 54 58 112 44 6 8 5 13 2
1973-74 Calgary Centennials WCJHL 66 67 73 140 32 14 13 16 29 6
1974-75 Edmonton Oilers WHA 78 35 48 83 2
1975-76 Edmonton Oilers WHA 44 12 15 27 10
1975-76 New England Whalers WHA 36 18 14 32 10 17 5 8 13 2
1976-77 New England Whalers WHA 78 25 57 82 10 5 1 1 2 2
1977-78 New England Whalers WHA 80 28 43 71 46 14 5 6 11 8
1978-79 New England Whalers WHA 80 27 45 72 31 10 2 6 8 2
1979-80 Hartford Whalers NHL 80 44 61 105 10 +29 3 0 3 3 0
1980-81 Hartford Whalers NHL 80 40 65 105 32 -22
1980-81 Canada WEC-A 6 0 1 1 4
1981-82 New York Rangers NHL 80 38 65 103 43 +2 9 1 6 7 2
1982-83 New York Rangers NHL 71 29 47 76 28 -10 1 0 0 0 0
1983-84 New York Rangers NHL 78 23 38 61 45 -24 1 0 0 0 0
1984-85 New York Rangers NHL 78 26 38 64 24 -25 3 0 4 4 4
1985-86 New York Rangers NHL 9 1 3 4 2 +2
1985-86 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 20 9 15 24 28
1985-86 Edmonton Oilers NHL 8 1 0 1 0 -2
1985-86 Nova Scotia Oilers AHL 33 15 28 43 14
1986-87 HC Ambri-Piotta Swiss 36 19 18 37
NHL Totals 484 202 317 519 184 17 1 13 14 6


Paul Deneau Trophy (WHA - Most Gentlemanly Player) (1975) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1981) Selected by Edmonton (WHA) in 1974 WHA Amateur Draft, May, 1974. Traded to New England (WHA) by Edmonton (WHA) with future considerations for Wayne Carleton, January, 1976. Rights retained by Hartford prior to Expansion Draft, June 9, 1979. Traded to NY Rangers by Hartford with Hartford's 10th round pick (Simo Saarinen) in 1982 NHL Draft for Chris Kotsopoulos, Gerry McDonald and Doug Sulliman, October 2, 1981. Traded to Edmonton by NY Rangers for Larry Melnyk and Todd Strueby, December 20, 1985.
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