Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Ian Turnbull
Throughout his career in hockey, Ian Turnbull was a natural, rushing defenseman and puck-handler who knew what to do in the other guy's end of the rink. He started out in the youth hockey programs of Montreal where he quickly discovered that he was naturally better at the sport than most of the other kids around the neighborhood.

He continued being a superior performer right up the ranks to the junior level where he skated for the Montreal Junior Canadiens and, later, the Ottawa 67's of the OHA from 1969 to 1973. In his final year as an amateur, he skated with Islanders great Denis Potvin as the two prepared to make the jump to the NHL at the same time.

Turnbull was picked up by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1973 Amateur Draft. He and the stalwart Borje Salming were teamed together to form one of the more accomplished defensive pairings in the league. All was progressing according to plan until a second-year collision occurred between Turnbull and Blues' enforcer Bob Plager. Turnbull ended up tearing knee ligaments that severely limited his action during the 1974-75 campaign.

After a year of healing, he bounced back, establishing himself as a premiere offensively capable rearguard. In 1977, however, he slipped into a lengthy scoring drought. He waited until a match against the Detroit Red Wings on the night of February 2 to break free from his malaise. He became the first blueliner to score five goals in one game en route to a 9-1 pasting of the Wings. The record still stands today.

Turnbull remained as a Leaf mainstay until 1981-82 before being dealt to the Los Angeles Kings after only 12 games with the Leafs. Upon his arrival with the Kings, Turnbull played most of the season with the parent club before being demoted to the New Haven Knight Hawks of the AHL later in the season. He tried his hand with the Pittsburgh Penguins the following year but found that his interest in hockey had been supplanted by an eagerness to get a career in business underway. As a result, he hung up his blades in 1982.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1968-69 West Island Flyers MMJHL 25 6 17 23
1969-70 Montreal Jr. Canadiens OHA-Jr. 53 4 21 25 88 16 3 3 6 8
1969-70 Montreal Jr. Canadiens M-Cup 6 6 4 10 6
1970-71 Montreal Jr. Canadiens OHA-Jr. 59 17 45 62 85 11 3 8 11 6
1971-72 Montreal Jr. Canadiens OHA-Jr. 63 34 48 82 85
1972-73 Ottawa 67's OHA-Jr. 60 31 50 81 98 9 6 11 17 8
1973-74 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 8 27 35 74 +12 4 0 0 0 8
1974-75 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 22 6 7 13 44 -6 7 0 2 2 4
1974-75 Oklahoma City Blazers CHL 8 2 1 3 15
1975-76 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 76 20 36 56 90 +24 10 2 9 11 29
1976-77 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 22 57 79 84 +47 9 4 4 8 10
1977-78 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 77 14 47 61 77 +6 13 6 10 16 10
1978-79 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 12 51 63 80 -7 6 0 4 4 27
1979-80 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 75 11 28 39 90 -23 3 0 3 3 2
1980-81 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 19 47 66 104 -17 3 1 0 1 4
1981-82 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 12 0 2 2 8 -4
1981-82 Los Angeles Kings NHL 42 11 15 26 81 0
1981-82 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 13 1 7 8 4 3 0 0 0 0
1982-83 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 6 0 0 0 4 -3
1982-83 Baltimore Skipjacks AHL 13 3 8 11 10
NHL Totals 628 123 317 440 736 55 13 32 45 94


OMJHL Second All-Star Team (1972, 1973) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1977) Missed majority of 1974-75 due to knee injury vs. St. Louis, November 25, 1974. Traded to Los Angeles by Toronto for Billy Harris and John Gibson, November 11, 1981. Signed as a free agent by Pittsburgh, October 4, 1982.