Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- John Van Boxmeer
In 1972 a young Montreal Canadiens prospect, John Van Boxmeer, received a call from his lawyer and agent, Alan Eagleson. Eagleson told him that Team Canada, then in training for their now famous 1972 series with the Russians, needed a junior defenseman after Jacques Laperriere withdrew from the team. Van Boxmeer jumped at the chance to train with players like Esposito, Mahovlick and Cournoyer. He didn't play in the series but he did get exposed to the best players of that era and what it took to play with them.

Unfortunately, Van Boxmeer found that the club which had drafted him could barely use his talents. The Canadiens, at the beginning of their four Stanley Cup run, were deeply stocked with players of equal or greater talent. His choices were to accept limited playing time with the parent club, go to the minors or request a trade. Van Boxmeer approached Scotty Bowman and asked to be dealt. The Canadiens sent him to the Colorado Rockies.

It was from the Rockies that Scotty Bowman acquired Van Boxmeer for the Buffalo Sabres in 1979. Bowman was now with the Sabres and recalled how he had reluctantly moved Van Boxmeer three seasons earlier. The Sabres need the two-way flexibility the defenseman provided. Van Boxmeer responded with a +40 season and help the Sabres climb to first place in their division.

Van Boxmeer played three more seasons with the Sabres. In the 1981-82 season he scored nearly a point-a-game, with a +20 Plus/Minus statistic. He was made expendable in 1983 by a recently drafted rookie named Phil Housley. "Boxy" played 18 more games with the Quebec Nordiques and some matches in the American Hockey League before retiring as a player.

John Van Boxmeer continues to be employed in professional hockey. He has served as a coach and, more recently, in the management of a minor league team.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1970-71 Petrolia Jr. Cees ON-Jr.C
1971-72 Guelph CMCs ON-Jr.A 56 30 42 72 160
1972-73 Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL 76 5 29 34 139 13 1 6 7 26
1973-74 Montreal Canadiens NHL 20 1 4 5 18 -3 1 0 0 0 0
1973-74 Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL 47 8 20 28 78
1974-75 Montreal Canadiens NHL 9 0 2 2 0 -1
1974-75 Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL 43 4 15 19 68 6 1 3 4 9
1975-76 Montreal Canadiens NHL 46 6 11 17 31 +17
1976-77 Montreal Canadiens NHL 4 0 1 1 0 +1
1976-77 Colorado Rockies NHL 41 2 11 13 32 -20
1977-78 Colorado Rockies NHL 80 12 42 54 87 -12 2 0 1 1 2
1978-79 Colorado Rockies NHL 76 9 34 43 46 -26
1979-80 Buffalo Sabres NHL 80 11 40 51 55 +40 14 3 5 8 12
1980-81 Buffalo Sabres NHL 80 18 51 69 69 -2 8 1 8 9 7
1981-82 Buffalo Sabres NHL 69 14 54 68 62 +20 4 0 1 1 6
1981-82 Canada WEC-A 8 2 0 2 8
1982-83 Buffalo Sabres NHL 65 6 21 27 53 +7 9 1 0 1 10
1983-84 Quebec Nordiques NHL 18 5 3 8 12 -1
1983-84 Fredericton Express AHL 45 10 34 44 48 7 2 5 7 8
1984-85 Rochester Americans AHL 2 0 0 0 2
1985-1995 Rochester Americans AHL
1995-2000 Long Beach Ice Dogs IHL
NHL Totals 588 84 274 358 465 38 5 15 20 37


OJHL First All-Star Team (1972) Traded to Colorado by Montreal for Colorado's 3rd round choice (Craig Levie) in 1979 Entry Draft and cash, November 24, 1976. Traded to Buffalo by Colorado for Rene Robert, October 5, 1979. Claimed by Quebec from Buffalo in Waiver Draft, October 3, 1983.