Thread: MLD 2011 Bios
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07-24-2011, 08:04 PM
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I'll take F Mike Krushelnyski

1x NHL All Star Game Participant
3x Stanley Cup Champion
13th in Goals in NHL, 1985
26th in Points in NHL, 1985
.6157 career adjusted PPG during 7 year peak

PK TOI Ranks in Boston, LA & TOR: 1, 2(barely behind Middleton), 3(behind Gilmour, undrafted), 3(behind Gretzky, Kasper), 4(behind Gretzky, Nicholls, Duguay), 4(behind Damphousse, undrafted, undrafted), 5(behind Gilmour, Zezel, undrafted, undrafted)

So, Krushelnyski was usually on the 1st or 2nd PK unit on every team he was on, except on a stacked Oilers team.

Mike grew up skating on frozen ponds in and around his hometown of Montreal. It was there that he learned the fundamentals of the game that led him to an NHL career of almost 900 games.

Mike was a big boy by the time he reached the NHL, playing at 6'2" and anywhere from 200 to 215 pounds. His long stride made up for his lack of natural speed. That compensation helped to make him one of the better skaters in the league. He had a powerful stride and good balance made him very agile for such a large player.

Mike also was very gifted with his hands. A good faceoff man, he was a good puckhandler who could dance the puck past a defenseman. He had good vision and anticipation and a long reach to aid him in his goal scoring pursuits.

Krushelnyski was originally drafted by Boston in the eighth round of the 1979 Entry Draft. He spent two years in the organization before he joined the Bruins full time in 1982-83. He scored 23 goals and 65 points in his rookie season and quickly became regarded as one of the best young players in hockey.

Mike slipped to 45 points in his following season. He did improve to 25 goals but otherwise he was considered to be a victim of the dreaded "sophomore jinx." Yet that didn't keep the Edmonton Oilers away. They offered speedy veteran Ken Linseman prior to the 1984-85 season and the Bruins jumped on the one-for-one swap.

In his first year with the Oilers, Krushelnyski enjoyed a banner season. He recorded career-highs in goals (43), assists (45) and points (88) and was third in the NHL with a plus-56 rating. He even played in the 1985 All-Star Game. He also helped the Oilers capture the Stanley Cup championship that year.

The Oilers had hoped Krushelnyski would be the guy who could play on the left side of Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri, a hole that was never really filled until Esa Tikkanen arrived in the late 1980s. "Krusher" was given as good a shot as anyone to play with #99 and #17, but as the season wore on it became more and more obvious that Mike wasn't the right guy on that line either. He spent most of the Stanley Cup playoffs on other units, particularly as a third line shutdown center.

"(Krushelnyski) has a lot of skill, in addition to his size and strength," said John Muckler, Glen Sather's co-coach. "But there are psychological problems involved in working with Gretzky. You have to do things on blind faith, assuming he'll get the puck to you, and that's hard to do. A lot of times, Krush was so astounded by what was happening that he'd fail to react. He couldn't believe the pass he'd just received so there'd be no shot at all."

As Mike's true value to the Oilers became obvious as a third line checker and grinder, his offensive numbers went down. He scored only 16 goals in each of the next two seasons, and 40 and 51 points respectively. He upped that to 20 goals and 47 points in 1987-88 - his final season in Edmonton.

Despite his lack of scoring "Special K" remained a solid contributor to the Oilers success as the Oilers won the Cup in both 1987 and 1988.

Prior to the 1988-89 campaign, Krushelnyski was part of the biggest trades in NHL history. On August 9, 1988, he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings with Gretzky and Marty McSorley for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, and Los Angeles first-round choices in 1989, 1991 and 1993.

Krushelnyski played parts of three seasons with the Kings before he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1990-91 season in exchange for John McIntyre. The Kings were hoping McIntyre could be a younger version of Krushelnyski at that time, while the Leafs were looking for Mike's experience and leadership. He was with Toronto for four unspectacular seasons before signing for one year with the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent during the summer of 1994.

Mike Krushelnyski was a versatile forward who was equally proficient at left wing and centre. He was a good stickhandler with a long each who could score, set up plays and check.

Krushelnyski enjoyed a fine rookie season in 1982-83 with 65 points playing with Barry Pederson and Rick Middleton. In the post-season he scored eight goals while helping Boston reach semi-finals. After two more solid years in Beantown he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Ken Linseman.

He scored 43 goals in 1984-85 playing with Wayne Gretzky and was chosen to participate in the NHL All-Star Game that season. "Krusher" scored 13 points in 18 games while helping the Oilers repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

Starting in 1985-86 Krushelnyski settled into a more defensive role on an Oilers squad that was loaded with offensive players. His ability on faceoffs along with strong two-way play was an under-appreciated component of Edmonton's Stanley Cup triumphs in 1987 and 1988.

In August 1988 he was part of the monumental trade to the Los Angeles Kings with Gretzky. Krushelnyski scored 62 points his first year in L.A. before his play dropped off and he was traded to Toronto for John McIntrye early in 1990-91. The Leafs were struggling and hoped Krushelnyski would bring savvy and a winning attitude to the club. He started slowly but ended up playing a solid checking role for Toronto while supplying offence on occasion.

He thought Pocklington might be willing to give him up along with Mike Krushelnyski, whom he(Gretzky) would one day describe as "a moose on skates".

Unlike most of the previous, unsuccessful, would-be accomplices for Gretzky and Kurri, Krushelnyski is an adept puck handler.

And, says coach Glen Sather, with his size and strength not too many players are challenging Krushelnyski in front of the net.

"He looks like he will stay with us," Kurri said of Krushelnyski. "He's big like (Dave) Semenko and he can get in front of the net."

"That creates a lot more room for me and Wayne. And, we can move the puck a lot more now with three guys handling it."

Ken Linseman, the Edmonton Oilers' combative, high scoring center, was traded yesterday to the Boston Bruins for smooth skating forward Mike Krushelnyski, a Montreal native.

Linseman said Krushelnyski will offer the Oilers a badly needed high scoring left winger, who could potentially complete the Jari Kurri-Wayne Gretzky line.

[Pat Burns constructed a makeshift checking line of Mike Krushelnyski between Mark Osborne and xxx to confront the Flyers'...

...defensive-minded players such as Doug Brown, Bob Errey, Mike Krushelnyski, Bob Rouse and Mike Ramsey...

Edmonton's checking like of Craig McTavish, Mike Krushelnyski, and xxx combined for 10 points...

Free Agent Mike Krushelnyski, a defensive forward who can play either center or left wing...

Markwart, Boston's 1st round draft out of Regina last June, and Krushelnyski, a 23 year old center groomed in the minors for 2 seasons after being drafted in the 7th round in 1979, are Bruins prototypes . Few of their shifts are without hits.

Placed on the left wing on Edmonton Oilers' high-scoring line to add muscle, Krushelnyski, nonetheless, desired to carry his fair share of the offensive load.

"Mike's an unselfish player," said Gretzky. "He sacrifices quite a bit and does a lot of things people don't realize. He'll score 30 or 40 goals. Hopefully 50."

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