Thread: MLD 2011 Bios
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08-04-2011, 10:15 PM
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Steve Payne


Payne will provide scoring, and some damn clutch playoffs to our top 6.

Played in NHL All-Star Game (1980, 1985)

From Legends of Hockey:

An offensively gifted forward, Payne played two seasons with the 67's, scoring 57 goals in his second season and helping his club reach the Memorial Cup tournament. Payne made his professional debut with Minnesota during the 1978-79 season while seeing limited action with the CHL's Oklahoma City Stars. Once Payne's NHL season came to an end, he suited up for Canada at the 1979 World Championships.

In his sophomore season Payne established career highs in goals with 42 and points with 85 while making his NHL All-Star Game debut earlier in the year. Payne was an instrumental in leading the North Stars to the Stanley Cup final in 1981 against the eventual Cup champion New York Islanders. In 19 playoff games, Payne recorded 29 points (17-12-29). Payne went on to play parts of ten seasons in Minnesota, and had seven consecutive 20+ goal seasons before calling it a career early into the 1987-88 season.

Throughout his 10-year career Payne played in 613 games and finished with 466 points (228-238-466), while appearing in two All-Star Games (1980, 1985).

From Minnesota North Stars Legends:

Payne, a big left winger with the Minnesota North Stars from 1978 through 1988, blew out his knee during the 1985-86 season. The final three seasons of his solid career were filled with surgeries, re-injuries to the knee, and frustration.

He broke through in his sophomore season in 1979-80 with a 42 goal campaign and a strong playoff with 14 points in 15 games. But he reached his true zenith in the playoffs of 1980-81. After a setback in the regular season with "just" 30 goals, he exploded with 17 goals and 29 points in 19 playoff games as he helped lead the Stars to a Cinderella appearance against the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup finals.

After seeing Payne play so masterfully at such a high level throughout the playoffs, great expectations were placed on his shoulders. If he could have played that way consistently over a full season, there'd be no doubt he'd be an all star and perhaps the game's best LW at that time.

He had a good but not great year in 1981-82 with 33 goals and 78 points. Come playoff time he again found the magic switch to turn his game up an extra notch. He scored 4 goals in 4 games, but unfortunately the North Stars came back to reality and were eliminated early in the playoffs.

Payne's production continued at the 30 goal level until his knee injury felled him.

Despite the injury, Payne tried very hard to return to the NHL. At one time he was as strong a skater as there was, though lacked agility. The knee injury all but removed what speed and agility he had. He remained strong on his skates, but checkers could knock him off the puck much easier.

Payne could be compared to Claude Lemieux or a Trevor Linden. All three players found an extra gear come playoff time and were great playoff warriors.

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