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01-14-2012, 02:05 PM
Rob Scuderi
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LW Paul Woods

Killed 44% of his team's penalties
4 years of minor Selke votes
196 pts in 501 GP
Captain of Red Wings in 78-79
Originally Posted by Red Wings History
He arrived as part of an experiment and he still hasn't left.

The NHL waiver draft was inaugurated in the fall of 1977 and most NHL people chuckled when the Red Wings plopped down $50,000 to claim Paul Woods, a minor-league left-winger from the Montreal Canadiens farm system.

By the end of the 1977-78 season, many of the same people were calling it Detroit's best deal in years. Woods, who won two AHL Calder Cup titles with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs in 1975-76 and 1976-77, was a speedster on skates who was most effective in a checking role.

"He does so many things well, he sparks the club with his great attitude, intensity and will to win," Detroit coach Bobby Kromm said of his speedy rookie, who, skating on a line with Dale McCourt, produced 19-23-42 totals in 1977-78 and was voted Detroit's most exciting player.

"He skates so smooth and easy, just like a Montreal Canadien," said Wings GM Ted Lindsay, who forked out the $50,000 for Woods, calling it, "The best investment the team has made."

When Detroit ventured into the 1977-78 playoffs, Woods again shone, collecting a club rookie-record five assists and turning the head of a pretty knowledgeable hockey man. "My God, that Woods can skate," said Hall of Fame coach Toe Blake after watching his work as a checker against Canadiens star Guy Lafleur in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

His rookie numbers would stand as career highs for Woods, whose role evolved into a defensive specialist as his career continued.

"Woodsie was amazing," teammate Dennis Hextall said. "His worth wasn't in scoring 25-30 goals a season, it was his hustle. For all the assignments he got killing penalties as a first-year man, it really showed his value."

It was a role Woods cherished. "I enjoyed playing defense and killing penalties," he said. "It was exciting to go out in a tight situation and check. In junior, I was known strictly as an offensive player. Shows how you can change."

It was a switch Woods knew he'd have to make to be an NHLer. "My lifelong dream was to play in the NHL," he said. "And it was the only way I could play in the NHL. I didn't have an extraordinary shot or extraordinary skills like some other players. I just had to play hard all of the time."

C Eric Belanger

Originally Posted by THN Forecaster
ASSETS: Has terrific hockey sense and on-ice awareness. Is defensively responsible and an excellent face-off man. Is gritty and a good example for younger players.
FLAWS: Is undersized and a bit fragile, so injuries can be a factor here. Hasn't produced numbers in the NHL that match his talent at lower levels.
CAREER POTENTIAL: Veteran checking center.
RW Rick Chartraw

x5 SC Winner (only played in 3 of them)
420 GP, 75 playoff GP
Originally Posted by Pelletier
Chartraw not only played well in Kitchener; he excelled. In his final year the 6'2" 200lb defenseman scored 17 goals and 61 points in 70 games while accumulating 150 PIMs. Scouts were drooling over his size, his toughness, his mobility and his scoring abilities. The Montreal Canadiens drafted the Venezuelan born Chartraw 10th overall in the 1974 entry draft. Chartraw was selected ahead of Bryan Trottier, Mark Howe, Danny Gare and Tiger Williams, among others.

It took Chartraw 3 years before he cracked that incredibly deep Montreal blue line. In fact it's a testament to Chartraw's skill level and determination that he managed to make the team at all. With a blue line consisting of three future Hall of Famers in Guy Lapointe, Serge Savard and Larry Robinson, as well as youngsters such as John Van Boxmeer, Rod Langway and Brian Englbom, its hard to see how Chartraw saw any ice time at all...

At best he was a number 4 defenseman on this dynastic squad, but often was number 5 or 6. Sometimes he was even used on right wing! He was basically used in defensive situations, penalty killing and just for spotting the big three when they needed a break. His combination of size and strength and mobility made him a nice addition to the Habs. He never came close to fulfilling any offensive potential he had.

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