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08-16-2012, 08:46 PM
  #197
Mike Farkas
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Bryan "Bugsy" Watson



Position: D/RW
Shoots: R
Height/Weight: 5'9", 175 lbs.
Played in NHL: 1963-64, 1965-1979

- CPHL "Outstanding Defenseman" Award (1968)
- Was the all-time NHL penalty minutes leader before Dave Schultz took the title from him

Career agitator, defensive defenseman that was a prominent member of many penalty kill units. A high energy player that played at 100 mph (about 160 km/h) even in practices. A practical jokester that was very friendly off the ice and as prickly as a cactus on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Years of Glory: 1965-66
Bryan Watson, a rambunctious defenseman, who would quickly earn the nickname “Bugsy”, was drafted from Chicago and became a hard-checking force along the blueline...

One of the unsung heroes for Detroit was Bryan Watson, who covered Bobby Hull like a blanket. Hull, the NHL’s most gifted scorer, was limited to a pair of goals in the series, both scored when Watson wasn’t on the ice
Quote:
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Watson had the face of a light heavyweight boxer with plenty of scars and a warm smile to soften his tough-guy looks. He was small in stature but backed away from no one. He was an average skater at best who had little scoring touch around the net. But his value came in his refined art of clutching, grabbing and clinging tactics that he used to effectively blanket and antagonize opponents.

In 1966, during a semi-finals game against the Blackhawks, Watson, as a Red Wing, bothered Bobby Hull like an irritating rash, holding the power winger to only one goal in the series. Hull named his persistent antagonist "Super Pest."
In spite of his defensive skills, Watson spent most of the sixties bouncing between the minors and the majors. At the NHL level, he put in two short stints with the Canadiens, a two-year outing with the Wings, and a short visit with the Seals.

It wasn't until the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired his services in 1969 that he finally settled into his spiritual home. With the Pens, Watson took his game of antagonism to its height. Over his five-plus seasons with the club, he played with combative consistency. Although he only led the NHL in single-season penalty minutes once, he managed to eventually become the league's all-time penalty-minute king until Dave Schultz and Tiger Williams shattered his mark sometime later.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Nicknamed "Bugsy" by Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio, Bryan Watson was known to be an agitator extraordinaire. He bothered people, doing whatever it took to make them lose their concentration.

In spite of Bryan's small size (5'9" and 175 Ibs), most people were distinctly aware of his presence…

Watson himself used to say that the contact felt good and got his circulation moving. Pete Stemkowski of the Rangers called him a "Madman". Denis Potvin once described how during a fight Bryan drove his head right into his cheek. Anything counted in Bryan's book. His style of play could easily be seen on his PIM totals.

A loyal and absolutely fearless player who never hesitated to stop pucks with his head if the situation called for it, Bryan was a great teammate. In the dressing room he was always on the lookout for a good practical joke. He knew when to lighten the bench, and when to set a fire under someone's ass. He was definitely one of those players who every team liked to have on their side.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Magazine - March 1974
...cause havoc and chaos to the opposition. "Bryan is an agitator," said his coach Ken Schinkel. "He is very verbal and will take whatever steps necessary to do his thing. That thing means to get into fights, give elbows, and make people boo when he comes on the ice." ||| Bryan has tangled with the Rangers' Vic Hadfield five times. He has had innumberable confrontations with Wayne Cashman and a few slugfests with Dave Schultz... Just recently, he gave the Islanders' prized rookie Denis Potvin an initiation to the fighting game. ||| [Butt-ends] have become a Bugsy specialty. So have slashes on ankles, knees in stomachs and sticks at necks... ||| "I felt it when Bryan came to say hello in the corners," [said Schinkel]. ||| Every day he's on the ice and playing like there won't be another chance or another tomorrow. ||| "I've gotten mine back and I just say 'so what?' and start over. In fact, I know I have to get hit," [said Watson].

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