Vic Stasiuk

Victor John Stasiuk (born May 23, 1929) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey left winger and a former NHL head coach.

Stasiuk played junior hockey in his native Lethbridge, Alberta before signing with the Chicago Black Hawks. He played sparingly in Chicago, and he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in 1951. For much of the early portion of his career, Stasiuk was viewed as a physical, defensive-oriented forward. On the offensive-rich Red Wings, Stasiuk was often the odd man out, and he spent significant time toiling in the minors with the Indianapolis Capitals and the Edmonton Flyers. He won the Stanley Cup in 1952 and 1953. However, in 1954, although Stasiuk played 42 regular season games for Detroit, because he spent the playoffs in the minors, his name was left off the Stanley Cup after the Wings captured the league crown.[1]

In 1955, Stasiuk was traded to the Boston Bruins and found instant chemistry with Johnny Bucyk and Bronco Horvath, a grouping dubbed "The Uke line" because of the Ukrainian ancestry of the three players. In 1957-58, this line became the first in NHL history to have all three participants reach the 20 goal mark. Now a formidable two-way presence, Stasiuk scored a career high 68 points in 1960. In 1961, he was traded back to Detroit, playing with this club until 1963, before finishing his career in the minors. He played for the Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, and Boston Bruins, He recorded 183 goals and 254 assists in 745 NHL games.[2]

After retiring, Stasiuk moved to coaching. He took over the Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League for two seasons and later led the same league's Quebec Aces to back-to-back difficult losses in the Calder Cup finals. Stasiuk then earned a job with the Philadelphia Flyers. His team finished out of the playoffs by a single point in 1969-70 then were eliminated in the first round of the postseason the next year. Stasiuk was fired after the 1970-71 season; the Flyers offered him a scouting position, but he took a head coaching job three games into the NHL season with the California Golden Seals. [3] Stasiuk was fired after the season due to a stylistic conflict with management, and he then spent one year behind the bench of the Vancouver Canucks before settling into a career in junior hockey coaching.[4]

By Dean Hanley

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