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Keith Primeau (born November 24, 1971) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player. He is currently the Special Assistant to the General Manager and Director of Player Development of the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL.

Playing career

Primeau was drafted third overall in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings after playing two years with the Niagara Falls Thunder of the OHL. He split his first two professional seasons with Detroit and the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL. He set career highs in assists (42), points (73), and plus/minus (+34) in 1993–94. He made his only Stanley Cup Finals appearance while with the Red Wings in 1995, losing in a sweep to the New Jersey Devils. Primeau held out after the club signed Igor Larionov and after playing for Canadamarker in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, Detroit traded him along with Paul Coffey and a 1997 first round draft pick (Nikos Tselios) to the Hartford Whalers for Brendan Shanahan and Brian Glynn prior to the 1996–97 season.

Primeau became a leader with his new team when the franchise moved to North Carolinamarker and became the Carolina Hurricanes, being named team captain in 1998–99. He missed the majority of the 1999–2000 NHL season after holding out, however, and was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers along with a 2000 fifth round draft pick (Kristofer Ottosson) for Rod Brind'Amour, Jean-Marc Pelletier and a 2000 second round draft pick (Agris Saviels) on January 23, 2000. On May 5, 2000, Primeau scored the game-winning goal in the longest game in modern NHL playoff history (five overtime periods for a total of 152 minutes and one second) against Ron Tugnutt of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Only two games, in 1933 and 1936, were longer.

In his first full season with the Flyers, Primeau led the team in goals (34) and tied his career high in points (73) in 2000–01. Early in the following season, he was named team captain after defenceman Éric Desjardins resigned from the position. After posting nearly identical seasons statistically in 2001–02 and 2002–03, Primeau was given the task of centering a more defense-oriented line in 2003–04. He did well enough to earn a place in the 2004 NHL All-Star Game, the second of his career. In the 2004 playoffs Primeau recorded 9 goals and 7 assists for a total of 16 points; it was the best playoff year of Primeau's career and his play carried the team to within a game of the Stanley Cup Finals. In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Primeau scored the game-tying goal with 1:49 left in regulation. The Flyers won the game, 5–4 in overtime, sending the series back to Tampa for Game 7. The Flyers would go on to lose that game by a score of 2–1. Hockey legend Phil Esposito would later tell Primeau that "During the 04 playoffs when you and the Flyers took the Lightning to seven games, you were the most dominating player I ever saw. More than Orr, Howe, Gretzky, or anyone."

Nine games into the 2005–06 season, Primeau suffered a concussion which ended his season. As a result of ongoing post-concussion syndrome, he officially announced his retirement on September 14, 2006. On February 12, 2007, Keith Primeau was honored before a game against the Detroit Red Wings, the team which originally drafted him. An emotional Primeau thanked the fans for welcoming him after being traded to Philadelphia.

Primeau has been a resident of Voorhees Township, New Jerseymarker.

Awards



Records

  • May 5, 2000: Ended longest game in modern NHL playoff history with his goal at 92:01 of overtime.


Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1987–88 Hamilton Steelhawks OHL 47 6 6 12 69 11 0 2 2 2
1988–89 Niagara Falls Thunder OHL 48 20 35 55 56 17 9 6 15 12
1989–90 Niagara Falls Thunder OHL 65 57 70 127 97 16 16 17 33 49
1990–91 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 6 3 5 8 8
1990–91 Detroit Red Wings NHL 58 3 12 15 106 5 1 1 2 25
1991–92 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 42 21 24 45 89 9 1 7 8 27
1991–92 Detroit Red Wings NHL 35 6 10 16 83 11 0 0 0 14
1992–93 Detroit Red Wings NHL 73 15 17 32 152 7 0 2 2 26
1993–94 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 31 42 73 173 7 0 2 2 6
1994–95 Detroit Red Wings NHL 45 15 27 42 99 17 4 5 9 45
1995–96 Detroit Red Wings NHL 74 27 25 52 168 17 1 4 5 28
1996–97 Hartford Whalers NHL 75 26 25 51 161
1997–98 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 81 26 37 63 110
1998–99 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 78 30 32 62 75 6 0 3 3 6
1999–00 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 23 7 10 17 31 18 2 11 13 13
2000–01 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 71 34 39 73 76 4 0 3 3 6
2001–02 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 75 19 29 48 128 5 0 0 0 6
2002–03 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 80 19 27 46 93 13 1 1 2 14
2003–04 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 54 7 15 22 80 18 9 7 16 22
2005–06 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 9 1 6 7 6
NHL totals 909 266 353 619 1541 128 18 39 57 213


International

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1996 Canada WCH 5 0 0 0 21
1997 Canada WC-A 11 3 3 6 14
1998 Canada Oly 6 2 1 3 4
1998 Canada WC-A 6 3 1 4 4
Senior int'l totals 28 8 5 13 43


References

  1. Rumors, Rumors, Rumors, and Breaking the Forsberg Story..., HockeyBuzz.com, retrieved on February 26, 2007.
  2. Concussion effects force Keith Primeau to retire, ESPN.com, retrieved on December 17, 2006.
  3. Fond farewell for Primeau in Philly, NHL.com, retrieved on February 27, 2007.
  4. Panaccio, Tim. "Primeau finally deals with reality", The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 14, 2006. Accessed July 31, 2009. "The phone rang at Keith Primeau's house in Voorhees, N.J., on Sept. 6. Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said he wanted to meet the next day."


External links



Primeau missed nearly all of the 2005/06 NHL season, due to a concussion.
Derian Hatcher served as Flyers captain (due to Primeau's absence), during the last-half of the 2005/06 NHL season.



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