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Marc Joseph John Crawford (born February 13, 1961, in Bellevillemarker, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker) is a Canadianmarker professional ice hockey head coach, currently employed by Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League. He was previously the head coach of four organizations as well. He is also a former professional ice hockey forward who played for the Vancouver Canucks.

Playing career

Crawford was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft in the fourth round, 70th overall. After three seasons of major junior in the QMJHL with the Cornwall Royals, he joined the Canucks in 1981–82.

As a rookie, Crawford was a part of Vancouver's 1982 run to the Stanley Cup finals in which the Canucks were defeated by the New York Islanders.

During his six seasons in the NHL, Crawford would split time between Vancouver and their AHL affiliate, the Fredericton Express. As a result of constantly flying between cities the two cities, which are over 5,000 kilometers apart, he earned the nickname "747", though most contemporary Canucks fans know him as "Crow", a nickname coined during his tenure as a head coach with the team.

In total, Crawford's tallied 19 goals, 31 assists and 50 points in 176 games during his NHL career.

After a season in the IHL with the Milwaukee Admirals, Crawford officially retired as a professional hockey player.

Coaching career

Immediately after retiring as a player, Crawford became a head coach in the OHL with the Cornwall Royals, whom he had previously played for in the QMJHL. After two less-than-stellar seasons with Cornwall, Crawford moved to the AHL, and in his first season with the St. John's Maple Leafs, he took his team to the 1992 Calder Cup finals, losing to the Adirondack Red Wings. The following season, Crawford was awarded the Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL's coach of the year.

In 1994–95, Crawford broke into the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques and achieved immediate success. As a result, he won the NHL's Jack Adams Award as coach of the year. Furthermore, he is currently the youngest NHL coach in history to be distinguished with the Jack Adams.

The next season, the Nordiques franchise was relocated to Coloradomarker as the Avalanche, and Crawford won his first and only championship thus far as a player or coach in 1996, defeating the Florida Panthers in four games.

Crawford would continue to post successful regular season with the Avalanche in the next two seasons, but after an early first-round exit in the 1998 playoffs, Crawford resigned on May 27, 1998. Despite reportedly being offered a one-year contract extension by general manger Pierre Lacroix, Crawford decided to "move on and accept a new challenge."

Before his resignation with the Avalanche, Crawford was also the head coach of the 1998 Canadian Olympic hockey team where they finished a disappointing fourth. Many fans questioned his choice of players to take part in the semi-final shootout with the Czech Republicmarker, in which they lost, electing not to use future Hall of Famersmarker Wayne Gretzky or Steve Yzerman.

After a brief stint as an analyst on Hockey Night in Canada, Crawford replaced Mike Keenan as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks midway through the 1998–99 season. Joining Vancouver in the midst of a rebuilding period for the franchise, Crawford slowly developed the Canucks into a successful regular season team, playing a fast-paced and offensively emphasized style of play. After one-and-a-half seasons, Crawford led Vancouver back to the playoffs, however, was defeated in the first round by his former team, Colorado.

In 2002–03, Vancouver continued to improve under Crawford and posted a franchise record (since surpassed) of 104 points. The following season, they took the Northwest Division title from the Avalanche, who had won the previous nine division titles (inclusive of the Pacific Division prior to division restructuring, and the year before the move to Colorado as the Quebec Nordiques). Despite Vancouver's regular season success, they only managed to win one playoff series during Crawford's tenure and, compounded by the Canucks' failure to make the postseason in 2005–06, Crawford was let go by management on April 25, 2006, and replaced by Alain Vigneault.

In six-and-a-half seasons' work with the Canucks, Crawford marked himself as the longest-serving and winningest head coach in franchise history, coaching 529 games and 246 wins. On February 3, 2006, one of his last games in Vancouver, he also became the third-youngest head coach in NHL history to reach 400 wins. At 44 years and 335 days, this mark trails only Scotty Bowman and Glen Sather.

Nearly a month after being let go, Crawford was hired by the Los Angeles Kings, a team in a similar situation to that of the Canucks when Crawford first joined them. In his past two seasons with the Kings, he has missed the playoffs both times, marking the 2003–04 postseason as his last playoff appearance.

He lasted only two years with the Kings, who thought a change was necessary in the coaching position. On June 10, 2008, Crawford was fired by the Kings, although he had one year remaining on his initial contract.

During the 2008–09 season, Crawford did color commentary for Hockey Night in Canada alongside play-by-play Mark Lee.

A year after being fired from the Los Angeles Kings, Crawford was hired by the Dallas Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk to replace previous head coach Dave Tippett.

Awards and achievements



Coaching record

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T OTL Pts Finish W L Win % Result
QUE 1994–95 48 30 13 5 - 65 1st in Northeast 2 4 .333 Conference Quarter-Finalist
COL 1995–96 82 47 25 10 - 104 1st in Pacific 16 6 .615 Won Stanley Cup
COL 1996–97 82 49 24 9 - 107 1st in Pacific 10 7 .588 Conference Finalist
COL 1997–98 82 39 26 17 - 95 1st in Pacific 3 4 .429 Conference Quarter-Finalist
QUE/COL total 294 165 88 41 - 371 - 31 21 .596 4 playoff appearances
1 Stanley Cup
VAN 1998–99 37 8 23 6 - 4th in Northwest - - - Missed playoffs
VAN 1999–00 82 30 29 15 8 83 4th in Northwest - - - Missed playoffs
VAN 2000–01 82 36 28 11 7 90 4th in Northwest 0 4 .000 Conference Quarter-Finalist
VAN 2001–02 82 42 30 7 3 94 2nd in Northwest 2 4 .333 Conference Quarter-Finalist
VAN 2002–03 82 45 23 13 1 104 2nd in Northwest 7 7 .500 Conference Semi-Finalist
VAN 2003–04 82 43 24 10 5 101 1st in Northwest 3 4 .429 Conference Quarter-Finalist
VAN 2005–06 82 42 32 - 8 92 4th in Northwest - - - Missed playoffs
VAN total 529 246 189 59 32 583 - 12 19 .387 4 playoff appearances
LA 2006–07 82 27 41 - 14 68 4th in Pacific - - - Missed playoffs
LA 2007–08 82 32 43 - 7 71 5th in Pacific - - - Missed playoffs
LA total 164 59 84 - 21 139 - - - - -
Total 987 470 361 100 52 1,088 43 40 .518 8 playoff appearances


Moore incident

Crawford, along with Todd Bertuzzi and the Canucks, is the subject of a 19 Million USD lawsuit by Steve Moore.

Crawford was the subject of substantial criticism following the injury of Steve Moore. On February 16, 2004, Moore caused a concussion to Crawford's captain, Markus Näslund, on a questionable hit. No penalty was called on the play, and the league later reviewed the incident and decided no penalty was warranted. However, Crawford was vocal about the incident and the failure of the league to respond.

During a March 8, 2004, rematch, Todd Bertuzzi grabbed Moore from behind, and rode him into the ice, causing Moore to suffer 3 broken vertebrae, multiple facial lacerations, and ultimately ending his career. In the ensuing commotion, while Moore was lying on the ice, Crawford was allegedly laughing at the situation.

Crawford, along with Bertuzzi and the Canucks organization, is the subject of a $ 19+ million (US) lawsuit by Moore. According to the suit, following the February 16 incident, Crawford encouraged his players to seek revenge, which led in part to the injury to Moore. Specifically, the suit alleges that Crawford, Bertuzzi, and former general manager Brian Burke entered into "an unlawful plan and agreement to assault, batter and injure Moore at a future date for the injuries that Näslund had suffered during the Feb. 16 game."

The Canucks were fined and paid $250,000 USD to the NHL for "...failure to prevent the atmosphere that may have led to the incident."

References

  1. TSN : NHL - Canada's Sports Leader
  2. Police investigate Canucks' Bertuzzi for hit on Moore
  3. Moore files lawsuit against Bertuzzi, Canucks


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