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Marcel Elphege "Little Beaver" Dionne (born August 3, 1951, in Drummondvillemarker, Quebecmarker, Canadamarker) is a retired Canadianmarker professional ice hockey centre who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers.

Playing career

Dionne was drafted in the first Round (second overall) by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1971 NHL Entry Draft. Before joining the NHL, he played for three years in the Ontario Hockey Association with the St. Catharines Black Hawks. His team was involved in one of the most infamous events in Canadian junior hockey during the 1971 Richardson Cup.

The Black Hawks and Quebec Remparts faced off in a Richardson Trophy series that was intense on many levels. Besides the strong rivalry between Anglophone and Francophone hockey teams and Canadian citizens in general, there was unfinished business between Marcel Dionne and the Remparts' coach Maurice Filion. Dionne had been coached by Filion in 1968 as a member of the Drummondville Rangers of the former Quebec Junior Hockey League. When the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League formed in 1969, Dionne departed to play in the OHA, which was seen as a higher-calibre level of competition, to hone his skills. Filion vowed revenge against Dionne's OHA team. This rivalry was further fueled by the desire of Francophone nationalists to have a Canadian champion from a Quebec team in a Quebec-based league.

The series, which featured future NHL stars Guy Lafleur and Dionne, never lived up to the potential on ice brilliance that could have been. Disputes off the ice and erupting violence dramatically shortened the series. The Eastern Canadian championship of 1971 would be the last Eastern Canadian championship to be played before the Memorial Cup tournament began in 1972. With St. Catharines forfeiting the series due to the threats of violence, the Eastern Canadian championship did not end to the fans' satisfaction.

After the series, Lafleur went first overall to the Montreal Canadiens in the 1971 NHL Entry Draft and was part of a Stanley Cup contender. Dionne played his first four seasons with the Red Wings, where he was one of the few stars on an otherwise stagnant team that failed to make the playoffs.

Despite having legendary teammates such as Alex Delvecchio and Mickey Redmond, Dionne's frustrations with losing were evident. His agent, Alan Eagleson pushed for more money and found it in an unlikely place. The owner of the Los Angeles Kings, Jack Kent Cooke, offered Dionne $300,000 per year. A deal was struck with the Red Wings for compensation, and Dionne signed with the Kings and became its franchise player. At the time, it was the richest deal in hockey history.

During his time with the Los Angeles Kings, he played 11 and a half seasons and formed the famed "Triple Crown Line", centreing Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor. Despite his high scoring production during the regular season he was frustrated with the Kings' lack of playoff success; they made the postseason from 1976–82 but only advanced to the second round three times for a total of 43 playoff games. During the 1986–87 season, Dionne would mentor the rookies of the Kings as Mickey Redmond mentored him during his rookie years in Detroit. He took eventual Calder Trophy winner Luc Robitaille, Jimmy Carson and Steve Duchesne under his wing.

Despite the strong rapport with the rookies, there was also a falling out with Coach Pat Quinn. With the Kings on track to miss the playoffs, he demanded a trade. Dionne had hoped that his threat would get General Manager Rogie Vachon to make some major moves to rejuvenate the stagnating team, and he was surprised and disappointed when Vachon actually traded him to the New York Rangers. He played his remaining two and a half seasons there, where the Rangers lost in the first round of the playoffs and missed the next two. He retired in 1989. One consolation was that he would finally have Guy Lafleur as his teammate to mark the beginning of the 1988–89 NHL season. In January 2004, Dionne was featured on a Canadian postage stamp. As part of the NHL All-Stars Collection, Dionne was immortalized along with five other All-Stars.


During his first season for Detroit in 1972, he set an NHL record for scoring by a rookie with 77 points. This record has since been surpassed.

His best season was 1979–80 when he had 137 points. That season, he was tied for the league lead in points with Wayne Gretzky. Though Gretzky played in one less game than Dionne, Dionne was awarded the Art Ross Trophy for scoring two more goals than Gretzky. (Interestingly, from 1969 to 2001, Dionne and Bryan Trottier were the only single-time winners of the scoring title, while Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, Guy Lafleur, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Jaromir Jagr had won it on multiple occasions.) Dionne also won the Lester B. Pearson Award in 1979 and 1980, and the Lady Byng Trophy in 1975 and 1977.

Dionne was the third of six men to reach the 700-goal plateau, and currently ranks fourth among all-time goal scorers, with 731. He is ranked fifth in points, with 1771. He is ninth in career assists with 1,040. He was second in assists, goals, and points when he retired in 1989 (he is 70 goals, 9 assists, and 79 points behind Gordie Howe in all categories).

He was also the last active player in the NHL that participated in the 1972 Summit Series. Despite not playing in the 1972 Summit Series, he did play for Team Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup and the 1981 Canada Cup. For the 1976 Canada Cup, his linesmates were Bobby Hull and Phil Esposito. He was also on a line with Lanny McDonald and Darryl Sittler and they were on the ice when the tournament winning goal was scored. While on the 1981 team, he was on a line with Wayne Gretzky and Guy Lafleur.

Dionne is third in the NHL for most 100+ point seasons. He has had eight 100+ point seasons in his NHL career, only behind Wayne Gretzky's fourteen 100+ point seasons and Mario Lemieux's ten 100+ point seasons.

Marcel Dionne was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Famemarker in 1992. In 1998, he was ranked number 38 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, the highest-ranking player to have not won a Stanley Cup since 2001 when No. 14-ranked Ray Bourque won with the Colorado Avalanche. Dionne had not come close to doing so, as he never advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs. When the Los Angeles Kings finally reached the Stanley Cup finals in 1993, after advancing to and winning their first conference finals, Dionne gave Dave Taylor a congratulatory call.

The former Centre Civique arena in Drummondville was renamed Centre Marcel Dionnemarker in his honour after his retirement.

Dionne's younger brother Gilbert also played in the NHL and won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. Gilbert is Marcel's junior by nineteen years.

Dionne currently resides in Niagara Falls, Canada and owns Marcel Dionne enterprises despite never playing, or living there as a player. He is an occasional member of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team. He is also a Royal Ambassador for the Kings organization.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1968–69 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA 48 37 63 100 38 18 15 20 35 8
1969–70 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA 54 55 77 132 46 10 12 20 32 10
1970–71 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA 46 62 81 143 20 15 29 26 55 11
1971–72 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 28 49 77 14
1972–73 Detroit Red Wings NHL 77 40 50 90 21
1973–74 Detroit Red Wings NHL 74 24 54 78 10
1974–75 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 47 74 121 14
1975–76 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 40 54 94 38 9 6 1 7 0
1976–77 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 53 69 122 12 9 5 9 14 2
1977–78 Los Angeles Kings NHL 70 36 43 79 37 2 0 0 0 0
1978–79 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 59 71 130 30 2 0 1 1 0
1979–80 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 53 84 137 32 4 0 3 3 4
1980–81 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 58 77 135 70 4 1 3 4 7
1981–82 Los Angeles Kings NHL 78 50 67 117 50 10 7 4 11 0
1982–83 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 56 51 107 22
1983–84 Los Angeles Kings NHL 66 39 53 92 28
1984–85 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 46 80 126 46 3 1 2 3 2
1985–86 Los Angeles Kings NHL 80 36 58 94 42
1986–87 Los Angeles Kings NHL 67 24 50 74 54
1986–87 New York Rangers NHL 14 4 6 10 6 6 1 1 2 2
1987–88 New York Rangers NHL 67 31 34 65 54
1988–89 New York Rangers NHL 37 7 16 23 20
1988–89 Denver Rangers IHL 9 0 13 13 0
OHA totals 148 154 221 375 104 43 56 66 122 29
NHL totals 1348 731 1040 1771 600 49 21 24 45 17

International play

197819811986Eddie Powers Memorial TrophyWinner 1969–70 - OHASecond All-Star Team 1970–71 - OHA First All-Star Team 1970–71 - Eddie Powers Memorial TrophyWinner


Trade history

  • Traded to Los Angeles Kings by Detroit with Bart Crashley for Terry Harper, Dan Maloney, and Los Angeles' 2nd Round Pick in 1976 (The Draft Pick was later dealt to the Minnesota North Stars and they drafted Jim Roberts)
  • Traded to the New York Rangers by Los Angeles with Jeff Crossman and Los Angeles' 3rd Round Pick in 1989 (The Draft Pick was later dealt to the Minnesota North Stars and they drafted Murray Garboutt) for Bobby Carpenter and Tom Laidlaw.


  2. Triple Crown, Ted Mahovlich, ISBN 978–0006391340
  3. - NHL Hockey - Say It Ain't So: Los Angeles Kings - Tuesday February 27, 2001 06:14 PM
  4. Canada's Stamp Details, January to March 2004, Volume XIII, No. 1
  5. Triple Crown, Ted Mahovlich, p.209, ISBN 978–0006391340
  6. Triple Crown, Ted Mahovlich, p.208, ISBN 978-0006391340

See also

External links

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
1972 Team Canada SS 0 0 0 0 0
1976 Team Canada CC 7 1 5 6 0
Team Canada WCh 10 9 3 12 0
1979 Team Canada WCh 7 2 1 3 0
Team Canada CC 6 4 1 5 0
1983 Team Canada WCh 10 6 3 9 0
Team Canada WCh 10 4 4 8 0

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