Joe Kocur
Joey Kocur
Right Wing
NUMBER: 26
HEIGHT: 6' 0"
WEIGHT: 222
SHOOTS: Right
BIRTHDATE: 12/21/1964
BIRTHPLACE: Calgary, AB, CAN
DRAFTED: DET: 1983-88 overall
Traded to NY Rangers by Detroit with Per Djoos for Kevin Miller, Jim Cummins and Dennis Vial, March 5, 1991. Traded to Vancouver by NY Rangers for Kay Whitmore, March 20, 1996. Signed as a free agent by Detroit, December 27, 1996. Missed remainder of 1998-99 and entire 1999-2000 seasons recovering from hernia injury and surgery, May, 1999. Officially announced retirement, October 10, 2000.
Joey Kocur was a hard-nosed right-winger who was a good checker and intimidating presence on the ice. He was also better at handling the puck than most people realized and had a deceptively hard shot.

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Kocur played two years with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL where he scored 63 goals and played a robust physical game. He was chosen 91st overall by the Detroit Red Wings in 1983 then spent some valuable time with Adirondack of the AHL. He played 17 games in 1984-85 then became a regular the next year.

Kocur emerged as a solid defensive player in 1986-87. In the Norris Division Final he shut down cousin Wendel Clark in a deft move by coach Jacques Demers. Kocur helped the Wings dominate the Norris Division in 1987-88 and 1988-89 and scored a personal best 16 goals in 1989-90.

The veteran winger was traded to the New York Rangers in March 1991 and was a solid role player on the club when it finished first in the NHL's overall standings in 1991-92. He also played 20 games in 1994 when team won its first Stanley Cup in 54 years. Kocur was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in March 1996 for goalie Kay Whitmore.

Kocur played briefly with the IHL's San Antonio Dragons before his life took an unexpected turn. Assuming his career was over, he was playing in an Industrial League in 1996-97 when Red Wings signed him to provide experience and grit. He was rejuvenated and comfortable with his limited role while helping the team win consecutive Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998. Kocur played 39 games in 1998-99 and eclipsed 800 games played before retiring.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame