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Troy Crowder
Troy Crowder
Right Wing
Number: 25
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 220
Shoots: Right
Born: May 3, 1968
Birthplace: Sudbury, ON, Canada
Acquired: Signed as a free agent by Detroit on August 27, 1991.
Drafted: NJD / 1986 NHL Entry Draft
Round: 6th (108th overall)
There is no denying that when the New Jersey Devils selected Troy Crowder with the 108th pick overall in the sixth round of the NHL entry draft in 1986 they were looking for an enforcer. Crowder had earned the respect of his peers in junior hockey in Ontario while playing for the Hamilton Steelhawks, Belleville Bulls, and North Bay Centennials, despite the fact he never really liked fighting. Nonetheless, he had a reputation for being one of the best in all of junior hockey, and the Devils selected him, knowing that a player such as Crowder would have a role to fill in the NHL.

Crowder got his first opportunity to play at the NHL level with the Devils in 1989-90 when he suited up for ten games. His main goal was to keep the peace, assuring other teams did not take any cheap shots at any of the Devils' star players. As it happened, there was little trouble, and Crowder found himself sitting at the end of the players' bench for much of those 10 games.

In 1990-91, he played in 59 games for the Devils, the most he would play in any one season during his six-year NHL career. He scored six goals and three assists for nine points, two more than he'd achieve in his other five NHL seasons combined.

When he began his NHL career, Crowder had no intention of being a fighter, but he soon realized that was the sole reason for his being called up to the big leagues. His indifference to fighting, and at times the game of hockey itself, shone through quite clearly when he retired for close to four years in his mid-twenties.

For seven games in 1991-92, Crowder joined the Red Wings, as the team felt it made more sense for he and Probert to play together rather than bash one another. That experiment was very short-lived, as Crowder decided he was tired of playing the tough guy role and he retired at the age of 24.

In 1994-95, he was lured back to the NHL by the Los Angeles Kings. He was used in just 44 games over the next two years, usually being inserted into the lineup only when the expectation of trouble was at its highest. As a free agent, Crowder signed a deal with the Vancouver Canucks for the 1996-97 season. He played in 30 games with the Canucks, which was his final year in the NHL. Crowder left the NHL having played in 150 games, scoring nine goals and 16 points with 433 minutes in penalties.

Crowder tried his hand at playing one season of pro hockey in the German Elite League with Hanover, but he registered just a single point in 19 games. In 1998-99 he played 25 games with the Hershey Bears of the AHL and 16 games with the London Knights of the British League, with similar dismal offensive results.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

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