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
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