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Kevin McClelland
Kevin McClelland
Right Wing
Number: 18
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 205
Shoots: Right
Born: Jul 4, 1962
Birthplace: Oshawa, ON, Canada
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Acquired: Traded to Detroit by Edmonton with Jimmy Carson and Oilers' fifth-round choice in 1991 entry draft for Petr Klima, Joe Murphy, Adam Graves and Jeff Sharples on November 2, 1989.
Drafted: HFD / 1980 NHL Entry Draft
Round: 4th (71st overall)
Rugged, tough, fearless. Those are the types of words that come to mind when the name Kevin McClelland is mentioned. Growing up in Oshawa, Ontario McClelland always had the natural scoring talent which was combined with a tough grittiness, often resulting in fisticuffs. At 16 he scored 50 goals and 124 points with the Oshawa Legionaires of the OMHA. In 1979-80 he joined the Niagara Falls Flyers of the OMJHL at the age of 17. He made a strong impression in his rookie season and was selected in the fourth round, 71st overall in the 1980 NHL entry draft by the Hartford Whalers. McClelland really became a key contributor in his second year when he had 36 goals and 108 points. He also kept up the feisty part of his game, tabulating 184 minutes in the penalty box. It was a strong Flyers team, which boasted many future NHLers such as; Steve Ludzik, Steve Larmer, Mark Osborne, Pat Graham and Paul Gillis. The team was considered a favourite to win the OMJHL title and advance to the Memorial Cup, but the young upstart Kitchener Rangers, led by such stars as Brian Bellows, Al MacInnis and Scott Stevens had other ideas, taking the Ontario crown.

In 1981-82 McClelland returned for his final year where he was clearly the team leader, both on and off the ice despite playing in just 46 games. His NHL rights had been transferred to the Pittsburgh Penguins as part of Hartford's compensation for signing free agent goaltender Greg Millen. McClelland was called up to the Penguins for ten games, and scored a goal and five points. He missed half the next season with a shoulder injury, sustained in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In December, 1983 McClelland was traded to the Edmonton Oilers where he enjoyed the bulk of his success in the NHL, playing on four Stanley Cup championship teams in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988. The biggest goal of his career came in Game One of the 1984 Stanley Cup finals against the New York Islanders when McClelland scored the game's only marker, giving the club a 1-0 lead in the series. Although it was just one win, it was a major psychological victory for the young Oiler team, which had been bounced in four straight games to those same Islanders in the Cup finals the year before. The Oilers went on to sweep that series, denying New York its fifth consecutive Cup. One dynasty was ended, and another had just begun.

McClelland's presence was a definite asset in the 1995 Stanley Cup finals against the rough and tough Philadelphia Flyers. With Dave Semenko moved on in those later years, McClelland took on an increased role as team policeman in the mid 1980s, which he performed admirably. The Oilers and Flyers met again in the 1987 finals, with the Oilers coming out on top. Edmonton defended its title in 1988, sweeping the Boston Bruins in four straight games.

With the Oilers in financial distress and the team being dismantled and looking to rebuild with younger more inexpensive players, McClelland was shipped off to Detroit in November, 1989. He remained with the Red Wings for a year and then had brief stops in Toronto and Winnipeg. He retired from hockey in 1994-95 while playing for the AHL's Rochester Americans.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

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