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Darren Veitch
Darren Veitch
Defenseman
Shoots:
Born: Apr 24, 1960
Birthplace: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Drafted: WSH / 1980 NHL Entry Draft
Round: 1st (5th overall)
One would not think that a children's toy could jeopardize a career but one only has to look at Darren Veitch to find such a player. Veitch, drafted 5th overall by the Washington Capitals, was in his own living room when he tripped on his child's toy and put his arm through a glass end table. The injury could have ended his season, and possibly his career, if he did not have microsurgery. Veitch only took two games off after the procedure. At the end of the season he was named one of The Hockey News Comeback Player of the Year.

Veitch's early career was one marked with injuries and a comparison with the defenseman drafted immediately after him. While the Capitals selected Veitch 5th, the Edmonton Oilers picked Paul Coffey with the sixth selection. Coffey was burning up the NHL while Veitch couldn't get a full-time roster spot until his fifth professional season. The comparison was, of course, unfair since teams draft players to fill certain needs or to take the best pick available. Washington drafted Veitch for a reason and could only guess how he would turn out. Another hindrance for him in Washington was the Capitals' depth on defense.

A trade to Detroit on March 10, 1986 boosted Veitch's career. There were some initial troubles with learning Red Wings coach Jacques Demers system. Once that was settled the statistics rose again and, more importantly, the Red Wings won more games.

His downfall in Detroit happened when the Edmonton Oilers eliminated the Red Wings in six games. Coach Demers laid the blame on six players, including Veitch, who had partied into the early morning of the game day. Veitch was denied a playoff bonus because of the incident. When he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on June 10, 1988, Red Wing general manager Jimmy Devellano insisted the curfew breaking was not a factor in the deal.

Veitch managed to play parts of two seasons in the NHL before winding up in the minor leagues.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80