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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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89