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Doug Wickenheiser
Doug Wickenheiser.jpg
Born March 30, 1961(1961-03-30)
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died January 12, 1999(1999-01-12) (aged 37)
St. Louis, Missouri
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 196 lb (89 kg; 14 st 0 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
Played for Washington Capitals
New York Rangers
Vancouver Canucks
St. Louis Blues
Montreal Canadiens
NHL Draft 1st overall, 1980
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1980–1994

Doug Wickenheiser (born Douglas Peter Wickenheiser on March 30, 1961) was a Canadian ice hockey player who was drafted first overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft.

He died on January 12, 1999 from a rare form of cancer called epithelioid sarcoma.

Playing CareerEdit

A superstar in Major Junior hockey with the Regina Pats, Doug led the Western Hockey League in goal scoring (89) during the 1979–80 WHL season, captained the Pats to a berth in the Memorial Cup, and was the CHL Player of the Year.

He was rated by The Hockey News as the top draft prospect in 1980 and was subsequently selected first overall by the Montreal Canadiens.

Many Canadiens' fans (particularly French Canadian fans who desperately wanted the club to select francophone star Denis Savard) were unhappy with the selection and the Montreal media attention soon turned negative.

While Doug struggled to adjust to the NHL game, Denis Savard (who was drafted third overall) would quickly become a superstar with the Chicago Blackhawks which further angered some Montreal fans.

In his fourth season with the Canadiens, the club lost patience with his slow development and they traded him to the St. Louis Blues.

Probably Doug's most famous moment with the Blues was during the 1985–86 playoffs in a game dubbed the "Monday Night Miracle" on May 12, 1986 when after St. Louis made a large comeback against the Calgary Flames, he scored the overtime winner to force a Game 7 in the Campbell Conference Finals. The Blues would however, lose the deciding game 2–1.

During his NHL career, Doug also played for the Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals, but he did not play in the NHL after the 1989-90 season, spending his last four professional seasons in the minors and overseas.

In 556 games, he scored 111 goals and 165 assists.

Illness & DeathEdit

In August of 1994, Doug had an epithelioid sarcoma (a rare form of cancer )which he had first noticed four years earlier and it was removed from his wrist in 1990. Three years later in October of 1997, the cancer came back and had spread to his lungs, at which point it was inoperable.

On January 12, 1999, Doug died at the age of 37 in St. Louis, Missouri and is survived by his wife and three daughters.

LegacyEdit

An arena in his hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan has been named the Doug Wickenheiser Arena in his honor which located at the corner of Arnason St. & Rochdale Blvd. in the city's northwest corner.

Doug's cousin, Hayley Wickenheiser, is the former captain of Team Canada's women's hockey team, leading the women's hockey team to gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics. She was named an alternate captain for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

His daughter, Carly, the youngest of three is a midfielder for the Texas Tech Red Raiders women's soccer team as of 2015.

While the St. Louis Blues did not retire Doug's #14, St. Louis Blues' players wore a special helmet decal with the wick of a candle and the number 14 during parts of the 1997–98 and 1998–99 seasons.

In 1999, a banner with that logo which became the symbol of The Fourteen Fund, the official Blues charity established in his memory, was permanently placed in the rafters at the Blues home rink.

The emblem was worn by all NHL players in the 1999 All-Star Game and was also sold to the public for a small donation and became a popular trend among youth hockey players in St. Louis.

One of the two high school state championships played at Scottrade Center is named after him: The Wickenheiser Cup.