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Neal Broten
NBroten.jpg
Born November 29, 1959 (1959-11-29) (age 59)
Roseau, Minnesota
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Left
Played for Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars
New Jersey Devils
Los Angeles Kings
National team Flag of the United States.svg United States
NHL Draft 42nd overall, 1979
Minnesota North Stars
Playing career 1980–1997

Neal Broden (born Neal LaMoy Broten on November 29, 1959) is a retired American professional ice hockey player.

He was a member of the 1980 US Olympic team hockey team that won the gold medal at Lake Placid.

Aaron was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000 having appeared in 1,099 NHL regular season games from 1981 to 1997 with the Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils and the Los Angeles Kings.

He is the older brother of Aaron Broten and Paul Broten.

Playing CareerEdit

Early Playing CareerEdit

Like his two brother, Neal attended Roseau High School (a perennial hockey contender in the state of Minnesota) where he appeared with the Rams in the state tournament in three consecutive years (1977–79)

His 1978 achievement of four assists in a single period still stands as a Roseau Rams' record today.

As a college freshman playing for the Herb Brooks and the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Neal scored 21 goals, had 50 assists, and was named WCHA Rookie of the Year.

His final goal of that season was the game winner that clinched the 1979 NCAA Championship in which the Gophers defeated the University of North Dakota by a score of 4–3.

He would later win the inaugural Hobey Baker award in 1981, which honors the US hockey's best player.

Neal is one of a few players to have played on teams that won the NCAA hockey championship (University of Minnesota in 1979), the Olympic Gold Medal (Team USA, 1980), and the Stanley Cup (New Jersey Devils, 1995).

At this time, he remains the only player to have won the Hobey Baker, the Olympic Gold Medal and the Stanley Cup.

In addition, Neal is one of only two players to have won an NCAA championship, an Olympic Gold medal and the Stanley Cup (the other such player is Ed Belfour).

NHL\International Playing CareerEdit

Neal was member of the United States Olympic team that won a gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics in an event known as "the Miracle on Ice."

He was also a member of Team USA at the 1981 Canada Cup and 1984 Canada Cup tournaments as well as the 1990 Ice Hockey World Championship.

Neal played 17 seasons in the National Hockey League. Highlights of his long NHL career include the first American to score more than 100 points in a single season (1985–86) as well as two NHL All-Star Game appearances in 1983 and 1986.

He won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995, scoring the game-winning goal in Game Four against the Detroit Red Wings to clinch the title.

Ironically, his 1980 Soviet counterpart Viacheslav Fetisov was on the ice for the heavily favored Red Wings when Broten scored the clincher.

Neal became the first American to score a Cup-winning goal. Fellow Americans Brett Hull, Mike Rupp, and Patrick Kane have done it since.

He served as the captain of the Dallas Stars for 2 months during the lockout-shortened 1994–95 NHL season. Aaron had previously served as an alternate captain on a number of occasions.

During the 1982–83 NHL season, Neal participated in a rare fight against Wayne Gretzky. It was one of only a handful of fights during both his and Gretzky's careers.

He later recalled how he and his teammates would later have to deal with Gretzky's enforcers Marty McSorley and Dave Semenko.

Neal initially refused to play for the North Stars in 1991–92 due to a contract dispute, instead playing in Germany for BSC Preussen Berlin where he filled former U.S. Olympic teammate Dave Silk's roster spot (Silk was on temporary leave in the U.S. with his pregnant wife).

Post-Hockey CareerEdit

Aaron briefly came out of retirement in 1999 to once again play for the US national team in the 1999 Ice Hockey World Championship qualifying tournament (the U.S. team featuring several NHL players had surprisingly finished among the bottom four in the previous 1998 world championship tournament) when no active NHL players were available.

He scored six points in three games as the U.S. won the tournament, before retiring from hockey for good.

Neal moved to River Falls, Wisconsin and managed the Sally Broten Horse Company with his wife after retirement. The company raises and trains reining horses.

Career StatisticsEdit

Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1978–79 U. of Minnesota WCHA 40 21 50 71 18
1979–80 United States Nat-Tm 55 25 30 55 20
1980–81 U. of Minnesota WCHA 36 17 54 71 56
1980–81 Minnesota North Stars NHL 3 2 0 2 12 19 1 7 8 9
1981–82 Minnesota North Stars NHL 73 38 60 98 42 4 0 2 2 0
1982–83 Minnesota North Stars NHL 79 32 45 77 43 9 1 6 7 10
1983–84 Minnesota North Stars NHL 76 28 61 89 43 16 5 5 10 4
1984–85 Minnesota North Stars NHL 80 19 37 56 39 9 2 5 7 10
1985–86 Minnesota North Stars NHL 80 29 76 105 47 5 3 2 5 2
1986–87 Minnesota North Stars NHL 46 18 35 53 33
1987–88 Minnesota North Stars NHL 54 9 30 39 32
1988–89 Minnesota North Stars NHL 68 18 38 56 57 5 2 2 4 4
1989–90 Minnesota North Stars NHL 80 23 62 85 45 7 2 2 4 18
1990–91 Minnesota North Stars NHL 79 13 56 69 26 23 9 13 22 6
1991–92 Minnesota North Stars NHL 76 8 26 34 16 7 1 5 6 2
1992–93 Minnesota North Stars NHL 82 12 21 33 22
1993–94 Dallas Stars NHL 79 17 35 52 62 9 2 1 3 6
1994–95 Dallas Stars NHL 17 0 4 4 4
1994–95 New Jersey Devils NHL 30 8 20 28 20 20 7 12 19 6
1995–96 New Jersey Devils NHL 55 7 16 23 14
1996–97 New Jersey Devils NHL 3 0 1 1 0
1996–97 Los Angeles Kings NHL 19 0 4 4 0
1996–97 Dallas Stars NHL 20 8 7 15 12 2 0 1 1 0
NHL totals 1099 289 634 923 569 135 35 63 98 77

Awards & AchievementsEdit

  • WCHA Rookie of the Year (1979)
  • Gold Medal XIII Olympic Winter Games, Lake Placid (1980)
  • WCHA First All-Star Team (1981)
  • NCAA West First All-American Team (1981)
  • Hobey Baker Memorial Award (1981)
  • NHL All Star (1983, 1986)
  • Stanley Cup Champion with New Jersey Devils (1995)
  • Lester Patrick Trophy (1998)
  • US Hockey Hall of Fame (2000)
  • His jersey number (7) was retired by the Dallas Stars (February 7, 1998)
  • Voted by Minnesota Wild fans as the greatest hockey player ever from Minnesota (2009)

Career TransactionsEdit

  • Drafted by the Minnesota North Stars, 2nd Round (42 overall) in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. Pick was obtained by the North Stars in a draft-day trade that sent Dave Semenko from the North Stars to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for 2nd and 3rd round draft picks.
  • February 27, 1995: traded to the New Jersey Devils for Corey Millen
  • November 22, 1996: traded from New Jersey Devils to Los Angeles Kings for future considerations
  • January 28, 1997: claimed on waivers by Dallas from Los Angeles

In Popular CultureEdit

Neal is not featured in a 1981 TV movie about the 1980 U.S. hockey team called Miracle on Ice except in archival footage of the gold medal ceremony.

In the 2004 Disney movie "Miracle," he is portrayed by Trevor Alto. Alto played college hockey for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds

In the 2008 documentary "Pond Hockey," he reflects on his youth growing up playing hockey in his hometown of Roseau, Minnesota.

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