|Born||November 29, 1959 |
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Played for||Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars|
New Jersey Devils
Los Angeles Kings
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||42nd overall, 1979|
Minnesota North Stars
Neal Broten (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.
Neal 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.
Early Playing Career
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 Career
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).
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.
|1978–79||U. of Minnesota||WCHA||40||21||50||71||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|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||—||—||—||—||—|
|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||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards & Achievements
- 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)
- 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 Culture
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.