Rob Ramage
Rob Ramage.jpg
Born January 11, 1959 (1959-01-11) (age 61)
Byron, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Right
Played for NHL
Colorado Rockies
New Jersey Devils
St. Louis Blues
Calgary Flames
Toronto Maple Leafs
Minnesota North Stars
Tampa Bay Lightning
Montreal Canadiens
Philadelphia Flyers
Birmingham Bulls
National team Flag of Canada.svg Canada
NHL Draft 1st overall, 1979
Colorado Rockies
Playing career 1978–1994

Rob Ramage (born George Robert Ramage on January 11, 1959) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey defenceman who played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Colorado Rockies, New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Minnesota North Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers.

He also played one season in the World Hockey Association (WHA) for the Birmingham Bulls.

Playing CareerEdit

Rob was selected first overall by the Colorado Rockies in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. He spent his junior career with the London Knights, playing three seasons as a defenseman, and was highly touted by many scouts. His sweater number 5 was later retired by the team in his honour.

Rob skipped his last junior season to play with the World Hockey Association's Birmingham Bulls. He inadvertently became a part of history in his first season in Colorado.

While the Rockies were playing the New York Islanders, the Rockies' goaltender left the ice for an extra skater after a delayed penalty was called on the Islanders. Before the penalty was called, the puck deflected off the chest protector of Islanders goaltender Billy Smith into the corner.

Rob picked up the puck and accidentally made a blind pass from the corner boards in the opposing zone to the blue line. Nobody was there to receive the pass, and so the puck sailed all the way down the length of the ice and into the Colorado net. Smith had been the last Islander to touch the puck, and so he became the first NHL goalie ever to be credited with a goal.

After two seasons with the Rockies (and one with the Devils following the Rockies' relocation to New Jersey), Rob was traded to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a first round draft pick. With the Blues, he developed into a steady and skilled defenseman.

During the 1985-86 season (Rob's fourth with the Blues), he posted a career-best 66 points (which, for a time, was a Blues team record for points by a defenseman). He added 11 more in 19 playoff games as St. Louis made the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals, losing to the Calgary Flames in seven games.

Two years later, on March 7, 1988, Rob was traded to the Flames (along with Rick Wamsley) in exchange for Brett Hull and Steve Bozek. The blockbuster trade gave the Flames enviable defensive depth by adding him to a core that already boasted veterans Al MacInnis, Gary Suter and Brad McCrimmon.

The following year, he was part of the team that won the Flames' first Stanley Cup, but had little time to celebrate before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2nd round draft pick.

Rob was named the 13th captain in Maple Leafs franchise history and remains the only player in team history to be named team captain before playing a game for the team. He played two years on the Toronto blue line before he was left exposed for the 1991 Expansion and Dispersal Drafts.

As part of a complicated deal that saw the Minnesota North Stars' owners George & Gordon Gund awarded an expansion team in San Jose, they were permitted to raid the roster and farm system of their former club.

As a result, a Dispersal Draft was held that allowed the North Stars to select players from the rest of the league and Minnesota used their first pick to pluck Ramage from the Maple Leafs.

Ramage was disappointed to end his tenure with the Maple Leafs in such an ignominious fashion, saying: "It was upsetting. I guess all athletes have a certain amount of pride and to be left unprotected is definitely a blow to that pride."

Rob spent one season in Minnesota which was cut short when a knee injury required surgery, before finding himself once again on the unprotected list as the league was set to expand by two more clubs with franchises granted in Ottawa and Tampa Bay.

He was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning but failed to make much of an impression with the club as he struggled with just 17 points in 66 games.

Despite his diminishing offensive returns, he was still a respected veteran around the league and was acquired by the Montreal Canadiens in a trade that sent youngsters Eric Charron, Alain Cote and future considerations (Donald Dufresne) to Tampa Bay.

A sprained knee caused Rob to miss the end of the season and the beginning of the playoffs, but he eventually played in seven playoff games, helping the Canadiens defeat the Los Angeles Kings for the 1993 Stanley Cup Championship.

The following year (in the 1993–94 season), he returned to the Canadiens but the defending champions had a deep team and the emergence of rookie Peter Popovic made him expendable so he switched teams for the final time in his career.

Philadelphia acquired Rob from the Canadiens for cash and he suited up for the final fifteen games of his career for the Flyers before retiring at season's end.

Rob's name is on the Stanley Cup as a member of the 1989 Calgary Flames and the 1993 Montreal Canadiens. He also played in four NHL All-Star Games (1981, 1984, 1986, 1988).

Career StatisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1975–76London KnightsOMJHL65123143113
1976–77London KnightsOMJHL65155873177
1977–78London KnightsOMJHL59174764162
1978–79Birmingham BullsWHA80123648165
1979–80Colorado RockiesNHL7582028135
1980–81Colorado RockiesNHL79204262193
1981–82Colorado RockiesNHL70132942201
1982–83St. Louis BluesNHL78163551193403322
1983–84St. Louis BluesNHL801545601211118932
1984–85St. Louis BluesNHL807313817831346
1985–86St. Louis BluesNHL77105666171191101166
1986–87St. Louis BluesNHL59112839106622421
1987–88St. Louis BluesNHL6783442127
1987–88Calgary FlamesNHL1216737913421
1988–89Calgary FlamesNHL6831316156201111226
1989–90Toronto Maple LeafsNHL8084149202512320
1990–91Toronto Maple LeafsNHL80102535173
1991–92Minnesota North StarsNHL3445969
1992–93Tampa Bay LightningNHL6651217138
1992–93Montreal CanadiensNHL8011870004
1993–94Montreal CanadiensNHL60112
1993–94Philadelphia FlyersNHL1501114
NHL totals 1044 139 425 564 2224 84 8 42 50 218

Personal LifeEdit

Rob was born in Byron, Ontario, Canada but grew up in London, Ontario. He attended Byron Northview Public School and Saunders Secondary School in London, Ontario.

In 1982, he married his high school sweetheart Dawn Van Diepen in 1982. They have four children, Dylan, Tamara, Jaclyn and John (who was drafted by the Calgary Flames and is now playing for the Cleveland Monsters (the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Up until January 23, 2009, Rob was a broker at the Clayton, Missouri branch of Wachovia Securities (formerly A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. brokerage firm), acquired by Wells Fargo in 2009.

In December 2011, he was named assistant coach of the London Knights after coach Dale Hunter left the team to become head coach of the Washington Capitals.

Rob's son, John was selected by the Calgary Flames in the 4th round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. John played NCAA Division I college ice hockey with the Wisconsin Badgers men's ice hockey and was named the USA team captain at the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships

On July 30, 2014, Rob re-joined the Canadiens organization, being appointed Player Development Coach.

Impaired Driving ConvictionEdit

On December 15, 2003, Rob was driving former Chicago Blackhawks defenceman and coach Keith Magnuson to an NHLPA players' alumni meeting when his rented Chrysler Intrepid car swerved into the oncoming lane and collided with another vehicle, killing Magnuson and injuring the driver of the other vehicle.

Rob was charged with impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death. His defense lawyer Brian Greenspan claimed the blood & urine tests were flawed & the smell of alcohol came from beer cans that exploded after the crash.

On October 10, 2007, Rob (who had pleaded not guilty) was found guilty on all counts. The Magnuson family had forgiven him and urged the judge not to send him to prison, suggesting that he speak to teens about the dangers of drinking and driving instead.

On December 3, 2007, in a Missouri civil suit, he and the National Car Rental of Canada were found liable for the death of Magnuson. Magnuson's family was awarded $9.5 million.

On January 17, 2008, Rob was sentenced to four years in prison.

Legal experts described the sentence as the harshest ever handed out in Ontario to a motorist with no previous record for drinking and driving. He remained free on bail until his appeal of the sentence was denied on July 12, 2010. In July 2010, he began serving his sentence at Frontenac Institution (a minimum security facility in Kingston, Ontario, Canada).

In March 2011, Rob made his first application for day parole and release to a halfway house, but this request was denied.

The board did grant him permission to leave the minimum-security prison for three-day unescorted absences once a month. The board cited its belief that he did not yet understand the severity of the actions which led to his incarceration. Their concern centered on his drinking habits and whether he took responsibility for the crash.

On May 5, 2011, Rob's second request for day parole was granted. He is barred from drinking alcohol and he is restricted from visiting establishments where alcohol is the primary focus. He must undergo psychological counseling and the court order prevents him from driving.

Originally, Rob was not eligible to seek accelerated parole because his crime was considered violent. The federal government is abolishing legal provisions that free some non-violent, first-time offenders as soon as six months into their sentences.

His sentence expired in July of 2014.

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