Thursday

Denis Dupere

Denise Dupere was born in Jonquiese, Quebec in June 21, 1948. Aside from playing in the NHL, Dupere could also claim fame in the fact that he was a cousin of professional wrestling legend Mad Dog Vachon.

Dupere was a penalty killing specialist and extraordinary faceoff expert for over 400 NHL games with 4 organizations. A large left winger at 6'1" 200lbs, Dupere was a very clean player, picking up only 66 penalty minutes in his 8 year NHL career.

Originally recruited by the New York Rangers, he was traded to Toronto to complete the Tim Horton trade. He spent most of his first two pro seasons in the CHL, but did play in 20 games with the Leafs in 1970-71.
By 1971-72 he had made the NHL on a regular basis. He enjoyed three seasons with the Leafs, including scoring 36 points in just 61 games in 1972-73. However when expansion came callin in 1974, the Washington Capitals snatched up the journeyman. Dupere's stay in Washington was short but successful. He scored 20 goals and 35 points in 53 games before he was traded to St. Louis where he added 3 more goals and 9 more points. Dupere would join Kansas City the next season and would move to Colorado when the franchise relocated and became the Rockies.

Dupere's stay in Colorado wasn't overly heartwarming. The team refused to trade Dupere, instead they banished him to the minors and told him they would terminate his contract at the end of year. Dupere did get recalled though, and made the most of his new lease on life. With the Rockies looking for a playoff spot and with scoring star Wilf Paiement in a slump, Dupere scored 20 points in 15 games to finish the season. The Rockies made the playoffs where Dupere scored 1 goal in the team's 2 games. Dupere's late season heroics earned him a verbal agreement with ownership over a new one-way deal, however the team was sold to new owners before a contract could be officially signed. The new owners refused to grant Dupere a one way contract, so he retired from hockey.

Dupere, who had a good wrist shot, scored 80 goals and 179 points in 421 NHL games. He rounded out his hockey career by playing and coaching in France.

4 comments:

Anonymous,  4:11 PM  

Went to Walter Tkaczuk's hockey camp in the summer of 1973, where Denis Dupere was a teacher. He was a nice guy and an excellent teacher of the game.

Anonymous,  7:55 AM  

Actually, Denis Dupere didn't exactly retire from hockey after his stint in the NHL. In 1980, he went to Europe to play in Lyon, France (replacing former Leaf Jim McKenny) as one of the two imported players each team was allowed. He then returned the following year.....and the year after, as coach of the team.

Mike Goyetche,  11:18 PM  

I grow up playing hockey and baseball with Denis in Jonquere I'm one year older than Denis and a year after I left the region to play in the Det.Red Wings org.I received a call from him to see how the year had gone since he had been picked by the Rangers. That was the last time I heard from him..It would be great to hear from him since we where good friends growing up..

Anonymous,  6:03 PM  

Met Denis a 2 years ago and he is a great man! The love he has for this game still is wonderful to listen to. It was a pleasure to meet him

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