Nick Kypreos

Nick Kypreos was a perfect 4th line hockey player.

Kypreos was a tough player but was intelligent enough to keep his emotions under control when his team really needed disciplined aggression. He excelled in the 4th line role because of his combination of work ethic, fearlessness and understanding of the game and his own limitations.

Despite incredible strength in his legs Kypreos lacked foot speed to become much of an offensive player. He however excelled in the corners where his leg strength gave him power and endurance in the wars along the boards. He willingly paid the price needed in order to get the puck and put it on net or to a teammate. His playmaking skills once he got the puck were very much underrated.

He also was a willing fighter known for a good left hand.

Like many role players, Nick made immeasurable contributions off the ice. His intensity and energy always inspired his teammates. He was great in the dressing room and always kept his teammates in good spirits.

Nick was never drafted  despite some averaging a goal a game in his final two years of junior. The Philadelphia Flyers offered him a minor league contract in 1984. However Nick never played with the Flyers.

After two strong years in the minors Nick was picked up in the pre-season waiver draft by the Washington Capitals. It was with the Capitals that Nick broke into the NHL, playing 3 seasons as a highly thought of role player.

Despite his contributions the Capitals moved Kypreos to Hartford in exchange for veteran Mark Hunter. Kypreos had a strong season. He scored a very respectable 17 goals and 27 points while accumulating 325 penalty minutes!

Despite that strong season Nick was included in the big three way Steve Larmer trade early in the 1993-94 season which saw both Nick and Larmer join the New York Rangers. It was a good move for both players as they were members of the historic 1994 Rangers Stanley Cup team.

Nick stayed in New York until a traded on February 29, 1996 took him to Toronto. However Kypreos was the center of much unwanted attention in the 1995-96 playoffs against St. Louis when he landed on Blues goalie Grant Fuhr in the crease, tearing up Fuhr's knee, an injury that early on looked like it might end Grant's illustrious career. The play, which many said Kypreos could have prevented, was one of the more controversial plays in the playoffs during the 1990s.

An injury plagued 1996-97 season proved to be Nick's last in professional hockey. He eventually had to retire after missing the entire 1997-98 season because of a serious concussion. Ironically the concussion he sustained happened in a preseason fight against the New York Rangers Ryan Vandenbusche on Sept. 15, 1997. Ironic because Kypreos was one of the NHL's toughest fighters. Usually Kypreos was the one causing damage in a fight - this time Kypreos was KOed straight to retirement. Kypreos' decision to retire came at the advice of Chicago neurosurgeon Dr. James Kelly.

Kypreos had 46 goals, 44 assists and 1,210 penalty minutes in 442 games and 34 playoff games with the Washington Capitals, Hartford Whalers, New York Rangers and his home town Toronto Maple Leafs.

He later became a well known television broadcaster.


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