Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Dennis Vaske
The game Dennis Vaske played was simple: Go out and prevent goals being scored. No trying to pad your own scoring stats.

Vaske was part of the promising young New York Islanders team in the early 1990s. By the 1993-94 season he had worked his way on to the club full-time despite his notoriously slow starts. His promotion had come after a strong post-season run that had seen the Islanders upset Pittsburgh in seven games in the spring of '93. Vaske stood tall on the defense in that series and halted Mario Lemieux's Penguins quest to lead a new hockey dynasty. In game seven of that series, Vaske broke up a Penguin rush at his blueline, passed to Ray Ferraro, who in turn set up David Volek for the OT winner.

In his first full season Vaske did the job that was expected of him. By the end of the year he was a +21 and had 13 points to his credit. He missed some games due to a broken foot but otherwise he was a regular on the team. The Islanders, though, went out in the first round of the 1993-94 playoffs. While the team had slid back, Vaske appeared to have a bright future.

At the end of the 1994-95 season an ankle injury sidelined the defenseman. Over the summer a contract squabble kept him on the sidelines. Eventually, the Islanders did sign Vaske and he joined the training camp. Early in the new season Vaske suffered a concussion following a hit from behind by Los Angeles Kings forward Eric Lacroix. The Islanders' misfortune did not end there. In a short span Ken Belanger and Brett Lindros were also lost to concussions; in the Lindros case the loss was permanent as he retired.

Vaske tried to shake off the effects of the concussion and rejoined the team for the 1996-97 season, but a dislocated left shoulder sidelined him early in the campaign. In November, Vaske was lost for the remainder of the season by his second concussion after playing just 17 games.

He tried to play again for the Islanders in 1997-98. This time he lasted 19 games before suffering his third concussion. A short retirement followed. In spite of warnings from specialists of the Mayo clinic, Vaske made one further attempt at continuing his NHL career with the Boston Bruins. The tryout lasted three games before he ended his NHL career.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1984-85 Armstrong High School High-MN 22 5 18 23
1985-86 Armstrong High School High-MN 20 9 13 22
1986-87 U. of Minnesota-Duluth WCHA 33 0 2 2 40
1987-88 U. of Minnesota-Duluth WCHA 39 1 6 7 90
1988-89 U. of Minnesota-Duluth WCHA 37 9 19 28 86
1989-90 U. of Minnesota-Duluth WCHA 37 5 24 29 72
1990-91 New York Islanders NHL 5 0 0 0 2 +4
1990-91 Capital District Islanders AHL 67 10 10 20 65
1991-92 New York Islanders NHL 39 0 1 1 39 +5
1991-92 Capital District Islanders AHL 31 1 11 12 59
1991-92 United States WC-A 6 0 0 0 6
1992-93 New York Islanders NHL 27 1 5 6 32 +9 18 0 6 6 14
1992-93 Capital District Islanders AHL 42 4 15 19 70
1993-94 New York Islanders NHL 65 2 11 13 76 +21 4 0 1 1 2
1994-95 New York Islanders NHL 41 1 11 12 53 +3
1995-96 New York Islanders NHL 19 1 6 7 21 -13
1996-97 New York Islanders NHL 17 0 4 4 12 +3
1997-98 New York Islanders NHL 19 0 3 3 12 +2
1998-99 Boston Bruins NHL 3 0 0 0 6 -3
1998-99 Providence Bruins AHL 43 2 13 15 56 +6 19 1 5 6 26
NHL Totals 235 5 41 46 253 22 0 7 7 16


Missed remainder of 1995-96 due to concussion vs. Los Angeles, November 22, 1995.
Missed majority of 1996-97 due to concussion vs. Washington, November 29, 1996.
Missed remainder of 1997-98 due to concussion vs. Buffalo, November 22, 1997. Signed as a free agent by Boston, September 10, 1998.
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