Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Mike Baumgartner
Drafted by Chicago in 1969, Baumgartner was a rare player in the 60s who developed his hockey skills at an American college, in his case the University of North Dakota. He played two years in the minors for the Hawks affiliate in Dallas, and then three quick trades had him wondering where he'd play next. He went from the Hawks to Atlnata to Montreal to Kansas City in less than a year, and it was with the Scouts that he made his NHL debut, one that was short-lived and debilitating.

In the third period of an otherwise forgettable game in Kansas City on Dec. 14, 1974, Vancouver Canuck defenceman Dennis Kearns sent a slapshot toward the Kansas City Scouts net. Mike Baumgartner, in his 17th game as an NHLer with the Scouts, was struck near his left eye by the shot. The eye was damaged by the blow. A scar formed, and Baumgartner was forced to miss the rest of the season.

He returned home to Roseau, Minnesota, a town of 3,000 near the Canada-U.S. border, and hoped his vision would return enough to allow him to continue playing hockey. The signs over the summer were not positive. He played softball but had trouble following the ball, and when he reported to the Scouts training camp, he couldn't follow the puck. He was sent down to Springfield in the AHL, but in his first game with the Indians he broke his nose. He was sent to doctors in Boston and Kansas City, and at that point he decided that that game in Springfield would be his last as a professional.

Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1966-67 Roseau Rams High-MN
1967-68 University of North Dakota WCHA 29 3 9 12
1968-69 University of North Dakota WCHA 29 2 5 7 12
1969-70 University of North Dakota WCHA 30 9 5 14 12
1970-71 University of North Dakota WCHA 33 6 13 19 29
1971-72 Dallas Black Hawks CHL 72 3 22 25 66 12 1 2 3 6
1972-73 Dallas Black Hawks CHL 72 10 37 47 75 4 0 2 2 4
1973-74 Omaha Knights CHL 70 7 36 43 28 5 0 1 1 6
1974-75 Kansas City Scouts NHL 17 0 0 0 0 -9
1975-76 Springfield Indians AHL 1 0 0 0 2
NHL Totals 17 0 0 0 0

Traded to Atlanta by Chicago for Lynn Powis, August 30, 1973. Traded to Montreal by Atlanta for cash, May 27, 1974. Traded to Kansas City by Montreal for cash, August 22, 1974.
Suffered eventual career-ending eye injury in game vs. Vancouver, December 14, 1974.
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