Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Gord Kluzak
Defenceman Gord Kluzak was a punishing hitter who could also play offense. He played only four full seasons with the Boston Bruins because of severe knee problems. His impact when healthy was considerable and he would have surely been a star for a number years had he stayed healthy.

Born in Climax, Saskatchewan, Kluzak starred with the Billings Bighorns of the WHL for two seasons from 1980 to 1982. During the 1981-82 season he was a rock on Team Canada's defense corps when it won the country's first ever gold medal at the World Junior Championships. Kluzak was placed on the tournament all-star team and named the top defenceman at the championships. Following the 1981-82 junior season he was voted on to the WHL second all-star team. That year, however, he suffered a knee injury, which bothered him periodically throughout the remainder of his career.

Despite the multitude of concerns expressed about Kluzak's knee, his enormous potential was tantalizing to the Boston Bruins who picked him first overall at the 1982 Entry Draft. As a rookie in 1982-83 he was respectable but capable of much better. The next season Kluzak raised the level of his game at both ends of the ice. During the last game of the 1984 exhibition season his knee suffered another serious blow. The required surgery kept him out of action for the entire 1984-85 season.

Kluzak returned to the Boston line-up in 1985-86 and scored 39 points while playing a strong physical game. His knee woes returned and forced him to sit out the 1986-87 season. The 1987-88 season was Kluzak's last full year as a pro. In many ways it was his most satisfying as Kluzak scored 12 points in 23 games to help the team reached the Stanley Cup final. He and rookie Glen Wesley took much of the burden off Ray Bourque that kept the talented veteran fresh throughout the playoffs. Along the way, Boston defeated the Montreal Canadiens for only their third series win versus the Habs in 22 tries.

Kluzak's knee problems became chronic and limited him to 13 games over the next three years until he retired in 1991. He was presented the Bill Masterton trophy in 1990 in recognition of his dedication while battling his recurring knee injuries.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1980-81 Billings Bighorns WHL 68 4 34 38 160 5 0 1 1 4
1981-82 Billings Bighorns WHL 38 9 24 33 110
1981-82 Canada WJC-A 7 0 1 1 4
1982-83 Boston Bruins NHL 70 1 6 7 105 +6 17 1 4 5 54
1983-84 Boston Bruins NHL 80 10 27 37 135 +9 3 0 0 0 0
1984-85 Boston Bruins NHLMGNT
1985-86 Boston Bruins NHL 70 8 31 39 155 +3 3 1 1 2 16
1986-87 Boston Bruins NHLMGNT
1987-88 Boston Bruins NHL 66 6 31 37 135 +18 23 4 8 12 59
1988-89 Boston Bruins NHL 3 0 1 1 2 -2
1989-90 Boston Bruins NHL 8 0 2 2 11 +4
1990-91 Boston Bruins NHL 2 0 0 0 0 +2
NHL Totals 299 25 98 123 543 46 6 13 19 129


WHL Second All-Star Team (1982)
WJC-A All-Star Team (1982)
Named Best Defenseman at WJC-A (1982)
Bill Masterton Trophy (1990)
Missed entire 1984-85 due to knee injury in pre-season vs. New Jersey, October 7, 1984.
Missed entire 1986-87 due to knee surgery, September, 1986.
Missed majority of 1988-89 due to 8th knee surgery, September 17, 1988.
Missed majority of 1989-90 due to 10th knee surgery, October 27, 1989.
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