Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Poul Popiel
Although born and raised in his early years in Denmark, Poul Popiel played his junior hockey for the St. Catharines Teepees of the OHA from 1960 to 1963.

The Chicago Blackhawks initially owned his rights although he never cracked their lineup. Instead he toiled in their minor-league system first, for the most part with the St. Louis Braves, where he shared honours with Garry Peters as the league's Rookie of the Year. Then in 1964-65, he stepped up to the Buffalo Bisons of the AHL for one year before being claimed by the Boston Bruins in an intra-league draft in 1965.

As a journeyman defenseman though, it was difficult for Popiel to catch on with an original-six lineup. So it was back to the minors after only three Bruin games, this time with the Hershey Bears of the AHL. In 1967, as the NHL expanded, the Los Angeles Kings who tucked him away with their AHL affiliate, the Springfield Kings, claimed Popiel. But the following year he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings where he finally got his first full season in the NHL before splitting 1969-70 between the Wings and their minor-league affiliate in Cleveland.

In 1970-71, the Vancouver Canucks who used the veteran to stabilize their newly formed blueline corps again claimed Popiel in an Expansion Draft, this time. But as was always the case in the NHL, he tended to be used as a defensive stopgap who was useful only so long as there were injuries or short-term holes to be filled on the roster.

Not long after the start of the 1971-72 season, Popiel was dispatched to the Rochester Americans where he stayed only long enough to work out a deal with the Houston Aeros of the newly formed World Hockey Association. In Houston, he finally found a stable home as a blueline regular for six seasons. But by 1978, he felt he'd had his fill of the WHA. So he was quick to jump at an offer to play for Innsbruck in Austria for one season.

The following year, Edmonton Oilers' GM Glenn Sather brought Popiel back to the NHL as a fill-in during a rash of injuries. He savoured every moment of his ten games with the Oilers before rounding out his lengthy pro career with the Houston Apollos and the Muskegon Mohawks, retiring in 1981.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1960-61 St. Catharines Teepees OHA-Jr. 38 2 9 11 74 3 0 1 1 2
1961-62 St. Catharines Teepees OHA-Jr. 49 3 16 19 128 6 0 0 0 11
1962-63 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA-Jr. 50 11 34 45 131
1962-63 Buffalo Bisons AHL 2 0 1 1 2
1963-64 Buffalo Bisons AHL 4 0 0 0 4
1963-64 St. Louis Braves CPHL 54 9 14 23 78 6 0 1 1 17
1964-65 Buffalo Bisons AHL 48 7 12 19 76 9 0 1 1 29
1965-66 Boston Bruins NHL 3 0 1 1 2
1965-66 Hershey Bears AHL 63 6 26 32 101 3 0 0 0 2
1966-67 Hershey Bears AHL 63 5 27 32 134 5 1 0 1 10
1967-68 Los Angeles Kings NHL 1 0 0 0 0 -1 3 1 0 1 4
1967-68 Springfield Kings AHL 72 8 27 35 180 4 0 0 0 4
1968-69 Springfield Kings AHL 13 0 10 10 19
1968-69 Detroit Red Wings NHL 62 2 13 15 82 +10
1969-70 Cleveland Barons AHL 22 3 15 18 14
1969-70 Detroit Red Wings NHL 32 0 4 4 29 +5 1 0 0 0 0
1970-71 Vancouver Canucks NHL 78 10 22 32 61 +9
1971-72 Vancouver Canucks NHL 38 1 1 2 36 -11
1971-72 Rochester Americans AHL 12 7 4 11 10
1972-73 Houston Aeros WHA 74 16 48 64 158 10 2 9 11 23
1973-74 Houston Aeros WHA 78 7 41 48 126 14 1 14 15 22
1974-75 Houston Aeros WHA 78 11 53 64 22 13 1 10 11 34
1975-76 Houston Aeros WHA 78 10 36 46 71 17 3 5 8 16
1976-77 Houston Aeros WHA 80 12 56 68 87 11 0 7 7 10
1977-78 Houston Aeros WHA 80 6 31 37 53 6 0 2 2 13
1978-79 Innsbrucker EV Austria 34 6 28 34 99
1979-80 Edmonton Oilers NHL 10 0 0 0 0 -5
1979-80 Houston Apollos CHL 57 2 27 29 28 6 0 1 1 10
1980-81 57 2 27 29 28 6 0 1 1 10
1981-82 Muskegon Mohawks IHL 12 0 4 4 10
NHL Totals 224 13 41 54 210 4 1 0 1 4


Ken McKenzie Trophy (Rookie of the Year - CPHL) (1964) (co-winner Garry Peters)
WHA Second All-Star Team (1975, 1977)
Claimed by Boston from Chicago in Intra-League Draft, June 9, 1965. Claimed by Los Angeles from Boston in Expansion Draft, June 6, 1967. Traded to Detroit by Los Angeles for Ron Anderson, November 12, 1968. Claimed by Vancouver from Detroit in Expansion Draft, June 10, 1970. Selected by Dayton-Houston (WHA) in 1972 WHA General Player Draft, February 12, 1972. Signed as a free agent by Edmonton, November 2, 1979.
Surname(s) beginning with