Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Ron Stackhouse
Growing up in the sparsely-populated area of Haliburton, young Ron Stackhouse had little else to entertain himself with than to dream about a career in professional hockey. He watched the Leafs play on Saturday nights and savoured every chance to see his hero, Frank Mahovlich, take his patented long strides up the ice.

Stackhouse took a serious step towards fulfilling his dream when he joined the Peterborough Petes of the OHA in 1967. In his second season with the club, the mobile rearguard won Second-Team All-Star status and, under coach Roger Neilson, had the unusual distinction of replacing his goalie in order to face a penalty shot. Neilson had discovered there was no rule to prevent him from pulling the distracting stunt that, executed by the bewildered Stackhouse, worked to legendary effect.

As a second-round pick of the California Golden Seals in 1969, he headed west to try out with the club. But coach Fred Glover felt that the young blueliner needed some seasoning. As such, he was sent to play for the Providence Reds of the AHL where, after a string of bad games, the fans wanted to run him out of town. When the team failed to make the playoffs, that's precisely what the team did. He was lent to the Seattle Totems of the WHL where he redeemed himself during the playoffs.

In 1970-71, Stackhouse joined the Seals on a full-time basis. He was paired with Carol Vadnais and the duo clicked. From that point on, he began to solidify all aspects of his game. He played with an offensive orientation, could skate well for a big man, possessed a solid, low shot from the point, and grew to become a fearless shot-blocker.

Early in his second campaign with the club, the Seals couldn't resist making a grab for the offensively prolific Tom Webster. As an exchange, they sent Stackhouse to Detroit where he continued to improve his game during each of his winters in the Motor City. His place on the roster seemed secure, however, until he had a mysterious falling out with the club's management -- a conflict he never fully understood. Nonetheless, he was dispatched in short order to Pittsburgh in 1974.

With the Pens, Stackhouse reached the peak of his blueline proficiency. He became a mainstay on the club's backline over the seven-and-a-half seasons that followed. But in spite of his solid play, there was little that was harmonious about his time in Pittsburgh. The fans at the Igloo wanted to see big players, like Stackhouse, hit everybody that moved with the intent to destroy. Anything less was met with choruses of boos and catcalls. It was not in the beleaguered rearguard's nature to do anymore physically than was necessary to secure his zone.

As a result, he frequently asked to be moved to another NHL locale. But through the long, arduous years, a deal was never struck. Instead, he put in his time until retirement came at the close of the 1981-82 season.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1965-1967 Haliburton Hawks OHA-D
1967-68 Peterborough Petes OHA-Jr. 49 13 9 22 88 5 0 3 3 20
1968-69 Peterborough Petes OHA-Jr. 54 15 31 46 52 10 6 4 10 14
1969-70 Providence Reds AHL 65 1 5 6 37
1969-70 Seattle Totems WHL 5 0 0 0 0
1970-71 California Seals NHL 78 8 24 32 73 -28
1971-72 California Golden Seals NHL 5 1 3 4 6 0
1971-72 Detroit Red Wings NHL 74 5 25 30 83 -8
1972-73 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 5 29 34 82 +22
1973-74 Detroit Red Wings NHL 33 2 14 16 33 +1
1973-74 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 36 4 15 19 33 +12
1974-75 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 72 15 45 60 52 +13 9 2 6 8 10
1975-76 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 80 11 60 71 76 +19 3 0 0 0 0
1976-77 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 80 7 34 41 72 +11 3 2 1 3 0
1977-78 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 50 5 15 20 36 -16
1978-79 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 75 10 33 43 54 +21 7 0 0 0 4
1979-80 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 78 6 27 33 36 +16 5 1 0 1 18
1980-81 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 74 6 29 35 86 -11 4 0 1 1 6
1981-82 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 76 2 19 21 102 -11 1 0 0 0 0
NHL Totals 889 87 372 459 824 32 5 8 13 38


OHA-Jr. Second All-Star Team (1969) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1980) Traded to Detroit by California for Tom Webster, October 22, 1971. Traded to Pittsburgh by Detroit for Jack Lynch and Jim Rutherford, January 17, 1974.
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