Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Darren Veitch
One would not think that a children's toy could jeopardize a career but one only has to look at Darren Veitch to find such a player. Veitch, drafted 5th overall by the Washington Capitals, was in his own living room when he tripped on his child's toy and put his arm through a glass end table. The injury could have ended his season, and possibly his career, if he did not have microsurgery. Veitch only took two games off after the procedure. At the end of the season he was named one of The Hockey News Comeback Player of the Year.

Veitch's early career was one marked with injuries and a comparison with the defenseman drafted immediately after him. While the Capitals selected Veitch 5th, the Edmonton Oilers picked Paul Coffey with the sixth selection. Coffey was burning up the NHL while Veitch couldn't get a full-time roster spot until his fifth professional season. The comparison was, of course, unfair since teams draft players to fill certain needs or to take the best pick available. Washington drafted Veitch for a reason and could only guess how he would turn out. Another hindrance for him in Washington was the Capitals' depth on defense.

A trade to Detroit on March 10, 1986 boosted Veitch's career. There were some initial troubles with learning Red Wings coach Jacques Demers system. Once that was settled the statistics rose again and, more importantly, the Red Wings won more games.

His downfall in Detroit happened when the Edmonton Oilers eliminated the Red Wings in six games. Coach Demers laid the blame on six players, including Veitch, who had partied into the early morning of the game day. Veitch was denied a playoff bonus because of the incident. When he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on June 10, 1988, Red Wing general manager Jimmy Devellano insisted the curfew breaking was not a factor in the deal.

Veitch managed to play parts of two seasons in the NHL before winding up in the minor leagues.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1976-77 Regina Blues SJHL 60 15 21 36 121
1976-77 Regina Pats WCJHL 1 0 0 0 0
1977-78 Regina Pats WCJHL 71 13 32 45 135 9 0 2 2 4
1978-79 Regina Pats WHL 51 11 36 47 80
1979-80 Regina Pats WHL 71 29 93 122 118 18 13 18 31 13
1979-80 Regina Pats M-Cup 4 3 5 8 4
1980-81 Washington Capitals NHL 59 4 21 25 46 -12
1980-81 Hershey Bears AHL 26 6 22 28 12 10 6 3 9 15
1981-82 Washington Capitals NHL 67 9 44 53 54 -17
1981-82 Hershey Bears AHL 10 5 10 15 16
1982-83 Washington Capitals NHL 10 0 8 8 0 -1
1982-83 Hershey Bears AHL 5 0 1 1 2
1983-84 Washington Capitals NHL 46 6 18 24 17 0 5 0 1 1 15
1983-84 Hershey Bears AHL 11 1 6 7 4
1984-85 Washington Capitals NHL 75 3 18 21 37 +31 5 0 1 1 4
1985-86 Washington Capitals NHL 62 3 9 12 27 +21
1985-86 Detroit Red Wings NHL 13 0 5 5 2 -9
1986-87 Detroit Red Wings NHL 77 13 45 58 52 +14 12 3 4 7 8
1987-88 Detroit Red Wings NHL 63 7 33 40 45 +11 11 1 5 6 6
1988-89 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 37 3 7 10 16 -17
1988-89 Newmarket Saints AHL 33 5 19 24 29 5 0 4 4 4
1989-90 Newmarket Saints AHL 78 13 54 67 30
1990-91 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 2 0 1 1 0 -4
1990-91 Newmarket Saints AHL 56 7 28 35 26
1990-91 Peoria Rivermen IHL 18 2 14 16 10 19 4 12 16 10
1991-92 Moncton Hawks AHL 61 6 23 29 47 11 0 6 6 2
1991-92 EV Landshut Germany 14 2 4 6 4
1992-93 Peoria Rivermen IHL 79 12 37 49 16 4 2 0 2 4
1993-94 Peoria Rivermen IHL 76 21 54 75 16 6 1 1 2 0
1994-95 Peoria Rivermen IHL 75 8 42 50 42 9 0 2 2 8
1995-96 Peoria Rivermen IHL 15 1 9 10 8
1995-96 Phoenix Roadrunners IHL 43 1 15 16 12 1 0 0 0 0
1996-97
1997-98 Phoenix Mustangs WCHL 59 6 31 37 40 9 3 6 9 12
1998-99 Phoenix Mustangs WCHL 52 3 29 32 46 -9 3 0 1 1 2
NHL Totals 511 48 209 257 296 33 4 11 15 33


WHL First All-Star Team (1980)
Memorial Cup All-Star Team (1980)
AHL Second All-Star Team (1990)
Governors' Trophy (Outstanding Defenseman - IHL) (1994)
Missed majority of 1982-83 due to collarbone injury vs. Vancouver, October 28, 1982. Traded to Detroit by Washington for John Barrett and Greg Smith, March 10, 1986. Traded to Toronto by Detroit for Miroslav Frycer, June 10, 1988. Traded to St. Louis by Toronto for Keith Osborne, March 5, 1991. Signed as a free agent by Phoenix (WCHL), October 6, 1997.
Retired in 1996-97 to work as colour analyst on Phoenix Roadrunners television broadcasts.
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