Tuesday

Brad Palmer

Brad Palmer was a promising prospect who quickly disappeared.

Brad was a first round pick (16th overall in 1980) of the Minnesota North Stars after a fine junior career with the Victoria Cougars of the WHL. A native of nearby Duncan BC, Brad was a good skater who had a very heavy though not always accurate shot.

Brad joined the North Stars after completing the Junior season in 80-81, and played a big role in the North Stars Cinderella run to the 1981 Stanley Cup finals. After scoring 4 goals and 4 assists in 23 regular season NHL games, Brad scored 8 goals and 13 points in 19 playoff games. Things looked bright for the Stars. They had unexpectedly reach the Cup finals and boasted one of the best collection of young players in the league - Smith, Ciccarelli, Young, Hartsburg, Broten and yes, Brad Palmer.

In his first full season with Minnesota, 1981-82, he notched a respectable 22 goals and 45 points However the 1982 Entry Draft drastically affected Palmer's budding career. A young phenom named Brian Bellows was considered to be the best player available and was widely expected to go 1st overall to the Boston Bruins, who acquired the pick from the Colorado Rockies. The North Stars however drastically covetted Bellows and were prepared to do whatever it took to get him in a Minnesota uniform. The Stars first acquired the 2nd overall pick from Detroit in one trade. Then they traded Palmer along with Dave Donnelly to the Boston Bruins in exchange for "future considerations." Palmer and Donnelly were essentially given to the Bruins in exchange for Boston's promise not to select Bellows. Instead, Gord Kluzak went first overall in that Entry Draft.

Kluzak was a fine defenseman but had his career robbed by serious knee injuries. Donnelly never amounted to much, and Palmer quickly fizzled out in Boston. Bellows went on to a career spanning over 1000 games, nearly 500 goals and 1000 points. Needless to say it wasn't a great deal for the Bruins.

It wasn't a great deal for Palmer either. He had a tough time in his first year in Beantown. After tallying only 6 goals in the 82-83 season, Brad found himself in Hershey of the AHL for the 83-84 season. There was no interest in his services at the NHL level so he moved to Europe to play in the 84-85 season. He played in Switzerland that year and later played in Finland and Austria before retiring from hockey in 1990.

10 comments:

Paul,  January 11, 2011 at 8:32 PM  

He shot a puck through the net in a 1981 playoff game against Calgary.

Adam,  February 13, 2011 at 12:29 PM  

Brad is a second cousin to me, he lives in Victoria BC now. I have a copy of the game where he shot the puck through the net against Calgary, quality is fairly washed out though.

Anonymous,  July 13, 2011 at 6:47 PM  

He lives in Lake Cowichan, actually. I used to be his neighbour, and I visit him every little once in awhile.

Ron,  September 16, 2011 at 10:23 AM  

Not only did he shoot the puck hard, Brad was also scouted by MBA for his pitching talent. I have not seen or spoken to him in years. But I do remember the Gordie Howe hat-trick against Wayne Gretzky's Oilers in the fall of 1982. Briuns 5 Oilers 3 (Laurie Boschman black-eye) Brad had tickets at the sold-out Edmonton Coliseum door waiting for me and I was able to join the Briuns after the game for the celebration. It was a memorable night to say the least.

Anonymous,  February 20, 2012 at 12:05 AM  

No he was born in Duncan, raised in Lake Cowichan and at age 14 left for Kelowna to play for the Buckaroos. Then on to the WHL Victoria Cougars and then on to the NHL....After retiring he lives in Victoria and has always lived in Victoria.

Russ

Anonymous,  September 15, 2012 at 10:51 PM  

Yes as a cousin (like Russ and Adam) he lives in Victoria.

Cory

Rik April 30, 2015 at 6:37 PM  

I was Brads neighbour for years. I went to school with his sister. I watched his hockey career go forward. He is a nice guy and was a excellent player. I wish he could of lasted longer in the league. He was a good neighbour.

Brittney Anderson August 30, 2015 at 7:10 PM  

So does he do anything with the NHL now a days or does he still live in BC?

walleyeb1 September 4, 2015 at 12:20 PM  

Curious as to what he does now. Does he still live in Canada?

Anonymous,  September 15, 2015 at 12:32 PM  

Hey Brittney, he became very successful in business and never looked back. He has worked with some of the more interesting people in the world. Brad moved to Mexico a number of years ago and he's settled into writing books. He was a great player, too bad he suffered such a serious injury. He is also as nice a person as you will ever meet.

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