Ron Zanussi

Ron Zanussi (no relation to Joe Zanussi) was a hard working, physical winger for nearly 300 NHL games. He played four seasons with the Minnesota North Stars and two more with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Zanussi scored 52 goals and 135 points in that time, but it was his spirited physical play that earned him applause.

"What I like about Zanussi," said Minnesota coach Ted Harris "is that he goes up and down his wing the same on the road as he does in the home games. He can score and takes the body.

Initially the North Stars demoted Zanussi to apprentice in the minor leagues with Fort Wayne.

"I loved that Texas weather, but (the NHL) is a better place to be," he said. "No, I didn't expect such a quick call-up. I was told when I got back that the team needed more aggressiveness on the wings. I feel that's a strong point in my game."

Enthusiasm and aggressiveness were key words for Zanussi. But he played generally with in the rules. Never did he outrage any with ludicrous penalty minute totals. In fact he had "just" 373 in his NHL career.

In 3 of his 4 seasons in Minnesota he challenged the 15 goal and 30 point mark, topping out with 45 points in 1979-80. But by 1980-81 Zanussi's playing time had been cut and he wanted to try to rejuvenate his career with another team.

Zanussi, the former London Knights junior star, became the first player in Toronto Maple Leafs history with his last name starting with the letter "Z." The trade from Minnesota was interesting in that Zanussi's agent was Brent Imlach, the son of Leafs general manager Punch Imlach. The trade deadline deal for a draft pick is an otherwise unnoteworthy transaction. Zanussi scored 3 goals in 58 games with the Leafs before finishing his carer in the minor leagues.


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