Brent Bernard Sopel (born January 7, 1977) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey defenceman who played the majority of his career in the National Hockey League (NHL). Sopel was originally selected 144th overall at the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, the organization he began his NHL career with. He has also played for the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Montreal Canadiens, winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 with Chicago.
Sopel while playing for Metallurg Novokuznetsk
January 7, 1977|
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)|
New York Islanders
Los Angeles Kings
Salavat Yulaev Ufa
144th overall, 1995|
In addition to his NHL career, Sopel has also played in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) with Metallurg Novokuznetsk and Salavat Yulaev Ufa, also briefly playing for the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Chicago Wolves before retiring from professional hockey in 2015.
On April 3, 1996, just under a year after being drafted, Sopel signed his first professional contract with his draft team, the Vancouver Canucks. He was told by Coach Marc Crawford that he would never play in the NHL, but Sopel scored his first NHL goal on April 10, 1999, against the Edmonton Oilers' Tommy Salo. In 2002, Sopel won the Fred J. Hume Award for Unsung Hero voted by the Vancouver Canucks Booster Club. On December 31, 2001, and January 21, 2002, Sopel won USA Today's NHL Player of the Week award.
Sopel was traded back to the Canucks during their 2006–07 season on February 1, 2007, the NHL trade deadline day. He missed the first game of the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Dallas Stars after he injured his back while picking up a cracker that was dropped by his daughter. The Canucks beat the Stars in quadruple overtime, in the sixth longest game in NHL history.
New York IslandersEdit
On August 3, 2005, the Canucks traded Sopel to the New York Islanders in exchange for a conditional draft pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. On August 16, just under a week after being traded, Sopel signed a two-year, $4.8 million contract with the Islanders.
Heading into the 2007–08 season with no contract, Sopel was invited to the Detroit Red Wings' training camp. However, on September 28, 2007, Sopel left Detroit's camp, instead signing a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Chicago Blackhawks after the Red Wings had only offered a one-year, $500,000 contract. On January 10, 2008, Sopel signed a three-year, $7 million contract extension with the Blackhawks, keeping him in Chicago through to the 2010–11 season. On June 9, 2010, Brent Sopel won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks.
In June 2010, Sopel brought the team's recently-won Stanley Cup to the 2010 Chicago Gay Pride Parade. Sopel brought the Cup to the parade in honour of the late Brendan Burke, son of his former general manager while playing for Vancouver, Brian Burke, to display it in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade, stating to the press that honouring Burke's legacy and his father's example of familial support and tolerance was one of his reasons for marching in the parade.
On June 23, 2010, Sopel was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers, along with Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu, in exchange for the 24th (Kevin Hayes) and 54th overall picks (Justin Holl) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Marty Reasoner, Joey Crabb and Jeremy Morin.
After playing 59 games for Atlanta, registering two goals and seven points, Sopel was then traded to the Montreal Canadiens, along with Nigel Dawes, in exchange for Ben Maxwell and a fourth-round draft pick in 2011 on February 24, 2011.
Kontinental Hockey LeagueEdit
On July 29, 2011, Sopel announced that he had signed a two-year contract with Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). During the 2012–13 season, his second with Novokuznetsk, Sopel was traded to Salavat Yulaev Ufa for their playoff campaign on January 31, 2013. During the subsequent summer, he signed a two-year contract extension with Salavat Yulaev.
On October 10, 2014, the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL) announced that they had signed Sopel to a standard player contract for the 2014–15 season. On February 27, 2015, however, after 29 games played, Sopel announced his retirement from professional hockey.
After his daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia, Sopel was also diagnosed with the learning disability after the symptoms sounded similar to his struggles. This inspired him to create the Brent Sopel Foundation to help promote and raise funds for youth with dyslexia.
|1994–95||Swift Current Broncos||WHL||41||4||19||23||50||3||0||3||3||0|
|1995–96||Swift Current Broncos||WHL||71||13||48||61||87||6||1||2||3||4|
|1996–97||Swift Current Broncos||WHL||62||15||41||56||109||10||5||11||16||32|
|2000–01||Kansas City Blades||IHL||4||0||1||1||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||New York Islanders||NHL||57||2||25||27||64||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||11||0||0||1||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||44||4||19||23||14||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||Salavat Yulaev Ufa||KHL||4||0||2||2||0||14||4||1||5||6|
|2013–14||Salavat Yulaev Ufa||KHL||38||1||9||10||14||18||0||1||1||19|
- July 8, 1995 – Drafted in the sixth round, 144th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft
- August 3, 2005 – Traded by the Vancouver Canucks to the New York Islanders for the Islanders' second round selection (Bryce Swan — later acquired by Anaheim) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft
- March 8, 2006 – Traded by the New York Islanders with Mark Parrish to the Los Angeles Kings for Denis Grebeshkov and Jeff Tambellini
- February 26, 2007 – Traded by the Los Angeles Kings to the Vancouver Canucks for the Canucks' second round selection (Wayne Simmonds — originally acquired from Anaheim) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and the Canucks' fourth round selection (Justin Jokinen — later acquired by Buffalo) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft
- September 28, 2007 – Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks
- June 23, 2010- Traded to the Atlanta Thrashers along with Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, and Akim Aliu for the 24th (Kevin Hayes) and 54th overall picks (Justin Holl) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Marty Reasoner, Joey Crabb, and Jeremy Morin.
- February 24, 2011 - Traded to the Montreal Canadiens along with Nigel Dawes for Ben Maxwell and a 4th-round draft pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
- July 29, 2011 - Signed as an unrestricted free agent by Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.
- January 31, 2013 - Traded to Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
- October 10, 2014 - Signed by the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL).
- Jamieson, Jim (1996-04-04). "Sports". The Province.
- Jamieson, Jim (1999-04-11). "Canucks wear ugly tie". The Province.
- Brehn, Mike. usatoday.com. USA Today. Missing or empty
|title=(help); Missing or empty
- Ziemer, Brad (2007-04-13). "Sopel's heard enough cracker jokes". The Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on 2007-08-24. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
- Heika, Mike (2007-04-12). "Stars lose to Canucks in fourth OT". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
- Pap, Elliott (2005-08-04). "Brent Sopel moves on to New York Islanders". The Vancouver Sun.
- "Sopel signs on". The Province. 2005-08-17.
- Hunter, Paul (2007-09-16). "A Leaf training camp hopeful". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
- "Sopel leaves Wings, signs with Chicago". TSN. 2007-09-28. Archived from the original on 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
- Sassone, Tim (2007-10-17). "Sopel's poise big part of Hawks' early success". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- "Sopel inks three-year deal with Hawks". TSN. 2008-01-10. Retrieved 2008-01-10.[dead link]
- Littke, Jim (June 25, 2010). "Sports' most macho trophy shows new kind of pride". NHL.com. The Associated Press. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
- "Hawks bringing Cup to Pride Parade". SunTimes.com. June 22, 2010. Archived from the original on June 25, 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- "Blackhawks send Byfuglien to Thrashers". NHL.com. Archived from the original on June 27, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
- "Habs Acquire Sopel, Dawes from Thrashers for Maxwell, Pick". TSN. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
- "Kovalev, Sopel to play in KHL: report". CBC Sports. 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2011-07-29.
- "Brent Sopel: Novokuznetsk will always be in my heart". Metallurg Novokuznetsk. 2013-01-31. Archived from the original on 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
- "Wolves add Sopel and Longpre before Opening Night". Chicago Wolves. 2014-10-10. Archived from the original on 2014-10-16. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
- "Former Blackhawks Defenseman Brent Sopel Announces Retirement". NBC Chicago. 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
- Kaplan, Emily (December 4, 2017). "Letting his guard down about dyslexia struggles helped blueliner Brent Sopel find purpose". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Kaminski, Kaitlyn (August 3, 2017). "Sopel conducting clinic to help kids with dyslexia". NHL.com. Retrieved June 8, 2018.