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Bryan Joseph Watson (born November 14, 1942) is a Canadian retired ice hockey defenceman. He played 16 seasons in the National Hockey League with the Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Oakland Seals, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals, and briefly in the World Hockey Association with the Cincinnati Stingers. Watson also served as head coach and an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers in the 1980-81 NHL season.

Bryan Watson
Born (1942-11-14) November 14, 1942 (age 76)
Bancroft, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Right
Played for NHL
Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings
Oakland Seals
Pittsburgh Penguins
St. Louis Blues
Washington Capitals
WHA
Cincinnati Stingers
AHL
Quebec Aces
Cleveland Barons
Baltimore Clippers
Playing career 1963–1979

Contents

Playing careerEdit

Montreal Canadiens (1963-65)Edit

Watson began his junior hockey career with the Peterborough Petes under head coach Scotty Bowman. He became the Petes' team captain and was named the team's MVP in his final junior campaign. Watson signed a contract with the Montreal Canadiens and made his NHL debut in the 1963-64 NHL season. He played in 39 games in the regular season and six games in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs. In Watson's second year he appeared in only five games with Montreal and spent the bulk of the season with the AHL's Quebec Aces, where head coach Bernie Geoffrion paired the 21-year-old blueliner with 39-year-old veteran Doug Harvey.

Detroit Red Wings (1965-67)Edit

The Canadiens traded Watson to the Chicago Black Hawks on June 8, 1965. The next day the Detroit Red Wings selected him in the intra-league draft. In 1965-66, his first year with the Red Wings, he played all 70 games in the regular season, during which he scored his first NHL goal and led the team in penalty minutes. He also appeared in all twelve playoff games for Detroit, scoring two goals - the only ones he ever racked up in post-season play - and helping the Red Wings advance to the Stanley Cup Finals against his former team the Montreal Canadiens. In 1966-67 Watson split his time between the Red Wings and the Memphis Wings, Detroit's farm team in the CPHL.

Montreal Canadiens (1967-68)Edit

1967-68 was an eventful year for Watson as it marked his return, albeit briefly, to the team with whom he started his professional career. Watson was left unprotected by the Red Wings in that year's expansion draft and the Minnesota North Stars selected him as their fifteenth pick. That same day the North Stars traded Watson to Montreal for three young prospects, Bill Plager, Leo Thiffault and Barrie Meissner. Watson appeared in only a dozen games with the Canadiens in 1967-68, registering just one assist and nine penalty minutes. He played the rest of the season in the minors, first briefly for the Cleveland Barons in the AHL and then the bulk of the year with the Houston Apollos in the CPHL.

Oakland Seals and the Pittsburgh Penguins (1968-74)Edit

On June 28, 1968, Watson was dealt by the Canadiens to the Oakland Seals for Tom Thurlby and a first round draft pick in 1972. After playing fifty games for the Seals in the 1968-69 season Watson was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a trade involving six players. Watson spent most of the next six seasons with the Penguins. He had the best offensive season of his career in 1971-72, when he scored three goals and twenty points. He also led the Penguins in penalty minutes in three of his four full seasons with the club.

Detroit Red Wings (1974-76)Edit

In 1973-74, after starting the season in Pittsburgh and a very brief 11 game stop with the St. Louis Blues, Watson found himself in Detroit for the second time in his career. In 1975-76 he served a career high of 322 penalty minutes, second only to Steve Durbano with 370.

Washington Capitals (1976-79)Edit

A few weeks into the 1976-77 regular season, Watson was traded to the Washington Capitals for Greg Joly. In three seasons with the Capitals, he played 155 games and served 294 minutes in penalties. During the 1978-79, Watson left the NHL to join the Cincinnati Stingers of the World Hockey Association, with whom he ended his playing career.

Coaching careerEdit

In 1980, the Edmonton Oilers named Watson their head coach to start the franchise's second season in the NHL. However, after the Oilers posted a record of four wins, nine losses and five ties to start the season, general manager Glen Sather named himself head coach and demoted Watson to assistant coach alongside Billy Harris. The Oilers went on to qualify for the playoffs for the second straight season, sweeping the heavily favoured Montreal Canadiens in the first round three games to none. The Oilers lost their best-of-seven series against the New York Islanders in the second round, which also brought an end to Watson's association with professional hockey as he would not return behind the Oilers bench the following year. Watson retired from hockey and returned to the Washington D.C. area, where he still resides today.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1983, Watson and his wife Lindy opened an Armand's pizza outlet in the Old Town section of Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.. In 1998, the name changed to Bugsy's, his nickname during his playing years. Watson sold his interest in the business in 2013.[1]

Awards and achievementsEdit

  • 1964-65 - Stanley Cup Champion - Montreal Canadiens.
  • 1967-68 - CPHL Most Valuable Player - Houston Apollos
  • 1967-68 - CPHL Most Valuable Defenceman - Houston Apollos
  • 1967-68 - CPHL First Team All-Star - Houston Apollos

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1960–61 Peterborough Petes OHA-Jr. 18 0 1 1 4
1961–62 Peterborough Petes OHA-Jr. 50 3 16 19 129
1962–63 Peterborough Petes OHA-Jr. 49 9 22 31 80 6 0 3 3 10
1962–63 Hull-Ottawa Canadiens EPHL 3 1 1 2 0
1963–64 Montréal Canadiens NHL 39 0 2 2 18 6 0 0 0 2
1963–64 Omaha Knights CPHL 9 1 1 2 12
1964–65 Montréal Canadiens NHL 5 0 1 1 7
1964–65 Québec Aces AHL 64 1 16 17 186 5 0 0 0 35
1965–66 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 2 7 9 133 12 2 0 2 30
1966–67 Detroit Red Wings NHL 48 0 1 1 66
1966–67 Memphis Wings CPHL 16 1 3 4 76
1967–68 Montréal Canadiens NHL 12 0 1 1 9
1967–68 Cleveland Barons AHL 12 2 4 6 22
1967–68 Houston Apollos CPHL 50 2 37 39 293
1968–69 Oakland Seals NHL 50 2 3 5 97
1968–69 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 18 0 4 4 35
1969–70 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 61 1 9 10 189 10 0 0 0 17
1969–70 Baltimore Clippers AHL 5 1 2 3 8
1970–71 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 43 2 6 8 119
1971–72 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 75 3 17 20 212 4 0 0 0 21
1972–73 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 69 1 17 18 179
1973–74 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 38 1 4 5 137
1973–74 St. Louis Blues NHL 11 0 1 1 19
1973–74 Detroit Red Wings NHL 21 0 4 4 99
1974–75 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 1 13 14 238
1975–76 Detroit Red Wings NHL 79 0 18 18 322
1976–77 Detroit Red Wings NHL 14 0 1 1 39
1976–77 Washington Capitals NHL 56 1 14 15 91
1977–78 Washington Capitals NHL 79 3 11 14 167
1978–79 Washington Capitals NHL 20 0 1 1 36
1978–79 Cincinnati Stingers WHA 21 0 2 2 56 3 0 1 1 2
NHL totals 878 17 135 152 2212 32 2 0 2 70

TransactionsEdit

  • Traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the Chicago Blackhawks for Don Johns, June 8, 1965.
  • Claimed from the Chicago Blackhawks by the Detroit Red Wings in Intra-League Draft, June 9, 1965.
  • Claimed from the Detroit Red Wings by the Minnesota North Stars in NHL Expansion Draft, June 6, 1967.
  • Traded by the Minnesota North Stars to the Montreal Canadiens for Bill Plager, Leo Thiffault and Barrie Meissner, June 6, 1967.
  • Traded by the Montreal Canadiens with cash to the Oakland Seals for a 1st round choice in the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft (Michel Larocque) and future considerations (Tom Thurlby), June 28, 1968.
  • Traded by the Oakland Seals with George Swarbrick and Tracy Pratt to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Earl Ingarfield, Gene Ubriaco and Dick Mattiussi, January 30, 1969.
  • Drafted by the Los Angeles Sharks in the 1972 WHA General Player Draft, February 12, 1972.
  • Traded by the Pittsburgh Penguins with Greg Polis and a 2nd round choice in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft (Bob Hess) to the St. Louis Blues for Steve Durbano, Ab DeMarco and Bob Kelly, January 17, 1974.
  • Traded by the St. Louis Blues with Chris Evans and Jean Hamel to the Detroit Red Wings for Ted Harris, Bill Collins and Garnet Bailey, February 14, 1974.
  • Traded by the Detroit Red Wings to the Washington Capitals for Greg Joly, November 30, 1976.
  • Signed as a free agent by the Cincinnati Stingers, March 2, 1979.
  • Claimed by the Edmonton Oilers in the WHA Dispersal Draft, June 9, 1979.

Coaching recordEdit

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
EDM 1980-81 18 4 9 5 (13) 4th in Smythe (demoted to assistant)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Art Stratton
CPHL Leading Scorer
1967–68
Succeeded by
Jim Lorentz
Preceded by
Art Stratton
CPHL Most Valuable Player Award
1967–68
Succeeded by
Jim Lorentz
Preceded by
Glen Sather
Head coach of the Edmonton Oilers
1980
Succeeded by
Glen Sather