Jeff Parker (ice hockey)
Jeffrey Lee Parker (September 7, 1964 – September 11, 2017) was an American professional ice hockey right wing. He was drafted in the sixth round, 111th overall, by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft. He played 137 games in the National Hockey League with the Sabres and four with the Hartford Whalers.
|Jeffrey Lee Parker|
September 7, 1964|
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
September 11, 2017 (aged 53)|
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||194 lb (88 kg; 13 st 12 lb)|
111th overall, 1982|
Parker was involved in two high-profile trades over the course of his career. Following his only complete NHL season, on the day of the 1990 entry draft the Sabres traded Parker to the Winnipeg Jets along with Phil Housley and Scott Arniel for Dale Hawerchuk and an exchange of draft picks seemingly in Buffalo's favour (which became Brad May and Keith Tkachuk). In an interview shortly after the trade, Parker stated "I'm pretty happy with the trade, I'm looking forward to coming to Winnipeg because the Jets look like a team that's moving up the ladder." 
Parker reported to Winnipeg Jets training camp in Saskatoon, SK on September 7, 1990 in poor physical condition and ranked low in the fitness tests taken on the first day of camp. He played 5 pre-season games with the Jets, scoring two goals and earning one assist. He and Simon Wheeldon were the last two players cut by the Jets that camp and on October 2, 1990 was assigned to the Moncton Hawks, the Jets farm team in the American Hockey League.
Devastated about being assigned to the minors, Parker sat out most of the 1990–91 season until he was picked up by the Pittsburgh Penguins as a free agent in February 1991, only to be traded to Hartford along with John Cullen and Zarley Zalapski for Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings on March 4, 1991. Parker only played four games for the Whalers before suffering from career-ending injuries. In his second game with the Whalers on March 12, 1991, against the Washington Capitals, he was checked into the boards and was knocked out for five minutes, resulting in a concussion. He returned to the Whalers two weeks later before sustaining a season-ending knee injury against the Buffalo Sabres.
In his 141-game NHL career, Parker scored 16 goals and 19 assists for a total of 35 points.
Parker died in Minneapolis on September 11, 2017, from complications of heart and lung infections. He was 53 years old. His brain was donated to Boston University to aid in chronic traumatic encephalopathy research. On May 3, 2018, it was reported that Parker had CTE when he died.
Awards and honorsEdit
- Winnipeg Free Press, June 22, 1990, page 53
- Winnipeg Free Press, September 12, 1990, page 50
- Winnipeg Free Press, October 4, 1990, page 45
- Winnipeg Free Press, October 3, 1990, page 47
- "FIT TO BE TIED, CAPS FALL TO WHALERS, 3-2". The Washington Post. March 13, 1991. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- "The Tragic Diagnosis They Already Knew: Their Brother Died With C.T.E." The New York Times. May 3, 2018.
- "1990–91 Jeff Parker Game Logs". Hockey-Reference.com. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- "Ex-NHLer from Twin Cities, part of concussion suit, has died at 53". Star Tribune. September 14, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- "Report: Late Sabres forward Jeff Parker found to have CTE". Buffalo News. May 3, 2018.
- "NCAA Frozen Four Records" (PDF). NCAA.org. Retrieved 2013-06-19.