Larry Popein

Lawrence Thomas "The Pope" Popein (August 11, 1930 – February 7, 2020) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player and coach.[1]

Larry Popein
1958 Topps Larry Popein.JPG
Born (1930-08-11)August 11, 1930
Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died February 7, 2020(2020-02-07) (aged 89)
Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for New York Rangers
Oakland Seals
Playing career 1949–1970

Playing careerEdit

Popein began his career with the Moose Jaw Canucks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. He then signed with the Vancouver Canucks of the Western Hockey League. During his playing time with this organization, he developed a special affinity for British Columbia's largest city.[2]

In 1954, Popein's contract was acquired by the New York Rangers and he began his National Hockey League (NHL) career. Although a relatively small skater at 5 ft 9 in, 170 lbs, Popein developed a reputation as a stoic, fearless, hard-working player who was a solid body checker and a skilled passer. He was the quiet centre on a powerful line that included Andy Bathgate and Dean Prentice. Early in the 1960-61 season, after six years as a Rangers starter, Popein was returned to the Canucks. He briefly returned to the NHL during the 1967-68 season, as expansion allowed many veterans to crack the lineups of fledgling teams, with Popein spending one year with the Oakland Seals.[3]

Upon retiring from the ice, Popein entered coaching. He served as the bench boss of the Omaha Knights of the Central Hockey League, then as an assistant coach with the Rangers; he briefly was the interim head coach of this club during the 1973-74 season. The next year, Popein became director of player development of the new NHL incarnation of the Vancouver Canucks. After a clean sweep of the Vancouver front office, Popein took a job with the Calgary Flames in 1986, serving as a scout until his 1992 retirement.[1]

In the 2009 book 100 Ranger Greats, the authors ranked Popein at No. 91 all-time of the 901 New York Rangers who had played during the team's first 82 seasons.[4]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1947–48 Moose Jaw Canucks SJHL 27 21 12 33 6 4 4 0 4 7
1947–48 Moose Jaw Canucks M-Cup 5 0 0 0 0
1948–49 Moose Jaw Canucks WCJHL 26 21 12 33 34 8 5 2 7 0
1949–50 Moose Jaw Canucks WCJHL 37 36 22 58 4 4 5 2 7 0
1950–51 Regina Capitals WCSHL 54 21 19 40 14
1951–52 Vancouver Canucks PCHL 69 32 36 68 14
1952–53 Vancouver Canucks WHL 70 25 44 69 23 9 5 10 15 0
1953–54 Vancouver Canucks WHL 70 34 32 66 22 10 4 7 11 4
1954–55 New York Rangers NHL 70 11 17 28 27
1955–56 New York Rangers NHL 64 14 25 39 37 5 0 1 1 2
1956–57 New York Rangers NHL 67 11 19 30 20 5 0 3 3 0
1957–58 New York Rangers NHL 70 12 22 34 22 6 1 0 1 4
1958–59 New York Rangers NHL 61 13 21 34 28
1959–60 New York Rangers NHL 66 14 22 36 16
1960–61 New York Rangers NHL 4 0 1 1 0
1960–61 Vancouver Canucks WHL 69 19 48 67 12 9 1 3 4 0
1961–62 Vancouver Canucks WHL 59 9 22 31 12
1961–62 Springfield Indians AHL 10 0 3 3 2
1962–63 Vancouver Canucks WHL 65 15 21 36 24 7 0 1 1 4
1963–64 Vancouver Canucks WHL 39 8 11 19 18
1964–65 Vancouver Canucks WHL 69 7 9 16 12 5 0 1 1 2
1965–66 Vancouver Canucks WHL 68 16 15 31 20 7 2 3 5 2
1966–67 Vancouver Canucks WHL 71 22 26 48 18 3 1 1 2 2
1967–68 Vancouver Canucks WHL 27 6 6 12 4
1967–68 California/Oakland Seals NHL 47 5 14 19 12
1968–69 Omaha Knights CHL 57 1 4 5 16 7 1 0 1 0
1969–70 Omaha Knights CHL 2 0 0 0 0
WHL totals 607 161 234 395 165 50 13 26 39 14
WHA totals 145 33 31 64 49 6 1 2 3 6
NHL totals 449 80 141 221 162 16 1 4 5 6

Coaching recordEdit

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
New York Rangers 1973–74 41 18 14 9 45 3rd in East (interim coach)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Popein Remembered For Invaluable Contributions". NHL.com. Retrieved 2020-02-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "NHL Player Search - Player - Larry Popein". Legends of Hockey. Retrieved 2020-02-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Gregg Drinnan (2011-06-01). "Canucks have the Pope in their corner | Kamloops Daily News". Kamloopsnews.ca. Retrieved 2020-02-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Cohen, Russ; Halligan, John; Raider, Adam (2009). 100 Ranger Greats: Superstars, Unsung Heroes and Colorful Characters. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0470736197. Retrieved 2020-02-03.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Emile Francis
Head coach of the New York Rangers
1973–74
Succeeded by
Emile Francis