Dave Hutchison

Dave Hutchison was a rugged and reliable defenceman throughout his 12-year professional hockey career. In 584 regular season games, he totaled 116 points and 1,550 penalty minutes. He was a role player, an aggressive stay-at-home defenceman who was often paired with an offensive minded defenceman. In fact he was the defensive conscience of two of the top defensemen of his time: Borje Salming and Doug Wilson.

Hutchison's hockey career began in his hometown of London, Ontario, where he played his junior hockey with the London Knights of the OHA. He was then was drafted 36th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 1972 but spent time in the Eastern Hockey League and the World Hockey Association before joining the Kings in 1974-75.

Hutchison played for the Kings for four seasons. "Hutchy" loved life as a bachelor on the warm beaches of California. But it was also in Los Angeles that he learned to become an effective NHL defenseman. He would thank coach Bob Pulford for making him into an NHL caliber rearguard, teaching him how to maximize his abilities by realizing and playing within his limits.

But those who did not follow Hutchinson closely knew him strictly as a tough guy defenseman. He dropped his gloves frequently, and with devastating results. Unlike a lot of tough guys, he thoroughly enjoyed fighting, taking great pride in his battles.

Of course, fighting meant a lot of bumps and bruises, too. That only served to further enhance his quickly earned his tough as nails reputation. For example, he once played 6 weeks of the 1975-76 season with his jaw wired shut.

As an Ontario-raised boy, the summer of 1978 was a dream come true for Dave. Dave was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs after a contract squabble with the Kings. However Hutchison's stay with the white and blue was short-lived. After a season and a half with the Leafs, Hutchison was traded to Chicago for Pat Ribble.

With the Hawks, Hutchison recorded a personal-best 23 points in 1981-82, the same year that Doug Wilson captured the Norris Trophy. Dave played a large role in Wilson's success. There was no way Wilson could have scored 39 goals that year had he not had a steady partner to cover his defensive position, thus giving Wilson the green light to run and gun.

After three seasons with the Hawks, Hutchison moved on to play with the New Jersey Devils for the 1982-83. He only played in 32 games that year and announced his retirement following the season.

The retirement was short-lived however. The Toronto Maple Leafs came calling and gave him one last chance to play. He accepted and played 47 solid more games to close out his career.

Hutch settled back in the London, Ontario area after retiring. He would find success as a real estate agent.


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