Induction Year: 2009
Dave Babych developed into a steady blueliner during his 19 – year NHL career. Babych spent 3 seasons with the Portland Winter Hawks, the last of which he was an all-star before making the leap to the NHL. Babych went straight to the NHL without a game in the minors, suiting up for 69 contests with the Winnipeg Jets in 1980-81.
By 1983, he was an NHL All-Star, and he went on to score 74 points that year, a career-high. During his sixth season with the Jets, two of which he was named to the All-Star Team, Dave was traded to the Hartford Whalers for Ray Neufeld. With the Whalers, Babych didn’t reach the offensive highs he hit as a Jet but maintained his solid two-way game, providing solid defense and chipping in points on a consistent basis.
After Babych’s sixth campaign with Hartford, he was on the move again. When the San Jose Sharks joined the NHL in 1991, they took many players from Minnesota North Stars as per an earlier agreement and, as a result, the North Stars were permitted to draft players from the rest of the NHL clubs to fill some holes. Babych was claimed by the North Stars and then promptly traded to the Vancouver Canucks during this process.
With the Canucks, Babych joined a blue-line corps in need of a steady veteran presence, and he was able to provide. During his third season with the Canucks, they advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup finals and extended the eventual champion New York Rangers to the seventh game. Babych provided three goals and eight points that playoffs. Babych spent parts of four more years with the Canucks before he was traded again, this time to the Philadelphia Flyers, who felt they were poised for a serious playoff run and wanted a veteran presence on their blueline, however, they had a disappointing post-season, and Dave didn’t get his second chance at a Cup.
The 1998-99 schedule was Babych’s final season in the NHL. He spent most of the year with the Flyers but was traded, again at the deadline, to the Los Angeles Kings before calling it a career. Dave Babych played 1,195 games in the NHL and finished with 723 points. Dave Babych was selected by Winnipeg Jets in round one #2 overall 1980 NHL Entry Level.
Dave has been a resident of BC ever since he retired and has been very involved in BC Hockey as a coach and executive at the minor hockey level at the Hollyburn Winter Club to this day. Dave is currently the President of the North Shore Winter Club.