Friday, February 18, 2011

Barry Legge

Barry Legge grew up in Winnipeg. By the time he reached the junior leagues, the Winnipeg Jets were the talk of the hockey world. While they weren't in the National Hockey League, they offered an exciting alternative with Bobby Hull and an influx of European talent.

So it should come as no surprise that Legge opted for the WHA over the NHL.

Although he was drafted 61st overall by the Montreal Canadiens, Legge turned pro with Michigan-Baltimore of the WHA. However WHA teams dropped like flies in those early years. Soon Legge found himself in Denver, Ottawa, Cleveland and Minnesota before finally finding some stability in Cincinnati in 1976.

Despite losing some prime development time because of his constant moving and change of coaches, Legge developed nicely in Cleveland. From 1976 to the league's eventual demise in 1979 Legge played a quiet, grossly underrated role. He was a journeyman defenseman who worked hard, giving everything he got. Despite his work ethic and defensive commitment, Legge was at best a 4th or 5th defenseman, even in the WHA which featured weak blueline corps.

When the WHA folded in 1979 and the remaining teams joined the NHL, Legge found himself playing for two ex-WHA teams - Quebec in 1979-80 and his native Winnipeg from 1980-81 to 1981-82. It wasn't the best of times for Barry though. He split his NHL time with time in the minor leagues. He also was limited to less than 40 games each NHL season by injuries.

Legge hung up the blades in 1982.


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