Sunday, July 29, 2012

Paul Fenton

Paul Fenton was not blessed with NHL size or NHL skills. He had some decent foot speed but not the greatest agility. At 5'11" and 180lbs he couldn't physically contain the opposition. Not a gifted puck handler, he was also easy to knock off the puck. His college coach even suggested that he should get "a real job" outside of hockey.

Fenton however did possess good hockey instincts. And through a work horse like attitude, dogged determination and good vision and anticipation he enjoyed a lengthy NHL career.

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Fenton played with Boston University from 1979-1982 but was undrafted. After a huge season in the IHL, Fenton signed as a free agent with Hartford and later the New York Rangers, but spent most of his first 4 seasons as an all star in the American Hockey League.

1987-88 was Fenton's first full NHL season, and he showed a promising scoring touch scoring 20 goals, 8 of which were on the power play. But after a slow start in 1988-89 he was traded to Winnipeg in exchange for Gilles Hamel.

Fenton's best NHL season came in 1989-90 when he scored 32 goals with the Jets. But the following season he was sent to Toronto and later Calgary. By 1991 he was a San Jose Shark netting 11 goals and 4 assists.

In his 411 game career, Paul Fenton scored 183 points - 100 goals and 83 assists. He is one of many examples of a player who is an all star at the AHL level, but a bit of an expendable commodity at the NHL level. He was a strong checker who could pop a few goals now and again.

After he left the ice Fenton became a long time member of the Nashville Predators' front office staff.


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