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Mike Busniuk

Name

Mike Busniuk

Community

Fort William/Thunder Bay

Induction Sport

Hockey

Induction Year

2012

Biography

Growing up in the east end of Fort William this future NHL'er enjoyed success in the game of hockey in the minor, college and professional ranks, on the ice and behind the bench, from the 1960s to the present day.

A top scorer in the minor leagues, his talents earned him a spot with the Fort William Canadiens Junior team, serving at centre ice from 1967-70. A multi-talented athlete he was the quarterback of the Selkirk Rams High School football team and pitched for the 1966 and 1967 Fort William Americans, claiming back-to-back Canadian Senior Little League titles.

Selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1971 draft, he attended the University of Denver from 1970-74, advancing to the Final Four in three of his four years, and earning MVP honours.

Joining the professional ranks with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs of the American Hockey League in 1974, he went on to win two Calder Cups with the club, adding three more with the Maine Mariners marking 5 Calder Cup victories in his AHL playing career, and becoming the first and only player to date to win four consecutive AHL league titles.

Acquired by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1977, he joined their NHL line-up in October of 1979 where he contributed to their record setting longest undefeated streak and 1979-80 Stanley Cup bid. Making it to the 1980-81 Stanley Cup quarter-finals, he ended up his NHL career with a regular season NHL record of 143 games with 3 goals and 23 assists.

Following a couple more seasons in the AHL and some time playing in Italy, he eventually moved behind the bench, going on to enjoy an over 20 year coaching career. Starting in the Western Junior Hockey League, he made his way back to the AHL in 1993 serving as an Assistant Coach for the Binghamton Rangers, Senators and Hartford Wolf Pack, claiming his 6th Calder Cup title in 2000. For his outstanding contributions, he was inducted into the Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.

In 2010, forty years after he left his hometown to pursue his hockey career, he returned to Thunder Bay and has passed along his knowledge and love of the game to the Lakehead University Thunderwolves, marking a career that has truly come full circle.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 29, 2012