1996

TOM LAIDLAW

TOM LAIDLAW

A native of Brampton, Tom played his minor hockey in both the Brampton and Chinguacousy Minor Hockey Association systems before joining the Bramalea Blues in the Ontario Hockey Association Junior “B” ranks, where he led the Blues to the 197475 Metro and Ontario Championships.

Tom continued his amateur career with the University of Northern Michigan Wildcats and was named his team’s “Best Defenceman” four consecutive seasons in a row from 1976-1979. He was also named to the C.C.H.A. First All-star Team in 1979 and 1980 and to the N.C.A.A. Division 1 All Tournament Team in 1980.

While with the Wildcats, Tom was coined the “Hit Man” and “Captain Crunch” for his numerous, punishing body checks.

Tom was drafted by the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League as their 7th choice, 93rd player overall in the 1978 Amateur Draft. 198081 was his NHL Rookie Season, and despite being known as a “defensive player” he had 6 goals and 23 assists.

Tom played the better part of 7 full seasons with the New York Rangers before being traded to the Los Angeles Kings where he played another 3 plus seasons.

While in New York, Tom twice received the Players’ Player Award, having been judged by his peers to be the unsung hero of the team. In his career Tom played against the likes of Mario Lemieux, Guy LaFleur, Marcel Dionne, Mike Bossy and Mark Messier while playing alongside such stars as Wayne Gretzky, Jean Ratelle and Bernie Nicholls.

Throughout his 10 NHL seasons Tom was known as a well respected and hardworking defenceman who played defence the way it was supposed to be played the way most of the defencemen did in the old six team  NHL.

Tom has continued his career in sports as a respected hockey player agent.

Inducted November 14, 1996