Friday, May 6, 2011
"I played defense and probably the one thing that stood out in my game was the body-checking, playing the man. I used to catch a lot of guys coming across the middle of the ice with their head down or just as they were getting their head up and make them regret it, if you will." said Owchar in an interview with NHLPA.com.
Dennis played his junior hockey with the St. Catharines Black Hawks and Toronto Marlboros and caught the eyes of the Pittsburgh Penguins. They selected him 55th overall in the 1973 Amateur Draft.
After being drafted, Owchar immediately turned professional with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, a Penguins affiliate team that year. He recorded 33 points in 74 games with the Bears in his first pro season and after beginning the 1974-75 campaign with Hershey he made the jump to the parent club early that season. It started out as a injury replacement stint but Owchar played well and the Pens kept him for the rest of the season. In that first NHL season he recorded 17 points in 46 games.
Owchar spent three and a half years with the Penguins organization before he was traded to the Colorado Rockies during the 1977-78 season, where he recorded career-highs in all offensive categories with 10 goals, 31 assists and 41 points in 82 games between the two clubs.
His most famous moment in Colorado was an unfortunate one. Tiger Williams of the Toronto Maple Leafs attacked him with his stick. Williams was charged with assault, although he was acquitted of any wrong doing.
Dennis played the 1978-79 season with the Rockies and part of the 1979-80 season with Colorado before playing his final full season of professional hockey with the New Haven Nighthawks of the American Hockey League. Dennis had a couple of serious injuries and decided to pack it in.
Owchar retired from pro hockey in 1981. Over his six years in the NHL, Owchar had 30 goals, 85 assists, 115 points and 200 penalty minutes in 288 regular season games.
Following the NHL Dennis returned to school and eventually ended up in the computer industry as a successful salesman and executive.