Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chris Joseph

Chris Joseph's parents must have giggled like Tigger when they named their son Robin Christopher. Well the Winnie the Pooh references end right about there. He went by Chris and soon became the talk of the hockey world.

Joseph was a big, mobile defenseman out of Burnaby, BC who went on to star with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. Scouts drooled over him. He was drafted 5th overall by the Penguins in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.

He made his NHL debut for the Penguins during the 1987–88 NHL season but was quickly traded to the Edmonton Oilers in the same season. The deal saw Joseph, Dave Hannan, Moe Mantha and Craig Simpson move to the Oilers with Paul Coffey, Dave Hunter and Wayne Van Dorp moving to Pittsburgh. Hey, if you have a chance to land Paul Coffey in his prime, you do it even if it costs you a blue chip prospect like Joseph.

Unfortunately there were a lot of high expectations placed on Joseph after that trade. He never met those expectations. That was unfortunate, as the expectations were unrealistic. Joseph might have been replacing Paul Coffey in the minds of many, but Paul Coffey he was not.

After seven seasons as an Oiler, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and then soon began a second spell at Pittsburgh. Joseph's vagabond days were really setting in by then. After two seasons though he was claimed off waivers by Vancouver. He then signed with Philadelphia for two seasons before returning to  Vancouver. He also played briefly with the Phoenix Coyotes and Atlanta Thrashers.

In total, Joseph played 510 regular season games, scoring 39 goals with 112 assists for 151 points and collecting 567 penalty minutes. Joseph also played 31 playoff games, scoring 3 goals with 4 assists for 7 points, collecting 24 penalty minutes.

In 2001, he moved to Europe to play in Finland's SM-liiga for TPS, before spending 3 seasons in Germany for the Mannheim Eagles. He also played in Italy for HC Milano before retiring.

Since retiring Joseph became a City of Edmonton Fire Fighter in early 2007. He also remains active in hockey with his own hockey school.

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