Thursday

Ed Hatoum

Some hockey players have come from some rather unlikely birthplaces, but perhaps nowhere as unusual as Ed Hatoum's "home town." He was born in Beirut, Lebanon!

Hatoum, who grew up in Ontario, was born in Lebanon on December 7th, 1947. His family of ten began emigrating to the Ottawa area in 1954, where one of Ed's uncles lived. It took three years to get the entire family to Canada. Ed was one of the last, aged 10 when he began calling Canada home.

Within a couple of years Ed picked up the Canadian game and to many people's surprise, probably including his own, he quickly discovered he was pretty good at it. He was one of the top youth players in the Ottawa area.

Hatoum played 4 seasons of junior hockey with the Hamilton Red Wings of the OHA before turning professional in the Detroit Red Wings system. Ed spent most of his two seasons with the Wings farm team in Fort Worth of the CHL. Hatoum appered in 21 NHL games in the two years, scoring 2 goals and 3 assists.

Hatoum was one of the original Canucks as the expansion Vancouver NHL team claimed the 5'10" 180lb right winger. A good playmaker, Hatoum played sparingly in 26 games in the Canucks inaugural season of 1970-71. He scored 1 goal (shorthanded) and three assists. A badly injured shoulder early in the season really hampered his opportunity.

The Canucks loaned Hatoum and Jim Wiste on February 9, 1971 to the Seattle Totems of the WHL in exchange for the rights of little Bobby Schmautz, one of the first fan favorites in Canucks NHL history.

Hatoum spent the 1971-72 season in the AHL with the Rochester Americans. The following two seasons he failed to make an impact with Chicago and Vancouver of the WHA. Hatoum finished his career with the Nelson Maple Leafs of the lowly Western International League.

You probably wouldn't expect a player who was born in Lebanon to accomplish much in professional hockey. His best seasons were with Detroit's farm team, otherwise he struggled everywhere else he went. He was nicknamed "Sock." Try saying Sock Hatoum fast, and it sounds like Sock It To 'Em, a great hockey name.

Hatoum wasn't the only player born in an unlikely place. Willi Plett was born in Paraguay, Don Spring was born in Venezuela, Rod Langway's birth certificate says Formosa (Taiwan) on it, while Olaf Kolzig was born in South Africa!!

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