Wednesday

Adrien Plavsic


This is Adrien Plavsic, a once promising defenseman who played in over 200 NHL games but never truly caught on. 

Plavsic was at best sound if not spectacular. He had some good tools. He was a mobile skater with a good first step boost of speed. He had a hard point shot. He played with composure. But, despite his good size, he was lack of physicality. Some mistook that as a lack of heart, which is incredibly wrong. The physical game was just not his forte, and ultimately hindered his effectiveness at the NHL level.

Plavsic was drafted by the St. Louis Blues 30th overall back in 1988. Plavsic was attending the University of New Hampshire at the time, but a year later he dropped out to play for Dave King's Canadian national team.  He would grow enormously as a player and a person with the Nats.

A year later Plavsic turned pro. He apprenticed in the minor leagues and earned a short 4 game call up with the Blues. But by the trading deadline in 1990 Plavsic was a key prospect traded to Vancouver for veterans Harold Snepsts and Rich Sutter.

Plavsic is best remembered as a Vancouver Canuck. There were high hopes that he could be groomed into a power play point man but that never materialized. He would play part time in Vancouver in 1990-91 before being loaned back to the Canadian national team for the 1991-92 season. That was a bittersweet time for Plavsic. He was out of the NHL, but he was back with Dave King's Nats where he felt very comfortable. His development was aided by the return, and he helped the team win the silver medal at the Olympics in Albertville, France.

Plavsic returned from Albertville a better player. He finished that season in Vancouver strongly. He had some health issues in 1992-93 but otherwise had a solid season. But by the 1993-94 season his play had waned to the point where he was a part time NHL player again.

Plavsic left Vancouver in 1995. He briefly played in Tampa Bay and Anaheim before extending his career in Germany and Switzerland.

Plavsic was an interesting player in that expectations perhaps did not exceed his ability so much as they were misplaced in the first place. Yes Plavsic could skate and had some offensive upside, but he was never going to become a top offensive defenseman like so many had hoped. Instead he could have been a solid depth defenseman who quietly did many things well but not great. His lack of offensive production and physicality ultimately hurt him.

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