Tuesday

Grant Mulvey

Born in Sudbury but raised in British Columbia, Grant Mulvey quickly fell in love with the game of hockey in his youth. Bigger than most kids at every level he played at, Mulvey was always one of the top players growing up. At age 16, he joined his hometown Penticton Panthers of the BCJHL in 1972-73, and at 17 the WHL's Calgary Centennials. It was in Calgary where he combined his size and a 30 goal season to make NHL scout drool.

The Chicago Blackhawks made Mulvey the 16th overall draft choice in 1974. The Hawks passed on the likes of Bryan Trottier, Mark Howe, Guy Chouinard, Danny Gare and Tiger Williams to grab the abrasive right winger.

Mulvey jumped directly to the NHL in 1974-75, finding instant chemistry with WHA recruits Terry Ruskowski and Rich Preston. The trio were dubbed the RPM Line.

"We roomed together, and we went out after games together. It was a close-knit line. We always cared for each other. If you want to have a successful team, a successful line, you've got to have that kind of camaraderie in the line. At one point we were one of the better lines in the NHL. We did very well on the team, so playing with those guys was definitely a highlight."

The trio combined for one of the greatest moments in Hawks history on February 3rd, 1982. Playing against the St. Louis Blues, Mulvey had the night of his life, scoring 5 goals and 2 assists for 7 points. Mulvey's output bested Max Bentley's team record set back in 1944.

In typical fashion, "Granny" was quick to pass credit for his big night to his playmaking center.

"Terry Ruskowski was the recipient of, I believe, four of the five goals and I was just able to whack it in. Terry was everything that night."

Mulvey's outburst was not typical. He was not a prolific goal scorer by any means. He scored 149 goals in 586 career NHL games, most of them of the garbage goal variety. He had two monster years, scoring 39 goals in 1979-80 and 30 in 1981-82. Otherwise he averaged about 13 goals a year. He made his contributions by playing physically, although he was criticized at times for not be consistent in his belligerent approach.

A poor fighter with a demeanor not fit for an aggressor, Mulvey also battled serious injuries. He missed part of 1975-76 season with broken foot. Much of the 1980-81 season was written off with shattered left forearm suffered just before Christmas. That injury required surgery in which doctors inserted eight pins, a plate and a graft of bone from Mulvey's hip. He missed most of 1982-83 season with a serious knee injury that would eventually end his career.

After bouncing around the waiver wire from Pittsburgh to New Jersey and the minor leagues, Mulvey returned to Chicago after retiring in 1984. Grant, who worked for a Chicago printing company in the summers when he was still playing, explored several opportunities both in and out of the game. He opened up Midwest Elite Hockey School, which allowed him to give back to the game and the city he loved. He became involved with DRL Enterprises, a company that created NHL license products from tattoos to sew-on jersey patches. He would earn a certificate of business administration from the University of Illinois and became a leading figure in IHL expansion to Chicago. Mulvey served many capacities with the Chicago Wolves, including coach, manager and part owner.

1 comments:

ashley,  8:33 PM  

he is my 4th grade teachers husband!!

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