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Joe_Mullen

Joe Mullen

Joseph Mullen (born February 26, 1957, in New York, NY) is a retired American professional ice hockey player who played 17 seasons in the National Hockey League with the St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Boston Bruins from 1980–1997. He won 3 Stanley Cups in 1989 with Calgary, and in 1991 and 1992 with Pittsburgh. His brother Brian Mullen is also a former NHL player, and his son Patrick plays for the University of Denver in the WCHA. His other son Michael is playing Professional hockey.

Amateur career

Mullen grew up in the tough Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan neighborhood, where he initially played roller hockey using a roll of electrical tape for a puck. He moved to Boston College on a partial hockey scholarship in 1975 (he had to pay $700 out of his own pocket in his first year), which became a full scholarship in his second year thanks to his exploits as a star forward for the Boston College Eagles men's hockey team. Mullen made his international debut with the United States national team at the 1979 Ice Hockey World Championship tournament in Moscow immediately after his college career had ended. He scored seven goals in eight games for Team USA.

Professional career

Although Mullen was highly coveted by the 1980 U.S. Olympic coach Herb Brooks, he opted to sign a free agent contract with the St. Louis Blues rather than join the eventual 'Miracle on Ice' team for the 1980 Winter Olympics since his father was ill and Mullen's family needed the money. Joe Mullen's first professional season was spent in the minors with the Blues' top farm team the Salt Lake Golden Eagles where he was voted Central Hockey League Rookie of Year. He also made his NHL debut for St.Louis by appearing in one game of the 1980 Stanley Cup playoffs. The next season was also spent in the minors as Mullen won the CHL scoring championship and was named to the CHL first All-Star team.

Mullen finally became an NHL regular in 1981–82 when he scored 59 points in 45 games for the Blues. He was traded to the Calgary Flames in 1986 where he enjoyed some of his best seasons, playing in the 1989 and 1990 NHL All-Star game as well as being named to the league first All-Star team in 1989 (he also was the NHL Plus/minus leader that season). He also won his first Stanley Cup as a member of the Flames in 1989. In 1990, the Flames foolishly traded him to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a second round draft pick reasoning that at age 33, Mullen would soon be a spent force. Instead he was an important performer on the Pens' Stanley Cup winning teams of 1991 and 1992. During his time in Pittsburgh, Mullen also played in the 1994 NHL All-Star game. Mullen spent the 1995–96 season with the Boston Bruins as a free agent before returning to play his final NHL season in Pittsburgh in 1996–97.

Mullen played for Team USA at the 1984, 1987 and 1991 Canada Cup tournaments. He also won the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1995 in recognition for his service to American hockey. Mullen retired in 1997 as the first the American born NHL player to score 500 goals(502). Joey was also the first American to reach 1,000 total career points (eventually reaching 1,063), a feat that has been equaled by only six other Americans.

Post playing career

At 42, Mullen briefly came out of retirement in 1999 to once again play for the US national team in the 1999 Ice Hockey World Championship qualifying tournament (the U.S. team featuring several NHL players had surprisingly finished among the bottom four in the previous 1998 world championship tournament) when no active NHL players were available. He currently serves as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League. Mullen was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame and United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.

In media

Legendary Penguins broadcaster Mike Lange, who is famous for his colorful nicknames, gave Mullen the moniker "Slippery Rock Joe" for his agility and toughness on the ice. The nickname led some Pittsburgh fans to mistakenly believe that he was a graduate of nearby Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.

Awards

Records

Career statistics

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1979–80 St. Louis NHL -- -- -- -- -- 1 0 0 0 0
1981–82 St. Louis NHL 45 25 34 59 4 10 7 11 18 4
1982–83 St. Louis NHL 49 17 30 47 6 -- -- -- -- --
1983–84 St. Louis NHL 80 41 44 85 19 6 2 0 2 0
1984–85 St. Louis NHL 79 40 52 92 6 3 0 0 0 0
1985–86 St. Louis NHL 48 28 24 52 10 -- -- -- -- --
1985–86 Calgary NHL 29 16 22 38 11 21 12 7 19 4
1986–87 Calgary NHL 79 47 40 87 14 6 2 1 3 0
1987–88 Calgary NHL 80 40 44 84 30 7 2 4 6 10
1988–89 Calgary NHL 79 51 59 110 16 21 16 8 24 4
1989–90 Calgary NHL 78 36 33 69 24 6 3 0 3 0
1990–91 Pittsburgh NHL 47 17 22 39 6 22 8 9 17 4
1991–92 Pittsburgh NHL 77 42 45 87 30 9 3 1 4 4
1992–93 Pittsburgh NHL 72 33 37 70 14 12 4 2 6 6
1993–94 Pittsburgh NHL 84 38 32 70 41 6 1 0 1 2
1994–95 Pittsburgh NHL 45 16 21 37 6 12 0 3 3 4
1995–96 Boston NHL 37 8 7 15 0 -- -- -- -- --
1996–97 Pittsburgh NHL 54 7 15 22 4 1 0 0 0 0
NHL Totals 1062 502 561 1063 241 143 60 46 106 42

See also

External links

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