Tuesday

Ron Delorme

Ron Delorme was a honest, unrelenting mucker and grinder with the Colorado Rockies and the Vancouver Canucks.

A popular player with his teammates and the fans, Delorme was a hero to Native Canadians. A proud Cree Indian from North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Delorme became a role model for aspiring native hockey players and athletes. "Chief," his obvious nickname, spent a lot of his spare time visiting reservations and native banquets encouraging Native youths to aspire for great things like he did.

Delorme was drafted by the Kansas City Scouts 56th overall in the 1975 Entry Draft. He split the next season playing with his junior club in Lethbridge, the WHA in Denver and the CHL in Tucson. The following season he made his NHL debut in 1976 with the relocated Scouts, now known as the the Colorado Rockies.

Delorme would play 4 full seasons with the Rockies, becoming one of Don Cherry's favorite players. The 6'2" 185lb right winger scored a career high 20 goals in 1978-79 and a career high 43 points the year later.

Delorme was left exposed in the pre-season waiver draft in 1981 and the Canucks quickly picked up the big winger. Delorme was a tireless worker but failed to produce offensively like he did in Colorado. His best statistical season was his first on the West Coast as he scored 17 points and accumulated a career high 177 penalty minutes. He also was a regular player in the Canucks Cinderella Stanley Cup playoff run of 1982.

Delorme's career came to an end 31 games into the 1984-85 season. Delorme sustained extensive damage to his left knee following a collision with Calgary defenseman Jamie Macoun. Delorme missed the rest of the season and when he still wasn't fully recovered by the time the 1985-86 season started, Delorme decided he obviously couldn't play anymore.

Delorme went on to become a scout for the Vancouver Canucks. Among the players he discovered was another Native Canadian who would achieve even bigger cult-status in Vancouver - Gino Odjick.

8 comments:

Anonymous,  3:54 PM  

Delorme was engaged in one of the best hockey fights I ever saw - in 1984 he went toe-to-toe with the Flames Jamie Macoun for nearly 30 seconds before Delorme splattered Macoun's nose and made him blink first. Delorme was fearless and I have a lot of great fight of his on tape. Thanks God the Canucks prospects are doing better these days, or Delorme would be out of a job now!

Anonymous,  6:20 PM  

although my son was not even born yet when my relative Ron played his years in the nhl, it still amazes me today at the age of 16, 200 pounds and 6ft 3 ins that he tunes in to see his uncles fights to get pumped up for a game. He has never met my son but family is family no matter what.
from Beardy's

Anonymous,  8:47 AM  

I never got to see him play but my dad and grand pa told me he was one of the best fighters

Anonymous,  8:32 PM  

A hustling, grinding checker who feared no one and would break his legs for a teammate. Delorme was about as honorable as tough guys get. A great team man.

Anonymous,  5:42 PM  

My uncle ron delorme, he always go to my uncles place to watch the roughriders play and my dad would be there too, so it was cool to see him there every now and then.
A.delorme.

Anonymous,  12:56 AM  

My biological mother Rose Accose (Delorme) is Ron's aunt. I have never met him But the one thing I was told by my mother when I met her later in life was that he was my cousin. She gushing about him!! I take pride in the fact that I am related to Ron. What I have learned about him I have been proud about! I am a Vancouver Canucks fan so the Chief has more meaning to me then it ever has!

B Delorme,  10:16 AM  

I met Ron Delorme at a WHL scouting players he is one of the nicest people to meet , not to mention a great fighter in his time .

Anonymous,  3:10 PM  

Ron Delorme was an "all-effort" player; a guy whose sheer hard work kept him on the roster. Once upon a time, such players were fairly common. Teams like the Bruins had rosters loaded with them. But shortly after Delorme retired, these kind of players become an increasing rarity. For some reason, post-80's teams would rather have more "skilled players" with far less interest in hard work & sacrifice.

While a very solid role player in Vancouver, Ron Delorme was probably the most consistent, most dependable player in the entire embarrassing history of the Colorado Rockies. And if my math is right, he was 8th in all-time points for the Scouts-Rockies era (74-82) of the franchise. Not to knock Delorme, but it says a LOT about the team.

The best thing about the Colorado Rockies was their great name & uniforms. They were horribly run and ate through players & coaches like Pac-Man munched little white pucks. Before moving to Jersey, their "best" season was a pathetic 59 points. (And the 80's Devils weren't much better.) They continuously made dumb player decisions. For example, allowing Ron Delorme to be scooped off their roster for nothing in return. I could name 10-15 of his teammates who deserved it more.

Maybe it was the altitude. But when players (even chronic all-stars) went there, their hockey ability disappeared into thin air. Other than Delorme (Wilf Paiement & Lanny McDonald), virtually every Rockie had their worst career years in Denver. Even Don Cherry had his worst year coaching, but he wisely gave Delorme the ice-time he richly deserved. The Rockies were so bad, they made the Leafs look like Cup contenders. They even made Ron Delorme's previous team look pretty good in comparison.

Ron Delorme has another claim to fame. He was a player on arguably the biggest failure in major-pro hockey history; the Denver Spurs/Ottawa Civics. It's a forgotten WHA franchise that moved to Ottawa half way into it's only season because the equally forgotten Kansas City Scouts decided to move to Denver and become the Rockies.

For years, the Spurs were a minor league (WHL) team. Hopes were high when they were awarded (then retracted) a conditional NHL franchise. The entire WHL then folded, forcing the Spurs to play in the CHL for a season. So after years of promising NHL hockey, there was no way they were going to fill the new (16,000 seat) McNichols arena with a mediocre team in a 2nd tier minor league. They were going under. Thus, the Spurs desperately sought entry into the WHA and became the perfect warm-up act for the Rockies.

Just like the Rockies, the Spurs also had a great name, great uniforms, bad management and players having their career-worst season. Making matters worse, it took them 9 home games before they won one. A couple of weeks after moving to Ottawa, they were shut down by the league. The Denver owner was auctioning off players to other teams, claiming Ottawa didn't pay him enough for his bankrupt, losing team. Crazy stuff.

But Delorme did okay for a unknown rookie on a DOA team. His effort was "rewarded" with the chance to play for his 2nd abysmal hockey team in Denver. Too bad he got injured. He's the kind of player who deserved a long career.

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