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The NHL Alumni Association is governed by a twelve-member Board of Directors comprised of retired player members. Led by a retired NHL player in Executive Director, Mark Napier, and governed by our Executive Committee and a Board of Directors as follows:
Mike Pelyk - Chairman
Mike Pelyk was chosen by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1964 NHL Amateur draft. After which, he played for the Toronto Marlboros between 1965 and 1967. Pelyk began his NHL career with the Maple Leafs in 1967 and gained a full-time spot on the roster for the 1968-69 season. He spent the next six and a half years in Toronto, where he was known for tough defense and his speed on the ice. During the 1973-74 season, Pelyk led Maple Leaf defensemen in scoring.
In 1974, he left the NHL to play in the WHA for two seasons. He was a member of the Vancouver Blazers and then captain of the Cincinnati Stingers before returning to the Maple Leafs in 1976. He finished his NHL career in Toronto, retiring in 1978. During these final two seasons with the Maple Leafs, he also played for the Dallas Black Hawks and Tulsa Oilers of the CHL.
Colin Patterson - Vice Chairman
Colin Patterson began his NHL career when he signed on as a free agent with the Calgary Flames after being discovered by a scout at Clarkson University. Throughout his years with the Flames, Patterson established himself as a skilled defensive forward. In 1989, he was a runner up to receive the Frank Selke Trophy. The same year, he won the Stanley Cup with the Flames. Patterson played another season with the Flames before he was injured for the 1990-1991 season. Upon his return, he joined the Buffalo Sabres from 1991 to 1993. In 1993, he moved to Ljubljana, Slovenia where he played a season for HDD Olimpija Ljubljana before his official retirement.
Patterson resides in Calgary, Alberta, with his family, and has been heavily involved in coaching minor youth hockey teams.
Gerry Sillers - Secretary/Treasurer
“Driller” was born and raised in Saskatoon where he played junior hockey for the Blades with his longtime buddy Bobby Schmautz. He moved west to attend Simon Fraser University and turned pro with the Western League Canucks in 1968-69. He played four seasons with their NHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans of the AHL, a team for which the flamboyant Don Cherry both played and coached. He also played briefly with Portland of the WHL. Following his playing career, he became an enthusiastic member of the Canucks Alumni organization and, in 1989, became its president, a post he still holds. As the Canucks Alumni's leader, Sillers attends all meetings of the NHL Alumni Association and is a tireless worker for the local chapter. The Canucks Alumni is made up of over 100 card-carrying members and is often upheld as the best organization of its kind in the NHL. Much of that credit goes to Sillers, who recently retired as vice-president and controller of a local wood manufacturing facility.
Board of Directors
Andy Bathgate currently owns and manages a 20-acre driving range in Mississauga, Ontario. During the winters, he helps coach his grandson's hockey team. The New York Rangers retired his #9, along with Harry Howell's #3, in a special ceremony before the February 22, 2009 game against the Maple Leafs.
Bathgate was a star player for the Rangers and holds many honors, which include being declared MVP in both the NHL and WHL. Bathgate began his NHL career with the Rangers during the 1952-53 season. His presence on the team had an immediate impact, scoring 20 goals and collecting 20 assists. For the next eight years, he led the Rangers in points and established himself as one of the most gifted offensive players in the league. Notably, during the 1958-59 season, he led the NHL in assists and earned the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player. Bathgate was also voted to the league's First All-Star Team that year.
Bathgate made the First All-Star Team again in 1962-63 and was voted to the Second Team the next year. In February 1964, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he contributed important goals to help lead them to the Stanley Cup.
After missing a portion of the 1964-65 season due to injury, Bathgate was traded to Detroit. During the 1965-66 season, he helped the Red Wings during their run to the Stanley Cup finals.
In 1967, Bathgate was chosen by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL Expansion Draft. He spent a year in Pittsburgh and then two with the WHL's Vancouver team, where he earned the WHL’s MVP award in 1969-70. Bathgate's final NHL season was spent with the Penguins. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1978 along with Marcel Provonost and Jacques Plante.
Through his 688 game career in the NHL, Playfair earned a reputation as a tough, hard-working defender for the Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings. Playfair played his junior hockey for the Portland Winter Hawks of the WCJHL from 1976 to 1978. During that time, he established himself as a surly, bellicose, stay-at-home defender who made a big impression with his knuckles on the toughs of the league.
When the Buffalo Sabres went shopping during the 1978 Amateur Draft, they had a player such as Playfair at the top of their list, selecting him 13th overall. After a stint with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, he then settled into a role as the club's enforcer. He understood that his ticket to the NHL came via his ability to fight and he was one of the best in the league. But he was also a hard-working consistent player who could scored the odd meaningful goal and play a defensively sound game.
Playfair remained at the antagonistic center of the Sabres' defense until midway through the 1985-86 season when he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. He put in parts of three campaigns before returning to Buffalo where, because of a ruptured disk in his back, he was forced to retire in 1989.
Since leaving the ice, Playfair has worked as a color analyst for Sabres broadcasts and he is currently the President of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association.
In June 2006, Jeff was hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs as Director of Hockey Administration. On August 24, 2007, Jackson was promoted to Assistant General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations of the Leafs, working alongside then General Manager John Ferguson, Jr. On September 12, 2008, Jackson was appointed the new General Manager and Governor of the Toronto Marlies, the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate. He also maintained his role as Assistant GM and Director of Hockey Operations of the Maple Leafs. Jackson left his position with the Leafs in March 2010 to pursue other opportunities. He has appeared as a guest speaker and lecturer at numerous universities and conferences, including Harvard Law School and Osgood Hall law school.
Jackson played 263 games throughout eight seasons in the NHL for the Maple Leafs, Rangers, Nordiques, and Black Hawks. As a player, he was known for using his speed and size to make strong drives toward the net, dig the puck out of the corner, and place powerful checks on opponents. Prior to being picked by the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, Jackson spent two seasons with the OHL Brantford Alexanders, where he recorded 112 points. In 1984, he was voted the Alexanders' MVP.
In 1984-85, Jackson scored 27 points in 20 games for the Hamilton Steelhawks (formerly the Brantford Alexanders), and helped Canada win the gold medal at the World Junior Championships. Jackson was Canada's third leading scorer with eight points in seven games. To finish the year, he suited up with the Maple Leafs for 17 games. He spent most of the following season with the St. Catharines Saints of the AHL.
Jackson was traded from Maple Leafs to the New York Rangers in 1986-87. He was then traded to the Quebec Nordiques before the start of the 1987-88 Season. Jackson had his best NHL seasons while playing with the Nordiques. During this time, he formed an effective checking line with Mike Eagles and Alan Haworth. He played one game with the Chicago BlackHawks in the 1991-92 season before retirement.
Brendan Shanahan currently serves as the National Hockey League's Vice President of Hockey and Business Development and head disciplinarian.
Shanahan’s NHL career, which spans over 1,500 games, began in 1987 when he was the second overall pick in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. During his years on the ice, he played with the St. Louis Blues, Hartford Whalers, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, and New Jersey Devils. The majority of his seasons were spent with the Detroit Red Wings, where he won three Stanley Cup championships in 1997, 1998 and 2002.
Throughout his career, Shanahan scored 656 goals and was leading scorer among active NHL players at the time of his retirement. He is the only player in NHL history with over 600 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes.
On the international level, Shanahan won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 1994 World Championships, 2002 Winter Olympics, and a 1991 Canada Cup championship. Having won what are considered the three most prominent team titles in ice hockey, an Olympic gold medal, a World Championship and a Stanley Cup, Shanahan is a member of the elite Triple Gold Club.
Shanahan played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2007. He was named to the First All-Star Team in 1994 and 2000, and Second All-Star Team in 2002. On November 17, 2009, Shanahan officially announced his retirement after 21 years in the NHL.
Known for his impressive speed and hard, accurate shot, Mike Gartner began his nineteen season NHL career when he was chosen in the 1st round, 4th overall, by the Washington Capitals in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. After recording an assist in his NHL debut, he went on to lead his team in both points and goals his rookie season. Over the next eight years, Gartner consistently scored more than 35 goals, and reached the 50-goal mark during the 1984-85 season. He led this team in scoring on four occasions, and had tied or set twelve records in Washington by the time he was traded to Minnesota in 1989.
After two short half-seasons with the North Stars, Gartner was traded to the New York Rangers in March of 1990. Over the next three seasons, he continued to put up impressive numbers with goal totals of 49, 40 and 45. By this point, he had recorded 30-or-more goals in 14 consecutive seasons, a new NHL record. During his time in New York, Gartner became the 16th player to reach the 500-goal mark, 6th to reach 600 goals, and 33rd to achieve 1,000 points. In 1994, Gartner was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he continued his 30+ goal streak with 34.
During the 1996 off-season, Gartner was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes where he finished his career two seasons later. In 1997-98, he became just the fifth player to reach the 700-goal mark.
Often considered the most consistent and unnoticed scorer the game has ever seen, Gartner holds the NHL record for most 30-or-more goal seasons in a career with 17. He finished second all-time in goals for a right-winger and 5th overall at 708, 5th all-time in assists by a right-winger at 627, 4th all-time in points by a right-winger at 1,335, and 7th on the all-time games played list at 1,335.
After retirement from the NHL, Gartner served as Chairman of the Goals & Dreams program with the NHLPA until March 19, 2007. Gartner and his former teammate, Wes Jarvis, are business partners and own three skating rinks in the Toronto area. He is very involved with youth hockey, coaching his son, Dylan. He also coaches at National Training Rinks in Newmarket, Ontario.
Rejean Houle entered the national spotlight as one of the two best junior hockey players in Canada along with Marc Tardif in 1969. The following season, the pair were drafted by the Canadiens through a clause in the NHL rulebook. Houle played four seasons for the Canadiens, winning the Stanley Cup in 1971 and 1973, before he left to join the Quebec Nordiques of the WHA. He consistently improved throughout his three seasons with the Nordiques before his return to Montreal at the age of 27. He scored 52 points in 65 games during the 1976-77 season, which ended with the Canadiens defending their Stanley Cup title against the Boston Bruins.
Montreal faced Boston again during the following 1978 season, which marked another victory for the Canadiens. In 1979, Montreal won their fourth consecutive Stanley Cup, beating out the New York Rangers. Houle played another four seasons for the Canadiens before retiring during the 1982-1983 season.
After retirement from the NHL, Houle took an executive position with the Molson Brewing Company. In 1995, he was assigned to the position of General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, which he held until 2000. He currently serves as an ambassador to the Canadiens organization.
Mathieu Schneider began his NHL career after being signed by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. He played the majority of the 1987-88 season with the Cornwall Royals, and was a member of the United States team in the Junior World Championships. He split the following 1988-89 season between the Canadiens and their AHL affiliate in Sherbrooke.
Schneider earned a full-time spot on the Canadiens’ roster in 1990 and won the Stanley Cup in 1993. The following season, he led team defense in scoring.
During the 1994–95 Season, Schneider was traded to the New York Islanders. He appeared in the 1996 NHL All-Star Game and was a member of 1996 World Champion Team USA. He was later traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for three players and a first round selection in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.
In 1998, Schneider returned to his hometown of New York to play for the Rangers. After two seasons, Schneider signed with the Los Angeles Kings. His first season with Los Angeles saw his highest scoring since 1993-94. He was traded to the Detroit Red Wings for two players and two draft picks in late 2003. He played his 1,000th NHL game during the 2005-06 Season.
The following year, Schneider signed with the Anaheim Ducks. He was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers, and returned to the Canadiens in 2009. In March 2010, he was traded to the Coyotes before he officially retired at the end of 2010.
Shortly after announcing his retirement, Schneider became involved with the National Hockey League Players' Association as a special assistant. His first significant project with the NHLPA has been adjustments to the head-shot and boarding rules, alongside Brendan Shanahan.
Joe Reekie began his seventeen year NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres after playing with the North Bay Centennials and Cornwall Royals in the OHL from 1982 to 1985. During that time, he played between the AHL and NHL with Buffalo until 1989, and then with the Islanders for three seasons.
Reekie earned a permanent spot in the NHL when the Tampa Bay Lightning chose him in the Expansion Draft of 1992. He spent two seasons in Tampa Bay before he was traded to the Washington Capitals in 1994. He played with the Capitals for the next eight years. Reekie was known as a reliable player throughout his time in Washington, with a strong ability to clear the crease and kill penalties. He remained a top four defenseman in all his seasons with the Capitals. He played seventeen games with the Chicago BlackHawks during the 2001-2002 season before announcing retirement.
Joe Reekie currently is a sports analyst for Comcast SportsNet.
Pat Flatley was selected 21st overall in the NHL Draft by the New York Islanders in 1982. During his college years, he helped the Wisconsin Badgers win the NCAA title in 1983 and was named to the WCHA first all-star team, the NCAA West first all-American team, and the NCAA championship tournament all-star team. Flatley scored four goals in seven games to help the Canadian team win the bronze medal at the 1983 World Junior Championships. Later that same year, he won bronze with the senior team at the World Championships.
After graduating from Wisconsin, Flatley spent a season with the Canadian national team. He was an important asset for them when they finished fourth at the Sarajevo Olympics. His most significant contribution was scoring twice in a 4-3 win over Czechoslovakia, which clinched the bronze medal for the Canadians.
After the Olympics, Flatley joined the Islanders, where he would play for the next twelve years. During his time there, he earned a reputation as a solid player, proficient at driving to the net, and effective at winning pucks in the corner. He spent the 1996-97 season with the New York Rangers before retirement. Flatley was inducted into the Islanders Hall of Fame on January 12, 2012.
Upon retirement he served as a part-time analyst with Hockey Night in Canada for the 1988–2000 seasons. His quick wit, loyalty and dedication to the game of hockey and the players landed him a position as the NHL Director of Alumni Relations where he served as the liaison between the NHL, the club owners and the NHL Alumni for 10 years.
Flatley was instrumental in the continuity of the career transition and the formulation of the NHL Alumni Association to assist former players in need. He has served on the Board of Directors of the NHL Alumni Association since it's inception in November of 1999 and has continued to help his fellow players through many aspects of the game and life skills, both on and off the ice.
With Flatley's knowledge of the game, respect of the players, ability to work with the NHL and the NHL Alumni, and his definitive interest in helping current players through their transition into retirement, the NHLPA hired him to be the Assistant Director of Player Affairs looking after players and on-ice issues, helping to build a better bond between the NHLPA and alumni.
With his heartfelt and continued interest in ensuring players understand their options in retirement, Flatley has taken on the role of Director of the NHLA's BreakAway Program and is thrilled to be following his passion for hockey and education in this new capacity. Flatley has been a part of the BreakAway (formerly known as Life After Hockey) Committee for the past 10 years.