Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bruce Affleck

Born and raised in British Columbia's Okanagan region, Bruce Affleck was a solid NHL defenseman for nearly 300 games, most notably with the St. Louis Blues.

Bruce was born in Salmon Arm and played junior hockey in Penticton. He played so well their that he was offered scholarships to play at American colleges. In 1972 he chose to attend the University of Denver largely because he so respected coach Murray Armstrong. He also used to opportunity to study business administration.

Attending the University of Denver was probably the best thing that ever happened to Affleck. Not only was he a standout all star with one of the strongest university teams in the country, but he caught the eyes of NHL scouts at a time when it was still very rare for college hockey players to make the jump to the NHL. The California Golden Seals drafted him 21st overall (The Hockey News rated him as the third best prospect and best defensive prospect) in 1974, although he was traded to St. Louis before he ever played a game in California.

The move to St. Louis was good as Affleck. Originally he had a tough time cracking the line-up, so tough his teammates nicknamed him "Scratch." But soon he had a chance to play regularly for three and half seasons. In 280 games (including later stints with Vancouver and NY Islanders) he scored 14 goals and 80 points. By 1979 he found himself buried in the minor leagues where he was twice named top defenseman in the CHL and once named league MVP.

After playing a couple of seasons in Switzerland Affleck retired in 1986 to spend more time with his family. Which brings me to the other reason why attending the University of Denver was such a great thing for Bruce. He met his future wife, a girl by the name of Cecily Quinn. Her father was the first governor of Hawaii. In 1976 he ran for the position of Senator with Affleck spending his summer off the ice working hard on the campaign trail.

Affleck returned to St. Louis after he hung up the skates. He worked in the corporate community before re-joining the Blues in a variety of capacities, including group sales, radio color commentator and president of the alumni association.


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