I had a chance to to catch up with good guy Larry Pleau for our most recent podcast. Larry was actually "discovered" by the Montreal Canadiens at a hockey camp at the Worcester Ice Arena (of all places). He eventually played in the '68 Olympics and then spent three years with the Habs and earned a Stanley Cup ring in 1971.
In 1972, Larry became the first-ever Whalers player in the upstart World Hockey Association. He played in three WHA All Star games and played all seven WHA seasons with the Whalers.
At just 31 years of age, Larry was given the hockey operations reigns of the Whalers franchise in 1981. Admittedly, he lacked the experience he needed to succeed and was eventually replaced by Emile Francis.
Larry then gained valuable experience with an outstanding performance as head coach of the dual-affiliate Binghamton Whalers, where he groomed future NHL stars like Ulf Samulesson, Kevin Dineen, Ray Ferraro and more.
Larry returned to coach in Hartford for 1.5 years (and once gave a cash-strapped PR guy $100 to rent a tux for the Hall of Fame gala!) and then became Asst. GM of the NY Rangers, where he was instrumental in the NY Rangers Cup win in 1994.
In 1997, he began a great tenure with the St. Louis Blues as the bluenotes won the President's Trophy in 2001 and Larry was named Sporting News Executive of the Year.
He has also led a number of US national teams and is a member of the US Hockey Hall of Fame.
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