Middlebrook found a way to get to NHL
Thu, Aug 21st 2008, 00:00
Lindsay Middlebrook wasn't a highly-touted draft pick in the NHL. Yet through determination and plenty of hard work, he made it to the NHL.
"My most memorable moment in the NHL was when New York Rangers called me and signed me as a free agent," Middlebrook said. "When I signed that contract, I had made it to the NHL."
Middlebrook played a career high of 14 games in the NHL with the Winnepeg Jets during the 1980-81 season.
During his stint with the Jets, Middlebrook has some memorable times with his then teammate and hockey legend Bobby Hull.
"I was a 21-year-old kid back then I remember telling him crack some shots at me," Middlebrook said. "Bobby was at the end of his career and he usually would just float pucks in during drills. One time though, he smashed a shot just outside the blue line and it crashed into the boards behind me. I looked back and thought 'Holy Shit," he still has got it."
His career goals against average was 5.10. He also spent time briefly with the Minnesota Northstars and the New Jersey Devils. Although Middlebrook only played briefly in the NHL, he played numerous years and with several teams in the minor league ranks.
Since retiring from pro hockey in 1985, Middlebrook stayed involved with the game, especially the last eight years. He has coached Triple-A teams and most recently he has guided the Chesterfield Falcons Midget program. Players on the Falcons are ages 17-19.
"The St. Louis area has become a real hot bed as a place for kids to play hockey," Middlebrook said. "I really enjoy helping these kids get to the next level in hockey and play at (NCAA) Division I programs. The biggest difference that I noticed between what it was like when I played and how things are today is that these kids are better athletes and thanks to all the advancements in equipment, these kids feel like they're bullet proof.