Paul Henderson – Left Wing (1962-1980)
Paul Henderson played 13 NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Atlanta Flames. He also played 5 seasons in the WHA with the Toronto Toros/Birmingham Bulls.
Henderson may not have had the most outstanding NHL career. He wouldn’t be Hall of Fame worthy based on his NHL play alone, however, there are several players in the Hockey Hall of Fame who haven’t played a single NHL game.
Paul Henderson scored what many consider to be the greatest goal in hockey history. It may at least be the most memorable goal for any Canadian old enough to remember the year 1972.
Paul Henderson scored the series winning goal in the final minute of the final game of the 1972 Canada vs Russia Summit Series. Not only that, Henderson scored three game winning goals in the eight game series and seven goals overall to lead the series in goal scoring.
For anyone who doesn’t know, the 1972 Summit Series was a huge deal. It pitted Canada’s best NHL players against the best Russian players for the first time in history.
Canada was down after the first five games (including four games played in Canada) with a 1-3-1 record, but won the final three games in Russia to take the series.
In Canada, schools shutdown so students could watch the final game together in their gymnasiums and about 50 million people tuned into the game in Russia.
Along with many of the NHL greats, Russian Summit Series stars Valeri Kharlamov, Vladislav Tretiak and Alexander Yakushev have also been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Paul Henderson has already been honoured with inductions into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and was even awarded the Order of Canada. I’m sure a Hockey Hall of Fame induction is in his future.
Awards and Honours
Played in two NHL All-Star Games
International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame Inductee 2013
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Inductee 1995
Order of Canada 2012
Order of Ontario 2014
Career Statistic Achievements
34th Most WHA Career Goals (140)
Seasonal Statistic Achievements
Lead 1972 Summit Series in Goal Scoring
Top 10 in NHL Goal Scoring for one season
Team Canada 1972 Summit Series
Team Canada 1974 Summit Series