Happy birthday to former Canadien Shayne Corson, who turned 46 on Aug. 13.
Corson, selected eighth overall by the Canadiens at the 1984 NHL entry draft, enjoyed his best season with the Habs in 1989-90 when he posted 31-44-75 totals to go along with 144 penalty minutes. He was the type of power forward the Canadiens could use now.
The Canadiens traded Corson to the Edmonton Oilers on Aug. 27, 1992, along with Brent Gilchrist and Vladimir Vujtek, in exchange for Vincent Damphousse and Edmonton’s fourth-round draft choice in 1993 (Adam Wiesel).
Corson signed with St. Louis as a free agent in 1995, but returned to Montreal on Oct. 29, 1996, along with Murray Baron and the Blues’ fifth-round draft pick in 1997 (Gennady Razin), in exchange for Pierre Turgeon, Rory Fitzpatrick and Craig Conroy.
Corson signed with Toronto as a free agent on July 4, 2000, and ended his NHL career with the Dallas Stars in 2003, retiring with 273-420-693 totals in 1,156 games to go along with 2,357 penalty minutes.
Corson was also part of Team Canada for the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, and was sitting on the bench beside Wayne Gretzky when Canada lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic in a semifinal shootout.
In a February 2010 Where Are they Now? feature in The Gazette, reporter Ian MacDonald asked Corson if there was second-guessing among the players on the Canadian bench when Gretzky wasn’t picked for the shootout.
“I guess a lot of people outside did, but as players you accept who the coaches pick,” Corson said.
“I was actually on the bench beside Gretzky during the shootout,” Corson added. “He never said a thing. Then again, he’s a class guy. It’s just a part of why he was the greatest player in the world.”
Corson also considered himself lucky to have worn the bleu-blanc-rouge.
“I was lucky enough to play with the best organization in hockey, which is the Canadiens,” he said.
Corson spent much of his time in Montreal on a line with Stéphane Richer.
“Richer and I were pretty much together for four years,” Corson recalled in the Where Are They Now? feature. “(Brian) Skrudland was with us a lot and Mats Naslund for a short time.”
(Gazette file photo/Dave Sidaway)