Friday, November 29, 2013

Bob Leduc: Maine Nordiques

bob leduc rookie card 1972-73 o-pee-chee ottawa nationals
Bob Leduc closed out his professional hockey career in the North American Hockey League. When the Maine Nordiques and the NAHL ceased to exist after the 1976-77 season, so did Leduc’s career. Never did he play in the National Hockey League but Leduc played 158 regular season games in the WHA in the rebel league’s first three seasons.

Bob Leduc – NAHL

Leduc played for the Maine Nordiques in 1975-76 and 1976-77. In his first year, he took on the dual role of player / head coach. Over 67 regular season games, he put in decent numbers with 23 goals and 43 assists for 66 points. The Nordiques finished last overall but because the Cape Codders folded mid-season, Maine qualified for the post season. They were an early exit, losing 3-1 to the Beauce Jaros in the opening round.

In 1976-77, Jean-Charles Gravel took over the head coaching duties with the Nordiques and Bob played just 25 regular season games. He contributed four goals and totalled 14 points. Maine was much improved and placed second in the eight team league. In what would be his final year in professional hockey, Leduc added nine points over 12 playoff games. The Nordiques reached the Lockhart Cup finals before being swept in four games by the Syracuse Blazers.

Bob Leduc – Pro Hockey

Between 1964-65 and 1976-77, Bob played in the AHL, EHL, WHA and NAHL. Most of his career was spent in the American Hockey League with the Providence Reds. With Providence, he played 496 regular season games, scoring 129 goals and assisting on 185 for 314 points.

Despite finishing with a below .500 record, in three years Leduc was with the Reds, the team did quite well in the post season. In 1967-68, Providence placed seventh in the eight team league. Yet, they reached the semi-finals before falling to the Quebec Aces, 3-1.

The following year, their regular season status improved to fifth out of eight and the Reds once again advanced to the Calder Cup semi-finals against Quebec. This time, Providence pushed the best of five series to the limit before succumbing to the Aces.

In 1970-71, the AHL was split into two four team divisions. Providence placed first in the Eastern Division, despite having just 69 points over 72 games. The Reds were fourth overall in the league. Once again, they did well in the playoffs, this time advancing all the way to the Calder Cup finals before being swept by the Springfield Kings in four games.

For the World Hockey Association’s inaugural season in 1972-73, Leduc was a member of the Ottawa Nationals. Playing all 78 games, he put in one of best years in pro hockey with 55 points. Bob moved with the Nationals to Toronto for the following season as the franchise became known as the Toros.  Leduc totalled 51 points in just 61 games and the Toros found some success in the playoffs. Toronto reached the semi-finals against the Chicago Cougars and pushed the series to the seven game limit before falling. At one point, Toronto led the series 3-2.

In 1974-75, Leduc took on the dual role of player/head coach with the Toros, although he played in just 19 games during the regular season and none in the playoffs. Toronto placed second in the five team Canadian Division and fifth overall in the 14 team league with 88 points in 78 games. However, the Toros fell in the opening round to the San Diego Mariners in six games.

Bob Leduc – Hockey Card

Bob got his mug on mainstream cardboard just once. The Bob Leduc rookie card appears as number 322 in the 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee set. The last series of that set featured players in their brand new WHA uniforms. Leduc was shown as a member of the Ottawa Nationals.


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