Saturday

Glen Cochrane

Glen Cochrane was born in Cranbrook and spent much of his childhood in Kamloops. He later played junior hockey in Victoria and liked to spend his summers in Cowichan Bay. So it was like a dream come true to play NHL hockey in his home province when he played parts of two seasons with the Vancouver Canucks.

"I'm really looking forward to it. It's kind of a homecoming for me" said Glen after being traded to Vancouver Canucks on March 12, 1985 for a draft pick.

Glen's career started out in Philadelphia where he is best remembered as an NHLer. A monstrous defenseman at 6'3" and 210lbs, Cochrane was not shy to use his strength and size advantages. He was brutally physical in front of his net, keeping the slot clear of opposing shooters. Glen was always the first on the scene if someone was taking liberties on one of his teammates. Though more valuable than just a goon, Cochrane played the "policeman" role very well.

The Flyers drafted him in the 3rd round, 50th overall in the 1978 Entry Draft. He spent the first two and a half seasons playing for the Flyers' affiliate team in Maine. Glen showed plenty of toughness and gradual progression in his overall game. In his rookie season in Maine he helped the Mariners win the Calder Cup - the American Hockey League championship.

Although he played in one game with the Flyers in 1978-79, he didn't get a good shot at NHL employment until 1981 when he was recalled for the remainder of the season. He appeared in 31 games, scored his first goal and added 219 PIM! By the end of 1980-81 season he had earned a regular spot on the blue line and played in 6 playoff games. He even added one goal in the playoffs.

He played really strong in 1981-82. He scored 6 goals and 18 points and was a very respectable +19. He added a career high 329 PIM but struck fear in the hearts of any opponent who dared to go near the goal crease.

Cochrane was often paired with the great Mark Howe in 1982-83. Cochrane tamed down to "just" 237 PIM and played in 77 games, scoring 2 goals and a career high 24 points. He also had a very impressive +42 ranking. Only Howe posted a better mark on the Flyers that year (+47).

Cochrane continued to play strongly in 1983-84, scoring a career high 7 goals. However as the Flyers acquired more depth Cochrane's ice time was being reduced. Never the most mobile skater, the Flyers experimented with him by playing Cochrane on left wing at times with tenacious twin brothers Rich and Ron Sutter.

Cochrane suffered a fractured kneecap in 1985 which required major off season surgery. However before he got the surgery done, the Flyers traded the injured d-man to Vancouver for a 3rd round draft choice.

It was certainly an odd trade from a Vancouver standpoint. They traded a high pick for a slow d-man with a bad knee. But he was also a local boy who could supply the Canucks with that physical presence to make other teams respect them. Even more odd, in a subsequent trade, the Flyers gave the Canucks their draft pick back! That trade also saw Cochrane-clone Dave Richter and Rich Sutter go to Vancouver for J.J. Daigneault and the Canucks 2nd round pick.

Glen eventually recovered from the patella surgery and appeared in 49 games for the Canucks in the 1985-86 season. However he only scored 3 assists and had 125 PIM. The knee surgery reduced the already slow skater to a crawl, and it was obvious that Glen couldn't play the way he once did in Philadelphia.

Glen's knees continued to bother him. It limited him to just 14 games with Vancouver in 1986-87. He was picked up by Chicago off of waivers in 1987 and played well in his first year in Chicago. He appeared in 73 games, scoring 1 goal (his first in three years) and 9 points along with 204 PIM. However his knee would give him problems again the following year. He was waived by Chicago and finished his career by playing 12 games with the Edmonton Oilers. By this point in his career he was basically just around for his reputation with his fists.

In 411 NHL games, Cochrane scored just 17 goals and 89 points, to go along with 1556 PIM. Cochrane was an admirable competitor that always kept the opposition honest. Teammates and fans really appreciated his hard work. When playing within his limitations and while healthy, Cochrane was a nice piece of the Flyer's hockey puzzle.

4 comments:

ChrisL6464 9:21 AM  

cheneseI wonder what Glen is up to these days. He was a great guy. I don't remember many Flyers being as fearless as him. I hope he is doing well and would love to see him show up in Philly for a tribute or something. Go to you tube to see some of his best action. My God....what was Hector Marini thinking..........not once but twice.......
ChrisL6464@aol.com

Scott C,  6:04 AM  

Glen is a great father/husband and an NHL recruiter. Has a daughter that is being looked at by the Canadian womens national team. He's back in British Columbia Canada.

Rich 8:25 AM  

Glen owned a Little Ceasers Pizza franchise in Maple Ridge, BC for a while in the late 80's early 90's. He was great with customers and ran a solid operation. It is still there but not sure if he still owns it or not.

Bill 7:13 PM  

I met Glen after NHL retirement and trained him as a Little Caesars' franchise owner in Canton, MI (summer of 1989). He would share some past stories of his NHL career with the guys in the restaurant. Great person and very entertaining.

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