Moose Dupont

Andre "Moose" Dupont came upon his nickname honestly - he was a big boy.

"Two guys used to carry him out to the blue line and he'd slash people as they skated by," joked Flyers announcer Gene Hart.

Dupont reportedly weighed in at 250lbs in junior hockey. At the same time he took on all comers, earning a ridiculous 212 PIMs in just 38 games.

Yet he was a very good junior, helping three different Quebec teams to Memorial Cup appearances in three consecutive seasons. The New York Rangers drafted Dupont 8th overall in 1969.

During that draft season Dupont was convinced to shed the excess weight if he wanted to play in the pros. He crashed dieted and got down to around 200lbs, which is what he played at in the NHL.

"Roger Bedard (a retired pro hockey player) was the man who straightened me out. He made me lose 40 pounds and get ready to turn pro."

Though his weight decreased, he zeal for the physical aspects of the game certainly did not. He played with the Rangers farm team in Omaha and his PIM totals were astounding. But so was his play. In 1969-70 the defenseman scored 11 goals and 37 points along with 258 penatly minutes, earning him the CHL rookie of the year award. The following season he shared the league's MVP award, thanks to 15 goals, 46 points and 308 PIMs! Needless to say he was also named as the league's top defenseman.

The coach in Omaha just loved Dupont's play. His name - Fred Shero.

Somehow the Rangers never shared the same love for Dupont's game. Despite his great play in the minor leagues, Dupont only got into 7 games in New York. Early in his third pro season the Rangers traded Dupont to the St. Louis Blues. Dupont played regularly with the Blues over parts of two seasons, starting in 85 games and scoring 4 goals and 20 points.

He played well enough in St. Louis, but was never quite comfortable there. Then a trade to Philadelphia changed his NHL fortunes dramatically, as he was reunited with his coach from Omaha - Fred Shero.

"I was with the Blues for a year, and they were having all kinds of trouble. Being traded to Philly and coming back to Freddy was the best thing that ever happened to me," he confessed. "I came to a winner, and you can't ask for more than that."

If there was ever a player who best represented Broad Street Bullies hockey of the 1970s, it was Dupont. He was a loose cannon, made even more unpredictable due to his expression-less face. But next thing you know he's being sent back to the penalty box for some unprovoked attack. All too often those infractions would put his team in bad penalty kill situations, but Shero kept on believing in Dupont and his value to the team.

Dupont could play hockey, too, as evidenced by his 59 goals and 244 points in 800 career NHL games and an appearance in the 1976 NHL All Star game. He celebrated his goals with "the Moose Shuffle" dance, a silly take on football end zone celebrations. But it never looked so good as in the 1974 playoffs. He scored 4 goals that spring, including the game tying goal with just 50 seconds left in game two of the finals. Of course, the Flyers went on to win that series and their first Stanley Cup.

Yet he will always be remembered as one the biggest and baddest of the Broad Street Bullies. Nearly 2000 career penalty minutes will do that to you.

Dupont played with the Flyers until 1980 when he was traded close to home and played three seasons with the Quebec Nordiques. He even served as the team captain in Quebec for a season. He retired in 1983.


Rick Buker,  9:06 AM  

De Mooze (as he called himself) uttered one of my favorite hockey quotes of all-time. After he and his fellow “Broad Street Bullies” mangled the Canucks 10-5 in February of 1973, a reporter for the “Vancouver Sun” asked Dupont for his take on the Flyers’ fortunes.

"Great trip for us,” the gregarious Dupont replied. “We don't go to jail. We beat up dere chicken forwards. We score ten goal. We win. An' now de Mooze drink beer."

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