Ron Stern

Ron Stern was more than a just tough guy.

True, he would drop the gloves without complaint and racked up some gaudy PIM totals, but I always considered him to be more of a honest, blue collar winger who knew his job and performed it to the best of his ability. He was a surprisingly good skater, allowing him to excel at a bang-and-crash game where he was a punishing hitter. He was a guy who you had to admire because he gave it everything he had on every shift.

Although he had decent offensive numbers in juniors and in the minors, Stern could never find his coring touch in the NHL. He only scored 75 times in his 638 game career, mostly by crashing the net for loose pucks. If he could hit 10 goals a year that was considered to be good production. He rarely handled the puck with much success. His best offensive play was to simply let his linemates carry the puck into the zone while he drove hard to the net opening up lanes for them.

Stern's best days were with the Calgary Flames, forming an effective grind line with center Joel Otto. He also played in Vancouver and San Jose, always employing his rugged game.


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