Status: NHL center from 1971-1989 for Detroit, Los Angeles and New York Rangers. Currently ranks fifth all-time with 731 NHL goals. Operates sports and memorabila store Marcel Dionne Inc. in Niagara Falls, Ont.
DOB: August 3, 1951 In: Drummondville, Quebec
First Hockey Memory: “Are you kidding me? There’s none [laughs]! I didn’t think this was possible. I was lucky just to find a way to play hockey and have a successful junior career in Drummondville and St. Catharines and then eventually turning pro and playing another eighteen years. I think sometimes it was pure luck. I was lucky. Luck was on my side.”
Hockey Inspirations: “Born in Drummondville, the No. 1 guy was Jean Beliveau. I just loved the way he played and carried himself.”
First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “Yvan Cournoyer. When I was thirteen years old. Nine years later I was playing in the NHL.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “I don’t think there’s such a thing. Just had to be… that first game. Whoa, I’m in the NHL. I remember that first night. Never forget it.”
Most Painful Moment: “Last game. I knew I was never playing again. (Against who?) New York Islanders.”
Most Memorable Goal(s): “I had a few. But I would say my last one. Again, because I knew that I wasn’t gonna play again.”
Strangest Game: “Playing against the Edmonton Oilers with Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Jari Kurri in the playoffs. Losing 5-0 going into the third period and then tying that team and then beating them. That was a highlight.”
Career Accomplishments: Third in NHL for most 100-point seasons (8) – only Wayne Gretzky (14) and Mario Lemieux (10) had more; Third player to reach the 700-goal mark; Currently fifth all-time in the NHL with 731 goals; Ranks sixth all-time with 1771 points; 137 points in 1979-80 tied for NHL lead with Gretzky but Dionne was awarded Art Ross Trophy because he scored two more goals; Won Ted Lindsay Award in 1979-80; Won Lady Byng Award in 1975 and 1977; Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992.
Mark “Scoop” Malinowski is the author of “Facing Federer” and “Facing Nadal.” He’s currently finishing “Facing McEnroe” and “Facing Probert.”