Doug Patey was drafted 73rd overall in the 1976 Entry Draft after playing 2 seasons with the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Doug began his professional career the following season in 1976-77 as he played in 37 games with the Capitals while playing the rest of the season in the IHL with the Dayton Gems. He scored three goals in his first NHL season with Washington, including his first NHL goal against Cesare Maniago of the Vancouver Canucks.
Patey split the next two years between Washington and their AHL farm team in Hershey, scoring more than 20 goals in each of those two seasons in Hershey. However his combined time in Washington during those two years consisted of just 8 games.
Doug was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1979 Expansion Draft. The Oilers were looking for a sleeper in the draft and thought they had got one in Doug. They believed that he never got a fair chance in Washington and that he had a lot more to give. Doug, the brother of 12 year veteran Larry Patey, admitted that his statistics hadn't been impressive.
"I've been up and down. Up is better and that's where I hope I'll finish," he said.
Doug had an impressive training camp with the Oilers. He was in very good shape and showed a good shot, good skating ability and a sense of how to get open for a pass. At the training camp Doug was completely focused on taking a spot on the Oilers roster.
"I want to play in the NHL. I don't mean a few games or part of a season but for a long time. I know it will take hard work and I'm prepared to do that. The object is to play and win. You have to do whatever it takes."
Doug was picked by Edmonton after a recommendation by Oilers assistant coach and ex-NHL'er Bryan Watson.
"We'll never be sorry," Watson predicted. "He's young and he wants to play in the biggest league. He's really got something. For one thing, he's a good guy. He's never had a chance in some ways and he's got a real chance to get better."
Even Oilers coach Glenn Sather was optimistic about Doug. "Maybe he won't have to go (to the minors)," said Sather. "It's up to Doug. If he plays all season the way he played in training camp,he'll be around."
Unfortunately Doug didn't live up to the expectations that the Oilers had for him. He was sent down to the minors where he scored 14 points in 14 games for Cincinnati Stingers (CHL) and 30 points in 33 games for Houston Apollos (CHL).
That 1979-80 season was Doug's last. He retired only 23 years old when his hockey career was about to start. Who know's, he might very well had been one of the guys to lift the Cup with his Oilers teammates if he had continued.
Doug described his playing style as follows:
"I guess my strong points were at that point was as a winger, pretty good skating with a fairly quick shot. That was my asset, that I got the puck away quickly and usually put the puck in the net and set up plays."
Following his hockey career Patey got into the insurance business for many years. For Patey it has been a rewarding experience.
"Well, it worked out pretty well for me and I know it's not always that way. I started with London Life back in '81 and the training was very good and I was very fortunate to have been able to do that. From then on, it was really quite smooth for me. It was the sales area and I was very comfortable with people and I just continually learned over the years, a little bit every year and it's worked out just fine."