Friday, January 7, 2011

Bruce Cowick

Bruce Cowick made his NHL debut during the 1974 Stanley Cup playoffs. Cowick, who was acquired that season after two years of physical play in the old WHL, had never played a single NHL game until the playoffs.

The Flyers felt they needed to add some extra muscle up front as some of their regular bangers were banged up themselves with nagging injuries. Cowick got the call, not because he could score (he had 14 goals and 21 points in the AHL that year) but because he could handle himself in the corners and when the gloves were dropped. He was also fairly solid defensively.

Cowick played in 8 games that spring. He didn't get a lot of ice time but did get on the ice long enough to earn 9 penalty minutes, including a 5 minute major for scuffling with the Boston Bruins Rich Leduc. But while he had never played in the NHL before and only played in 8 playoff games, Cowick got his name on the Stanley Cup as the Philadelphia Flyers won their first NHL championship. For Cowick, it was partly a case of being at the right place at the right time.

Prior to Cowick's debut, most people had never head of the Victoria BC native. He earned a reputation as a tough as nails winger with the BCJHL Victoria Cougars, but was never picked up by an NHL team. Instead he signed with the WHL's San Diego Gulls for 2 seasons where he showed he could do more than just fight. The Flyers acquired him in exchange for Fred Stanfield, Tom Trevalyn, Bob Currier and Bob Hurlbury in July of 1973.

With Cowick's name on the Cup and his play at the minor league level, the Washington Capitals claimed him in the 1974 NHL Expansion Draft. It was a good move for Cowick in some ways, but not others. Cowick played the entire 1974-75 season with the expansion Caps. He appeared in 65 games and scored 5 goals and 11 points plus 41 PIM. He was also a bad -42. But for Cowick his dream had come true, he made the NHL. However the Caps were a pretty sorry team that first year. He had to endure a season of 67 losses in 80 games.

Cowick was exposed on waivers in May of 1975 and was picked up by the St. Louis Blues. Cowick appeared in 5 games for the Bluenotes but spent most of what proved to be his final professional season back in the American Hockey League with the Providence Reds.

While he spent much of his hockey career as a "policeman," he spends all of his current career as a policeman literally. He is an RCMP officer in Esquimalt, British Columbia. He is part of the Community Police Unit which is responsible for all matters relating to community policing, crime prevention, Block Watch and Block Parents programs, and school liaison programs.


Unknown said...

Esquimalt had it's own police force of which Bruce was a member of. I know this for a fact as I was a resident of Esquimat dureing his time with the Esquimalt Police/Fire Department. I also know Bruce personaly to this day too.

Shane said...

May have been a tough guy on the ice, but also a great guy off.

marlene said...

in reference to comments made about Bruce Cowick - he was not RCMP he was in fact an officer with the Esquimalt Police Force and still is as far as I know. Another fact is that although Bruce has lived in the Esquimalt area most of his life he was born in Ottawa in Ausgust of 1951 tomy Aunt Lois his mother-and my Uncle John - his father - I aqm Bruces cousin Marlene and BCl

Bob O'Neil said...

Bruce might of been a tough guy on the ice,but a heart of gold off the ice helping in minor sports and the community 🤗

Unknown said...

I grew up in Esquimalt, B.C. And I had to play,just street-hockey against Bruce, because he was a coupla yrs older, but that didn't stop him!
I was so proud of Bruce when he made it to the NHL! His first shift he layed out Brad Park!
I'm also proud because he served our community as a Peace Officer on the Esquimalt Police Force and was a partner with my Uncle, "Rick McVie",
Who unfortunately passed away today, I am remembering lots today,I know that you were always a good team mate!

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