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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

New England Sports 366, #68: Gord Kluzak

In 1982, the Boston Bruins held the #1 overall pick in the NHL draft. Lots of people thought they should pick scorer Brian Bellows (they were right) or fellow defenseman Gary Nylund (they were right too). Kluzak had his adherents, most vitally Bruins GM Harry Sinden, and Boston took Kluzak first overall. In theory, the kid would pair with Bourque on the blue line for the next decade.

It wasn't to be. Kluzak tore knee ligaments during his last season in the juniors before ever joining the Bruins, and it was just the beginning of his injury woes. He would end up having 11 knee surgeries and was out of the game by age 27, playing just 299 games between 1982 and 1990. He missed entire seasons in '84-'85 and '86-87. When he played, there were glimpses of what he might have been, especially in the 1988 Stanley Cup run when he put up four goals and eight assists.

Brian Bellows scored 485 goals with 1022 points in 1188 games played, mostly for the North Stars. Nylund played in 608 NHL games, though on some bad teams. Most hockey fans probably know Kluzak better for his work in broadcasting, working Bruins games for NESN. He's a smart guy, having earned an MBA from Harvard and working for Goldman Sachs. It's a pity his knees weren't as good as his brain.

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