Monday

Mark Lamb

Mark may have been a Lamb, but he had the heart of a lion.

Mark was a defensive minded, gritty little center for 6 NHL teams, most notably in Edmonton and Ottawa. Mark made the NHL solely on hard work. He was a decent skater and fore checker, but other than defensive anticipation had little in terms of finesse skills. Despite being just 5'9", Lamb played much bigger than his size. Lamb eagerly went into the corner with a player much bigger than he, and often came out with the puck.

Originally drafted by Calgary, he signed as a free agent with Detroit in 1986. After 23 games in the NHL he was claimed by the Edmonton Oilers off of the waiver wire to begin the 1987-88 season. By 1989-90 he was a full time Oiler 4th liner, but exploded in the playoffs. His heart and effort showed up when it counted the most, as Lamb overachieved and the Oilers captured the Stanley Cup, their first without Wayne Gretzky. 

Despite playing a utility players' role, Lamb was able to pick up some of the scoring slack in Gretzky's absence, and chipped in a surprising 17 points in 22 playoff games! He even lined up with Gretzky's old linemates much of that spring, Jari Kurri and Esa Tikkanen.

That fine playoff probably kept Lamb in the NHL for the next 6 years, though he did bounce around a bit. He spent the next two years in Edmonton, but saw as much time on the injured reserved list as he did on the ice. The Ottawa Senators claimed Lamb in the 1992 Expansion draft. Lamb spent two seasons hustling in a Sens jersey, the second of which he was named a co-captain. The Philadelphia Flyers picked up Lamb at the end of the 1994 season but sent him to Montreal in the lock-out shortened season of 1995. Lamb played his last NHL game with the Habs in 1995-96.

Lamb has fond memories of his days in the NHL.

"It became a dream to play in the NHL and being a kid from southwest Saskatchewan, that was pretty much all anybody did was play hockey," Lamb said. "I was always the small guy in the hockey world also and I just wanted to prove that a small player could play."

Born in small town Saskatchewan, Lamb's other passion is the rodeo. As a kid he'd play hockey in the winter, but rodeoed in the summer.

"My family rodeoed, so I liked everything about it. I liked being outside, I liked being around the animals, pretty much everything about it."

Lamb was quite a calf roper as a child but soon took an interest in bull riding.

"My dad never really wanted me to take up bull riding but he never told me not to. It was my decision if I wanted to. He always thought it would be a lot better if I'd ride bareback horse or saddlebronc."


While Lamb last saw action in the NHL back in 1995, he had continued to play in the minors and in Europe until his career came to a close in 2000.

When all was said and done Mark had played 403 NHL games, winning one Stanley Cup. He scored 46 career goals and 100 career assists for 146 points. While those numbers would qualify as an "off year" for Wayne Gretzky back in his hey day with the Oilers, Mark was a pretty nice little player in his own right.

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