Doug Barkley

Lethbridge, Alberta's Doug Barkley was a big and physical defenseman who started his NHL career at a late age and had it end far too early.

He could have become one of the most dominant defensemen of his time if it was not for a career ending eye injury.

In fact, he was so good that legendary hockey scribe Stan Fischler once compared Barkley to a latter day Larry Robinson.

"Tall, tough and tenacious, Barkley was a Larry Robinson before the latter arrived on the scene to redefine defensemen's play for the Montreal Canadiens," Fischler wrote.

Barkley was originally a Chicago Black Hawks prospect but only saw action in 6 games in 5 years while spending most of his career in the minors. Perhaps battling a case of home-sickness, Doug struggled while playing with the AHL's Buffalo Bisons but regained his confidence when he returned to Alberta to play for the Calgary Stampeders of the Western Hockey League. In fact in the 1961-62 season Doug blossomed to scored 25 goals and 74 points while playing on the blue line for the Stamps.

After his All Star season in the WHL, Barkley was a hot commodity again in the NHL marketplace. The Hawks ended up trading the 26 year old to the Detroit Red Wings for 2 players - Len Lunde and John McKenzie - on June 5 1962.

Finally getting a chance to play in the NHL, Barkley responded positively by scoring 3 goals and 24 assists in 70 games in the '62-63 season. His performance finished second only to Toronto defenseman Kent Douglas in Calder Trophy balloting. Both Barkley and Douglas spent a long time in the minors before playing regularly in the NHL.

Barkley followed his rookie season with a promising second NHL campaign. Known for his size (6'2" 185lbs) and aggressiveness (he had 382 PIM in only 253 games), Doug added a bit of an offensive element to his game that he had previously shown in the WHL. Doug scored 11 times and assisted on 21 others.

Doug was unable to step up his offensive production significantly the following season (5 goals and 25 points in 67 games) but showed promise in the 1965-66 season. In only 43 games he scored 5 goals and 20 points.

However the 43rd game of that season proved to be Barkley's last in the NHL. He suffered a career-ending eye injury while playing against Chicago on January 30, 1966. The Hawks' Doug Mohns accidentally clipped Barkley in the right eye with the blade of his stick. Despite multiple surgeries, doctors failed to restore enough of Barkley's sight to his eye to allow him to play again.

Doug Barkley scored 24 career goals while adding 80 assists for 104 points in 253 games. He appeared in 30 playoff contests, adding 9 assists.

Barkley would stay in the game as a scout, coach and broadcaster.


Anonymous,  8:44 PM  

Love you are a legend! One of the best color commentators in hockey before he retired from Calgary Flames radio.

Anonymous,  7:20 PM  

I've seen Red Wings games on tape and Barclay controlled the games that I saw.The on ice general if you will.

Anonymous,  8:52 PM  

Best colour man flames ever had!!!

Anonymous,  7:41 PM  

It looked as though Doug was on his way to becoming one of the best blue liners in the game when his career was cut short. He could really lug the biscuit. A classy hockey player.

Anonymous,  7:10 PM  

Great hockey player and a great guy!!! Remember him fondly from days in Buffalo!!! Hope all is well!!

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