Randy Carlyle, born in Sudbury, Ont. played 17 seasons in the NHL from 1976-93 after being drafted in the second round (30th overall) in the 1976 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs and playing his first two seasons there before a trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Carlyle won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenceman and was a First Team All-Star for Pittsburgh in 1980-81 after posting an 83-point (16G, 67A) season. Carlyle was traded to the Winnipeg Jets on March 5/84 and played with the club until his retirement in 1993, serving as the co-captain in 1989-90 and 1990-91. He played 564 games for Jets, the most of any Jets 1.0 defenceman, and posted 306 points (80G, 226A) for the club.
Following his retirement as a player, Carlyle became an assistant coach for the Jets serving on the Manitoba Moose coaching staff as both an assistant and head coach in two separate stints. He was also an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals before serving two tenures as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks and parts of four seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. His coaching career featured three NHL Conference Final visits, culminating in the 2007 Stanley Cup win with Anaheim.
|1976-77||Dallas Black Hawks||CHL||26||2||7||9||63||--||--||--||--||--|
|1976-77||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||45||0||5||5||51||9||0||1||1||20|
|1977-78||Dallas Black Hawks||CHL||21||3||14||17||31||--||--||--||--||--|
|1977-78||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||49||2||11||13||31||4||7||0||1||1||8|
Randy Carlyle played 10 seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, wearing the captain's 'C' for two of them. He was part of a tri-captaincy with Dale Hawerchuk and Thomas Steen in 1989-90, then was a co-captain with Steen in 1990-91.
He feels humbled to be named to the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame.
"Obviously when you start to look back and look at the names - Hedberg, Nilsson, Hull, Hawerchuk - that's some pretty elite company," Carlyle said. "To ever say I thought I'd be in that class would be an understatement."
During his 564 games with the Jets, Carlyle scored 80 goals and accumulated 306 points as a defenceman.
Of the 10 seasons he suited up for the Jets, the 1984-85 season stood out to him the most.
The team finished the season with a 43-27-10 record under head coach Barry Long and went to the Stanley Cup Playoffs - one of five times Carlyle suited up for the Jets in the postseason.
"My defence partner was Robert Picard," Carlyle recalled. "We had a real good run as far as the hockey club."
Like many good runs by Jets teams in those days, they had to try and find a way through the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers.
Obviously when you start to look back and look at the names - Hedberg, Nilsson, Hull, Hawerchuk - that's some pretty elite company.RANDY CARLYLE
That season, they eliminated the Flames in 31 in the division semi-final before falling to the Oilers in the second round in four straight.
"We just didn't seem to have enough to get by the Oilers or the Flames. That was the old Smythe Division," Carlyle said. "They had a lot of offence on both those hockey clubs. The play of Dale Hawerchuk and the ability for him to put up points, to look back on it, those were special times.
"They're tough moments to swallow because of the lack of success when we had such good regular seasons," Carlyle said.
Carlyle played 1,055 games in the NHL and finished his career with 148 goals and 647 points. On top of that, he posted another 33 points (nine goals and 24 assists) in 69 career postseason games. He won the Norris Trophy as the league's best defenceman in 1980-81 when he racked up 83 points in 76 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins. His 67 assists that season were also the most in the NHL by a defenceman, a feat he accomplished again in 1981-82 with 64 assists.
The Sudbury, Ontario product was originally drafted in the second round of the 1976 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Throughout his pro career, he'd suit up for Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Winnipeg - where he finished his playing career in the 1992-93 season.
He was far from done with the game of hockey.
"The first year out of the game I was in broadcasting," Carlyle said. "I worked with Curt Kielback and Don Wittman. Two pros in the business that carried me along. On CJOB, I would be an analyst with those two gentlemen."
In addition to being an analyst, he worked on a show called Jets This Week - a half-hour show intended to show the lighter side of the game.
"I enjoyed it because you didn't take home the wins and losses," said Carlyle. "You were afforded the opportunity to still be part of it, the team. You travelled with them and you did the radio, but when the game was over, you didn't bear the wins and losses to the level you did when you were a player."
Carlyle wanted to be a part of the action. So much so, the Jets organization brought him back in 1994-95 as the Director of Player Development.
During the 1995-96 season, Carlyle was behind the bench as an assistant coach with the Jets.
That was the first 24 seasons as either an assistant coach or head coach at the pro level. Seven of those were spent with the Manitoba Moose from 1996 until 2002.
His first NHL coaching job was with the Washington Capitals from 2002-2004. He spent 2004-05 campaign with the Manitoba Moose, before joining the Anaheim Ducks, where he won a Stanley Cup in 2006-07.
Carlyle was with the Ducks until 2011. He was named the head coach of the Maple Leafs in March of 2012, where he stayed until 2015. His most recent coaching job brought him back to Anaheim from 2016 until the end of the 2018-19 season.
It's not lost on Carlyle that his opportunity to get into the coaching side of the game began in Winnipeg.
"I was afforded an opportunity by ownership and management at that time to stay involved in the game," Carlyle said. "There was never a guarantee in terms of what position I would hold. I felt that I wanted to get involved in hockey, but to tell you the truth, coaching wasn't number one on my list. I felt that at that time management would have been a route I would have taken."
When he sees his name join the ones he's honoured to be alongside, he'll be happy to see it up there with close friend Thomas Steen, who he was teammates with during his entire career with the Jets.
"Thomas and I were neighbours and friends growing up," Carlyle said, reflecting on their time together in Winnipeg's River Heights area. "Our wives spent a lot of time together. Our children knew one another very well. We spent Christmases together. So it's another special moment."