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Remembering NHL family members lost in 2014

by John Kreiser

The end of another year offers the chance to reflect on the previous 12 months.

For all of the tremendous accomplishments that took place this past year, 2014 was also defined by those we lost – among them a true hockey icon and three other Hockey Hall of Fame members.

Here's a look at some of those in the hockey world who left us during the past year:

The late Jean Beliveau had his name engraved on the Stanley Cup 17 times, the highest total in NHL history. (Getty Images)

Jean Beliveau

Dec. 2, 2014 (Age 83)

Beliveau is arguably the greatest player in the history of the NHL's winningest franchise. After he excelled in two amateur tryouts, the Montreal Canadiens wanted Beliveau so badly they had to buy an entire league, but he was well worth the expense. Beginning in 1953, Beliveau spent 18 seasons in Montreal and helped the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup 10 times before retiring in 1971. He was quickly inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, became an executive with the Canadiens and saw his name inscribed on the Cup seven more times. Few athletes in any sport could match Beliveau's grace, dignity and class. Thousands of people streamed into Bell Centre for two days as he lay in state, and dozens of Canadiens alumni and hockey legends were among those who attended his funeral.

Gilles Tremblay

Nov. 26, 2014 (Age 75)

Tremblay was the lesser-known of the two (unrelated) Tremblays with the Canadiens in the 1960s. He spent nine seasons in Montreal and finished with 168 goals and 330 points in 509 regular-season games. Tremblay played on four Cup-winning clubs before asthma forced him to retire at the age of 31. He moved into the broadcast booth and served as an analyst on French-language NHL telecasts, winning the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2002.

Pat Quinn

Nov. 23, 2014 (Age 71)

After playing 606 games as one of the NHL's most rugged defensemen, Quinn really made his mark as a coach and hockey executive. His 684 regular-season victories (with five teams) are fifth on the all-time list, and he led the 1980 Philadelphia Flyers and 1994 Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final. He won the Jack Adams Award in 1980 and '92. Quinn also had an impact internationally, coaching Canada to its first gold medal in 50 years at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. At the time of his death, he was chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Murray Oliver

Nov. 23, 2014 (Age 77)

Oliver, a slick center, was a five-time 20-goal scorer who finished his career with 274 goals and 728 points in 1,127 games with four teams. He was a longtime assistant with the last of those teams, the Minnesota North Stars, and also served two stints as an interim coach. Oliver played in five All-Star Games and was second to Bill Hay in the balloting for the Calder Trophy in 1960.

Germain Gagnon

Oct. 26, 2014 (Age 71)

After spending almost a decade in the minors, Gagnon came to the NHL as a 29-year-old with Montreal in 1972. He got a chance to play after being taken by the New York Islanders in the expansion draft that summer and scored the first game-winning goal in franchise history on Oct. 17, 1972 against the Los Angeles Kings.

Valeri Karpov

Oct. 10, 2014 (Age 34)

The Russian forward spent three seasons with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim from 1994-95 to 1996-97, scoring 14 goals and finishing with 29 points in 76 games. After finishing the '96-97 season in the minors, he returned to Russia and played eight more seasons before retiring in 2005.

Wally Hergesheimer

Sept. 27, 2014 (Age 87)

Hergesheimer, a smallish (5-foot-8, 155 pounds) forward with a scoring touch, had 26 goals for the New York Rangers as a 25-year-old rookie in 1951-52 and put up 30 and 27 goals in the next two seasons. He never matched those totals again, partly due to injury, and finished his NHL career with 114 goals and 199 points in 351 games.

Al Suomi

Sept. 23, 2014 (Age 100)

Suomi, a native of Eveleth, Minn., became a member of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1936-37 after owner Frederic McLaughlin benched his Canadian players and said he wanted to ice a team made up entirely of U.S.-born players. He played five games without a point; the Blackhawks lost four of the five and McLaughlin reverted to using Canadian players. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living NHL alumnus.

Bob Suter, father of current Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter, is best known for his role on the United States' 'Miracle on Ice' team at the 1980 Winter Olympics. (Getty Images)

Bob Suter

Sept. 9, 2014 (Age 57)

The father of Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and brother of longtime NHL defenseman Gary Suter was also a defenseman; he's best known as a member of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" team that won gold at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics (he played in all seven games, though he didn't have a point). He was drafted by the Kings in 1977 but sat out a season to become a free agent and signed with the Minnesota North Stars in 1981. However, after one season in the minors, Suter decided to retire, having never played an NHL game.

Seth Martin

Sept. 6, 2014 (Age 81)

Martin was a member of the expansion St. Louis Blues, going 8-10-7 with a 2.59 goals-against average in 30 games as a 34-year-old backup to Glenn Hall. He was far better known for his play at other levels of the game. He led Canada's Trail Smoke Eaters to the 1961 World Championship (the last amateur team to win the title), played in four more World Championships and led Canada to a fourth-place finish at the 1964 Innsbruck Olympics. Martin is a member of the IIHF Hall of Fame.

Carol Vadnais

Aug. 31, 2014 (Age 68)

Vadnais, an offensively skilled defenseman who played in six All-Star Games, spent 19 seasons in the NHL and was a member of Cup-winning teams with Montreal in 1968 and the Boston Bruins in 1972. Three years after helping Boston defeat the Rangers in the Final, he was part of one of the biggest trades in NHL history; Boston sent Vadnais and Phil Esposito to the Rangers in a trade that brought back Brad Park and Jean Ratelle. Vadnais finished with 169 goals and 587 points in 1,087 games.

Guy Trottier

June 19, 2014 (Age 73)

Trottier was a minor-league sniper who finally earned a chance to play in the NHL. He had 68 and 71 goals in consecutive seasons with the Dayton Gems of the International Hockey League, then scored 45 and 55 goals in back-to-back seasons for the Buffalo Bisons, the Rangers' AHL farm team at the time. Trottier was lost in the Rangers' glut of talent in the late 1960s and early 1970s; he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs and scored 19 goals as a rookie in 1970-71. After scoring nine goals the following season Trottier left for the World Hockey Association, where he had 26- and 27-goal seasons before retiring.

Larry Zeidel

June 17, 2014 (Age 86)

Few players waited as long for a second chance as Zeidel, who played parts of the 1951-52 and '52-53 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, all of the 1953-54 season with Chicago and then spent the next 13 seasons in the minor leagues before returning to the League at age 39 with the first-year Philadelphia Flyers. Nicknamed "The Rock" for his toughness, Zeidel had three goals, 19 points and 198 penalty minutes in 158 NHL games; but played nearly 1,000 games in the high minors and piled up more than 2,300 penalty minutes.

Ross Lonsberry

May 4, 2014 (Age 67)

Philadelphia fans have especially fond memories of Lonsberry, who scored a career-high 32 goals in 1973-74 and helped the Flyers become the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup. Lonsberry was also a member of Philadelphia's 1975 Cup-winners. He scored 256 goals and had 566 points in 968 NHL games.

Edgar Laprade

April 28, 2014 (Age 94)

Laprade was a small, slick center who spent all 10 of his NHL seasons with the Rangers in the 1940s and '50s and won the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie in 1945-46. Four seasons later, he had a career-high 22 goals, won the Lady Byng Trophy and helped the Rangers reach Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Detroit Red Wings. Laprade played in exactly 500 NHL games, scored 108 goals, finished with 280 points and was assessed a total of 26 penalty minutes. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.

Ron Murphy

March 6, 2014 (Age 80)

Murphy, a speedy forward, scored 209 goals and had 479 points in 889 regular-season games during a career that began with the Rangers in 1952-53. He also played for the Red Wings, Bruins and Blackhawks, and was a member of Chicago's 1961 Stanley Cup-winning team, the Blackhawks' only championship team between 1938 and 2010.

Doug Jarrett

Feb. 10, 2014 (Age 69)

A solid defensive defenseman, Jarrett was a valuable member of the Blackhawks from 1964-75 before finishing his career with the Rangers. He had 38 goals and 220 points in 775 regular-season games, and was a member of the Chicago teams that went to the Stanley Cup Final in 1971 and '73.

Doug Mohns

Feb. 7, 2014 (Age 80)

Mohns was one of the best skaters of his era in an NHL career that began with the Bruins in 1953 and ended with the Washington Capitals 22 years later. He is one of the few players to spend substantial time as a forward and on defense. In 1,390 regular-season games, he had 248 goals and 710 points.

Keith Allen

Feb. 4, 2014 (Age 90)

Allen's NHL playing career lasted all of 24 games (though he was on the Red Wings' Cup-winning team in 1954), but his impact as a coach and hockey executive earned him the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1988 and a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. Allen coached the Flyers during their first two seasons in the NHL, then moved up to the general manager's office and helped build the team that won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1974 and '75. During his 14 seasons as GM, the Flyers made the Stanley Cup Playoffs 12 times, won six division titles and made the Stanley Cup Final four times, winning twice.

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