DETROIT – Former defenseman Willie Huber, who played five seasons for the Red Wings between 1978 and 1983 died Monday from an apparent heart attack. He was 52.
Born in Strasskirchen, Germany, Huber was the Red Wings first-round draft pick (ninth overall) in 1978. He played a total of 10 seasons with four different clubs, including the New York Rangers, Vancouver and Philadelphia. A long-time resident of Hamilton, Ontario, Huber retired as a player in 1988.
Huber scored 68 goals with 140 assists and 612 penalty minutes in 372 regular-season games with Detroit. He was an All-Star in 1983.
Following the 1982-83 season, the Red Wings traded Huber and forwards Mike Blaisdell and Mark Osborne to the Rangers for forward Ron Duguay, and goalies Eddie Mio and Eddie Johnstone.
Huber was a member of the Memorial Cup-winning Hamilton Fincups in 1976 with a cast of future NHL stars, including Ric Seiling, Al Secord and Dale McCourt, who eventually played with Huber in Detroit. He also represented Canada in two World Junior championships in 1977 and ’78.
Early in his career, Huber, who was an imposing figure on the ice – he stood 6-foot-5 and was 225-pounds – was the largest player in the NHL at the time. An offensive-minded defenseman, he averaged 13.6 goals and 41.6 points during his days in Detroit.