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Wed, 07.29.1959

Dirk Graham, Hockey Player, and Coach born

Dirk Graham

*Dirk Graham was born on this date in 1959. He is a former Black Canadian professional ice hockey forward in the National Hockey League.

Dirk Milton Graham was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. He was selected 89th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. In 1980–81, Graham scored 40 goals with the Toledo Goaldiggers of the IHL, and he was on the second all-star team. He was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota North Stars after never playing a game with the Canucks. Graham spent two more years developing in the American Hockey League and Central Hockey League.

He was selected to the CHL First All-Star Team in 1983–84. In 1985–86, Graham was playing full-time with the North Stars. He recorded consecutive 20 goal seasons in Minnesota and represented Team Canada in the 1987 World Ice Hockey Championships. On January 2, 1988, Graham was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Graham played his best hockey in Chicago. In his first full season with the Blackhawks, Graham topped the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career. He finished with a career-high 78 points (A stunning 10 of his 33 goals were short-handed; thus, he joins Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Marcel Dionne as one of only four players to achieve ten or more short-handed goals in a season). Graham scored 20 goals or more four times with the Blackhawks.

From 1990–to 91, he won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for best defensive forward in the league and represented Team Canada in the Canada Cup tournament. Canada would beat the United States to take first place. Late in 1988–89, Graham was named team captain, the first Black team captain in the National Hockey League. He captained the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1991–92. Graham retired in 1995 after the lockout-shortened season.

Shortly after retiring, Graham served as an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks. Graham took a year off, then returned as a scout for the Chicago Blackhawks. He served briefly as a head coach from 1998–to 99. He is currently a scout for the San Jose Sharks.

To become a Coach

To become a Professional Athlete

Reference:

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