Bernie Federko

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Bernie Federko : biography

May 12, 1956 –

Awards

  • Named to the WCHL All-Star Team (1976)
  • Named WCHL MVP (1976)
  • Named to the CHL Second All-Star Team (1977)
  • Won Ken McKenzie Trophy as CHL Rookie of the Year (1977)
  • Played in the NHL All-Star Game (1980, 1981)
  • Named NHL Player of the Week (For week ending December 3, 1984)

Records

  • St. Louis Blues team record for career games played (927)
  • St. Louis Blues team record for career assists (721)
  • St. Louis Blues team record for career points (1073)
  • Shares St. Louis Blues team record for assists in one game (5 on February 27, 1988)
  • St. Louis Blues team record for career playoff assists (66)
  • St. Louis Blues team record for points in one playoff year (21 in 1986)
  • St. Louis Blues team record for assists in one playoff year (15 in 1982)

Post-NHL career

Less than a year after retiring as a player, the Blues retired number 24 in his honor on March 16, 1992. Federko was eventually inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002. Currently, Federko is a television color commentator for Fox Sports Midwest during Blues broadcasts.

Federko was the head coach/general manager of the St. Louis Vipers InLine team of the Roller Hockey International for the 1993 and 1994 seasons.

Playing career

Federko began playing hockey at a young age in his home town of Foam Lake, Saskatchewan. He was captain of the 1971 Bantam provincial champions. He also played Senior hockey with the local Foam Lake Flyers of the Fishing Lake Hockey League, winning the league scoring title as a bantam-aged player. Federko continued his career with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL where he set and still holds the team record for assists. He played three seasons with the Blades, and in his final year with the club he led the league in assists and points in both the regular season and playoffs. As a reward, Federko was drafted 7th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft. He started the next season with the Kansas City Blues of the Central Hockey League and was leading the league in points when he was called up mid-season to play 31 games with St. Louis. He scored three hat tricks in those 31 games. In the 1978–79 NHL season, Federko developed into a bonafide star, as he scored 95 points.

Federko would score 100 points in a season four times, and was a consistent and underrated performer for the Blues. Federko scored at least 90 points in seven of the eight seasons between 1978 and 1986, and became the first player in NHL history to record at least 50 assists in 10 consecutive seasons. However, in an era when Wayne Gretzky was scoring 200 points a season, Federko never got the attention many felt he deserved. In 1986, in a poll conducted by GOAL magazine, he was named the most overlooked talent in hockey. His General Manager Ron Caron said he was "A great playmaker. He makes the average or above average player look like a star at times. He’s such an unselfish player."

On March 19, 1988, Federko became the 22nd NHL player to record 1000 career points. After a poor season for Federko in 1988–89, he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings with Tony McKegney for future Blues star Adam Oates, and Paul MacLean. In Detroit, Federko re-united with former Blues head coach Jacques Demers, but he had to play behind Steve Yzerman and did not get his desired ice time. After his lowest point output since his rookie season, Federko decided to retire after the 1989–90 season, having played exactly 1,000 NHL games.