Date of Birth: 1985
Place of Birth: St. John’s, NL
Inducted: 2020 (Player Category)
Throughout a brilliant career that included 10 years in the pros – and nine in the National Hockey League – Teddy Purcell is one player who produced at every level at which he played.
A minor hockey and high school (Gonzaga Vikings) star coming up through the ranks in his native St. John’s, Purcell first grabbed the national spotlight as a member of the St. John’s Maple Leafs AAA midget team, winning MVP honours at the Air Canada Cup midget nationals in 2003.
The following season, 2003-04, he was off to Athol Murray College in Wilcox, Sask. – home of the Notre Dame Hounds – and played in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
In December, he committed to the University of Maine starting in 2006-07. Scoring 21 goals and registering 46 points in 51 games, Purcell was third on Hounds’ scoring, and tied for fourth in SJHL rookie scoring.
He would head south to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the USHL for the next two years, biding his time until he attended Maine, averaging well over a point-per-game for two seasons.
Purcell would spend only one year at Maine, winning Hockey East conference rookie of the year honours.
An undrafted free agent, the Los Angeles Kings jumped at the chance to make Purcell a contract offer and the forward, coming off a 16-goal, 43-point season in his first year of NCAA hockey, signed on the dotted line.
He turned pro with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, piled up 83 points in 2007-08 and was the AHL’s rookie of the year.
He split the next season between Manchester and L.A., but his break came in 2010 when the Tampa Bay Lightning dealt Jeff Halpern to the Kings in exchange for Purcell.
He found a full-time home in Tampa, playing regularly under coach Guy Boucher. During Tampa’s deep playoff run in 2011 – the Lightning lost the Eastern Conference final to eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins – Purcell had 17 points in 18 post-season games, third on the team behind Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier.
Purcell would spend five years with the Lightning, two in Edmonton with the Oilers, and brief spells with the Florida Panthers and back in L.A.
He appeared in 599 career NHL games over nine seasons, scoring 110 goals and 327 career NHL points.