DOUG LIDSTER: BACKBONE OF ’80S ‘NUCKS

by Ron Spence

No B.C. raised player – besides Paul Kariya – has performed at more hockey levels than Doug Lidster.

Doug was born in Kamloops and played for the Kamloops Jardine Blasers, Chiefs and Rockets.  He was an offensive defenseman and scored 24 goals in 64 games and 36 goals in 59 games.

Next, he played four winters at Colorado College and was selected to the NCAA’s First All-American Team his senior campaign.

Before becoming a Canuck during the 1983-84 season, Lidster played on Canada’s National and Olympic teams (4th place – Sarajevo) and thus never in the minors.

Doug was the backbone of the Canucks’ defense between their two Stanley Cup runs in 1982 and 1994.

He was voted their best defenseman three years in a row from 1984-85 until 1986-87, and again in 1990-91.

He was awarded the Unsung Hero Award for the 1984-85 season and was one of Vancouver’s three captains during the 1990-91 campaign.

Doug Lidster is still: seventh in games played for the Canucks with 666, second amongst Vancouver dmen with 242 assists (Kearns) and third with 65 goals (Ohlund and Lumme). He also holds the record for most points in a season for a defenseman with 63 (1986-87).

While with the Canucks, Lidster also played for Team Canada at the World Championships in 1985 (silver), 1990 (4th place), and 1991 (silver).

Prior to the 1993 – 1994 campaign, the Canucks wanted to protect their two goaltenders and traded Doug to the Rangers for John Vanbiesbrouck – whom Vancouver knew that the new Anaheim or Florida teams would quickly grab.


lidstercourtesy of the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame

This move was good fortune for Doug, as he became a solid contributor for the 1994 New York Rangers, who beat Vancouver in seven games to win the Stanley Cup.

By this time in his career, Doug was being used primarily in a defensive role.

Next, St. Louis wanted a steady dman and grabbed him along with Esa Tikkanen, for Petr Nedved. But, the Rangers wanted Lidster back and traded the veteran Jay Wells for him the following year.

Doug was a Ranger for three more years before returning to Canada’s National team.

He played 38 games for Canada during the 1998-99 season, before signing with the Dallas Stars – who later won the Cup.

Doug retired that summer and returned to Kamloops to start a second career – he had coached high school hockey in St. Louis, and later minor league hockey in New York while still in the NHL.

He spent three years coaching Minor Hockey in Kamloops, one season as an Assistant in Medicine Hat, a season with the national woman’s team, and another season as head coach of the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit.

He is currently an assistant coach with Canada’s National Women’s Team, which is preparing for the 2010 Olympics – in Vancouver.

Doug Lidster has his name engraved on two Stanley Cups and is hoping to wear an Olympic Gold Metal in Whistler.

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One response to “DOUG LIDSTER: BACKBONE OF ’80S ‘NUCKS

  1. I remember thinking when the Canucks traded him that well, his career is pretty much over anyway. Shows you how wrong a dawg can be.

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