Who the heck is Tony Hand?  Until yesterday I had never heard of the guy.  Then I went to the Hockey DB and looked up his career stats:

Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1983-84 Murrayfield Racers BHL 30 52 43 95 28
1984-85 Murrayfield Racers BHL 36 72 92 164 36
1985-86 Murrayfield Racers BHL 32 79 85 164 49
1986-87 Victoria Cougars WHL 3 4 4 8 0
1986-87 Murrayfield Racers BHL 35 105 111 216 86
1987-88 Murrayfield Racers BHL 36 81 111 192 54
1988-89 Murrayfield Racers BHL 35 86 126 212 57
1989-90 Murrayfield Racers BHL 32 53 91 144 26
1990-91 Murrayfield Racers BHL 34 60 96 156 46
1991-92 Murrayfield Racers BHL 36 60 80 140 46
1992-93 Murrayfield Racers BHL 35 66 119 185 100
1993-94 Murrayfield Racers BHL 44 72 150 222 44
1994-95 Edinburgh Racers BHL 42 71 136 207 28
1995-96 Sheffield Steelers BHL 35 46 77 123 65
1996-97 Sheffield Steelers BISL 41 13 32 45 26
1997-98 Sheffield Steelers BISL 44 14 44 58 18
1998-99 Sheffield Steelers BISL 36 11 27 38 6
1999-00 Ayr Scottish Eagles BISL 40 8 35 43 52 7 0 4 4 0
2000-01 Ayr Scottish Eagles BISL 46 19 36 55 42 7 2 5 7 0
2001-02 Dundee Stars BNL 44 25 79 104 18 10 7 17 24 4
2002-03 Dundee Stars BNL 36 22 58 80 99
2003-04 Edinburgh Capitals BNL 36 21 63 84 38
2004-05 Belfast Giants EIHL 58 20 55 75 94
2005-06 Edinburgh Capitals EIHL 43 14 37 51 2
2006-07 Manchester Phoenix EIHL 51 17 55 72 60 2 0 0 0 20
2007-08 Manchester Phoenix EIHL 53 21 51 72 50 2 0 2 2 4
2008-09 Manchester Phoenix EIHL 52 17 50 67 74 2 1 1 2 0

He is part of the 4000 point club.  To put that into perspective, no one is in the 3000 point club and only Gretzky is in the 2000 point club.  Also consider that most of Tony’s seasons are about half of a regular hockey season.  In essence no matter what league he is in, what an amazing career of a hockey guy no one has ever heard of.

He actually had a chance to play in the NHL.  In fact he was drafted in the 12th round of the 1986 draft.  He reported to camp and played along side of players like Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier.  Glenn Sather, the Oilers GM at the time thought so much of Hand that he offered him a junior contract after he made it through training camp without being cut.  He actually reported to Victoria of the WHL and scored 8 points in 3 games.  Unfortunately he got homesick and returned to the United Kingdom.

The next year Sather again offered him a contract to play in the juniors.  Tony turned it down and continued pound the British Hockey League for his 2nd 190+ point season (again note this was done in 36 games).  His career ended after the 2008-09 season. A total of 24 seasons.  Now the Hockey Hall of Fame has a decision to make, should Tony Hand be included in the building?  Some purists say no way, but I say sure.  I mean after all he is the greatest hockey player I’ve never heard of.

Phoenix

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6 responses »

  1. The only problem is, they don’t use goalies in British hockey leagues.

  2. zebbers says:

    Awesome post!

  3. Lindas1st says:

    If that’s his career total then he’s not in the 4000 point club. He barely made the 3000 point club with around 3060 points. Gretzky had 2857 regualr season points, so it’s only a 200 some odd point difference, not over 1000 like stated in the blog. Also, if you add playoff point totals to thier regular season totals (which Hand had about 387 points and Gretzky a very close 382) then they are both over 3000 points and still well short of 4000 points with Hand aound 3450 and Gretzky at 3239. I know know he did it in far less games but it was also very inferior competition. Nevertheless very impessive career. Too bad he got home sick when (he was young anf playing in N.A.)in the mid 80s, he might’ve had a good NHL career.
    BTW, I did hear of him before this piece.

  4. ToddUncommon says:

    Given that it is a Hockey HOF as a sport, and not merely a hall for the NHL, I don’t see why they couldn’t induct this guy.

    I think there’s no harm in pulling the guy in, as long as it doesn’t leave out someone else from North America that’s equally or more deserving, as part of the process.

    If NHL stars that spent part of their careers in the WHA or the WHL can get it with little issue, why not somebody in the top league from another country where the quality of play is still high?

  5. scayley says:

    For the record, tony’s career hasn’t ended he is currently the player coach for the Manchester Phoenix in the UK. He just finished the 09/10 season with over 100pts and has confirmed that he will be playing the 10/11 season with manchester. See; http://www.mancheasterphoenix.co.uk

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