Alumni Update: Joey Mullen
CALGARY, AB -- Joey Mullen's storied 16-year playing career saw him make stops in St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Boston but the Hockey Hall Of Fame (1999) & United States Hockey Hall Of Fame (1998) inductee enjoyed the most success during his four and half seasons in Calgary.
The forward landed in Alberta in a six-player deal with St. Louis during the 1985-86 campaign. The Blues sent Mullen, Terry Johnson and Rik Wilson in exchange for Eddy Beers, Charlie Bourgeois and Gino Cavallini, a move that paid dividends for the Flames.
In 29 games in Calgary silks that year, Mullen rattled off 16 goals and 38 points. His following four years with the Flames saw him score an incredible 174 goals and 350 points, with the Hell's Kitchen, New York product setting career-highs in goals (51), assists (59) and points (110) in the 1988-89 campaign.
Highly regarded by his fellow players, Mullen captured the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy twice during his tenure in Calgary and won the Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989 - the first of three times he would lift Lord Stanley in his career.
"The Stanley Cup team, winning the Stanley Cup and then just the guys you know, just a great bunch of guys we had there," said Mullen of his favourite memories of the city. "What a great family atmosphere that the owners and the management made the organization."
Mullen was traded the Penguins prior to the start of the 1990-91 season and won his second and third Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh in 1991 and 1992. After five seasons with the Penguins, Mullen played a single season in Boston before returning to Pittsburgh to wrap up his playing career.
Choosing to remain involved in hockey, Mullen began his coaching career in 2000 when he was named the assistant coach of the Penguins. He stayed in that role until the 2005-06 season when he was named the Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins (AHL) head coach. He also spent time with the Philadelphia Phantoms before moving back into the NHL as an assistant coach with Philadelphia Flyers, a position he maintains today.
"I think the quality of players, especially on the third and fourth lines, is a lot better today than in past years," he said of the differences between his playing days and the NHL today. "Plus you had the red line back when I played so you didn't have to trap as much because of the red line so now that it's opened up a little more without the red line you see teams trapping a little more."
While Mullen doesn't get the opportunity to come to Calgary that often, he relishes the times the Flyers do make a Western Canada road swing.
"When I come close to town I reach out to some of the guys. It's great to get together with the guys when I get a chance and talk about the old days.
"To see the people and walk around the building and stuff like that it's still a great atmosphere to walk into. It brings back a lot of great memories of playing in Calgary."