Hershey Bears Alumni: July 2007

Hershey Bears of the past. A Blog devoted to the past players of the American Hockey Leagues Hershey Bears. Once a week a former Bear will be profiled. Learn about the individuals who made the Bears the greatest team in minor league hockey history.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cleon Daskalakis

Another update on a former NHL goalie who spent part of the 1980's in Chocolatetown. Cleon Daskalakis turned pro with the Hershey Bears after a stellar career with the Boston University Terriers. The Boston native played 30 games with the Bears during the 1984-85 season. Daskalakis made it to the NHL with the hometown Bruins in 1984-85 as well. He played parts of three seasons with the Bruins before returning to Hershey for a three game stint during the 1987-88 season.

Daskalakis retired from hockey in 1993. Currently, Mr. Daskalakis is the President of Celebrity Marketing, Inc., a sports marketing and event production firm that he founded in 1996, and a Trustee of the New England Sports Museum, which he serves on a volunteer basis. Mr. Daskalakis' service on CFC's Board of Directors is on a voluntary basis. He also serves as CFC's President.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Don Edwards

Goaltender Don Edwards turned pro with the Hershey Bears in 1975. The Hamilton, Ontario native had just completed a successful junior career with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. In 1975, Edwards was drafted by the NHL Buffalo Sabres and the WHA San Diego Marineers. Edwards chose the NHL and signed on with the Sabres. Not bad for a youth who didn't start playing goalie until he was 13 years old.

Edwards played 86 AHL games with the Bears before making embarking on an All-Star career with the Sabres. In 1980, Edwards won the Vezina trophy. Other NHL stops included Calgary and Toronto.

Edwards final pro playing experience came back in the AHL with the Nova Scotia Oilers during the 1987-88 season.

This summer brought a new opportunity for Edwards. He was named the new General Manager for the Saginaw (Michigan) Spirit of the OHL.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wayne Bianchin

Surf's Up ! Wayne Bianchin was set and ready to go for a long and successful career with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the NHL. A gifted scorer, it looked as if Bianchin would become a high scoring forward for the Western Pennsylvania club. However, the British Columbia native got the wrong wave while body surfing in Hawaii. The result was a broken neck. Bianchin was just coming off a successful rookie season. Prior to the injury, he played 3 games with the Hershey Bears. After the injury, Bianchin spent parts of two seasons under the management of Frank Mather's and the Hershey Bears. In 1975-76, the left wing rebounded with a 46 point season with the Bears.
From there it was back to the NHL with the Penguins and the Edmonton Oilers. His final season in the NHL with the Oilers was played along side 19 year old Wayne Gretzky.
At last report, Bianchin had returned to his native Nanaimo, BC and was working in the financial services field.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mark Freer

Mark Freer spent his first full professional season in Hershey as a member of the 1988-89 Bears. The Toronto native averaged better than a point a game as a rookie out of the Ontario Hockey League. Freer also spent his last season as a professional in Hershey as a member of the 2002-03 Bears. In between the were stops in Philadelphia, Ottawa, Houston, Calgary and St. John.
Most of Freer's time was spent in the AHL, but he did play 122 NHL games. Overall , the center played five seasons in Hershey scoring 110 goals.
Today, Freer remains in the Hershey area as a representative for Wealth Management.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Keith Acton

Seven years and counting for super pest Keith Acton. The Stouffville native has continued a successful career in hockey as Assistant Coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Acton, 48, concluded his playing career in 1995 by lacing up the skates for the Hershey Bears for 12 games. The center registered 12 points and 58 penalty minutes before retiring.
Acton played 1023 NHL games primarily for the Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota North Stars, Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers. As a member of the 1988 Oilers, Action won the Stanley Cup.
Acton and his wife Susan reside in Stoufville with there four children.