While we get closer to the NHL Playoffs, we also get closer to the start of the IIHF World Championships. This year, it'll be held in Slovakia and this week's AGM will be in behind the bench for the home squad and has plenty of international experience. That said, he did have a lot of experience in his NHL career, as well, though not as accomplished as he wanted or as many others thought he would be. This week, the profile of Glen Hanlon.
Hanlon started out his trek in the 1973-74 season with the Brandon Travellers of the MJHL Junior "A" league, playing in 20 games that season and three games in the 1974-75 season, before he was called up to the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings, where he would play in 43 games with a record of 15-20-6 in his first year in Major Junior. In the 1975-76 season, Hanlon hit a good stride with the Wheat Kings, playing in 64 games with a 31-25-4 record. That post season, the Wheaties were out of the Playoffs in five games, but Hanlon got the call for the Memorial Cup, being loaned out to the New Westminster Bruins; going 2-1 in four games, as the Bruins would lose in the final game. Hanlon would return to Brandon for the 1976-77 season, where he would have a breakout year with a record of 49-7-7, helping the Wheat Kings to the best record in the league. However, they would lose out to the Bruins in the Finals in five games. Hanlon, however, was named to the First Team All-Star squad for a second-straight year, as well as getting the Goaltender of the Year honors from the league.
Hanlon was a hot prospect and quite sought after, as the NHL's Vancouver Canucks and WHA's Houston Aeros drafted Hanlon in the third round. However, Hanlon went the NHL route, choosing the Canucks and going to their farm team in the Central League with the Tulsa Oilers for the 1977-78 season. With Tulsa, Hanlon played in 53 games with a 25-23-3 record, which was enough for him to get First Team All-Star honors and the Ken McKenzie Trophy for Rookie of the Year. Hanlon would get a call to the Canucks, playing in four games, with a 1-2-1 record.
Hanlon was posed to make a solid Calder Trophy run for the 1978-79 season with the Canucks, but he would go down to a knee injury, limiting him to 31 games with a 12-13-5 record. Back healthy for the 1979-80 season, Hanlon got the starting gig in Vancouver by playing in 57 games and having a 17-29-10 record to show for it. The Canucks would have a logjam in net for the 1980-81 season with Hanlon losing his job to Gary Bromley and newly acquired Richard Brodeur; relegating Hanlon to 17 games with the Canucks with a 5-8-0 record before being sent to the CHL's Dallas Black Hawks; where he would play four games with a 3-1-0 record. Hanlon would be back up with Vancouver in the 1981-82 season, playing in 28 games with a 8-14-5 record before being deemed expendable.
Hanlon was traded from Vancouver to the St. Louis Blues for Rick Heinz, Tony Currie, Jim Nill, and a pick. Hanlon would only appear in two games at the end of the season for the Blues, going 0-1-0, then going 0-2 in three playoff games for the Blues. Hanlon would return to St. Louis for the 1982-83 season, but only for 14 games (3-8-1) before he was on the move again.
Hanlon, along with Vaclav Nedomansky, would be dealt to the New York Rangers for Andre Dore. Hanlon would get 21 games in at the end of the '82-'83 season, ending up with a 9-10-1 record, then losing his only playoff games he appeared in. Hanlon was able to get the starting gig in New York for the 1983-84 season, putting together a solid season with a 28-14-4 record in 50 games, but would only go 2-3 in five playoff games. Hanlon would see his games decrease in the 1984-85, seeing 44 games and having a subpar 14-20-7; then going 0-3 in three playoff games. The 1985-86 season would be an interesting one for Hanlon, as he would play 23 games with the Rangers (5-12-1), but would also make stops in the AHL with the Adirondack Red Wings for 10 games (5-4-1) and five games with the New Haven Nighthawks (3-2-0).
During the summer of 1986, Hanlon and two draft picks were traded to the Detroit Red Wings for Kelly Kisio, Lane Lambert, Jim Leavins, and a pick. Hanlon would split time in the 1986-87 season with former AGM Greg Stefan; playing 36 games with a 11-16-5 record, but got into eight playoff games with a solid 5-2 record. The playoff performance allowed Hanlon more time in the cage for the 1987-88 season, compiling a 22-17-5 record in 47 games-- also leading the league in shutouts with four, but would have a 4-3 playoff record in eight games. The struggles for Hanlon would find him in the 1988-89 season, where he would only play 37 games with a 13-14-8 record, then going 0-1 in two playoff spots. Hanlon would be the main goalie for the Wings in the 1989-90, getting 45 games in, but a 15-18-5 record to show for it. Another logjam for Hanlon would see him play only 19 games (4-6-3) with the Wings, as another AGM, Tim Cheveldae would step up for Detroit. Hanlon would be sent to the IHL's San Diego Gulls, playing 11 games with a 6-4-0 record before calling it a career.
Post playing career, Hanlon went right to coaching-- starting as the goalie coach for the Canucks from 1992 until 1999. Hanlon would then move behind the bench as the coach of the AHL's Portland Pirates from 1999 until 2002, when he got the call to the be the bench boss of the Washington Capitals. Hanlon would last until Thanksgiving of 2007 before he was let go. After that, he moved onto become the head coach of the Belarussian National Team full-time, as he was there for them in the World Championships in 2006 and 2007 before going full-time. Last season, Hanlon coached between Jokerit Helsinki in Finland and Dynamo Minsk in the KHL before signing on with the Slovakians last May to be their National team coach.
While he had a killer instinct and often let his emotions get the best of him, that didn't keep people from having high expectations. Many believe Hanlon would could have been the best goalie in the NHL one day, but it didn't seem to materialize for him. Another tale of a goalie who had the tools to get it done himself, but one happenstance or another held him back from reaching full potential.