Garry Unger

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Garry Douglas "Iron Man" Unger (born December 7, 1947 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada) is a 16-season professional ice hockey veteran who later coached the Alabama Slammers hockey team for their only season.

Career

Unger set an NHL record by playing 914 consecutive games in the regular season between February 24, 1968 and December 21, 1979, doing so with four teams: the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Atlanta Flames.1 This earned him the nickname "Iron Man". (His record has since been surpassed by Doug Jarvis, who played 964 consecutive games.2) He went on to play for the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers before moving to the minor leagues in the 198283 season. He played the longest with the St. Louis Blues, where he made seven NHL All-Star teams. Unger finished with 1105 career NHL games, scoring 413 goals and 391 assists for 804 points, and he also registered 1075 career penalty minutes.1

After retiring as a player in 1988, Unger became head coach of the Phoenix Roadrunners. After a losing season, he was demoted to assistant coach the following year and then skipped a season. In 1992 he became head coach of the Tulsa Oilers, winning the Central Hockey League championship and the league's Commissioner's Trophy as Coach of the Year. He continued to coach the team until 1997, when he left to coach the WPHL's New Mexico Scorpions for two seasons. He then took two seasons off before returning to coach the Oilers for two more seasons starting in 2001. At his departure, he held the CHL record for most games coached at 568 and was second in number of wins with 292.

On June 10, 2003 he was introduced as the Alabama Slammers' head coach in the newly formed World Hockey Association 2 (WHA2). He led the team to a winning season (34-24) before losing two game in the semi-final playoffs, ending the team's season. The WHA2 then folded and announced its teams would be joining the reincarnated Eastern Hockey League. The Slammers debts kept them from renewing their lease at the Pelham Civic Complex, which kept them from getting new investors to cover their debts. In June 2004, Unger — who was no longer being paid — said he'd held on as long as he could and had to find a new job. The Slammers suspended operations in August.

Unger became had coach of the UHL's Motor City Mechanics, but was replaced mid-season.

Personal

Garry was the oldest of four children of Jakob and Olive (Wheeler) Unger. He and his wife Beverly have three children. Garry presently works with the Banff Hockey Academy in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

References

  1. "Gary Unger player profile". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2-8-2010.
  2. "Doug Jarvis player profile". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2-8-2010.

External links