Home > NHL > Former Defenseman Willie Huber Passes Away

Former Defenseman Willie Huber Passes Away

Former NHL defenseman Willie Huber died of a heart attack Monday at the age of 52.  He is survived by his wife, son, and step-daughter.  He was born in Germany, but moved to Canada when he was a baby.

Prior to the NHL, he won the Memorial Cup with the Hamilton Fincups in 1976.  He also played in the World Junior Championships twice for Canada in 1977 and 1978.

He was drafted ninth overall by the Red Wings in 1978 and played in Detroit for five seasons before being traded away.  In 1983, he was sent to the New York Rangers as part of a package deal.  Huber also played in Vancouver and Philadelphia during his career.  He retired in 1989.

Huber was an offensive-minded defenseman who was notable for his size.  At 6’5”, he was the tallest player in the NHL when he began playing.  Exceptionally tall players were rare in those days and his height allowed him to tower over opponents.  During his time in Detroit, he was one of the NHL’s highest-scoring defensemen and was regularly on the powerplay.  He even played in the 1983 All-Star Game.

Because of his size, fans expected him to play a physical, bruising game.  However, he preferred to focus on his skilled offensive game.  Though he didn’t shy away from physical play, he did not go out of his way to instigate, he led the Wings in penalty minutes during the 1979-1980 season.

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