Bernard Allan Federko
Bernard "Bernie" Allan Federko, hockey player (b at Foam Lake, Sask 12 May 1956). Bernie Federko was considered the consummate team player during his National Hockey League career, and his record for assists is still among the best in the NHL.
Bernard Allan Federko
Bernard "Bernie" Allan Federko, hockey player (b at Foam Lake, Sask 12 May 1956). Bernie Federko was considered the consummate team player during his National Hockey League career, and his record for assists is still among the best in the NHL. Bernie Federko enrolled in minor hockey in his youth, and at age 16 he began playing for the Foam Lake Flyers. The following year his talent was recognized and he moved to Saskatoon to play for the junior Blades, a Western Hockey League team, where he led the team in scoring in 1975 and 1976. He was also the WHL Player of the Year and the WHL Top Scorer that year. NHL scouts were particularly impressed when he broke Bobby Clarke's single-season record with a total of 187 points and led the playoffs in scoring. He was named to the First All-Star Team and won the MVP award that year, a highly coveted honour for potential draft prospects.
The 1976 NHL draft was a successful one for Federko. He was selected seventh overall by the St Louis Blues and soon departed for the team's Central Hockey League (CHL) farm club, the "baby Blues," in Kansas City. Federko's 69 points in 42 games for the minor league team did not go unnoticed by the parent team, and he was moved up to the St Louis Blues mid-season. Despite missing half the CHL season, Federko had nonetheless accumulated enough points to earn a spot on the minor league's 2nd All-Star Team and to win the Rookie of the Year trophy.
1977 was Federko's official full-season debut as a member of the NHL Blues, and began his 13-season stint with the team. Though the team was weak he managed to help them with his 64 assists and 95 points in the 1977-78 season, which placed him 8th in the league that year. During the 1980-81 season his playmaking abilities and strong team-building skills (which earned him the nickname "the Magician") helped the Blues to a 2nd-place overall finish. In all, he was a tremendous help to the Blues during his time with the team, leading them in scoring 9 times and amassing more than 100 points for 3 straight seasons from 1984 to 1987. In 1986 he helped the Blues to within one point of the Stanley Cup finals, and in 1988 he became the 22nd player in NHL history to break 1000 career points. In addition, he was the first ever to record more than 50 assists for 10 consecutive seasons, leading some to believe that perhaps his greatest contribution to the game was his ability to elevate the play of his teammates rather than himself.
After 13 seasons with the Blues, Federko was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in 1989. He played only 1 season with the Wings, choosing to end his career in 1990 with a total of 1130 career points. In 1991 the Blues retired his number (24) and in 2002 Bernie Federko was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Upon retirement he served as a colour commentator for the Blues and, briefly, as the General Manger of Roller Hockey International's St. Louis Vipers.