Brian Nickolas Wayne Marchinko
Born: August 2, 1948 (Weyburn, Saskatchewan)
Died: May 12, 2014 (Chilliwack, British Columbia)
Brian Marchinko, who has died, aged 65, was an original member of the New York Islanders expansion team. He was the 33rd player taken in a draft by the Islanders and the Atlanta Flames in June, 1972.
Marchinko, who was born in Weyburn, Sask., played junior hockey with the London Nationals before joining the Flin Flon (Man.) Bombers during the 1967-68 season. He was the second highest point-getter on the Bombers the following season, his 41 goals and 45 assists leaving him behind only Bobby Clarke (51 goals, 86 assists).
The 6-foot, 180-pound centreman turned professional with the Tulsa Oilers in 1969-70, spending most of three seasons with the Central Hockey League farm team. He had a two-game tryout with the parent Toronto Maple Leafs in 1970-71 and a three-game tryout in 1971-72.
Marchinko was unable to crack a Leafs lineup which featured such centres as Dave Keon, George Armstrong, Norm Ullman and rookie Darryl Sittler.
The Islanders drafted Marchinko from the Leafs, having earlier taken Leafs forward Brian (Spinner) Spencer.
In the Islanders’ inaugural season of 1972-73, Marchinko scored two goals and added six assists in 36 games. Those would be his only points in a 47-game NHL career. The second of those goals came in the final game of the season, a 4-4 tie with the Atlanta Flames, the other expansion team.
Marchinko scored several timely goals in helping the Providence Reds reach the finals of the Calder Cup, a best-of-seven series they lost to the Hershey Bears in five games. In 15 playoff games, the centreman scored seven goals with two assists for the Reds.
Marchinko also played for the New Haven Nighthawks, Fort Worth Wings, Fort Worth Texans, Erie Blades and Johnstown Jets before retiring from hockey after the 1976-77 season.
He worked for CN Railway before retiring in 2009, although he worked summers with the Rocky Mountaineer tourist train.
He leaves his wife, the former Bonnie Dagert; two children; four grandchildren; a brother; and, his parents, Nick and Victoria.
Boris Spremo of the Toronto Star photographed a trio of 1970-71 Maple Leafs rookies — (from left) Brian Marchinko, Darryl Sittler and Bob Liddington.