Brian Propp

Last updated
Brian Propp
Brian Propp 2010.jpg
Propp in 2010
Born (1959-02-15) February 15, 1959 (age 61)
Lanigan, Saskatchewan, Canada
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shot Left
Played for Philadelphia Flyers
Boston Bruins
Minnesota North Stars
HC Lugano
Hartford Whalers
National teamFlag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
NHL Draft 14th overall, 1979
Philadelphia Flyers
Playing career 19791994

Brian Phillip Propp (born February 15, 1959) is a former Canadian professional ice hockey left winger who played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1979 until 1994.


Propp was born in Lanigan, Saskatchewan, and grew up in Neudorf, Saskatchewan.

Playing career

Propp started career with the Melville Millionaires of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and broke the scoring record with 75 goals and 92 assists for 168 points in 57 games playing on a line with Kelly Dean and Dwayne Tuberfield. He then moved on to the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, at the same time when the team was one of the most dominating clubs in all of Canadian Major Junior Hockey. When Propp was with the team it produced future NHLer's such as Brad McCrimmon, Bill Derlago, Laurie Boschman, Dave Semenko, Glen Hanlon, Ray Allison and Walt Poddubny. Propp himself won two league scoring titles. At the end of his third season, he was drafted 14th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft.

Philadelphia Flyers

Propp made the Flyers the next season, and proved his mettle in the NHL right away. He managed to score the game-winning goal in his first career game against New York Islanders goalie Billy Smith in the second period and had an assist in the game for a 2-point night. He played on a line with Reggie Leach and Bobby Clarke in his rookie season for his first 20 games and then was put on a line with Ken Linseman and Paul Holmgren and that contributed to his quick success. It would not be the last time Propp played with two elite players, as he played with Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux for most of the 1987 Canada Cup Canadian team that won the tournament.

Propp in his rookie season would go on to beat Richard Martin's left wing rookie scoring record with 75 points in 1979-80 season. In the playoffs, he led all rookie left wingers in goals (5), assists (10), and points (15) in the 1980 playoffs which the Flyers lost in the Stanley Cup Finals in Game 6.

In 1987 Propp had scoring success when he finished runner-up to Wayne Gretzky in the 1987 Playoff Scoring. He also led all left wingers that NHL post-season in games played (26), goals (12), assists (16), points (28), plus/minus (+11), power-play goals (5), short-handed goals (1), game-winning goals (3), and shots (104). The Flyers lost to the Oilers in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

In Game 1 of the 1989 Stanley Cup playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens, which his Flyers lost in six games, Propp sustained a concussion from a hard, but unpenalized hit by Montreal defenseman Chris Chelios, where Chelios hit him with his elbow. Propp fell to the ice hard, hitting his head against the ice. Though Propp missed only one game, his teammates maintained their anger at Chelios. Finally, with 1:37 left in regulation in Game 6, Flyer goaltender Ron Hextall took matters into his own hands, slamming Chelios into the boards and pummeling him with blows, apparently in retaliation for the hit on Propp. Eventually, Hextall was suspended for 12 games. [1] Propp was never the same after sustaining the concussion that would plague him for the rest of his career as well as other injuries. Propp was having a career playoff year when he scored 14 goals in his team's first 15 games and was scoring over 1.5 points per game until the Chris Chelios elbow to the head.

It took him until his 11th season to fail to score at least 65 points in a season, and that was the year when he was traded away by the Flyers. However, in his 10-plus seasons with the club, he was more or less the catalyst of the team, performing in all situations and wherever the team needed him.

In the 1980s he led all left wingers in the NHL and was first in 10 different categories such as, games played (750), assists (465), plus/minus (+308), game winning goals (55), shots (2529), defensive point shares (16.0), playoff goals (52), playoff points (112), playoff power play goals (18), and playoff shots (267).

Propp was ranked 2nd in Goals (356), points (821), even strength goals (238), shorthanded goals (20), goals created (322), offensive point shares (54.4), point shares (70.4), playoff games played (116), playoff assists (60), playoff plus/minus (+17), playoff even strength goals (31), and playoff shorthanded goals (3). In all of the major categories in the regular season and playoffs he has made the top 3 among left wingers a remarkable 29 times in that decade.

Boston Bruins

With the Flyers struggling and General Manager Bob Clarke wanting to re-tool the club to get younger, Propp was traded at the 1990 trade deadline to the Boston Bruins where he joined long-time Flyer team-mate Dave Poulin who had been dealt there six weeks before. With the Bruins he joined the first place team in the entire league and contributed 12 points in the final 14 games of the regular season. Propp, who was a pending free agent unlikely to return to Philadelphia the next season, appreciated former teammate Clarke sending him to a top team. " Clarkie did me a favor trading me to where we had a chance to win." [2] The Bruins continued their success in the post-season and made a run to the Stanley Cup Final where they ultimately fell to the Edmonton Oilers. Propp chipped in four goals and 12 points in 20 playoff games.

That summer, as a free agent, Propp decided to leave the Bruins and sign with the Minnesota North Stars.

Minnesota North Stars

After his former club, the Philadelphia Flyers, missed the playoffs for the first time eighteen years following his trade, General Manager Bob Clarke was fired and soon became the General Manager of the Minnesota North Stars. Just months after trading him away, Clarke acquired Brian Propp by signing him to a free agent contract. Propp enjoyed an excellent debut season in Minnesota scoring 73 points and helped the team to an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Propp was a huge contributor in the playoffs with 8 goals and 23 points in 23 games. Brian moved past Bobby Hull on the all time playoff scoring list among left wingers to become the highest scoring left winger in NHL playoff history on April.12.1991 as Minnesota North Stars beat Chicago Blackhawks 6-0 in Game 5 in the series as he scored the game-winning goal on Dominik Hasek. He was dogged by health issues the next two years and only played 68 games over those two campaigns, and even took a sabbatical to play in Switzerland in 1993. During his time in Switzerland, he played for Team Canada in the Spengler Cup and helped them to win the tournament.

Hartford Whalers

Propp suited up for one last season in the NHL inking a free agent contract with the Hartford Whalers for the 1993–94 NHL season. Although Propp only scored 29 points, it was a productive season for him as he played both his 1000th NHL game and scored his 1000th NHL point which, fittingly, came on a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers.

During the NHL labour stoppage in 1994, Propp played as a player-coach for Anglet Hormadi Élite in France. After the lockout, however, Propp did not return to play in the National Hockey League nor did he continue his career in Europe opting instead to retire form the game.

Propp holds a dubious achievement in that he went to the Stanley Cup Finals five times, with Philadelphia in 1980, 1985, and 1987, with the Boston Bruins in 1990 and with Minnesota in 1991, without ever winning . He also played in the NHL All-Star game five times.

Propp finished with 1,004 points over 1,016 NHL games over 15 NHL seasons, and ranks second in Flyers history in goals (369, behind Bill Barber), third in assists (480, behind Bobby Clarke and Claude Giroux), and fourth overall in games played in a Flyers uniform (behind Barber, Clarke, and Giroux).

"The Guffaw"

Propp was known for his unique goal celebration dubbed "The Guffaw". After scoring a goal, Propp would skate towards center ice, place his right glove under his left arm and raise his right arm in a waving fashion. While making the gesture, Propp would say, "Guffaw!" Propp credits the celebration to comedian Howie Mandel. [3]

During an Atlantic City show in 1986, Mandel used Guffaw during his comedic routine. Mandel explained a Guffaw was when someone raised their arm and moved it back and forth. Propp adopted "The Guffaw" and it became his signature move first appearing the 1986-87 season. [4]

International play

Medal record
Representing Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Men's Ice hockey
World Championships
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 1982 Finland
World Championships
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 1983 Soviet Union
Canada Cup
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1987 Canada
Spengler Cup
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1992 Sweden

Brian Propp has represented his country five times in international play.

Post-playing career

In 1999, Propp was named to the MasterCard Canadian Junior All-Time team, which also included Mario Lemieux, Guy Lafleur, Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin, and Bernie Parent. [5] The team was selected based on play in the Canadian Hockey League. Also in 1999, Propp was inducted into the Philadelphia Flyers Hall of Fame. Propp was inducted into the Saskatchewan Rural Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002 and in 2003 he was inducted into the Saskatchewan Provincial Hall of Fame. In 2014, Propp was inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame [6] and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. [7]

A resident of Cinnaminson Township, New Jersey, Propp unsuccessfully ran as a Republican in 2007 for a seat in New Jersey General Assembly in the 7th Legislative District in Burlington County. [8] As of 2015, Propp is the Director of Strategic Relationships for Wolf Commercial Real Estate in Marlton, New Jersey. [9] [10]

Personal life

Propp has two children. He has a son, Jackson, and a daughter, Paige. Propp is a second cousin of Dylan Wruck. [11]

In The Goldbergs 3rd season episode "12 Tapes For A Penny", the character Barry Goldberg (Troy Gentile) is wearing a Philadelphia Flyers jersey with Propp's name and number 26 on it.[ citation needed ]




NHL franchise

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

   Regular season   Playoffs
Season TeamLeagueGP G A Pts PIM GPGAPtsPIM
1975–76 Melville Millionaires SJHL 57769216836
1976–77 Brandon Wheat Kings WCHL 72558013547161412265
1977–78 Brandon Wheat KingsWCHL70701121822008761312
1978–79 Brandon Wheat KingsWHL71941001941272215233840
1979–80 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 8034417554195101529
1980–81 Philadelphia FlyersNHL7926406611012661232
1981–82 Philadelphia FlyersNHL8044479111742244
1982–83 Philadelphia FlyersNHL804042827231238
1983–84 Philadelphia FlyersNHL793953923730116
1984–85 Philadelphia FlyersNHL764354974319810186
1985–86 Philadelphia FlyersNHL724057974750224
1986–87 Philadelphia FlyersNHL53313667452612162810
1987–88 Philadelphia FlyersNHL742749767674268
1988–89 Philadelphia FlyersNHL7732467837181492314
1989–90 Philadelphia FlyersNHL4013152831
1989–90 Boston Bruins NHL143912102049132
1990–91 Minnesota North Stars NHL7926477358238152328
1991–92 Minnesota North StarsNHL511223354910000
1992–93 Minnesota North StarsNHL173360
1992–93 HC Lugano NDA 242162732951628
1993–94 Hartford Whalers NHL6512172944
1994–95 HC Anglet FFHG-D1 2732195174
NHL totals101642557910048301606484148151


YearTeamEvent GPGAPtsPIM
1979 Canada WJC 52132
1982 Canada WC 103144
1983 CanadaWC104486
1987 Canada CC 92242


NHL All-Star Game 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1990
SJHL All-Star Team1976
SJHL Most Valuable Player1976
SJHL Rookie of the Year1976
WHL Brownridge Trophy (Top Scorer) 1978, 1979
WHL First-All Star Team1978, 1979
WHL Rookie of the Year 1977
Campbell/Western Conference Champion's1979-80 NHL Season
Prince of Wales/Eastern Conference Champion's1984-85 NHL Season
Prince of Wales/Eastern Conference Champion's1986-87 NHL Season

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  1. "N.H.L. Gives Hextall 12-Game Suspension for Attack on Chelios". The New York Times. May 23, 1989. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  2. "Brian Propp: Where Are They Now".
  3. "Ep #50: Brian Propp (Philadelphia Flyers)". Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  4. "Backchecking With Brian Propp". January 21, 2006. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  5. "PROPP, MCCRIMMON ENTER HALL". July 18, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  6. "Wheat Kings' Greats into Saskatchewan Hockey HOF". March 10, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  7. "2014 Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame inductees announced". The Morning Call. November 10, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  8. Burton, Cynthia. "Ex-Flyer tosses puck into ring All-star left winger Brian Propp has a new goal: A seat in the state Assembly.", The Philadelphia Inquirer , March 6, 2007. Accessed June 18, 2012. "Brian Propp, a longtime Flyer and five-time NHL all-star, is entering a new arena: state politics.... Both assembly seats in this district, which includes Propp's home of Cinnaminson, Edgewater Park and Mount Holly, have been held by since the late 1990s."
  9. "Brian Propp". Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  10. Kimmelman, Adam (January 11, 2017). "Catching up with Brian Propp". Retrieved June 29, 2018. Propp works for Wolf Commercial Real Estate
  11. "Oil Kings' Wruck on record-setting pace". Edmonton Journal. 2011-02-08.
Preceded by
Danny Lucas
Philadelphia Flyers' first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Mike Stothers