JNFFT: Paul MacLean vs Randy Carlyle

They are better known today as head coaches in the NHL, but they were also long time Jets 1.0 veterans and teammates during the 1980’s. Today sees a battle between Paul MacLean and Randy Carlyle.


It’s a tad interesting that even though neither player was actually drafted by the Jets, they both spent the majority of their career playing in Winnipeg.

Carlyle was drafted in the second round of the 1976 draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs and spent seven and a half seasons with the Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins – where he won the Norris Trophy in 1981 as the league’s top defenseman, as well as named to the NHL first all-star team – before coming to Winnipeg in a trade in 1984 in exchange for the Jets first round pick that year. With the Jets he continued his strong defensive play but also picked up his offensive game, continuing to post career highs in goals and points seemingly year after year and he was named to the NHL All-Star Game two more times as a Jet both in 1985 and again in 1993. His time in Winnipeg was hindered by injuries – in his last four seasons his highest amount of games played topped out at 66 – and he finished his eight years in Winnipeg with a total of 564 games played with 80 goals and 306 points.


Paul MacLean was a seventh round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 1978 and got in one single NHL game with that club before being traded to the Jets in 1985. Simply put, MacLean was a scoring machine, never dipping below the 25 goal a season mark in his seven seasons as a Jet – truth be told, his injury hindered 1985-86 season would have also been a 30+ goal campaign had he not been limited to just 69 games played. Three of his seven seasons saw marks of 40 goals or better and he was selected to go to the NHL All-Star Game in 1985. His final numbers as a Jet are very impressive. 527 games played, 248 goals scored and 518 points. Yes, those numbers were helped along playing on the Jets top line with Dale Hawerchuk, but even after his trade away from the Jets in the summer of 1988, MacLean had two more seasons where he tallied 36 and then 34 goals for the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues respectively.

Great Moments In Carlyle History

Great Moments In MacLean History