December 12, 1951|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
November 10, 2002 (aged 50)|
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)|
Colorado Rockies |
Kansas City Scouts
St. Louis Blues
13th overall, 1971|
New York Rangers
Harry Steven Durbano (December 12, 1951 – November 10, 2002) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player noted for his villainous behaviour on the ice and his larger-than-life persona off it. Nicknamed the "Mental Case", he is the all-time leader in penalty minutes per game in the National Hockey League (NHL), with 1127 career PIMs over a mere 220 games played, for 5.12 PIMs per game.
Born in Toronto, Durbano rose through minor hockey to a place on the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey Association. He was drafted by the New York Rangers in the first round of the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft. He never played a game for the Rangers, though, and was traded to the St. Louis Blues where he began his career. Durbano quickly gained a reputation for being one of the toughest players in the league, amassing 1,411 major league-career penalty minutes, including an NHL-leading 370 PIM in the 1975–76 season.
He played 220 NHL games over the course of his career for St. Louis as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins, Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies, along with 45 games in the World Hockey Association for the Birmingham Bulls.
In the very first game of the 1974–75 season, he was checked by Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Andre Dupont and suffered a fractured left wrist. He missed the rest of the season, and though he returned the following season, he never regained full power in the wrist.
Post-career and death
Durbano last played in the NHL in the 1978–79 season. He was arrested on February 7, 1981 at Toronto International Airport aboard an Air Canada flight from Miami; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police seized about 474 grams of cocaine, estimated by police to be worth about $71,000. Durbano was convicted for cocaine smuggling in 1984, and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Durbano also admitted to using cocaine regularly while playing in the NHL. After his release, he was arrested once for shoplifting, and, in 1995, he was sent back to prison after he attempted to recruit an undercover police officer into an escort service in Welland, Ontario. He later moved to the Northwest Territories to seek a calmer life, and died there in 2002 of liver cancer at the age of 50.
|1972–73||St. Louis Blues||NHL||49||3||18||21||231||5||0||2||2||8|
|1973–74||St. Louis Blues||NHL||36||4||5||9||146||—||—||—||—||—|
|1975–76||Kansas City Scouts||NHL||37||1||11||12||209||—||—||—||—||—|
|1976–77||Rhode Island Reds||AHL||9||1||2||3||55||—||—||—||—||—|
|1978–79||St. Louis Blues||NHL||13||1||1||2||103||—||—||—||—||—|
|1978–79||Salt Lake Golden Eagles||CHL||10||1||4||5||41||—||—||—||—||—|
- "STEVE DURBANO". stltoday.com. 25 November 2017.
- "NHL All-Time Penalty Minutes per Game Leaders". Retrieved 2016-09-30.
- hockeydb.com, Steve Durbano's profile at the HockeyDB.com, accessed February 1, 2008
- "Steve Durbano, a former player for the St. Louis..." upi.com. 9 February 1981.
- Staudohar, Paul (1996). Playing for Dollars: Labor Relations and the Sports Business. ILR Press. ISBN 0801483425.
- The Rebel League: The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey Association, p.204
- Treasure, Troy (2018). Icing on the Plains: The Rough Ride of Kansas City’s NHL Scouts. BalboaPress. ISBN 1982214066.
| New York Rangers first round draft pick