TOP 100 OILERS: DAVE MANSON (52)

DaveManson

“Walk softly and carry a big stick,” or so the old saying goes. In the case of former Edmonton Oiler defenseman Dave Manson, it was talk softly and carry a big stick – he didn’t have any choice after being punched in the throat in a fight with Sergio Momesso in 1992, suffering damaged vocal cords.

Manson certainly did that during an NHL career that spanned 1,103 regular season games, including 219 with the Oilers, and mercy, he was a real piece of work. Not only was Manson tough as nails and mean as hell, he was mobile and skilled. He was slick on the power play. He pulverized opponents in the corners and in front of the net. Manson was one of the most feared fighters of his era, earning the nickname “Charlie” along the way. And that raspy whisper . . . 

Dave Manson

Defense — shoots L

Born Jan 27 1967 — Prince Albert, SASK  

Height 6.02 — Weight 202 [188 cm/92 kg]

Drafted by Chicago Blackhawks

Round 1 #11 overall 1985 NHL Entry Draft

BY THE NUMBERS

Season

Age

Tm

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PIM

S

S%

TOI

ATOI

1986-87

20

CHI

63

1

8

9

-2

146

42

2.4

1987-88

21

CHI

54

1

6

7

-12

185

47

2.1

1988-89

22

CHI

79

18

36

54

5

352

224

8.0

1989-90

23

CHI

59

5

23

28

4

301

126

4.0

1990-91

24

CHI

75

14

15

29

20

191

154

9.1

1991-92

25

EDM

79

15

32

47

9

220

206

7.3

1992-93

26

EDM

83

15

30

45

-28

210

244

6.1

1993-94

27

TOT

70

4

17

21

-14

191

180

2.2

1993-94

27

EDM

57

3

13

16

-4

140

144

2.1

1993-94

27

WIN

13

1

4

5

-10

51

36

2.8

1994-95

28

WIN

44

3

15

18

-20

139

104

2.9

1995-96

29

WIN

82

7

23

30

8

205

189

3.7

1996-97

30

TOT

75

4

18

22

-26

187

175

2.3

1996-97

30

PHX

66

3

17

20

-25

164

153

2.0

1996-97

30

MTL

9

1

1

2

-1

23

22

4.5

1997-98

31

MTL

81

4

30

34

22

122

148

2.7

1998-99

32

TOT

75

6

17

23

1

155

145

4.1

1638

21:50

1998-99

32

MTL

11

0

2

2

-3

48

11

0.0

190

17:19

1998-99

32

CHI

64

6

15

21

4

107

134

4.5

1447

22:37

1999-00

33

TOT

63

1

9

10

12

62

66

1.5

992

15:45

1999-00

33

CHI

37

0

7

7

2

40

45

0.0

647

17:29

1999-00

33

DAL

26

1

2

3

10

22

21

4.8

345

13:16

2000-01

34

TOR

74

4

7

11

13

93

70

5.7

1169

15:48

2001-02

35

TOT

47

0

2

2

2

33

36

0.0

604

12:51

2001-02

35

TOR

13

0

1

1

3

10

12

0.0

228

17:34

2001-02

35

DAL

34

0

1

1

-1

23

24

0.0

376

11:03

7 yrs

CHI

431

45

110

155

21

1322

772

5.8

2094

20:44

4 yrs

WIN,PHX

205

14

59

73

-47

559

482

2.9

3 yrs

EDM

219

33

75

108

-23

570

594

5.6

3 yrs

MTL

101

5

33

38

18

193

181

2.8

190

17:19

2 yrs

DAL

60

1

3

4

9

45

45

2.2

721

12:01

2 yrs

TOR

87

4

8

12

16

103

82

4.9

1397

16:04

Career

1103

102

288

390

-6

2792

2156

4.7

4403

17:00

PLAYOFFS:

Season

Age

Tm

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PIM

S

S%

TOI

ATOI

1986-87

20

CHI

3

0

0

0

-2

10

2

0.0

1987-88

21

CHI

5

0

0

0

1

27

7

0.0

1988-89

22

CHI

16

0

8

8

-2

84

39

0.0

1989-90

23

CHI

20

2

4

6

-5

46

36

5.6

1990-91

24

CHI

6

0

1

1

2

36

11

0.0

1991-92

25

EDM

16

3

9

12

-2

44

47

6.4

1995-96

29

WIN

6

2

1

3

3

30

12

16.7

1996-97

30

MTL

5

0

0

0

6

17

10

0.0

1997-98

31

MTL

10

0

1

1

0

14

25

0.0

1999-00

33

DAL

23

0

0

0

2

33

19

0.0

294

12:46

2000-01

34

TOR

2

0

0

0

0

2

0

10

5:11

Career

112

7

24

31

3

343

208

3.4

304

12:09

NOTABLE

Dave Manson

Simply put, Manson, originally drafted from the Prince Alberta Raiders of the WHL by the Chicago Blackhawks 11th overall in the 1985 Entry Draft, was the total package. He was a noted brawler, and still ranks in the top 15 among the NHL’s most penalized players with 2,792 minutes in the box. If you didn’t like getting hacked and mugged in front of the net or worked over with a rubber hose in the corners, too bad. Drop the gloves, Bub.

Manson already had a 54-point season with the Blackhawks in the books when he arrived in Edmonton in October of 1991 via a trade that sent Steve Smith to the Windy City (the Oilers also got a third-round draft choice that turned into Kirk Maltby in the deal). He didn’t waste any time establishing himself as Edmonton’s best blueliner.

In 1991-92, Manson produced 47 points in 79 games, leading team D-men in scoring. He managed that despite spending 220 minutes in the sin bin. He followed that up with 45 points and another 210 penalty minutes during the 1992-93 season. When coach Ted Green needed something done — a big hit, a spark on the power play or a fight to turn the tide – he leaned on Charlie and Charlie leaned on somebody.

THE STORY

Manson’s first two seasons in Edmonton were likely the best back-to-back campaigns he put together during his entire career. By his third season here, 1993-94, with the Oilers now four years removed from the last Stanley Cup celebration in 1990 and fading, GM Glen Sather decided to move Manson along for younger, cheaper players. 

Sather dealt Manson to the Winnipeg Jets in March of 1994 for Boris Mironov, Mats Lindgren and a first-round draft pick in 1994 that the Oilers would later squander on Jason Bonsignore. All told, Manson produced 108 points in his 219 games with the Oilers (.49 PPG) and added 570 penalty minutes just for good measure.  

In today’s NHL, a minute-munching D-man with the combination of offensive skill, defensive ability and nastiness Manson displayed during his time with the Oilers would be at least a $6-million a year player. There have been far too few guys who could play the game any way you wanted to like Charlie in the history of this franchise.

This series will look at the top 100 Edmonton Oilers from the NHL era 1979-80 to 2014-15, starting with 100 and working up. 

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.

PREVIOUSLY:

  • KevCantDance

    Charlie was always my fave after the old boys broke up. Still have his 24 white jersey too. The best was back in the day when every team had to send someone to the all star game, and Charlie was our guy one year. Got the only penalty of the game too.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      1993. I want to say it was on Kevin Stevens. A tripping penalty.

      Oilers messed up big letting his regular partner Norm MacIver go over $60 and a used copy of Playboy.

  • Ed in Edmonton 1

    The most memorable thing about Manson was his trade out of town. Mironov (maybe a better player straight up), the No 4 pick and a prospect (Lindgren was described as the best player not actually playing in the NHL). Should have been a windfall. But alas a bad pick and Mironov falling prey to the “Russian disease” didn’t return what it might have.

    I recall John Paddock saying the trade day was the best day of his professional life. Man was he a Mansion fan.

      • Ed in Edmonton 1

        I don’t doubt that one could argue who was a better player at their peak Mironov or Manson. But getting the 4th overall, pus Mironov plus (at the time) an A grade prospect should have been a windfall.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    For all these years, Robin, I thought Manson was punched in the throat by Calgary’s Ronnie Stern. I’ll obviously defer to you, however. You were likely there to see it.

    Manson was my favourite Oiler in those couple of years between the fading post-dynasty team and the season that Doug Weight emerged as a star.

    For those of you who are too young to remember Manson – the best (and most recent) comparable player would be Sheldon Souray. Like Souray, Manson had a heavy shot, wasn’t afraid of the physical stuff and was a good fighter who seemed to enjoy it. Manson was a scary customer. If the Oilers had two of him right now in their blueline, the whole lineup would be four inches taller.

    My favourite Manson memory came the year before he was traded to the Oilers. Go on YouTube and search for “St. Patrick’s Day Massacre, Blackhawks versus Blues.” In the middle of a Pier Six scrum, Manson and Scott Stevens tussle in the corner and then skate out to centre ice to engage in an absolute slobberknocker of a fight. Stevens, who had been running around cross-checking and hacking guys all night, lost a close decision and ended up with an eye that required a needle and thread to close. There weren’t many players in Stevens’ weight division back in the day who could send him away leaking after a fight, but Manson was one of those guys.

    If you like good-old-fashioned, spontaneous hockey fights between two guys who are legitimately trying to knock each other out, you need not look any further. Added bonus: The Chicago and St. Louis broadcasts of the massacre are both on YouTube, so you get both “versions” of the action.

    • It was Momesso . . .

      The thing about Dave wasn’t that he was the best fighter, but he had that “snap-factor” to his game. You’re right about Souray — he’s about the closest thing the Oilers have had to Manson in recent years.

  • The older I get, the better I was...

    Often when I think about defensemen I think about the pairs – Coffey and Huddy etc. For me I can’t think about Manson without thinking about McIvor – they just seemed to work so well together with skill sets that complemented each other.

    I agree with @Still Miss Pronger – was pretty choked when they let Norm go for nothing. I don’t think Manson was ever as dominant after that.

    I think that Nurse could have the “snap factor” we’re looking for but don’t know how that plays out in today’s NHL.

  • Daves voice is still pooched, never did get it fixed. Made it hard for him to yell at the D men when he assistant coached the Raiders but he did end up raising some solid pupils, Josh Morrissey most noted currently.

    I was at his jersey retirement in PA last year. Just a fabulous guy, great family man, upstanding citizen, a total gem. Bucky was the Oiler rep. at the event, great stories Bucky had (the ones he could share)… very humorous stuff.

    When Dave played in PA his co-pilot for brain bashing was flin flon legend Ken Baumgartner. What a pair. Like… nearly unparalleled in junior hockey. Intimidating doesn’t even touch the surface of a trip into the old barn in PA.
    When the gents talk about “bring violence back to hockey”. Clips of those two and the passion they incited in that fan base would be a fine launch pad.

    Jeremy Roenick was telling legend stories about those two at the Alzheimers pro am in Edmonton a couple years back. It was hilarious.

  • Manson would be a billionaire were he in the league today. And to get dealt for Mironov – this was a solid trade in and out of the Oilers system.

    WHY OH WHY CANT WE DO DEALS FOR POINT GETTIN’ D MEN NOW

    • Looch#27

      Manson was a monster and nobody in the league today could compete with his 200 foot game, Pronger being the closest is my bet.
      Reason you can’t make trades like that anymore is every GM has a clue now and the cap……sure still some clubs being silly(edm 2008-2014) but for most part real hockey people everywhere now. We’ll look back at Hall for Larson as our watershed moment when this team turns back into a contender. Almost balanced now and I bet we make it interesting right to the end of the season. 3 scoring lines when did that happen last for us?!?

  • 99 to 97

    He always sounded like a scary version of Super Dave Osborne, but could back it up. I remember him being suspended for coming back on the ice from the dressing room to participate in a brawl after he’d already been ejected when he played for Chicago. It was a different time…

  • fasteddy

    It really is too bad, from an entertainment standpoint, that the chaos and violence of days gone by are gone for good. I completely understand people not wanting to watch fights, and of course not wanting to see players injure themselves and/or suffer long term health-wise…..but man oh man was it entertaining for most of us watching! Don Cherry has said a million times, but from an entertainment standpoint, anyone that says fighting had no place in the game had never been to a game! As with everyone on here, I’ve been to many rinks at many levels, and the energy and excitement that brought to a game was fantastic. Not the “your 6’5″ 245 lb slug against ours” days….that stuff is unemotional fluff….but rather the days when 4-8 guys on every team in existence would drop the mits if someone looked at their tender the wrong way type stuff…

    • “polite” hockey played by the professional hockey player country club members.

      theres more passion at the Ryder cup.

      todays NHL product really is a sad excuse for entertainment, and a shadow of the days when hatred fueled rivalries. Now rivals are a fabrication based on the way it used to be, largely carried by the fan bases but rarely realized in the on ice product.

      Soccer is doing good tho!!