Mark Deyell, along with Frank Banham and Clarke Wilm, broke the WHL in the 1995/96 season with the Saskatoon Blades. Their line combined for 193 goals scored (Banham 83, Deyell 61, Wilm 49), while the rest of their entire team scored 121 goals.
Deyell’s 159 points in 1996 has not been broken since.
Deyell was small, a great play-maker, and an agitator. There was something about his style of play that got underneath the other team’s skin – heck, he even got under the skin of his own teammates from time to time! However, Mark always found a way to produce and get things done. He was gritty and played hard between the whistles.
Mark was the centerpiece of a very strange set of circumstances in 1999.
As a teammate of mine in St. John’s, I watched Mark carry the puck up the ice and enter the offensive zone. He was being pursued from behind and his feet were lifted up from underneath him as he fell forward. His rising skate caught defenseman Jeff Libby in the eye. Jeff lost his eye from the accident and was forced to leave the game and pursue another career.
Fast forward 5 months later, on the same sheet of ice, Mark Deyell gets caught with a stick in the eye during a playoff game against the St. John Flames. He knew something very bad just happened. Mark lost his vision in the eye and would later retire due to the injury.
Crazy right???? What are the chances? So tragic... two careers cut way too short.
We discuss how Mark was failed after the accidents and about a career that could have been.
Enjoy my conversation with Mark Deyell.