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Rangers Dream Team
1982-Memorial Cup Run
As presented in 1982 by the Kitchener-Waterloo Record
Rangers Rookies have made Crozier a very happy man
By: Larry Anstett, KW Record  -  March 25th, 1982

Defencemen Scott Stevens (left) and Dave Shaw talk
hockey in the Kitchener Rangers dressing room




     Telephone conversations between Kitchener Rangers’ coach Joe Crozier and the National hockey league generals managers are starting to sound like broken records.  Crozier said they go like this:
     Caller:  “Hi Joe, how are you?”
     “Fine.”
     “What’s new these days?”
     “Not an awful lot.”
     “Say Joe, we’ve been having these discussions with our scouts.  We were wondering which of the two kids you like better.”
     “Let me put it this way.  If I had an NHL team, I’d want both of them on my club.  Really, that’s about all I can say.  They’re both going to go in the first round (of the NHL draft this summer).”
     Scott Stevens and Dave Shaw, Rangers’ outstanding rookie defensemen, have had pro scouts drooling – even slobbering – since the start of the Ontario Hockey League season.  Stevens, a Kitchener native, and Shaw, an Exeter product, are two of the best rookie blueliners the OHL has seen in a long time.
     “We’re lucky to have them both on our team,” said Crozier, who tonight leads the Rangers into Windsor for the second game of the eight-point Emms Division semifinal playoff.  The Rangers dominated 4-1 in Tuesday’s opener in Kitchener.
     Stevens, a six-foot, 200-pounder with a body-builder’s physique, was the Rangers No. 1 draft last year off the Ranger B team.  Shaw, slightly taller, and leaner, was the No. 2 pick off the Stratford Cullitons.
     The Rangers went after defencemen in the early rounds to plug the gap left by Joe McDonnell (now with the Vancouver Canucks) and Kerry Williston, a couple of silky-smooth performers largely responsible for the Rangers reaching the Memorial Cup final last.  Stevens and Shaw have been everything the Rangers had hoped for – and even more.
     “As far as I’m concerned, neither of them has any glaring weaknesses,” Crozier said.
     “They’re both strong skaters, they can both shoot the puck, they’re both aggressive and they’re both great kids to work with.  The only thing they’re lacking is experience and they’ll get that as they go along.”
     Stevens adjusted to the OHL quickly and in some opinions, was the Rangers most consistent defencemen throughout the 68-game schedule.  Shaw developed more slowly, but Crozier said he’s “come along in leaps and bounds.”
     “Scott’s always had it.  He’s just gotten better and better.  Dave didn’t play aggressively at the start, but now he’s very physical – both of them are.  Earlier in the season I would have said Scott was the better of the two.  But now I don’t know.  I’m sort of leaning toward one just a little bit, but I wouldn’t want to say which one.
     Crozier paired the two soft-spoken rookies together during training camp and they’ve been together ever since.  They were the only two Rangers to play in all 68 games and both wound up with six goals, with Stevens getting 36 assists and Shaw 25.
     “I played the two kids right from the start to give them confidence,” Crozier said.  “Both of them ended up playing in the all-star game (as late additions) and both have done everything I’ve wanted.  I’m very proud of them.”
     “I think we complement each other really well,” Stevens said.
     “We back each other up and play the same type of game.  We clear the zone, get the puck out and try to keep our goals-against down.”
     As for the often-asked question – which defencemen is better?  - Stevens laughed, then said diplomatically: “It’s hard to say.    As long as we both go high in the draft, we’ll both be happy.