Born: November 11, 1963
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Height: 6'5" Weight: 225 lbs.
Drafted by: Boston Bruins, 2nd Round, 22nd
Overall, 1982 NHL Entry Draft
Seasons with Buffalo: 1990-91, 1991-92
Uniform Numbers: 41, 39
|Rough and tumble defenseman Brian Curran played his junior hockey with the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League from 1980-81 to 1982-83. A physical presence on the Winter Hawks' blueline, Curran racked up 594 penalty minutes in his three years with Portland. In 1982-83, Curran's last year in Portland, the Winter Hawks won the Memorial Cup Championship.
Curran was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the second round of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft. He turned pro in 1983, joininng the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League for the 1983-84 season. Curran played in 23 games with Hershey, and was called up to Boston during the season, where he made his NHL debut, playing in 16 games as a Bruin. He had 57 minutes in penalties during those 16 games. Curran also played in all 3 of Bostons games in the 1983 Playoffs as the Bruins were swept in the best-of-three first round by the Montreal Canadiens.
|Curran spent most of the 1984-85 season with the Bruins, registering just one assist and 158 penalty minutes in 56 games. In 1985-86, Curran finished second on the Bruins with 192 penalty minutes in just 43 games played.
At the end of the 1985-86 season, Curran signed with the New York Islanders as a restricted free agent. Curran stepped into the role of main enforcer for the Islanders during the 1986-87 season, leading the team with 356 penalty minutes. He was third in the league in penalty minutes behind only Dave "Tiger" Williams of the Los Angeles Kings (358 PIM) and Tim Hunter of the Calgary Flames (357 PIM). Curran's 356 penalty minutes is still the New York Islanders record for most penalty minutes in a single season.
Curran split the 1987-88 season between three teams. He played 22 games with the Islanders during the season. He also played 8 games with the Springfield Indians of the AHL, the Islanders' minor league affiliate. Late in the season, Curran was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 6th round draft pick. He finished the season with the Maple Leafs, playing in 7 games.
Curran played two full years with the Maple Leafs, racking up 301 penalty minutes to lead the team during the 1989-90 season. Curran started the 1990-91 season with Toronto, but was demoted to the Newmarket Saints of the AHL after playing just 4 games as a Maple Leaf. On December 12, 1990, Curran was traded along with right wing Lou Franceschetti to the Buffalo Sabres for Sabres Captain Mike Foligno and an 8th round pick in the 1991 draft (Thomas Kucharcik). Curran split the remainder of the 1990-91 season between the Sabres and their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans. In 17 games as a Sabre during the season, Curran had one assist and 43 minutes in penalties.
While Curran was brought to the Sabres in an attempt to toughen the team up, it didn't quite work out so well for Curran. His defensive failings overshadowed his effectiveness as an enforcer, a role which was more than adequately handled by wingers Rob Ray (who led the team with 354 penalty minutes as a rookie) and Mike Hartman. Curran spent the majority of the 1991-92 season in Rochester, playing just three games with the Sabres during the season.
At the end of the 1991-92 season, Curran was released by the Buffalo Sabres. He signed with the Edmonton Oilers as a free agent for the 1992-93 season, and spent the season with their AHL affiliate, the Cape Breton Oilers.
Curran got one last shot at the NHL during the 1993-94 season, signing with the Washington Capitals. He split the season between the Capitals and their AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates. Curran played in 26 games with the Capitals during the season, which would be his last in the NHL.
Curran would spend the next four years bouncing around the minor leaguse, playing in the AHL, the International Hockey League and the Western Professional Hockey League. He finished his professional career in 1997-98 with a 9 game stint with the Las vegas Thunder of the IHL.
Upon retiring as a player in 1998, Curran pursued a career in coaching. He served as Head Coach of the Jacksonville Lizard Kings of the East Coast Hockey League for the 1998-99 season. In 1999, Curran moved on to become the Head Coach of the Monroe Moccasins of the WPHL, where he had played briefly during the 1997-98 season. Curran compiled a 39-25-6 during the 1999-2000 season, winning the 2000 WPHL Coach of the Year Award. Curran also coached the Moccasins during the 2000-01 season.
In 2001, the Western Professional Hockey League and the Central Hockey League merged. As a result, several teams from the WPHL, including the Monroe Moccasins suspended operations. Brian Curran is currently seeking a coaching job on the minor league level, with hopes of one day coaching in the National Hockey League.