David William Christian (born May 13, 1959 in Warroad, Minnesota) American ice hockey forward.
Christian comes from a family of hockey players. His father Bill and uncle Roger were members of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team that won the Gold Medal. His family is also famous for the Christian Brothers Hockey Company, makers of hockey sticks, founded in 1964 in Warroad, MN by Bill and Roger, along with Hal Bakke. Christian is best known for being a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that won the gold medal in an event known as the Miracle On Ice during the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Within a week of the Miracle On Ice, Christian joined the Winnipeg Jets, who drafted him in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. Just 7 seconds into his first NHL shift, Christian electrified the sold out Winnipeg crowd with his first professional goal. After a roller-coaster career in Winnipeg, he went on to play in the NHL with the Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues. In 1009 NHL games, he scored 340 goals and 433 assists. Christian attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
|1977-78||U. of North Dakota||NCAA||38||8||16||24||14|
|1978-79||U. of North Dakota||NCAA||40||22||24||46||22|
|1979-80||U.S. Olympic Team||Intl.||66||10||28||38||32|
|1991-92||St. Louis Blues||NHL||78||20||24||44||41||4||3||0||3||0|
Coaching Career: Named Fargo-Moorhead (USHL) head coach near end of 1997-98 season and held position through 1999-00 season.
Was 15th member of 1980 USA "Miracle on Ice" team to be drafted by an NHL team. Played defense for Team USA during 1979-80 pre-Olympic tour and 1980 Olympics. His 66 combined games for Team USA in 1979-80 were the most of any player on the team. Wore No. 23 for Team USA in 1980 Olympics. Led Team USA with eight assists in 1980 Olympics, including three assists in a 4-2 win over West Germany. Was honored by his hometown of Warroad, Minn., with Dave Christian Day, following 1980 Olympics on Feb. 28, 1980. Was on Washington team that held 1989 training camp in Sweden before joining Calgary for 1989 NHL Friendship Tour in Soviet Union. The Capitals faced four Soviet teams on the tour. Did not play first minor league game until 1993-94 season, when he was 34 years old and Chicago demoted him to Indianapolis (IHL). Signed with Minnesota (IHL) as a free agent on Sept. 1, 1994. Returned to Warroad after his coaching career and went into the family stick-manufacturing business in August 2002.
Son of former minor-leaguer Bill Christian, who scored winning goal for Team USA when Americans upset Soviet Union en route to 1960 Olympic gold medal. Nephew of former minor-leaguer and U.S. Olympian Roger Christian and former U.S. Olympian Gord Christian. His father and uncle Roger founded Christian Brothers hockey stick manufacturing company. Older brother of former minor-leaguer Eddie Christian.
Dave Christian was one of the NHL's most consistent right wingers in the 1980s. As a youth, his father, Bill, who played on the U.S. Olympic teams in 1960 and 1964, inspired him. The native of Warroad, Minnesota, just south of the Manitoba border, was a versatile athlete in his youth. He earned recognition as an All-State high school hockey player while also lettering in football, baseball and track A standout with the University of North Dakota, Christian was drafted 40th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in 1979. Before joining the NHL, he spent several months with the U.S. national team as it prepared for the 1980 Olympic tournament. Christian scored 30 points in 59 exhibition games, then contributed eight assists in the seven memorable matches at Lake Placid. Although he worked as a center in college, Christian was used exclusively on the blue line by coach Herb Brooks.
Following the Olympics, he was given a rousing welcome and a key to the city of Warroad. Winnipeg Jets general manager John Ferguson was also on hand and presented Christian with his first multi-year NHL contract. Christian was still on cloud nine when he joined his new team and totaled 18 points in 15 games. He registered 71 points in his first full NHL season, then starred with 11 points in eight games at the 1981 World Championship. A few months later, Christian experienced disappointment with only one goal in six games at the 1981 Canada Cup when the United States finished fourth in the round robin. Prior to the 1981-82 season, the Jets named him team captain. He averaged just under a point per game during his three years in Manitoba before he was traded to the Washington Capitals following a contract dispute with the Jets.
Christian was busy during his first year in Washington. He totaled 81 points and was a plus 26. In 1984 he played in his second Canada Cup and helped the U.S. reach the semifinals. He recorded his finest year in 1985-86 with 41 goals and 83 points and was often paired with fellow speedsters Mike Gartner and Bengt Gustafsson on an effective and entertaining forward line.
In 1989 he enjoyed another strong showing at the World Championships with seven points in six games. Prior to the 1989-90 season, he traveled with the Capitals to the USSR on the NHL Friendship Tour. Later in the year, the Boston Bruins acquired Christian for his offense and experience. He enjoyed his longest spell in the playoffs by helping the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup finals against the eventual champion Edmonton Oilers.
Following the free agent signing of Glen Featherstone and Dave Thomlinson, the St. Louis Blues received Christian as part of the compensation package. He recorded his 10th 20-goal season but was put on waivers at the start of the next year. The Chicago Blackhawks claimed him and he played his last 69 games in the Windy City. Christian left the NHL with 340 career goals before playing his last 190 pro games in the IHL.