1980-1981 Prince Albert Raiders – Team
In the late 1970s and early 1980s there was no junior hockey franchise more successful than the Prince Albert Raiders.
In a period of six years the Raiders appeared in five national finals winning four of them. The 1980 ‑ 81 championship team was unique in that a majority of the players went on to a higher level of hockey for an extended period of time.
Three players ‑ Greg Paslawski, Dave Tippett and James Patrick enjoyed illustrious National Hockey League careers while four others were associated with minor professional teams for a number of years. They were Warren Harper, Robin Bartel, Steve Rierson and Bill Watson.
The 1980 ‑ 81 Raiders also spawned three Olympians with Tippett, Patrick and Bartel having represented Canada at the 1984 Olympic Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. Tippett later returned to the Olympic program in 1992 to help Canada win a silver medal in Albertville, France.
Junior coaching ranks also benefited from the 1980 ‑ 81 Raiders as five of the players went on to successful coaching careers either as a head coach or as an assistant. This list included Peter Anholt, Bob Lowes, Mark Odnokon, Carl Van Camp and Doug Hendricks.
Prince Albert breezed to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League championship that year ‑ its sixth straight ‑ and then defeated St. Boniface in the Anavet Cup and St. Albert in the Abbott Cup finals. At the Centennial Cup tournament in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Raiders beat the Belleville Bulls 6 ‑ 2 in the final game after losing only once in the round-robin portion of the tournament.
Terry Simpson was once again the head coach and general manager while Rick Wilson was his assistant. Both Simpson and Wilson went on to successful careers as assistant coaches in the NHL with Simpson also having a stint as the head coach of the New York Islanders.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 1993