Dave Balon – Athlete
After playing junior hockey with the Prince Albert Mintos, Dave Balon began a lengthy professional career in 1958‑59 with the Saskatoon Quakers.
Following stops in Three Rivers, Quebec and Kitchener‑Waterloo, Ontario, Balon made it to the pre‑expansion six‑team National Hockey League as a member of the New York Rangers. He spent the 1961‑63seasons with the Blueshirts before being traded to the Montreal Canadians. A highlight of his stay with the Habs was being a member of the 1964‑65 and 1965‑66 Stanley Cup champion teams.
Prior to the 1966‑67 season Balon became the first pick in the National Hockey League expansion draft, chosen by the Minnesota North Stars. He represented the North Stars in the NHL all‑star game that season.
Balon returned to the Rangers the next season and joined with Walt Tkachuk and Bill Fairbairn to form the Bulldog Line. During this stint with the Rangers, he received a number of club honours including the Frank Boucher Award for being the team’s most valuable player in the 1970‑71 season. That season saw Balon return to the NHL all‑star game. An individual highlight came on January 24, 1971 when Balon scored four goals in a game against his former club, the North Stars. The 1971‑73 seasons were spent with the Vancouver Canucks and in 1973‑74 Balon moved to the World Hockey Association with the Quebec Nordiques. It was with Quebec that he suffered a broken foot, an injury which combined with other complications until it was diagnosed Balon had multiple sclerosis. Though the disease ended his playing career Balon remained active in hockey, coaching the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League from 1975‑79.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.