For most of us our first glimpse of Shayne Stevenson came in the 1990 Memorial Cup tournament.
The tournament was televised nationally, thanks to the Oshawa Generals participation in it. They had a certain young phenom that everyone wanted to see - Eric Lindros.
Lindros and the Generals were impressive in winning the Memorial Cup that year. While all eyes were on Lindros, others became noticed too. For me it was Iain Fraser, Dale Craigwell and Mike Craig with the Generals, and with the runner up Kitchener Rangers Steven Rice and Shayne Stevenson.
The Boston Bruins thought so, too. The year previous the Bruins drafted Shayne with their 1st pick, 17th overall. They thought that they had got themselves a Bruin for many years to come. He was drafted ahead of such players like Olaf Kolzig, Adam Foote, Travis Green, Patrice Brisebois and Byron Dafoe to name a few.
Ultimately Stevenson never panned out with the Bruins or in the NHL. He had some maturity issues when he first turned pro, something that surprisingly does not happen more often in a world where teenagers are brought into the spotlight with big expectations.
Stevenson never got a fair chance after that. After a total of 19 games (1 assist) he was buried in the minor leagues before being released and signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He only got into 8 games (1 assist) with the Bolts before returning to the minors.
It was unfortunate, as Stevenson's love for hockey could never be questioned. He continued to play, bouncing around the AHL, IHL, CoHL, UHL, WPHL and even in Britain. You don't play for paychecks in some of those leagues. You play because you love the game.
Stevenson finally hung up the blades in 2001. He returned to Newmarket, Ontario and started a family with his wife and three kids. His love for hockey is still very evident, as he a fast rising and very promising coach.