Defenseman Andy Delmore was a smooth skater with a rifle of a shot and a feel for the offensive part of the game. Those abilities allowed him to realize the dream of playing in the National Hockey League (NHL).
A native of LaSalle, Delmore played 283 games in the NHL for four teams (Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators, Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets) from 1999 to 2006. Delmore made a name for himself as an offensive defenseman that could quarterback a power play.
Delmore’s junior hockey days were spent with the North Bay Centennials and the Sarnia Sting. In his final junior season, Delmore posted 78 points, including 18 goals and was named a First-Team All Star. It was with the Sting that Delmore was coached by Mark Hunter, the person he credits with being the most influential on his development as a player. “He made me realize how to use my best attributes to achieve team and personal success,” reflected Delmore. The blue-liner said it was late in his junior career that realized he had a real chance to achieve his NHL dream.
Delmore’s path to the NHL was not going to be easy, however, and setbacks threatened his future in the game. Chief among them, Delmore was not selected in his NHL draft year. “That was a very tough day for me and my family,” said Delmore.
Drafted or not, Delmore was determined to preserve and he earned a spot with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL). He quickly proved what he could do on the ice and Delmore’s stock continued to rise. Not only was Delmore named an AHL First-Team All Star with the Phantoms, he also captured the Eddie Shore Award for the league’s top blue-liner.
Although Delmore went undrafted in the NHL, his play certainly caught the attention of the big league and he signed with the Flyers as a free agent in 1997, making his NHL debut in the 1998-99 season. In the 2000 Stanley Cup playoffs, Delmore was the first rookie defenceman to record a hat trick in league history. He also scored the overtime winner in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins. While playing for the Predators in 2002-03, Delmore tied Sergei Gonchar and Nicklas Lidstrom for most goals (18) by a defenseman. Delmore went to Europe after his NHL career ended, playing for teams in Germany, Austria and Italy.
As a professional, Delmore said no teammate had the impact on him like Luke Richardson. “Richardson was a great teammate and a better friend off the ice,” Delmore said. “Basically, he just took care of me, making sure I was protected on the ice and always holding me accountable to get better.”
Delmore’s applied what he learned along his journey to his new role as coach. He’s been behind the bench in U-Sports, the OHL and the ECHL. Delmore is currently an assistant coach with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL trying to help players mature and become better hockey players.
Delmore continues the tradition of outstanding hockey players from Windsor- Essex County and takes his well-deserved spot as an inductee (athlete hockey) in the Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame.