Wendel L. Clark (born October 25, 1966) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player. He is perhaps best known for being a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL), captaining the team from 1991 to 1994. During this time, he was often referred to as 'Captain Crunch,' as he played a very physical and intense style of hockey.
Wendel Clark was known for his physical play and his offensive mind combined with scoring prowess. After his rookie season, he was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team and finished third in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy. The serious back injury that Clark suffered during a game against the Chicago Blackhawks in 1987, when he was cross-checked into the crossbar of his own goal, hindered his progress as an elite NHL player. Nonetheless, he was a crowd favourite at Maple Leaf Gardens and won a place in the hearts of Leaf fans as he provided a spark during the latter part of the Harold Ballard era, considered the darkest period in the storied franchise's history. He was named captain of the team for the 1991–92 season.
Upon returning to the Leafs in 2000, after being benched by the Blackhawks, Webdel Clark was not particularly effective for the remainder of the regular season, but he found his form for the Leafs' playoff run. The love that Leaf fans had for their former captain could be seen when they gave a 1:30 standing ovation after Clark barreled into the New Jersey zone and hit the post in Game 1. During Game 4, Clark assisted on the game-winning goal that gave the Leafs a 2–1 victory and tied the series with the Devils.
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