It’s still mind boggling! Almost 35 years after Luc Chabot of the Pembroke Lumber Kings lit up the Central Canada Hockey League by scoring 101 goals in only 46 games, it’s hard to believe he was able to put up those kind of numbers in so few games.
Sure, it was a different time. In that same 1985-’86 season, Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers was racking up 215 points on his way to smashing his own single season record for points and setting a high water mark that no other player in the NHL has challenged. The “Great One” dominated the 1980’s, setting scoring records that no one could have imagined. So did Luc Chabot at the Junior A level. So it’s time to acknowledge that Luc Chabot was the Wayne Gretzky of what was then known as the Central Junior Hockey League.
Chabot is now an assistant coach with the Rockland Nationals of the CCHL. He was back at the Pembroke Memorial Centre recently, a building that he knows well having spent four seasons with the Kings, playing under legendary Pembroke coach Jim Farelli.
Farelli is a big reason why Chabot had so much success. He plucked him out of Toronto where he was getting limited ice time playing with the Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey League. It was a match made in heaven, but among two personalities that were polar opposites. The gruff and tough Farelli and the subdued and smooth Chabot formed a kinship that helped the Lumber Kings become a league power house. The Kings were in the midst of winning six titles in eight seasons with Farelli behind the bench.
Always known for a short bench, Farelli played his top players a lot. When Chabot arrived, Rick Brebant was the star of the Lumber Kings, but it was obvious that Chabot would become his heir apparent. In his first season with the Kings in 1982-83, Chabot recorded 25 points in 37 games. By the 1984-85 season, Chabot had scored 84 goals and had accumulated 178 points. By that point he had already set several league scoring records and was ready to move on.
Chabot enrolled in university, but when it didn’t work out, he returned to his home in Ottawa. When Farelli learned he was back in the neighbourhood, he quickly pounced and brought back the talented forward for his final year of junior eligibility. It turned out to be a season for the ages for Chabot.
As a 20 year old, Chabot was dominant in his final season with the Lumber Kings. He was always on the ice, every night putting up multiple goal games. On three occasions Chabot scored five goals in a game. One night in Ottawa late in the season, he put up six goals. Farelli would keep him on the ice for a full two minute powerplay, enabling Chabot to score 39 goals with the man advantage. Thirteen of his tallies were game winners. Farelli knew something special was happening, and he was going to give Chabot every opportunity to put numbers in the records book that would last forever.
The numbers are simply astounding.
From January 15, 1984 to January 5, 1986 Chabot had a 94 game point streak. Over his career, Chabot scored 255 goals and recorded 491 points. Look through the CCHL scoring records. Chabot holds most of them. Yes, Luc Chabot was the Wayne Gretzky of the CCHL.
Gretzky’s number 99 is retired throughout the NHL. It begs the question, should Chabot’s number 10 be retired in the CCHL? We’ll let the fans of the CCHL debate that question, but one thing that can not be debated is that Luc Chabot will forever be the most prolific scorer in the history of the Central Canada Hockey League. His numbers are unmatchable!