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Donald Richard "Cleaver" Lever (born November 14, 1952) is the head coach of the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL) and a retired Canadian professional ice hockey left winger who played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League from 1972–73 until 1986–87.

Playing careerEdit

Lever was drafted 3rd overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft. The forward reached the 20-goal mark six times in Vancouver and played for Canada at the 1978 World Championships. Lever was traded to the Atlanta Flames alongside Brad Smith in exchange for Ivan Boldirev and Darcy Rota on February 8, 1980. He was later the first captain of the New Jersey Devils. Lever scored the first goal in Devils history. He was recognized for both his penalty killing and powerplay abilities. Lever played 1020 career NHL games, scoring 313 goals and 367 assists for 680 points.[1] On March 9, 2009, Lever was named an assistant coach for the Montreal Canadiens by Bob Gainey after the firing of Guy Carbonneau.[2] His contract was not renewed, and he was named head coach of the Chicago Wolves of the AHL on October 21, 2009.

Awards and achievementsEdit

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1969–70 Niagara Falls Flyers OHA 2 0 1 1 4
1970–71 Niagara Falls Flyers OHA 59 35 36 71 112
1971–72 Niagara Falls Flyers OHA 69 61 65 126 69
1972–73 Vancouver Canucks NHL 78 12 26 38 49
1973–74 Vancouver Canucks NHL 78 23 25 48 28
1974–75 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 38 30 68 49 5 0 1 1 4
1975–76 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 25 40 65 93 2 0 0 0 0
1976–77 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 27 30 57 28
1977–78 Vancouver Canucks NHL 75 17 32 49 58
1978–79 Vancouver Canucks NHL 71 23 21 44 17 3 2 1 3 2
1979–80 Vancouver Canucks NHL 51 21 17 38 32
1979–80 Atlanta Flames NHL 28 14 16 30 4 4 1 1 2 0
1980–81 Calgary Flames NHL 62 26 31 57 56 16 4 7 11 20
1981–82 Calgary Flames NHL 23 8 11 19 6
1981–82 Colorado Rockies NHL 59 22 28 50 20
1982–83 New Jersey Devils NHL 79 23 30 53 68
1983–84 New Jersey Devils NHL 70 14 19 33 44
1984–85 New Jersey Devils NHL 67 10 8 18 31
1985–86 Rochester Americans AHL 29 6 11 17 16
1985–86 Buffalo Sabres NHL 29 7 1 8 6
1986–87 Rochester Americans AHL 57 29 25 54 69 18 4 3 7 14
1986–87 Buffalo Sabres NHL 10 3 2 5 4
NHL totals 1,020 313 367 680 593 30 7 10 17 26

Coaching statisticsEdit

Season  Team                Lge Type            GP  W  L  T OTL  Pct        Result 
1987-88 Buffalo Sabres      NHL Assistant Coach  
1988-89 Buffalo Sabres      NHL Assistant Coach 
1990-91 Rochester Americans AHL Head Coach      80 45 26  9   0 0.619 Lost in Finals 
1991-92 Rochester Americans AHL Head Coach      80 37 31 12   0 0.537 Lost in round 3 
1992-93 Buffalo Sabres      NHL Assistant Coach 
1993-94 Buffalo Sabres      NHL Assistant Coach 
1994-95 Buffalo Sabres      NHL Assistant Coach 
1995-96 Buffalo Sabres      NHL Associate Coach 
1996-97 Buffalo Sabres      NHL Assistant Coach 
1997-98 Buffalo Sabres      NHL Associate Coach 
1998-99 Buffalo Sabres      NHL Associate Coach 
1999-00 Buffalo Sabres      NHL Associate Coach 
2000-01 Buffalo Sabres      NHL Assistant Coach 
2001-02 Buffalo Sabres      NHL Assistant Coach 
2002-03 St. Louis Blues     NHL Assistant Coach 
2003-04 St. Louis Blues     NHL Assistant Coach 
2005-06 Hamilton Bulldogs   AHL Head Coach      80 35 41 0    4 0.463  Out of Playoffs 
2006-07 Hamilton Bulldogs   AHL Head Coach      80 43 28 0    9 0.594  Won Championship 
2007-08 Hamilton Bulldogs   AHL Head Coach      80 36 34 0   10 0.512  Out of Playoffs
2008-09 Hamilton Bulldogs   AHL Head Coach      65 39 24 0    2 0.615
2008-09 Montreal Canadiens  NHL Assistant Coach

Personal lifeEdit

He and his wife Karen have three children, Michael, Sarah, and Caitlin.[3]

ReferencesEdit

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