Then and Now: Pat Kavanagh

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The Philadelphia Flyers used a second-round pick in the 1997 NHL Draft on forward Pat Kavanagh. Other notable players picked in the second round of the 1997 NHL Draft were Ben Clymer, Jeremy Reich, and Henrik Tallinder.

A little less than two years later, the Orange and Black dealt Kavanagh to the Vancouver Canucks for a sixth-round pick in the 1999 NHL Draft. Philly used the pick to select forward Konstantin Rudenko, who never played a game in the NHL and is currently with Barys Astana in the KHL.

Kavanagh would play with the Syracuse Crunch, Kansas City Blades, and Manitoba Moose across the AHL and IHL before suiting up for the Canucks during the 2002-2003 campaign. His first tilt in the NHL was in a Canucks’ 3-0 loss to the Flyers on March 4th, 2003, as Roman Cechmanek posted a 41-save shutout.

The forward’s first NHL goal came just 13 days later in his second NHL game, as he put home the game-winner past Ron Tugnutt in a 4-2 win for Vancouver over the Dallas Stars. His final game as a Canuck came the following day in a Canucks’ 6-4 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

The 2003-2004 season was more of the same for Kavanagh, as he took part in 73 games for the Moose and suited up in three games for the Canucks. The skater was able to produce another tally in his stint with the Canucks, as he beat Martin Prusek in a 2-1 loss for Vancouver against the Ottawa Senators on March 13th, 2004.

In the summer of 2004, Kavanagh signed with the Ottawa Senators’ organization. Since he was only with the Ottawa organization for a season, and that season was 2004-2005, Kavanagh never played a game for the Senators in the NHL.

He did, however, play for the Binghamton Senators in the AHL during the 2004-2005 lockout. He had 14 goals and 17 assists in 80 games to help the Sens reach the AHL postseason. Kavanagh had an assist and 10 PIMs in the Senators’ six-game series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who advanced to the second round.

Kavanagh left the Senators’ organization and signed with the Flyers in August of 2005. He played just one season with the Flyers’ organization, as he had 43 points in 73 games for the Philadelphia Phantoms and went without a point in eight games for the Flyers.

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In his eight-game stint with the Flyers, Kavanagh had two PIMs, a plus-2 rating, and failed to record a point, as Philly went 2-5-1 in Kavanagh’s time with the club. He appeared in a string of games from November 22nd, 2005 to March 4th, 2006. His final game in the NHL was in a 4-2 Flyers’ loss to the New York Islanders where he saw 5:14 TOI.

This would be Kavanagh’s last major run with an organization, as he took part in a pair of games for the Portland Pirates of the AHL, who were the Anaheim Ducks’ affiliate at the time, before he left to play in Europe.

Kavanagh joined SaiPa in the SM-liiga later in the 2006-2007 season. Alongside Flyers’ 2003 draft pick Ville Hostikka, Kavanagh posted three goals and five assists in 23 games before leaving for HV71, who is currently in the SHL.

The former Flyer played along Erik Ersberg, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Jan Hrdina with HV71, as he potted a goal and tacked on two helpers in 10 games before helping the team in the 2007 SEL playoffs. Kavanagh had a goal and an assist in 14 games, as HV71 beat Brynas IF in seven games during the first round before losing to MODO in seven games during the second round.

After the 2006-2007 season, Kavanagh spent the next four seasons in the DEL with three different squads, the first of which was the Iserlohn Roosters in 2007-2008. Joining up with Ryan Ready, Kavanagh managed to post 25 goals and 25 assists in 54 games during the regular season, as well as 156 PIMs.

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As for the 2008 DEL playoffs, the Roosters failed to advance past the first round despite the fact they had two of the league’s top four scorers. Kavanagh took part in six of the seven games during the teams’ first-round meeting, as he had two goals and three assists in the postseason.

Kavanagh joined the Frankfurt Lions in the 2008-2009 campaign, as he joined Bryan Muir, John Slaney, and Jamie Wright. The Lions reached the playoff qualification round, but they were eliminated in a five-game best-of-five series against the Hamburg Freezers in the playoff qualifying round. Kavanagh had three goals and two assists in the round.

The former Flyer switched DEL teams for a third straight year and joined ERC Ingolstadt for the 2009-2010 season. Kavanagh became teammates with Bruno St. Jacques and Ben Clymer when he was a member of the squad, as he had 49 points in 55 games for the team.

In the 2010 DEL postseason, Kavanagh helped ERC Ingolstadt by putting home a goal and producing two assists in 10 games. The team, however, couldn’t win it all, as the Hannover Scorpions came away with the title.

Kavanagh returned to the Iserlohn Roosters in 2010-2011, as he had 15 goals and 27 assists in 52 games, as the club failed to make the postseason.

After his time in the DEL, Kavanagh moved on to the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga in Austria, where he joined the Vienna Capitals. He had four goals and six assists in 25 games during the regular season, but didn’t take part in the club’s Quarterfinal loss.

This past season, Kavanagh joined Jean-Sebastien Aubin and Keith Seabrook with Val Pusteria (Brunico) in Serie A in Italy. He deposited 14 goals and provided 23 assists in 41 games.