Solhiem was drafted in 1980 by the Chicago Black Hawks in the second round, 30th overall. The 1980-81 season was a busy one for Ken. He spent the majority of the season in the WHL with the Medicine Hat Tigers. Ken led the WHL with 68 goals and was selected as a 1st team All-Star. He made his NHL debut a memorable one as he scored against Pete Peeters of the Philadelphia Flyers, on December 10th. Ken played five games before being returned to the WHL. The Hawks would trade Solheim to the Minnesota North Stars before the turn of the calendar. Solheim would notch points in his first three games with the North Stars before being sent down after playing 5 games with the club. After the Medicine Hat Tigers were eliminated from the WHL play-offs, Ken would make two appearances for the North Stars during their Stanley Cup run. He scored in his first playoff game on Don Edwards of the Buffalo Sabres, and also played in Game One of the Stanley Cup finals against the eventual champions, the New York Islanders.
Ken was unable to build on his rookie season. He scored 9 points in 29 games with the North Stars, and spent the majority of the 1981-82 season in the minors. In the 1982-83 season, Ken scored 6 points in his first nine games, and then proceeded pointless for the rest of the NHL season. His lack of scoring earned Ken a demotion to the minors and a trade to the Detroit Red Wings for future considerations. Ken failed to net a point in his last 16 games as a North Star and in his 10 games as a Red Wing to close out the season.
Solheim was cut from the Red Wings roster during training camp and spent the 1983-84 season with the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL. Ken failed to impress the Red Wings during the 1984 training camp, and he was traded back to the Minnesota North Stars for future considerations. In both deals between the North Stars and Red Wings, the future consideration were never fulfilled. He was affectively traded as the future considerations from the original deal. Solheim for Solheim.
Solheim was able to make the North Stars roster for the 1984-85 season and set career highs across the board, including games played, 55, goals, 8, and points 18, but again had trouble sticking in the NHL and finished the season in the AHL.
A free agent in the 1985 offseason, Solheim was signed by the Edmonton Oilers. Solheim only played six games for the Oilers, but was part of NHL history. Solheim scored the second goal of the game versus the Quebec Nordiques on February 14, 1986. The goal was assisted by Wayne Gretzky. The Oilers scored 8 goals that night, Gretzky assisted on seven of them, tying a NHL record. The only goal Gretzky did not assist on was, a shorthanded goal by Mark Napier, while Gretzky was in the penalty box.
Solheim would retire by the 1986-87 season. He finished his career with 39 points in 135 games. Solheim received a card in the 1983-84 OPC set. A rather confusing card. OPC hideously airbrushed Solheim into a Red Wings jersey, but added a "Now with Minnesota" and showed Solheim as a North Star. Solheim was still technically a Red Wing during the 1983-84 season.
So I gave Ken Solheim a OPC proper card. The best picture I could find was of Solheim obstructing Rod Langway of the Washington Capitals from a preseason game. So the 1985-86 OPC set becomes the logical choice, although it is not a rookie card.
|1985-86 OPC #272 Ken Solheim|
|1985-86 OPC #272 Ken Solheim|