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sonnyisles 03-26-2007 07:15 PM

Eddie Giacomin
 
Not sure if anyone on these boards is old enough to have seen Eddie Giacomin play but I watched a biography special about him on MSG Network that was very interesting. I had the pleasure of meeting him early in his career (not sure what year but my son was an infant so it must have been in the late 60's). I grew up a Redwings fan in the late 40's and 50's but after meeting Giacomin I found myself rooting for the Rangers against the Bruins in the finals in 1972 (I think that was the year). I was at the game against the Wings after he was traded and it was unlike any sporting event I've ever been to. There really wasn't a dry eye in the building. It might as well have been a Red Wings home game as the entire crowd was behind Eddie the whole game. Anyway, if you remember him playing you should really try to watch this show. And even if you're too young it might be something that you would find interesting.

ATLANTARANGER* 03-26-2007 07:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sonnyisles (Post 8656300)
Not sure if anyone on these boards is old enough to have seen Eddie Giacomin play but I watched a biography special about him on MSG Network that was very interesting. I had the pleasure of meeting him early in his career (not sure what year but my son was an infant so it must have been in the late 60's). I grew up a Redwings fan in the late 40's and 50's but after meeting Giacomin I found myself rooting for the Rangers against the Bruins in the finals in 1972 (I think that was the year). I was at the game against the Wings after he was traded and it was unlike any sporting event I've ever been to. There really wasn't a dry eye in the building. It might as well have been a Red Wings home game as the entire crowd was behind Eddie the whole game. Anyway, if you remember him playing you should really try to watch this show. And even if you're too young it might be something that you would find interesting.

The best part was us fans booing when the NYRs scored against him. I think the scored ended up 9-5. It was a very unique moment and I was happy to be a part as an attendee. If I look around I'm sure I could find my season ticket stub from that game. Anyone who was there knew immediately it was a ticket stub you would save.
The tale is even better when you consider that NYR fans throw all sorts of garbage at Giacomin during a game for letting in some really poor goals. He had to hide inside the goal to avoided getting pelted. He was awful. But, and A-hole, I mean A-rod should take note and learn a lesson, Giacomin broke his hump and worked to gain the fans respect and undying loyality. He didn't hold a news conference and do a self serving article in a rag. He shut up and played and produced. He was an excellent goalie.

alkurtz 03-26-2007 07:44 PM

Though I had been watching Ranger hockey on and off (but with increasing frequency) since about 1960, I measure my fanatic, hardcore days from Eddie's first game in the old Garden on opening night in 65. A game he played badly and lost.
I distinctly remember early the next year that the goaltending situation was unsettled with neither Giacomin or Cesare Maniago staking a claim. I recall a Saturday night game (I think in Toronto, it may have been in Montreal)early in the season where Maniago got hurt and came out of the game. Emile Francis didn't think that Cesare was hurt all that badly and wanted him to remain in. But he insisted on coming out and Eddie went in. The next night, at the Garden (I was there), Eddie posted his first career shutout, a 1-0 win vs. Toronto, when Red Berenson cleanly won a faceoff (in the 3rd period) and got it back to the point where, I believe, Wayne Hillman took a slapper and scored. At least I think thats the way it went. Memory can do strange things after over 40 years. From that point on, Eddie was #1 and the Rangers went on to make the playoffs for the first time in years.
Eddie was great, the heart and soul of the team. An acrobatic, flashy goalie, who was one of the first to skate away from the net and into the corner to get the puck. I think he was also the first goalie to try to score a goal (he never succeeded). He was also an intense goalie with fast reflexes, a standup goalie in the old style before the butterfly.
I had a season ticket in the blueseats from 68 to 76 and was at the last game in the old Garden and the first one in the present arena so was there for most of his heroics. Along with Rod Gilbert, he was my favorite Ranger. I also was there the night of his return after his trade to the Wings. I've never seen anything like that night.
The only negative I can say about him was, as great as he was, he never had that really great playoff. The Rangers always disappointed at playoff time, and along with the rest of the team, I never felt he played at his best. He had his moments, but I rarely remember him winning a game or a series.
One of the greatest games I ever saw was the 4th and final game in 67, the first year the Rangers made the playoffs in the Francis era. They were down 3 games to 0 to Montreal. It was at the old Garden and they lost 2-1 in overtime on a John Ferguson goal. Eddie and Montreal's young goal, Rogie Vachon, were both great and the game was a wide open, up and down the ice game. I remember Red Berenson coming over the blue line and taking a slapshot that cleanly beat Vachon but clanged off the post and out to center ice. Shortly after, Ferguson scored.
Eddie was great, thats why his jersey is retired and in the rafters. Because he won the Cup, I've always felt Richter to be the best Ranger goalie ever. Lundqvist might end up being the best of all.

bobbop 03-26-2007 09:35 PM

Before Eddie became a Ranger, he put in an uneventful season with my beloved Long Island Ducks (see my avitar). The Ducks didn't make the playoffs that year even though he put on an extrodinary goaltening exhibition. I saw him play in the Long Island Arena long before I had any idea what his career would hold. He was a wonderfully athletic goaltender who handled the puck better than any goaltender of his generation. He was owned by a minor league team -- the Rhode Island Reds -- when the Rangers traded 4 players and cash for his rights. Eddie gave this franchise respect and dignity after years and years of hopelesness. Not only is it great to remember one of the Rangers' finest, but the other posts on this thread are great to read.

I Am Chariot 03-26-2007 10:01 PM

Eddie was a neighbor and family friend. I was a little kid when he got traded. Untill that day I didnt know what traded meant. It broke my little kid heart.


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