MLD #9 Drafting Thread
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08-22-2008, 04:22 PM
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The odds against Wally Hergesheimer's success in hockey were as firmly stacked in place as sandbags against a flood. At the start of his pro career with the Minneapolis Millers in 1947, he stood 5' 8" and weighed only 145 pounds. He was also humourously known as "Fingers" because he'd lost his index and middle fingers up to the knuckles of his right hand in a punch-press accident.
"When I made it to the NHL," he recounted, "it was something I never really expected. It was little Wally this and little Wally that?but I just kept going and?everything seemed to fall into place."
By 1951, Hergesheimer was voted the AHL's most outstanding rookie on the strength of his 96 points in 82 games with the Cleveland Barons. The New Rangers brought him on board the following season. He quickly established a reputation for angling his way into the goal crease to cash rebounds into goals. His success earned him the nickname "Garbage Collector."
D. Mike "no I won't be GMing this team" O'Connell.
The talented blueliner opted to play junior hockey in Canada rather than attend a U.S. college. He became a playmaking standout for two years with the OHA's Kingston Canadians. After scoring 73 points in 50 games for Kingston in 1974-75, he was taken 43rd overall by the Chicago Black Hawks at the Amateur Draft. That year he was also voted on to the OHA first all-star team. He spent his first three pro seasons with the Dallas Black Hawks of the CHL and registered 135 assists during that period. After scoring 68 points in 63 games in 1976-77, he was named the top defenceman in the CHL and placed on the league's first all-star team.
O'Connell became a fan favourite in the Windy city by scoring 26 points in 48 games as a rookie in 1978-79. He played a solid role on the Hawk's blueline for another year-and-a-half until he was sacrificed to the Boston Bruins for power-forward Al Secord. O'Connell adjusted well to his new surroundings and was a member of Team USA at the 1981 Canada Cup.
The crafty playmaker was a constant in the Bruins' lineup for the equivalent of over five seasons and was often teamed with steady Mike Milbury. In 1982-83 he recorded a plus/minus mark of +44 and helped Boston reach the semi-finals. The next year he set career highs with 18 goals and 60 points and was a participant in the NHL All-Star Game.
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