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03-30-2011, 04:52 PM
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The Philadelphia Firebirds are happy to select their backup goaltender, G Charlie Hodge

6x Stanley Cup Champion
3x NHL All Star Game Participant(one merit based)
2x Vezina Trophy Winner(shared with Gump Worsley)
2x NHL 2nd Team All Star
4x Top 5 Wins (2, 2, 5, 5)
5x Top 5 GAA (1, 2, 3, 3, 5)
4x Top 4 Shutouts (1, 2, 3, 4)
2x Top 3 Wins in Playoffs (3, 3)
2x Top 2 GAA in Playoffs (2, 2)
2x Top 2 Shutouts in Playoffs (2, 2)
2x Top 5 Hart Trophy Voting (4, 5)

Hodge would turn professional in 1953, and would dominate the minor leagues. Unfortunately for Hodge and other goalies like him, most famously Johnny Bower, the NHL standard practice in those days was still to carry one goalie, and there was only 6 NHL teams. Big league jobs were hard to come by, especially when Jacques Plante was the incumbent in Montreal. For the next 10 years Hodge was rarely given a shot at the NHL. The worst part was his father John did not live long enough to see Charlie persevere into a NHL goaltender.

His pro debut was storybook to say the least. He led the IHL with 10 shutouts and a 2.34 goals against average for the Cincinnati Mohawks and led them to the IHL championship. He also played for Buffalo of the AHL (3 games) that year.

When Montreal Canadiens goalie Jacques Plante was injured in 1954-55, Hodge was called up and did well in the 14 games as his replacement, and was even tried in the playoffs.

He was sent to the minors again for two seasons before Plante was again out of action in 1957-58, and Hodge was again sharp in 12 games for the Habs. Hodge would accompany team but not play in the playoffs, but still got his name on the Stanley Cup. It was the first of 4 engravings for Hodge.

When Plante was stricken with a case of boils late in 1958-59, Claude Pronovost and Claude Cyr were not the answer and Hodge was called up from the Montreal Royals to do the goaltending.

In 1959-60 Hodge played in exactly 1 game with the Canadiens all year, but that was enough to get his name on the Stanley Cup a second time. Rules for minimum number of games played were not in existence back then.

In 1960-61 Plante was injured again and Hodge took over in goal. He played so well that some writers suggested that Plante may have trouble displacing him. The Habs finished first that year and Hodge made a substantial contribution. In 30 games he was 18-8-4 with 4 shutouts and 2.47 GAA in his first real stint in the NHL.

Despite his successes, he then played two years for the Quebec Aces of the QHL. Hodge finally got his break in 1963-64 when Gump Worsley, who had been obtained for Plante, badly pulled a hamstring muscle. Hodge was called upon to take over the net. There was no getting Hodge out once he got in, as he had a great year, finishing 33-18-11 with a 2.26 goals against average and led the NHL with 8 shutouts and won the Vezina Trophy. This was unquestionably Hodge's moment of glory as he would never quite recapture this moment when he was exceptional.

He made the second all-star team the next year, but lost his starting job to Worsley who shined in the Stanley Cup playoffs as Montreal won their first Stanley Cup since 1960. In 1965-66, Hodge was again the backup for an even sharper Worsley as they shared the Vezina Trophy. Worsley was in the running for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP as the Canadiens won their second straight Stanley Cup.

Hodge played most of the 1966-67 season when Worsley was hurt but a young phenom named Rogie Vachon and Worsley handled the playoffs.

In 1967-68, the NHL expanded to include six new teams and the California Seals drafted the experienced and well travelled Hodge. Hodge played admirably, keeping the Seals from being a total disaster. He posted a very respectable 13-29-13 record with 3 shutouts and 2.86 GAA

Hodge's lone season in southern Ohio proved spectacular, with a league-high 10 shutouts and a 2.34 goals-against average. His goaltending was an integral part of the team's regular-season and Turner Cup championship performance.

While waiting patiently for a chance to play in the NHL on a full time basis, Hodge's minor pro tour took him through the Quebec senior league, the Western Hockey League, the American Hockey League and the Eastern Professional Hockey League. He proved to be a workhorse and a success wherever he strapped on his pads. Four times he was placed on either the First or Second All-Star Teams of the league in which he played. Hodge thought he caught his first major break with a 19 win and four-shutout performance in 30 appearances for the Habs in 1960-61, but it wasn't to be.

Early in 1963-64, he was starting his third consecutive season with the AHL's Quebec Aces when the tide finally turned in his favor. Hodge was called in to replace injured Gump Worsley as the Canadiens' first-string netminder. He stepped in admirably by registering 33 wins and an NHL best eight shutouts. His stellar work was recognized at the conclusion of the season when he was named the winner of the Vezina Trophy and selected to the NHL Second All-Star Team.

Despite being a part-time veteran of the NHL, many wondered if Hodge's success in 1963-64 was a fluke. These reservations proved inaccurate as the plucky netminder put up a 26-16-10 mark in 1964-65. His fine work contributed to the Habs' first Stanley Cup win since 1959-60.

Hodge and Worsley worked superbly together in 1965-66. The shining duo led Montreal to a repeat Stanley Cup performance and shared the Vezina Trophy after recording the stingiest goals-against mark in the NHL. But the very next year things began to unravel for Hodge. He appeared in 37 regular-season games but was the odd man out after young phenomenon xxx was called up late in the schedule and played superbly.

Left unprotected by Montreal, Hodge was claimed by the Oakland Seals in the 1967 Expansion Draft. In a matter of months, the veteran backstopper went from an elite defensive club to an inexperienced outfit that guaranteed his exposure to an enormous number of shots. Hodge fought on bravely in 1967-68 with three shutouts and 13 wins in 58 games while sharing the goaltending chores with youngster xxx.

One of the most dedicated, hardworking, quiet people. Nobody wanted to win more than Charlie Hodge.-xxx

The 5'6", 160 lb. native of Lachine, Quebec, had a successful career with the Montreal Canadiens prior to joining the Seals. He won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie twice, in 1963-64 and then in 1965-66 when he shared the title with Gump Worsley. He was also an integral part of the Canadiens 1965 Stanley Cup winning team.

Despite his success, Hodge was always fighting for a job in the 6 team NHL.

Like Olmstead, Charlie Hodge was a competitor. "I enjoyed Bert," Hodge said. "We played together in Montreal and I knew how badly he wanted to win."

Of the 15 games the Seals won that year, Hodge was the winning goalie in 13 of them, an astounding 86.7% of the of the team's victories. At the end of the season, Hodge was voted the Seals' most valuable player.

Teammates remembered Hodge as a good teammate with a kind heart. Hodge even helped the people he was competing with for a job.

"He was a first class guy, a competitor, and very smart and talented."

"He was honest, sincere, and smart. Pound for pound, he was a great goalie. He was an intelligent goalie, too."
Hodge will forever hold the Seals' record for lowest goals against average in a season. He proved to be a little goalie with a big heart.

At one point in his National Hockey League career, Charlie Hodge was so popular a Montreal Canadiens goalie that enthused citizens named a street after him in the Canadian metropolis.

Charlie Hodge spent 14 seasons in the Montreal Canadiens system, seeing only occasional action at the NHL level as an injury replacement for Jacques Plante during much of that time. Hodge played so well in 30 games for the Canadiens in 1960-61 that some speculated Plante would have a difficult time regaining his job when he had recovered from a knee injury. But though Hodge had made a significant contribution to Montreal's first-place finish that season, he still found himself in the minors for the next two seasons.

To close out the first round, the Oakland Seals picked Charlie Hodge, who had great success with the Montreal Canadiens in the 'sixties.

But Charles Hodge, whose goaltending provided the key to the title...

Hodge continues to Stymie Leafs

Goaltending king Charlie Hodge continued his domination over the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday Night after the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in a penalty filled first game of their Stanley Cup semi-final.

Coach Dick Irvin worked his two goalie system again and Jacques Plante and little Charlie Hodge turned in workman-like performances, both spectacular at times. A one handed stab by Hodge of a shot by Fern Flaman in the second period was termed by Irvin the turning point of the game.

He injured a leg earlier in the season and has never been able to get his job back because of the great work done by Charlie Hodge, brought up from the Royals.

Plante worked in 21 games and gave up 69 goals. In 20 games, Hodge has given up 44 goals.

With Plante in the nets, the Canadiens won 10, lost 7, and tied four. With Hodge they have won 15, lost 4, and tied one.

Displaying a tremendous attack and backed by brilliant goaltending from Charlie Hodge...

The Oakland Seals, scoring in every period and sparked by the outstanding goaltending of veteran Charlie Hodge, beat the Los Angeles Kings, 3 to 0.

Brilliant goaltending by Charlie Hodge held Victoria at bay as Seattle downed the Cougars. Hodge made an unbelievable 24 saves in the second period and ended up with an evening's total of 39.

Plante was in a slump at the time, and Hodge played brilliantly to put the team back in the NHL race.

"It would have taken a superhuman effort to do better than Hodge has in the past few games," Selke said.

Charlie Hodge's brilliant goaltending helped Quebec gain a decision over Baltimore Tuesday night and take undisputed possession of first place in the Eastern Division of the American Hockey League.

Goals by Bobby Rousseau and Gilles Tremblay backed up Charlie Hodge's flawless goaltending...

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