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01-05-2012, 10:30 PM
MLD Glue Guy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Country: Canada
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Thommy Abrahamsson

1973 Elitserien Guldpucken
95 Pts in 203 WHA GPs

Whalers Legends
Thommy was one of Sweden's greatest players of the 1970s. North American fans had a chance to witness that for themselves when he and twin brother Christer signed with the WHA's New England Whalers for the 1975-75 season.

Christer was plagued by injuries and never really amounted to much in the WHA and never made it to the NHL. Thommy's subtle brilliance was on display for New England area fans, starring on defense for three seasons in the WHA (scoring 28 goals and 95 points in 203 WHA games) before returning home to Leksands for three more years. He returned to the Whalers in 1980-81, who of course by now had joined the NHL. Injuries limited him to 32 NHL games where he scored 6 goals and 17 points.

I mentioned that Thommy was a star player in Sweden before coming to North America. He represented Sweden at five world championships as well as the 1972 Olympics. He was the Swedish Player of the Year in 1973. A small furor erupted when the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation purposely left Thommy off of the 1976 Canada Cup squad. Other players threatened to boycott the team unless he was included, but he diffused the situation by encouraging his teammates to go without him.
Leo Bourgeault

1928 Stanley Cup Champion
44 pts in 307 gps

Legends of Hockey:
Defenceman Leo Bourgeault was a solid positional player who contributed offensively on occasion. Although he was only 5'6", he was not bullied by larger opponents. The reliable backliner was traded to the New York Rangers for cash in January 1927 and remained there for nearly five years. During his first full year on Manhattan, 1927-28, he scored seven goals and helped the club win its first Stanley Cup. Bourgeault continued to work in New York until he was sent to the Ottawa Senators for cash in December 1930.

Bourgeault's tenure in Ottawa was difficult as he was not utilized consistently and even spent the 1932-33 season with the Can-Am League's Bronx Tigers. In February 1933 he was part of the package sent to the Montreal Canadiens for Marty Burke.
Magnus Johansson

11 G, 18 A, 29 Pts in 71 WC Games
2010 Elitserien Guldpucken

Elite Prospects
One of Europe's best defensemen. A very good passer with a good shot. Almost never misses the net and has an excellent eye for the game.
Timo Jutila

1992, 1994, 1995 World Championship All-Star
Captain of Finland National Team 1993-1999
1995 World Championship Gold Medal
Member of the IIHF Hall of Fame

Sabres Legends:
A tiny defensemen at just 5'7" 175lbs, Timo Jutila made up for his lack of size with great mobility and good puck movement and hockey sense. Jutila was never overly enthused by the rugged North American style of play. Despite this the Buffalo Sabres liked his high skill level and drafted him 68th overall in the 1982 Entry Draft.

A proud Finn, Jutila was already something of a legend in Finland by the time he was drafted by the Sabres. Jutila was a standout junior player. He earned Silver and Bronze medals in the 1981 and 1982 World Junior Championships, respectively. He was so good that he was the youngest player ever in the Finnish Elite League, debuting at age 16 with his hometown Tappara Tampere, and helped the team capture the league championship in 1982.

In total he played 561 games with Tampere, racking up an amazing 435 points. Surprisingly he was an all star only 5 times and only once was named as the top defenseman in Finland. Jutila also spent several years playing in Sweden and Switzerland.

Jutila still embraced the Finnish national team level. He participated in two more Olympic Games, including a bronze medal performance in 1994. He participated in eight IIHF World Championship tournaments, capturing two silver medals, and was instrumental in Finland's first IIHF World Championship gold medal in 1995. Jutila also participated in the 1987 and 1991 Canada Cups.

In total Jutila participated in 246 national team games, many of which he served as team captain, scoring 128 points. One of the greatest Finnish players of all time, his great devotion to the Finnish National Team got him elected to the IIHF Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.
Bill MacKenzie

1938 Stanley Cup Champion
1941, 1942 AHL 1st Team All-Star
15 g, 14 a, 19 pts in 264 NHL gp

Legends of Hockey:
Defenceman Bill MacKenzie played nearly 300 games for three different teams in the 1930s and '40s. Although he had a decent shot from the point, his main role was to play the man in his own zone and move the puck up to his forwards.

The Winnipeg native played junior with the local Elmwoods before spending a year with the senior Montreal AAA. In 1932-33, he looked solid as a rookie with the Chicago Black Hawks. After signing as a free agent with the Montreal Maroons, he spent a little over a year stabilizing their blueline. Mackenzie also toiled for the Canadiens and the New York Rangers before returning to Chicago in a deal for Marty Burke in December 1937.

The veteran rearguard tried to sort the Hawks' struggling blueline then was as shocked as everyone else in hockey when they left their poor regular season behind and won the Stanley Cup. After playing 19 games for the Hawks in 1939-40, Mackenzie spent the rest of his playing days in the AHL.
Mikhail Tatarinov

1990 World Championship Best Defenseman
1990 World Championship All-Star

Quebec Nordiques Legends
Mikhail Tatarinov was just hitting his prime in Russia when he came over to the National Hockey League in 1991. Tatarinov had just come off of a 11 goal, 21 point campaign in 44 games in Soviet League play, a season in which he was named as a USSR First Team All Star.

Also in 1990 Tatarinov represented his country at the World and European Championships. He scored 3 goals and 11 points in 10 games en route to being named the best defenseman at the Championships. He was also named to the tournament all star team.

International success was not foreign for Mikhail. He was a World Junior Championship all star in both 1985 and 1986, as well as being named the WJC's best d-man in 1986. In all he competed in 3 World Juniors and one World Championship. He also competed in Rendez Vous '87 and the 1991 Canada Cup.

Despite his solid play in International competition, Tatarinov was not well liked by the Soviet hockey authorities, especially Red Army head coach Viktor Tikhonov. Mikhail was a wild personality who marched to his own drummer. The Soviet hockey system punishes players who were deemed to be too individualistic and not fully team oriented.

Mikhail, who counted Philadelphia Flyers goon Dave "The Hammer" Schultz as his idol, also had a reputation as a bit of a dirty player in Europe.

"He is fearless. There are players eight and 10 years older who are afraid of him in the Elite League. They try to avoide him on the ice," wrote Soviet journalist Igor Kuprin.

In the end Tatarinov's back forced him to retire prematurely.

Tatarinov possessed a cannon-like shot with good offensive instincts. He had some trouble adjusting to the NHL game after years in Russia. It took him a while to adjust to the smaller ice surface which forced him to rush his on ice decisions. He was also a willing participant in physical battles, although wasn't big enough to dominate most NHL players. Despite his offensive upside and his feistiness, Tatarinov was an adventure in his own end. Often he was a spectator more than a participant when the puck was in his zone.

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