4 time 20 goal scorer.
Top 10 in plus minus 89-90.
1986 Stanley Cup Champion with Montreal. McPhee played in 20 games, registering 7 points and a solid +6.
He played 134 NHL playoff games in all, scoring 55 points.
Quotations and Perspective:
His stellar two-way work was a factor when Montreal won the Stanley Cup in 1986 and reached the finals in 1989. McPhee's work ethic and willingness to play the body and stay with his check made him a favourite of coaches Jean Perron and Pat Burns. His tenacious work earned him the respect of his peers and he was a three-time winner of the Jacques Beauchamp trophy as the team's unsung hero.
- Legends of Hockey
McPhee was a solid player all around. The two way workhorse complimented his extraordinary strength with exceptional balance on his skates. For over 700 games, mostly spent in Montreal, he was a dominating force in the corners and along the boards. He was a punishing and relentless hitter who understood his job.
The quintessential third liner, McPhee was a powerful though not particularly agile skater. Though he scored 20 or more goals on 4 occassions, McPhee lacked the puck handling skills to ever become a great player. His tenacity along the walls combined with a great ability to read a developing play often resulted in McPhee breaking up the play and gaining control of the puck. But his hard hands prevented him from doing a lot with the newly found puck, other than bang away at loose pucks close to the net.
- Greatest Hockey Legends
Prior to the 1992-93 season, the veteran forward was traded to the Minnesota North Stars. McPhee saw plenty of ice time under coach Bob Gainey who appreciated his steadfast commitment to defensive hockey.
With their seventeenth round pick (655) in the 2011 ATD, the Guelph Platers have selected: Jamie Macoun
He was a hard-nosed stay-at-home defenceman who knew every trick in the book and could pass the puck ahead to his forwards fairly well.
- Legends of Hockey
1989 & 1998 Stanley Cup Champion (Flames and Red Wings)
1986 Stanley Cup Finalist
1983-84 NHL All Rookie Team
Born: August 17, 1961.
Weight: 200 lbs
3 times in the Top 10 for +/-
Was a Stanley Cup Finalist with the Flames twice: 1986 & 1989, winning the Flames first and only Stanley Cup in 1989.
Went to the final four with Toronto in 93 & 94.
Played all 22 games as the Red Wings captured their second straight cup in 1998.
Quotations and Perspective:
The steady rearguard became a fixture on the Flames as they excelled in the regular season but constantly ran into the unstoppable Edmonton Oilers in the playoffs. In 1986, they finally vanquished their rivals and reached the finals where they lost to the Montreal Canadiens. In May, 1987, Macoun was involved in an automobile accident that resulted in severe nerve damage to his arm. He was forced to sit out the entire 1987-88 season but returned the next year to help the Flames win their first Stanley Cup.
- Legends of Hockey
LaFontaine, the center obtained in a trade last month with the Islanders, was expected yesterday to leave the Calgary hospital where he was taken after being struck by the stick of the Flames' JAMIE MACOUN . LaFontaine lost bone and teeth and bled profusely from a severed facial artery. He had a plate inserted in his mouth and his jaw was wired shut in emergency surgery.
- NYT Nov 19, 1991.
Macoun still remembers Messier's sneaky punch, which the Moose says was delivered in retaliation for Macoun spilling him into the end boards, on a race for the puck on an icing call.
"He jumped me from behind in the heat of the moment, I guess. He came from the bench and I had my back turned. Fractured my cheekbone. He says I hurt him ... I don't remember doing that. But the whole mentality of Mark Messier was the whole mentality of the Edmonton Oilers. They would do whatever it took to win the game, whether that meant, breaking the rules or whatever. Just get it done." He doesn't want it sounding like sour grapes. The Flames battled just as hard, and weren't choirboys, either. After all, they had Paul Baxter and Neal Sheehy, along with Hunter and Jim Peplinski. They were a rough team, too.
During a career that spanned more than four decades, Rudy Pilous was a success everywhere he worked. His interests were many and included coaching, playing, managing, team ownership, and promotion.
… He then moved to Houston, Texas and turned around the fortunes of its United States Hockey League (USHL) team, winning the championship in 1947-48. Pilous was gaining a reputation as a trouble-shooter who was adept at transforming teams' fortunes for the better. His next accomplishment was taking the Pacific Coast League's San Diego Skyhawks from last place to the league crown in 1949.
Rudy Pilous !!!
Awards and Achievements:
Hockey Hall of Fame (1985)
Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
Stanley Cup Champion (1961)
3 x Avco Cup Winner (1976, 1978, 1979)
USHL Championship (1948)
PCHL Championship (1949)
2 x Memorial Cup Winner (1954, 1960)
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.
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.
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.
The Philadelphia Firebirds are happy to complete their starting lineup with a 4th line center that is extremely underrated. He was known as a very good two-way forward, who was 3x top 10 in points, and once led the league in goals, C Bill Thoms. He was once a 2nd team all star as well. I don't really understand why he isn't picked higher. He could be a good piece to a 3rd line that is leaning towards an offensive slant while still being good defensively.
1x NHL 2nd Team All Star
4x Top 21 Goals in NHL (1, 19*, 20, 21*
6x Top 22 Assists in NHL (4*, 5, 9, 14*, 16*, 22)
5x Top 22 Points in NHL (4, 6*, 7, 19*, 22*)
2x Top 4 Goals in NHL Playoffs (2, 4)
2x Top 7 Assists in NHL Playoffs (1, 7)
1x Top 2 Points in NHL Playoffs (2)
3rd Hart Trophy Voting 1941-1942
3rd Lady Byng Voting 1941-1942
*-Marks scoring finish in a war year
During peak, 1935-36 to 1942-43 among centers:
3rd in goals(behind Cowley and Apps)
4th in assists(behind Cowley, Watson, and Apps)
4th in points(behind Cowley, Apps, and Watson)
Centre Bill Thoms played over 500 NHL games for three different clubs in the 1930s and '40s. He was a fine goal scorer who was equally proficient at creating chances for his linemates.
Born in Newmarket, Ontario, Thoms played junior with the West Toronto Nationals in 1929-30 followed by two years of senior with the Marlboros. He gained pro seasoning with the Syracuse Stars of the IAHL before playing most of the 1932-33 season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Thoms remained with the Leafs through most of the '30s. In February 1934, he participated in the Ace Bailey Benefit Game after the young star's career was ended in the notorious clash with Eddie Shore. In 1935-36, Thoms topped the NHL with 33 goals while playing on a line with Frank Finnigan and xxx. That spring he led all playoff scorers with five assists while helping the club reach the finals. His fine year was recognized when he was voted on to the NHL second all-star team.
In December 1938, Thoms was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks for Doc Romnes. He proved to be an excellent playmaker on his new club, especially in the 1940s. He was sent to the Boston Bruins in January 1945 and played 17 regular season games and one post-season match before retiring.
Bill Thoms was a quiet, underrated player whose outstanding contributions never got the credit he deserved. In parts of seven seasons in Toronto he played in the shadow of the great Joe Primeau. Then was traded to Chicago where the weak Black Hawks struggled for wins and respect.
Thoms was a great amateur with the Toronto Marlboros of the Senior OHA before turning pro with the Syracuse Stars of the IAHL.
Thoms joined the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1932-33 and the team finished first three straight years. He was the center for Hec Kilrea and Frank Finnigan, filling in on the 'Kid Line' occasionally when Joe Primeau was hurt.
Though he was noted more as a playmaker than goal scorer, Thoms and Charlie Conacher led the NHL in goals in 1935-36 with 23. That year Thoms centered a line with xxx and Finnigan, and made the second all-star team. Although he didn't have the polish of Joe Primeau, he was nevertheless an excellent two-way center and got his share of points.
He had one of his best years in 1937-38 playing with Boll and Pep Kelly, once again helping the Leafs to another first place finish. The Leafs would falter in the playoffs yet again. In the 1930s the Leafs went to the Stanley Cup finals 8 times, losing 7 of them!
Conn Smythe saw fit to make changes and traded Thoms to Chicago for Doc Romnes in 1938-39. He played five good years for the Black Hawks where he quietly continued to be one of the NHL's best two-way centers. He was said to be very adept with the poke-check and was a very good stickhandler.
Some people claim that the style of hockey played today makes stick checking of the old type, once used so sucessfully by the such "greats" as Frank Nighbor, Bill Thoms, Joe Primeau, and Frank Boucher, an ineffective skill.
Who is the best Finnish hockey player of all time? North American fans will quickly suggest Jari Kurri or Teemu Selanne. However a case could be made for blue line legend Pekka Rautakallio.
Nicknamed Rocky during his North American tour of duty, Rautakallio is the Bobby Orr of Finnish hockey. He put up some very impressive stats in the National Hockey League as well as in his native Finland. He wasn't a puck rushing defenseman like Orr, as his skating ability wasn't overly tremendous, though it was certainly not bad. Instead he relied on his great understanding of the game to position himself perfectly be it in the offensive or defensive zone. He was a great passer, quarterbacking the point on the power play and making long breakout passes from his own zone. He also possessed a wicked snapshot from the point. It was hard and accurate, and he got it away in an uncanny hurry. Defensively he was solid, due largely to his positioning. Though normally mild-mannered he could be tough if necessary, though he usually left the overly physical duties to his defense partner. A good comparison for Rautakallio would be Larry Murphy.
Started playing in the top Finnish league in 1969 (age 15)
Won the Finnish league title in 1971 (17)
Played for Finland in the World Championships starting in 1972 (18)
Scored 23 goals in 34 games in the 1972-73 season (19)
Named to the end of year all-star team in the 1974-75 season (21)
Joined the WHA in 1975, finished 5th in points among defencemen (22)
The Phoenix WHA franchise disbanded in 1977, and he returned to Finland.
Scored a point per game in his first season back in Finland, was named the best defenceman, and led his team to the championship. (24)
Set league records for a defenceman with 25 goals and 53 points in his second season back, and was again named the best defenceman. (25)
Joined the NHL, scored 30 points for the Flames in his first year, without much power play time. (26)
Scored 56 points in his second NHL season, finishing 10th among defencemen in even strength points (27)
In his third and final NHL season, he scored 68 points, made the All-star team, finished 5th among defencemen in points and 3rd among defencemen in even strength points. (28)
Returned to Finland for family reasons.
Made the end of season all-star team and led his team to the Finnish championship. Last year playing for Finland in World Championships. (29)
Continues to score around a point per game (30,31)
Kjell was a steady, dependable defenseman. He was a gigantic player, towering above his opponents with a once- unfathomable size of 6'6" and 235lbs. For much of his career he was the biggest player in the National Hockey League. Though not a graceful skater, Kjell made up for his lack of foot speed with his long stride, but lacked agility. He also had very limited puck skills. He wasn't overly physical but he didn't need to be either. His natural strength and reach enabled him to excel as a defensive stalwart.
Kjell was best known as a Flyer where he played in parts of 9 seasons in two separate stints. His first stint came from 1987-1991 when Kjell was in his prime. He enjoyed his best NHL seasons in this time as the Flyers twice went to the Stanley Cup finals. He established career-bests for assists (24) and points (30) while leading the club with a +28 rating. He also represented the Flyers in the All-Star Game. Kjell also represented Sweden at the World Championships and the 1991 Canada Cup.
Kjell was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992 as part of the big traded that saw Rick Tocchet and Mark Recchi switch teams. Kjell played an important part of the Penguins 1992 Stanley Cup championship. Kjell played 3 more seasons in Pittsburgh, who also dressed unrelated countryman Ulf Samuelsson.
The Record (Bergen County, NJ), Apr 20, 1993:
THE MIGHTY PENS -- LEMIEUX'S CREW RANKS WITH THE BEST EVER
They do put points on the board. But defensively, does this team
It has three good defensemen in Larry Murphy, Ulf Samuelsson, and
In a 1994 coaches poll for the St Louis Post-Dispatch, Bob Berry voted for Samuelsson as the NHL's best defensive defenceman. Others who received votes: Ray Bourque (8), Chris Chelios (6), Scott Stevens (4), Ken Daneyko, Sylvain Lefebvre, Jamie Macoun, Teppo Numminen, Bob Rouse, Ulf Samuelsson, Steve Smith.
In the same poll, Samuelsson received a single vote as the best shot blocker. Others who received votes: Guy Carbonneau (12), Craig Ludwig (4), Garth Butcher, Steve Chaisson, Mike Keane, Craig MacTavish, Craig Muni, Joel Otto, Mike Ramsey, Paul Ranheim, Mark Tinordi.
Sporting News, Feb 12, 1996:
In the offseason, Clarke spent wisely in the free-agent market, adding center Joel Otto and defenseman Kjell Samuelsson. Otto has always been outstanding at winning faceoffs and shadowing the opponent's best player -- and he also has chipped in some offense. Samuelsson adds size and strength against the other team's best forwards. Clarke says no one has worked harder than that pair.
Didn't really like him, just amused by him. Samuelsson skated like a three-toed sloth, he had no noticeable gifts and despite his huge size, he was not particularly physical despite the occasional hard check. Yet he played for many years on some excellent teams. He was, in a way, a tremendous agitator. He clutched and grabbed long enough to infuriate his opponents but just briefly enough to avoid excessive penalties... he could be very nasty with his stick and he would never fight... all of those things drove opportunistic adversaries crazy. I can recall going to a Whalers/Pens game in the 94-95 season and during the pregame warm-ups, my older brother (who doesn't know the game all that well) saw Samuelsson skating around and said to me "whoa! look at number 28 on the Penguins! Guy is huge, I hope we get to see him fight" It took me a while to explain Kjell's status as the NHL's resident non-combative Octopus and that we had a better chance of seeing a Jaromir Jagr/Andrew Cassels scrap. Kjell is the type of player NHL stories are made of. It's not necessarily the Gretzkys, Lemieuxs, Howes and Orrs that make the history of the game so rich and often humorous... it is the Kjell Samuelssons, Terry Harpers, fascinatingly unexciting players like this, men who look out of place on the ice yet mysteriously have long careers that appear all over the history of the game. I added him to this list because he was a character, a strange hockey player with strange looks, a guy who makes for a fun story.
A friend of mine collected tropical fish. He bought a small octopus that he kept in a separate tank. One time he reached into the tank to touch the octopus and it wrapped itself around his hand. My friend looked like he was wearing some sort of a slimy glove. He wasn't able to get the octopus off his hand and he ended up having to scrape the creature off with a knife, killing it in the process and throwing about $200 out the window. Playing against Kjell Samuelsson was a lot like the experience my friend had with his octopus. Samuelsson would clutch, grab, hold and hang on for dear life. Escape was impossible once this big gazorp had you and I'm sure his opponents felt like they were covered in slime once Kjell had them in his grasp.
"Most defensive" defencemen of the ATD (modern era)
Metrics used here:
1. % of even strength goals for which the defenceman was awarded a point while on the ice. The lower the number, the more defensive the defenceman. The list is selected and sorted using this.
2. Penalty killing usage and power play usage are also listed. More PK and less PP = more defensive, in general.
Handzus is a huge player - not a big hitter, but he can handle himself when things get rough. His long reach makes him very effective defensively, both at even strength and at killing penalties.
One of the few slow skaters who is a very good penalty killer, Zeus uses his enormous reach and anticipation instead of speed. He's also not awful offensively, regularly scoring 40-55 points in the dead puck era when healthy.
He also has all-time great hockey hair:
-6'4", 217 lbs
407 points in 766 games.
30 points in 66 playoff games. Selke Record: 2nd (2000), 11th (2003), 8th (2004)
3 Times Top 10 in SHGs: 2000, 2001, 2008
-Represented Slovakia at the World Championship (2000, 2002, 2005, 2009), the Winter Olympics (2002, 2010) and the World Cup of Hockey (2004).
-7 points in 9 Olympic games
-17 points in 25 World Championship games
Not a flashy forward, but extremely versatile. Handzus has shown he is capable of winning face-offs, scoring from the top of the circles, and creating traffic in front of the net. #26 is a veteran who can center a wide variety of wingers. Handzus’ smart play has worked well with the various line combinations Terry Murray has drawn up. Bottom Line: An essential part of the Kings offense, Handzus rarely makes costly mistakes. Whether it’s his puck control down low, his body in front of the net, or his shot selection from the top of the circles, his intelligence on the ice meshes well with his line-mates.
Originally Posted by Blackhawks Acquire Handzus (2006)
“In Michal Handzus, we were able to acquire a big, strong center who is an excellent two-way player,” said Tallon. “We felt we needed a big centerman to play against other big centers in the Western Conference. We also feel that Michal is a guy who will be able to get the puck to Martin Havlat. We feel that a line of Martin Havlat, Michal Handzus, and Tuomo Ruttu is a pretty good line. In the off-season we identified the center position as one we needed to strengthen and we feel we have addressed that need.”
Handzus, 29, stands at 6.05 and weighs in at 217 pounds. Last season, he played in 73 games for Philadelphia scoring 11 goals while adding 33 assists for 44 points with 38 minutes in penalties. Handzus logged 18:28 minutes per game for the Flyers and took many face-offs in key situations. In fact, he was the leading face-off man for the Flyers winning 53.2% of his draws to rank 18th in the NHL.
Ley is a nasty defensive defenseman who is a great leader and 'short but built like a fire hydrant.' He is a WHA all-star and brings speed and toughness to the blueline.
Ley was the future of the Toronto blueline after the aging team won the 67 cup. Sadly for Toronto fans, ownership was cheap - Ley along with others bolted for the new WHA.
-Captained the New England Whalers for basically their whole existence, including the 1973 WHA Championship Team
-Competed in the 1974 Summit Series, playing all 7 games
-1977-78 WHA WHA All-Star Team (2nd)
-1978-79 WHA WHA All-Star Team (1st) -1978-79 WHA Dennis A. Murphy Trophy, awarded to the best defenseman in the WHA
-Voted the best defenseman of the Hartford Whalers in 79-80 (his only full NHL season)
-One of only three players to have his jersey retired by the Hartford Whalers.
Originally Posted by chidlovski
Rick (Rickey) Ley along with Brad Selwood, and Jim Dorey, was member of the Toronto Maple Leafs "Kiddie Korp" defense of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Ley, was a strong, pugnacious defenseman who made life miserable for opposing forwards in the Toronto zone. Never much of an offense player, Rickey was rock solid in his own zone.
In 1972 Ley, along with Selwood and Dorey jumped from the Maple Leafs to the New England Whalers of the brand new WHA. In that first ever WHA season of 1972-73 Ley was a key component of the Whalers championship team. Later in 1978-79 he would be voted the WHA's finest defenseman and his number was retired by the Whalers franchise.
He was named to Team Canada 74 by Billy Harris. Before the series Harris spoke to Ley and impressed upon him the need to play a more disciplined brand of hockey and above all avoid any fights. Rickey had the reputation of being a very able, and willing fighter. With the severe penalties for fighting present in International rules, Harris knew Ley would have to control himself. Ley except for one unfortunate lapse of judgment at the end of Game 6 where he attacked Valery Kharlamov and beat him brutally, followed Harris's instructions and played very solid, capable defense throughout most of the Summit.
Originally Posted by VanIslander
The WHA top defenseman of 1979 and three-time all-star didn't put up as many points in his NHL years but always had a good first pass on great stickhandling. Want to see him shine? His speed and scoring on this shorthanded effort (blowing past JC Tremblay) is impressive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FokXEbEUko
He also was tough. He has seven 100+ PIM seasons, infamous for beating up (and injuring) Kharlamov near the end of a losing game in the 1974 Summit Series (that also is on youtube). As a 15 year old he was given a one-game suspension in the Memorial Cup in 1965 for a stick-swinging incident (the other team's guy also swung and got suspended) and he returned as an 18 year old to captain the 1968 Memorial Cup championship team.
Moreover, he brings leadership as a longtime captain of the Whalers (one of only six jerseys to be retired by that WHA/NHL franchise). He twice won the Memorial Cup (the second time as captain), the WHA championship (as captain) and only reason he doesn't have a Stanley Cup is geography: playing in Hartford (as captain).
The 1972 World Championships were the first time Czechoslovakia won Gold since 1949 (before their National Team was decimated by a plane crash and the arrest of most of the remaining players).
Pitner is created with creating the system the Czechoslovakian team used to compete and often beat the "unbeatable" USSR:
Originally Posted by NY Times
Pitner’s greatest achievement was the development of a defensive system that allowed Czechoslovakia to record victories over the rival Soviet Union, which was widely considered unbeatable at the time.
Multiple sources indicate that Pitner's system was the original Left Wing Lock:
Originally Posted by hockeyplayer.com
Although the 'lock' was made famous by the Detroit Red Wings and has been used to great success in their Stanley Cup runs in the past decade, they are not credited with inventing it. It is widely believed that the lock was invented in Czechoslovakia to work against the dominant Soviet teams of the 1970s.
Originally Posted by about.com
It is said that the left wing lock was invented in Czechoslovakia to counter the great Soviet teams of the 1970s.
Apparently, the best Soviets were left-handed shooters, so they usually began their attacks from their left side (the opponent's right side). To shut them down, both Czech defensemen would move to their right, focusing on that half of the ice. The Czech left winger would come back to cover the spot abandoned by the left defenseman. Between the three of them, they would "lock" the entire zone.
There are various forms of the Left Wing Lock (it doesn't always have to be the left wing getting back), but the Swamp Devils are well equipped to play the traditional version:
The left wing lock looks like a basic 2-3 formation, where, once puck possession changes in the neutral zone or offensive zone, the center and right wing forecheck aggressively, and the left wing moves back in line (or top of the circles) with the two defensemen to form a three man wall at the blue line. Generally, the left wing is responsible for the left lane, the left defenseman is responsible for the middle lane, and the right defenseman is responsible for the right lane at the blue line. This tactic helps to avoid odd man rushes by having 3 players back at all times.
The Basic Set-Up of the Left Wing Lock (as soon as the puck is turned over in the neutral zone or offensive zone):
• The center and right wing forecheck the puck aggressively, forcing the opposition towards the left side of the ice, and as much as possible take away the middle of the ice by forcing the opposition to use the boards.
• The left wing moves back and acts as a third defenseman, protecting the left lane (either at the blue line or the top of the circles), and being aggressive and ready to pinch if the opposition uses the boards to chip or clear the puck away.
• The left defenseman protects the mid lane (cheating towards his left), keeping his feet moving, ready to react to a successful breakout by the opposition.
• The right defenseman protects the right lane, keeping feet moving, ready to react to a successful breakout by the opposition. Teams vary whether they want their right defenseman to be aggressive or not if puck is rimmed along the right boards. A coaching staff often tweaks the system to fit to the strength of the team.
The Left Wing Lock in the NHL (specifically the 1997 finals):
Originally Posted by Craig Simpson
If you watched the Stanley Cup finals series verses Philly, Detroit implemented this defensive strategy to perfection. There was just no room for Philly in the neutral zone. Every time Philly got a transition rush, they were always up against a minimum of three guys, and a lot of times the fourth guy was coming back and taking away the puckcarrier. So there really wasn't an open Flyers player to get the puck to, and what Detroit was hoping for in this situation was for Philly to start making cross-ice passes, where the Red Wings could pick off the pass and then they make another offensive rush
Sturdy winger Dave Trottier was born in Pembroke, Ontario, in 1906.
The speedy Trottier also represented Canada as a member of the Grads in 1928 at the Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where he helped the Canadian squad win the gold medal by scoring 12 goals and setting up three others in the short three-game tournament.
But his game featured more than scoring - Trottier was also earning a reputation as one of the pro game's best checking forwards. In 1934-35, he was an important part of the Maroons' drive to the Stanley Cup, a playoffs that climaxed in a three-game sweep of the Leafs in the best-of-five finals. His consistent play with Montreal earned him a spot in the Howie Morenz Memorial Game in 1937, a precursor to the All-Star Game.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Dave Trottier was one of the greatest amateur left wings in the history of hockey, and his numbers show it.
But 1927-28 was Trottier's year of glory. He scored a whopping 33 goals,10 assists for 43 points in just 12 games, all of which led the OHA Seniors. The best was yet to come, though. Toronto represented Canada t the 1928 Olympics, winning the gold medal. The speedy Trotter was just phenomenal in the three games Canada played as he scored 12 goals, had 3 assists for 15 points, all of which led Olympic scorers.
A great stickhandler and a willing fighter, Trottier was always ready to mix it up with any of the boys. Indeed, he had 94 minutes in penalties in his outstanding 1931-32 season.
He remained a valuable player, a coach's dream really, by earning a reputation as one of the game's top checking forwards. Had the NHL had an award honouring defensive forwards back then, Dave Trottier likely would have won one year.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen, 30 Dec 1927
Like his fellow townsman, Frank Nighbor, Trottier swings a clever poke-check, and he is a back-checking fiend. His five goals and two assists last night attest his shooting ability.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, 14 Nov 1956
Considered one of the smoothest skaters in the game, Trottier jumped to Montreal Maroons in 1928.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette, 11 Mar 1936
Dynamic Jimmy Ward and smooth Dave Trottier were the spark-plugs of the Maroons attack throughout.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette, 25 Mar 1936
Dave Trottier and Russ Blinco played grand individual games, rushing dangerously and checking back well.
Originally Posted by The Border Cities Star, 14 Dec 1932
Trottier intercepted a Carson to Marker pass in Montreal territory and skated the length of the ice for the final score of the evening.
Originally Posted by The Border Cities Star, 25 Nov 1933
Another report involved a three-cornered trade between Senators, Maroons and Canadiens under which Trottier would go to Ottawa for Weiland. Ottawa would then send Trottier to Canadiens and receive in exchange outright possession of Albert Leduc, now on conditional sale, and also possession of Pete Lepine, polished centre star.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, 22 Jul 1932
Dave Trottier, Noted Maroon Star, Before Court For Assault
MONTREAL, July 21 - Dave Trottier, smart left winger of the Montreal Maroons of the National hockey league, was committed for voluntary statement when he appeared in arraignment court here today charged with assaulting Joseph Albert near St.Andre D'Argenteuil on July 10.
Albert said he was accompanying the chauffeur of a motor truck belonging to a bakery when a car driven by Trottier tried to pass at a narrow section of the road. After some time Trottier, who was accompanied by a woman, passed the truck and as he went by he signalled to the driver of the truck to stop, which the driver did. Trottier according to Albert, then stopped his car and came back. Without any warning, Albert alleged, Trottier opened the door in the cab of the truck took hold of his, Albert's leg, and twisted it until it broke in three places.
With their eighteenth round pick (706) in the 2011 ATD, the Guelph Platers have selected: Jason Arnott
Slowly but surely Arnott developed that extra level of intensity and consistency, and his play culminated with a trip to the 2000 Stanley Cup finals during which he scored the Cup-winning goal in overtime.
- Legends of Hockey
Stanley Cup Champion (2000)
Stanley Cup Finalist (2001)
1993-94 NHL All Rookie Team (1st)
Played NHL All Star game 1997, 2008.
Born: October 11, 1974.
Weight: 220 lbs
12 time 20+ goal scorer (including 10 consecutive).
3 time 30+ goal scorer.
259 out of his current 399 goals have been even strength.
Scored Stanley Cup winning goal in OT (2000)
Was 3rd in playoff points recording 20 points in 23 games during that 2000 run.
During his second trip to the finals in 2001 he recorded 15 points in 23 games.
Quotations and Perspective:
Upon arriving with the Oilers, he was seen as one of a core of young saviors ready to repeat what Gretzky, Messier, Kurri and Coffey had accomplished a decade ago. But Arnott was both inconsistent and frequently injured early in his career. One game he would show remarkable potential, the next he would play distractedly, the next he'd get a puck in the face and miss games. Oilers GM Glen Sather gave up on "Arnie," trading him to New Jersey with Bryan Muir for Valeri Zelepukin and Bill Guerin. It was a mistake.
Slowly but surely Arnott developed that extra level of intensity and consistency, and his play culminated with a trip to the 2000 Stanley Cup finals during which he scored the Cup-winning goal in overtime. That summer, his hometown, the beach called Wasaga, gave him a huge party on Jason Arnott Day. He was a hero, and the next year he continued his development as one of the best young power forwards in the game, again going to the finals before losing to Colorado in seven games.
- Legends of Hockey
The 40-year-old Carbonneau lives for responsibility—after his Montreal Canadiens lost Game 1 of the 1993 Cup finals to the Los Angeles Kings, he begged to play head-to-head against Wayne Gretzky—but on his first shift against Arnott in Game 3 last Saturday the Devils had two good chances before scoring when Arnott split the defense and shoveled the puck past the poke-checking Belfour. Arnott's effort, stunning more for its will than its skill, tied the score in what would become a 2-1 Devils win. "What I saw there was what Jason used to lack: second effort," New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello said afterward. "That was a second-effort goal, a goal that picks up the bench, a competitor's goal."
Lamoriello traded for Arnott in what Wall Street would term a value play. Arnott had been the No. 1 draft choice of the Edmonton Oilers in 1993, and he'd scored 33 goals in '93-94, a total no rookie has since surpassed. His career stagnated thereafter, a victim of heightened expectations and a startlingly low level of maturity. In 1995 Arnott fathered a child out of wedlock. He earned a reputation in Edmonton for driving so fast that Glen Sather, the Oilers' president, bought him a $300 radar detector. Then, after a desultory loss to the Winnipeg Jets in '95, he uttered the immortal line, "I just wasn't into it tonight."
That quote stayed with him like "I am not a crook" did with Richard Nixon. The working-class Oilers fans could handle the breakup of their dynasty, but sloth from a first-round dilettante was out of the question. A generation of stars left Edmonton to seek riches elsewhere. Arnott, whose passion for the game was questioned, had to be jettisoned like ballast.
"He was a typical Oiler player when he started there—all revved up, 100 miles an hour, full-court press," says Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock, a native Edmontonian. "At the end of his [ Oilers] career he was frustrated. He wore that pressure poorly. Now he's free. He uses his size [6'4", 225 pounds] to his advantage better defensively than he used to. In Edmonton his game started and ended with the puck, but he's a strong positional player now and, with that size, very effective."
5 time 20+ goal scorer.
2 time 30+ goal scorer.
Was part of the memorable Kid Line for Edmonton's post-Gretzky championship in 1990 with Graves and Murphy.
Finalist with Vancouver in 94, Carolina 2002, and Calgary 2004.
Quotations and Perspective:
Gelinas played the best hockey of his career in Vancouver and registered consecutive 30-goal seasons in 1996 and 1997. Early in 1997-98 he was sent to the Carolina Hurricanes where his speed and leadership helped keep the team competitive over the last four years. After two years of playing a more defensive role, Gelinas notched 23 goals in 2000-01 and helped his club give the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils a tough six game battle in the opening round of the post-season.
Gelinas returned for a fifth season in 2001-02 and scored the overtime winning goal in game six of the Eastern Conference Final against the Toronto Maple Leafs, clinching the Hurricanes their first ever Stanley Cup Final appearance. Carolina would eventually fall to the Detroit Red Wings and subsequently signed as a free agent with the Calgary Flames in the off-season. Upon his arrival with the Flames, Gelinas continued his strong two-way play and was a key player in Calgary's run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2004 against the eventual Cup champions from Tampa Bay.
- Legends of Hockey
He went on to Quebec where his play was so poor that the Nordiques put him on waivers. The Vancouver Canucks plucked up Gelinas. It was in Vancouver that Gelinas, along side close friend Trevor Linden, really found his game. He was able to mesh his speed and physical game with a couple of 30 goal seasons.
Nickname: Al, Thin Man Height: 6'2'' Weight: 175 lbs Position: Goaltender Catch: Left Date of Birth: October 09, 1926 Place of Birth: Vanguard , Saskatchewan, Canada Date of Death: July 27, 1996 (Age: 69)
Stanley Cup Champion (1951)
Allan Cup Champion (1948, 1962)
PCJHL Most Valuable Player (1945)
PCJHL First All-Star Team (1945)
WCSHL First All-Star Team (1948)
WHL Second All-Star Team (1958, 1959)
United Press NHL Second All-Star Team (1951)
Vezina Trophy (1951)
Hart Memorial Trophy (1954)
Played in NHL All-Star Game (1954)
Top-3 Wins (2nd, 3rd, 3rd)
Top-3 Goal Against Average (1st, 2nd)
Top-3 Shutouts (3rd)
Top-3 Playoff Wins (3rd, 3rd)
Calder Memorial Trophy:
1950-51: 2nd position (Terry Sawchuk) (-49.0%)
Hart Memorial Trophy:
1950-51: 8th position (Milt Schmidt) (0-0-1)
1952-53: 2nd position (Gordie Howe) (-56.9%)
1953-54: 1st position (+7.5%)
Originally Posted by Who's Who In Hockey
A case could be made for Al Rollins as the most underrated superb goalie in NHL history.
The difference was his spirited play at center coupled with the extraordinary goaltending of angular Al Rollins, who emerged with the Hart (MVP) trophy.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier's Greatest Hockey Legends
Over time Rollins assumed the starting job from the legendary Broda. He backstopped a strong defensive club throughout the early 1950s. He won the Vezina trophy in 1951. He was the goalie when Toronto won the cup thanks to Bill Barilko's legendary goal.
However Rolly was dealt to the weak Chicago Blackhawks team in 1952. The team was desperate for players and the other NHL teams sent them some in an "unofficial" aid plan to save the Hawks. In fact in Rollins first year in Chicago, they only had about 20 players in training camp and Rollins was the only goaltender. The poor trainer had to suit up as a goalie in scrimmages.
Despite the terrible team, Rollins was incredible. And the hockey public noticed. In his first year he played 70 games and averaged 38 shots against! He had an incredibly respectable 27-28-15 record with 6 shutouts and a 2.50 GAA. He finished a close second to Gordie Howe in the Hart Trophy balloting.
The following season, 1953-54, the Hawks seemingly got worst. And while Rollins numbers took a beating he only got better. Forget about the 12-47-7 record. He played in the all star game and had 5 shutouts. Most importantly, he won the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP! That tells you just how good Rollins was - a 12 win season in 66 games earned him the most prestigious individual prize in hockey, over names like Howe and Richard!
Many modern fans remember how valiantly Ron Tugnutt battled the Boston Bruins when he played for the sad sack Quebec Nordiques in the early 1990s. The Bruins had 70 shots on goal, and superstar Ray Bourque had an unofficial record of 19 shots on goal by himself. Tugnut stood on his head that night and almost singlehandedly earned the tie for his team that night, and became an instant fan favorite. Well that's how Al Rollins was for almost every game that he played for the Hawks. He is on of the most underrated goalies in hockey history.
Originally Posted by Hockey Glory Days: the 1950s and '60s
Sometimes worst can be first.
Al Rollins spent six seasons in the minor leagues before getting his first chance in the NHL when owner Conn Smythe decided Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Turk Broda was too fat. Broda was ordered out of the lineup during November 1949 and was replaced by Gil Mayer. For added insurance, Rollins was purchased from the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League. He got into two games for Toronto before the season was over.
Rollins was 6'2'' and played a graceful, standup style. In 1950-51 he and Broda shared the Leafs net in a foreshadowing of the two-goalie system that was then still more than 10 years away. The pair gave the Leafs the best defensive record in the NHL by allowing one fewer goal then Terry Sawchuk did in all 70 games for the Detroit Red Wings, and Rollins earned the Vezina Trophy. In the playoffs, Rollins and Broda helped the Leafs to win the Stanley Cup.
In 1951-52, Rollins had the Toronto job for himself. He had another solid season, but was then traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for Harry Lumley. Rollins helped Chicago reach the playoffs in 1953, but the teams fell back into last place with only 12 victories in 1953-54. His exceptional play on the league's worst team was rewarded with the Hart Trophy.
The stress of playing behind a weak defense kept Rollins out of action for parts of the next two seasons, and he returned to the minors after the 1956-57 campaign. Rollins made a final NHL appearance with the New York Rangers in 1959-60.
Originally Posted by oilersheritage.com
Vanguard, Saskatchewan native Al Rollins enjoyed a great NHL career. He won a Stanley Cup with the Toronto Maple Leafs and won the 1954 Hart Trophy as the League’s most valuable player, even though he played for the Chicago Blackhawks, the doormats of the League.
Rollins’ gamble paid off. He led the Flyers to the Allan Cup title, and was simply stellar in the final series against the Ottawa Senators. The Senators scored just 13 times in the six-game series, and were shut out in Game 4. Rollins played a total of 24 post-season games for the Flyers that season, winning 20 and posting an outstanding 2.46 goals against average.
Rollins could never convince Leafs’ management that he should be the team’s full-time stopper. In 1952, he was shipped to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for proven veteran Harry ''Apple Cheeks'' Lumley. For the better part of the decade, Rollins played valiantly for a team that regularly finished dead last in the NHL. It was with the brutal Hawks’ teams that greatly contributed to his less than stellar career record of 141-205-83. But the pundits could see that, despite the losses, Rollins was one of the League’s best net minders. In 1953-54, Rollins was named an All-Star and was awarded the Hart Trophy even though he won just 12 games while losing 47 that season. The hockey writers who voted for the award knew that Rollins faced more shots and scoring chances than any other goalie in the League, and the fact that he was able to keep scores respectable most nights was a testament to his fortitude.
Rollins passed away July 27, 1996. If only he had a better team in front of him, he may have been remembered along with the likes of Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante and Hall as the greatest of his era.
Originally Posted by The Spokesman-ReviewRollins Believes Cesare Talented (11/27/1960)
An evening with Al Rollins. Not as spectacular as an evening with Fred Astaire? But far more fruitful in a hockey sense. The hulking former National league goal tender, considered by some the best ever to play in the NHL, is enjoying his first year of retirement.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Rollins was traded with a package of players to the Chicago Blackhawks for goaltender Harry Lumley in 1952. In the Windy City, Rollins found the club's affairs to be disorganized. He noted that in one game, he faced more breakaways than he'd seen during all three of his years in Toronto. But his heroic efforts to prop up the sagging Hawks didn't go unnoticed. He earned second spot behind Gordie Howe for the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP in 1953. Then, the next year, he took the Hart for himself.
A Study on Al Rollins year-to-year play with books, hockey cards and newspapers:
Originally Posted by The battle of Alberta: a century of hockey's greatest rivalry
(In the 1947-48 season) Rollins posted a 24-20-2 regular season mark with a 3.20 goals-against average. Those weren't head numbers, but Rollins would more than prove his worth in the playoffs, where he would put on a playoff run comparable to that of other future Edmonton goaltending legends Glenn Hall and Grant Fuhr.
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald; Al Rollins Gunning For Leaf Goal Job (09/22/1950)
Al Rollins, thrown overboard by the New York Rangers seven season ago, seems to be gunning for Turk Broda's job in the Toronto Maple Leafs' net. This season, says Leaf coach Joe Primeau, ''he has come up with flashes of mighty good goaltending. He has been particularly good on close-in plays.''
Originally Posted by The Leader-Post; Happy Dilemma! (11/22/1950)
Toronto Maple Leafs probably have a bigger goaltender problem than any other National Hockey League club. Theirs is a happy dilemma, however - which one of the two top goalies to use?
''We'll use Rollins against the teams to which we lost games with Broda in the net.'' Smythe said last night ''We want to see how good he actually is. We have nothing to lose.''
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette; Leafs' Conn Smythe Has Problem; Should He Keep Thin or Fat Man? (11/29/1950)
The burning question is whether to keep six-foot-two Al Rollins in the team's goal or send Pudgy Turk Broda back into action after four games on the sidelines.
''It's a tough one.'' Smythe said today ''I've got to decide whether to keep the thin man in there and let him get thinner or whether to go back to the thinned-down fat man'' But Rollins, improving every time out, has forced fresh consideration on that matter. He is the only unbeaten goalie in the N.H.L. with six wins and a tie in seven starts.
The Leafs bought Rollins, a native of Vanguard, Sask. This year, he was bought up to the big team to be worked gradually into the goaltending job on the theory that the Turk can't go on forever. Rollins improved amazingly in his busy four-games-in-five-days stretch.
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press; Rollins Stars As Leafs Win (12/15/1950)
Al Rollins, the Toronto Maple Leafs' 24-year-old rookie goaltender, is either a good-luck charm, or else he's just plain good.
Rollins, former Pittsburgh Hornet, who shares the Leafs's goalie duties with the veteran Turk Broda, tended his 10th victory in 11 games last night as Toronto walloped the injury-riddled Chicago Black Hawks, 7-1.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix; XXX(12/08/1950)
AL ROLLINS, former Edmonton Flyer and now one of Toronto Maple Leafs stellar goalkeepers.
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald; Two Rookies In Close Fight For N.H.L.'s Vezina Trophy (02/20/1951)
A couple of fellows who learned to play hockey in Western Canada will face each other tonight in a scene from what is shaping up as one of the neatest little dramas of the National Hockey League season.
The principals are Al Rollins, part-time goaltender for the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs, and Terry Sawchuk, who tends goal for the league-leading Detroit Red Wings.
However, while Sawchuk is the lone Detroit goalie, Rollins has been sharing duties with Turk Broda who, incidentally, is another Westerner. But there's a problem. Rollins, who had played 28 games to Broda's 27, is doing so well that the Leaf hierarchy hesitates to take him out.
''How can you take him out when he's winning?'' asked Conny Smythe, Leaf general manager. ''The team comes first with me every time. Sure, I would like to have Turk and Al share the Vezina trophy, but Rollins has been going so well I don't see how we could replace him, at least until he's beaten.
Rollins has been beaten only twice in the last 18 games and his goals-against average of 1.89 is best in the league.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen; Toronto's Al Rollins In Line For Vezina And Rookie Cups (02/28/1951)
Al Rollins, six-foot-two goal-tending thin man, started the National Hockey League season as understudy to aging Turk Broda with Toronto Maple Leafs. Now he's threatening to walk off with the goal-tending Vezina prize and the league's rookie award as well.
There isn't a hotter goaltender in the league than the lanky rookie from Vanguard, Sask.
In 31 games-including one from which he had to withdraw after being hit over the eye with the puck-he has won 19 and lost four. He's allowed 57 goals for an average of 1.83 a game.
Originally Posted by The Telegraph-Herald; Toronto Rookie Gets Puck Prize(03/25/1951)
The Vezina trophy, that award worth $1,000 to the National Hockey League goal tender ''who has played the most game for the team with the fewest goals scored against it,'' Monday was the property of Toronto's rookie Al Rollins.
The Brick wall from Vanguard, Sask., clinched the award Sunday night by blanking the Boston Bruins, 1 to 0, in the Leafs' last game of the regular season.
An unnoficial breakdown showed that Rollins played in 39 games of the Maple Leafes' 70 contests and was scored on 69 times while Broda was tapped for the same number in 31 games. However, Rollins was red-hot in the nets and came up with many miraculous saves that earned him an astonishing mark of only 1.93 goals against for the season.
Originally Posted by The Lewiston Daily Sun; Vic Lynn May Be Lost To Bruins; Al Rollins Through For Season (03/30/1951)
The Toronto Maple Leafs discovered today that their brilliant rookie goalie, Al Rollins, won't be able to play again this season.
He suffered a strained kneee ligament last night when the Boston Bruins defeated the Leafs 2-0, to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven Stanley Cup semifinal game.
Originally Posted by Spokane Daily Chronicle; Toronto Net Minder Returns to Action (04/07/1951)
The Toronto Maple Leafs, fired by news that goalie Al Rollins will be ready to play again next week, were out to take a 3-to-1 lead over the Boston Bruins tonight in their best-of-seven semifinal Stanley Cup playoffs.
Rollins was injured in the first game of the series 10 days ago in a collision with Boston's Pete Horeck and doctors at first said the Vezina trophy winning rookie would be shelved until next season.
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press; Al Rollins Stars as Toronto Beats Montreal in Overtime (04/18/1951)
It was one of those typical Montreal-Toronto tussies. Lots of high-sticking and brutal slashing. The Leafs' co-heroes were Kennedy and young Goalie Al Rollins, who was playing in his first cup finals.
Fully recovered from a knee injury he sustained in the semi final series against Boston, the former Pittsburgh Hornet was planted in the Toronto nets, replacing Veteran Turk Broda. Although the Canadiens kept the pressure on him throughout, the lanky youngster refused to budge.
Rollins was especially brilliant in the overtime session. Montreal fans were whooping it up for Maurice Richar, who on three different occasions during the playoffs had produced winning goals in overtime.
But Maurice, alas, wasn't there. Rollins was, though, making stop after stop on the onrushing Canadiens. Finally, the Leafs got a break and Kennedy exploded his game-winning goal.
Originally Posted by The Windsor Daily Star(04/01/1952)
Even the most stout-hearted Leafs supporters, including those who can remember back to the spring of '42 when Toronto dropped the first three games to the Detroit Red Wings and then roared back to win four in a row and the Stanley Cup, appear willing to concede that the Mapleos haven't got it this year.
As our sun-tanned pal of the Toronto Star, Milt Dunnell, points out, moves which the Leaf strategists used in '42 to turn back the surging tide of Redshirts have already been tried and failed. Instead of waiting until the third game had been played, Smythe sensed what was happening after the opener in Detroit and played his hand. He benched Cal Gardner in favor of rookie, Jim Morrison, and dragged Turk Broda out of virtual retirement to replace Al Rollins. Those were the psychological master moves. When they didn't work he was left high and dry.
You can be pretty sure that one of the changes will bring Rollins back into the nets in places of Broda.
It would certainly simplify the job of the Leaf front office if it could write off the big difference between the Wings and the Toronto club, as goaltending.
Admittedly, Smythe even if he won't admit has a goaltending problem to worry about. The Leafs master-mnd showed his lack of faith in longlegged Mr.Rollins when he benched him right after the first game of the series in favor of a 37-year-old veteran who hadn't played a full game in the Toronto nets all winter. What kind of a jolt his removal was to Rollins' morale remains to be seen. It could ruin him as a top-flight performer. On the other hand it could have the reverse effect.
Meanwhile, Smythe's chess-player moves with his goalies has revived the rumor that Harry Lumley will be the Toronto goalie next season. Smythe denies it and it is a cinch the Leafs would have to give plenty-in players, not cash- to pry Lum away from the Black Hawks. However, where there's smoke there is usually fire and it will be interesting to see what develops.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen; Chicago Hawks Boost Lead With Victory Over Bruins (10/03/1952)
The Hawks showed their home audience a close-checking defensive game with Al Rollins, a former Leaf, turning in a fine goal-tending display, turning 28 saves.
Originally Posted by The Leader-Post; Rollins hurt in ball game(06/29/1951)
Baseball seems to be a jinx game for Al Rollins, Toronto Maple Leafs' hockey goalkeeper.
He suffered a broken jaw and lost four teeth Wednesday night while playing baseball. He is in good condition in hospital.
Rollins was injured when he collided with a teammate in the outfield while playing for New Westminster Royals against Langley Athletics.
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press; Rollins Keeps Hawks Unbeaten (10/13/1952)
What looked like a typographical error atop of the National Hockey League standing today actually was the red-hot Chicago Black Hawks, who whirled to their third straight victory last night.
Turning aside 30 shots, Goalie Al Rollins, acquired this year from Toronto, paced the Hawks to a 2-0 triumph over the New York Rangers.
Originally Posted by Reading Eagle; Players Deal Paying Off For Leafs, Black Hawks (11/06/1952)
That offseason trade between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Black Hawks apparently benefitted both teams.
The Black Hawks, given a big lift by former Toronto goalie Al Rollins, got off to a fast start in the National Hockey League this season.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix; Santa Seldom Forget Rangers(12/26/1952)
Until then Al Rollins had been a standout, almost single-handedly turning back the rampaging Detroiters who carried a 39-22 shooting edge and had the pressure on constantly for the last 30 minutes.
Originally Posted by The Leader-Post; Kelly best player, Patrick maintains - Lynn likes Rollins too (12/17/1953)
Patrick made another surprising observation by maning Al Rollins of the last-place Chicago Black Hawks as the league's best goalie.
''Rollins dosn't get nearly the protection that the others get. But he's looked great against us and with a better defence he'd be right up there with Harry Lumley (Toronto) and Terry Sawchuk (Detroit).''
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald; Al Rollins Still Rated Main Cog (10/13/1954)
Angular Al Rollins of Chicago Black Hawks probably won't be seeing as many black spots in front of his National Hockey League net this winter. Al's lot as goaltender for the Hawks may be improving. If he had time to count the pucks opposing players shot at him last season the figure would of been enormous. The fact that 213 got past him would have demanded a bravery citation in any other business.
In three games so far this season Rollins hasn't had too much to do. He allowed nine goals in two defeats and a tie but can't be blamed for them because the Chicago defence still isn't up to scratch. Without the 29-year-old native of Vanguard, Sask., the Hawks would be rushed right out of the rink. Big Al proved long ago that the Hawks made a good trade when they grabbed him from the Toronto Maple Leafs just before the 1952-53 season started.
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald; Irvin Signs As Black Hawks Pilot(03/05/1955)
Irvin will replace Frankie Eddolls, a top NHL defenceman for many years with Canadiens and New York Rangers who was made coach of the Black Hawks last year. He had little to work with outside of goalie Al Rollins and a few young forwards and the club finished in last place, but showed signs of improvement late in the season.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix; Plante Owns Top Mark; Worsley Rates Busiest (11/16/1955)
Originally Posted by Gettysburg Times; Buffalo Gets First Shutout With Rollins (01/23/1956)
Goalie Al Rollins, who put up quite a fuss before agreeing to being shipped back to the minors with Buffalo, probably could get the Cleveland Barons to sign a petition requesting his return to the majors in nothing flat.
The ex-Chicago Black Hawks net tender in the National Hockey League handed the Barons their first shutout in three years of regular season American Hockey League play last night as the Bisons won 3-0.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen; Al Rollins Amazes With His Courageous Display (02/03/1956)
It's spelled G-U-T-S. It's the particular brad of courage Al Rollins had Thursday night.
Rollins refused to leave a National Hockey League game although he was twice struck on the head with a puck, was knocked unconscious, suffered a mild concussion and needed 11 stitches to close bloody wounds.
When he wasn't getting first aid, the 29-year-old goaltender was performing for Chicago Black Hawks. He was so good that Hawks were able to salvage a 2-2 tie against Boston Bruins. Rollins was amazing at Boston. He ignored a doctor's advice to retire for the night and stuck to his post, showing no ill effects from being conked.
Edward Browne, Boston club physician, took Rollins into the dressing room for repairs. Dr.Browne said Rollins should quit for the night but neither Al not Chicago coach Dick Irvin would hear of such a thing. Blood oozed from the nose cut as Rollins made stop after stop on Boston snipers. All told, he blocked 36 stops.
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald; Black Hawks' Al Rollins Ups Goaltending Mark (11/21/1956)
Al Rollins, lanky netminder of Chicago Black Hawks, performed some heroic acrobatic work in the National Hockey League last week to add a point to his average in efficiency ratings for goaltenders.
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald; Room For One But One Goalie On Chicago Hockey Club (09/21/1956)
Two veterans, Harry Lumley and Al Rollins, are looking for the job.
''We will go with the one who shows the best form in training camp.'' Ivan said. ''The other will be playing elsewhere.''
Both looked good in practice sessions Thursday.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix; Rollins tough to Beat - Hawks Show Good Form By Tying Canyens, 3-3 (01/04/1957)
Goalie Al Rollins was outstanding for Hawks, making seemingly-impossible saves in the second period when the Montreal drive was at its height and again in the third when Canadiens went all out in an effort to pull out a win. Rollins had 39 shots tossed at him, compared with 20 Montreal goalie Jacques Plante had to handle.
Originally Posted by The Miami News; Wings Goalie Finds Bench Hard To Take (02/01/1957)
Goalies Don Simmons of Boston and Al Rollins of Chicago also distinguish themselves as the Bruins toppled the Black Hawks 2-0. The rookie, however, had only 17 saves to a sensational 42 for Rollins.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix; Calgary Stampede Land Rollins, Fills Big Gap (09/27/1957)
The Calgary Stampeders hockey camp too on a look of confidence and gaiety Thursday.
The Stamps landed the ''big one'' Thursday morning when Al Rollins picked up his equipment at the Cowboy dressing quarters. It was a move that had been anticipated for weeks but did not become reality till late Wednesday night when the veteran netminder arrived in the city.
Rollins will be counted on to fill a big gap in the Stampeders brigade for the western hockey league season. He is the man coach Frank Currie is counting on heavily to lead the club out of the doldrums.
Past records indicate Rollins may do just that. The six-foot, two-inch netminder who will celebrate his 31st birthday next Oct. 9, is a veteran of seven National Hockey League seasons. The last five have been spent with Chicago Black Hawks after starting out his major league career with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix; Stampeders Wins at Winnipeg (01/29/1958)
Calgary Stampeders made two first period goals stand up Tuesday night for a 2-1 victory over Winnipeg Warriors.
Both goaltenders turned n smart performances. Al Rollins turned aside 26 shots for Calgary.
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald; Run-Around For Rollins As Kyle gets Edward (09/10/1958)
ROLLINS had a tremendous season with the Cowboys last year and was named the most valuable player on the Stamps, was named to the second all-star team and was the first recipient of the Scott-Mamini trophy as Calgary's Athlete ofthe Year.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix; Stampeders Counting On Impressive Youths (10/08/1958)
Rollins was a mainstay last year when the Stamps made the league finals and lost in four straight games to Vancouver Canucks.
Originally Posted by The Leader-Post; Al Rollins will join Warriors (01/14/1959)
In Calgary, William Dickle, Rollin's Lawyer, said the goalie will discontinue a law suit filed against the Black Hawks and the Stampeders.
Rollins filed a $25,000 in damages on the grounds the two clubs were preventing him from making a living as a hockey player. He said they refused to offer him a contract and prevented him from negociating with other clubs.
Originally Posted by Edmonton Journal; Too Much Rollins, say Tony Leswick (03/30/1959)
Peppery Tony Leswick, Edmonton Flyer's coach, summed up his club's downfall in three words, ''Too Much Rollins''.
Managers, coaches and players of both teams gave full credit Saturday night to Winnipeg Warriors' nimble netminder Al Rollins for his team's three-game sweep of the Western Hockey League's best-of-five prairie division semi-final.
Only eight nights before, Warriors were in the division cellar, two points behind Saskatoon Quakers with two games to play. They beat Saskatoon twice to gain the playoffs and followed up with the sweep over Edmonton.
In those five games Rollins, who was purchased late in the season from Calgary Stampeders, played spectacularly, allowing only six goals. In the playoff series he blocked 103 shots compared with 87 stopped by Edmonton's Ed Johnston.
Flyer manager Bud Poile said: ''Every game it's been the same. We've outplayed them, but couldn't beat Rollins.''
''Winnipeg's going to have to improve to beat Calgary.'' he said. ''Still, with him in there, I don't know. He would have stopped many teams Saturday night and Calgary's going to find it hard to beat.''
Winniped coach Alf Pike said: Our boys were up for the game. They skated well and Rollins came through, especially in the first period. Edmonton played well and so did Johnston. The difference was goaltending in the first period.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix; Warrior Blast Canucks 6-0 (03/14/1959)
Winnipeg Warriors, paced by the solid goaltending of Al Rollins and the three-goal performance of Steve Witiuk shut out Vancouver Canucks 6-0 in a Western Hockey League game Friday night.
Originally Posted by The Windsor Star; Winnipeg Wins Behind Rollins (11/20/1959)
Winnipeg's victory was fashioned by the spectacular netminding of Al Rollins.
Originally Posted by The Leader-Post; Warrior move out of cellar (12/12/1959)
Winnipeg Warriors vacated the Western Hockey League cellar Friday night with stellar goal-tending by Al Rollins paving the way to a 5-3 comeback win over Edmonton Flyers.
More than 3,200 fans watched Rollins kick out 32 shots.
Originally Posted by The Spokesman-Review; 'Peggers Clip Calgary ASix; Rollins Stars (12/22/1959)
Al Rollins was the big man for the Warriors as he stopped 29 shots. He had little chance on the three goals that did get past him.
Originally Posted by The Leader-Post (01/21/1960)
Goalkeeper Al Rollins provided the defensive spark in the late stages as Calgary swarmed in.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette; Al Rollins' Revenge (02/24/1960)
Al Rollins, who made a spectacular return to the NHL last weekend, was the most satisfied man in Madison Square Garden after the Rangers' 7-2 victory over the Boston Bruins last Sunday. He is still bitter against the Hawks - a bitterness that resulted in a suit against the Chicago club - over what he considers their inconsiderable handling of him after they'd obtained Glenn Hall from Detroit to replace him at the start of the 1957-58 season.
''Why, just last week they tried to block the deal that brought me to the Rangers,'' he told New York Rangers writers.
What is Rollins' future with the Rangers?
[...] The word from New York is that there's a possibility the Rangers may trade Gump Worsley. There had been some whispers of a possible deal involving the Gump before he was injured a week ago and these rumors are now being revived.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen; Al Rollins Gives Rangers New Life (02/26/1960)
The tall man rode in form the West last Saturday night and casually stopped 46 shots by the fastest guns in the East. The dark hero was Elwin Ira (Al) Rollins. It was his return to the National Hockey League.
It's unlikely that Rollins can do much to get the New York into the playoffs. The Rangers are 16 points away from fourth place, the last playoff position, with 11 games remaining. But it looks as if he'll make the club a tougher opponent after a season as the league patsy.
Originally Posted by The Leader-Post; Drumheller advances with win over Spurs (04/04/1966)
Veteran Al Rollins turned aside 41 shots in a solid netminding display for Drumheller.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (05/16/1966)
Miners, who outshot the defending champions 29-14 in the first two periods, had to rely on sterling goaltending by former National Hockey League standout Al Rollins as Beavers piled on power-play pressure in the final period.
- ''Toronto at the time had Turk Broda. They had Baz Bastien who was probably the best goaltender in the minors. Howie Harvey (brother of Hab's Doug) out of St. Mike's was probably the best amateur goalkeeper of the day. They were set forever. However, the first day of training camp they lose Baz Bastien (to an eye injury). Howie Harvey was probably the first player who retired because of a skin disease - guck they called it. They brought me in and I spent all year just practising and travelling and watching the visiting goalkeepers. I always sat behind the visitors' net and watched the other goalies and, with coach Hap Day, I had to go over every goal with him, visitor and home team, what the goalie did wrong. That first year I played two games. It was a learning process. I appreciated it. If you were to do it today to a rookie, he'd be insulted.'' - Al Rollins on his first season with the Toronto Maple Leafs
- ''I was a better goal keeper at 40 years than I was when I won the Vezina Trophy.'' - Al Rollins
- ''A goalie doesn't really mature until he's 30. Goalkeeping doesn't depend on speed so much as playing the angles, and that only comes with experience.'' - Al Rollins
Fun and Interesting Facts:
- Father of Jerry Rollins, who played several seasons in the WHA
- Al suffered from rheumatic fever, and was advised by doctors that his condition could endanger his heart. He continued to play until the age of thirty-six
- Rollins went to his first NHL training camp at the age of 16, with the New York Rangers
- Rollins got a shutout win in his first complete game with the Maple Leafs
- On December 2nd, 1950, in a game between the Maple Leafs and the Blackhawks, Al Rollins, Turk Broda and Harry Lumley received the three star of the game: Rollins sustained a cut above his eye in the middle of the game
- Rollins got scored on against Maurice Richard's 325th and 544th regular season goal
- Rollins got scored on against Gordie Howe's 200th and 300th NHL goals
Signing, Trades & Injuries:
- On September 13, 1949, he was traded to the Cleveland Barons of the AHL by the Kansas City Pla-Mors of the USHL for Doug Baldwin and Ralph Wycherley (AHL)
- On November 29, 1949, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs by the Cleveland Barons of the AHL for Bobby Dawes, Phil Samis, Eric Pogue, the rights to Bob Shropshire (NHL)
- On September 11, 1952, he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by the Toronto Maple Leafs with Gus Mortson, Cal Gardner and Ray Hannigan for Harry Lumley, September 11, 1952 (NHL)
- Rollins was signed around the 6400$ figure before the 1958 season
- On February 20, 1960, he was loaned to the New York Rangers by the Chicago Blackhawks for the loan of Ray Mikulan, future considerations and cash (NH
AHL: American Hockey League NHL: National Hockey League PCJHL: Pacific Coast Junior Hockey League USHL: United States Hockey League WCSHL: Western Canada Senior Hockey League WHA: World Hockey Association WHL: Western Hockey League
1950-51: Rollins just had a tremendous rookie season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. From everything I read, Rollins was without a doubt performing better than the ageing Turk Broda, while only Terry Sawchuk was the only goaltender performing at his height during that season. The main reason why he didn't receive an All-Star accolade is the fact that Rollins was bring into the Toronto Maple Leafs net in the middle of the season and all and all, only played 40 games with the club. I think Rollins was the best goaltender in the league during the 1950-51 season, but Sawchuk, playing all 70 games of his club at a very high level, was a worthy selection for hte first All-Star Team. Rayner received the second All-Star position due to playing 66 games for his club, but my opinion is that Rollins and Sawchuk were head and shoulder above any goaltender in the league that season. In the playoffs, Rollins was the #1 goaltender of his club. Although he got injured for part of the playoffs, he was still the man of confidence over Turk Broda, the legendary ''money'' goaltender.
1951-52: Although he didn't performed at the same level than his rookie season, Rollins still had a good season behind the strong defensives team of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Some report says that Rollins had another strong season with the Leafs, but one thing that is certain is that Conn Smythe didn't had confidence into the lanky Al Rollins. At the end of that season, where the Maple Leafs lost in the semi-final with an overall underwhelming performance, Smythe decided to go with the more experience goaltender and traded for Harry Lumley, sending Rollins to the Chicago Blackhawks.
1952-53: My opinion is that even if he lost the Hart Memorial Trophy to Gordie Howe that season, this is the most incredible season of Al Rollins' career. All reports I've read on him talk about how night in and night out he was the only player that kept the Chicago Blackhawks from being the joke of the league. He was also astonishing during the playoffs against the defending champion Montreal Canadiens during the playoffs, almost upsetting them in a 7 game series. That season illustrate how the All-Star selections were given to the goaltender with the best statistical results, because there's no denying that Rollins was the best goaltender in the National Hockey League during the 1952-53 season. Another point: Joe Pelletier write in his blog that Rollins received 38 shots against during the 1952-53 season. If those numbers are exact, and considering he played all of Chicago's game and let in 175 goals, this would amount to a save percentage of .934, which is absolutely stunning considering he was playing in front of a well known terrible defence. I could go as far as to say that this is one of the greatest season by a goaltender in the 1950's. And yes, this is counting Plante, Sawchuk, Hall and others.
1953-54: This is the year that Al Rollins put his hand of the Hart Memorial Trophy, but this is not Rollins' best season in the National Hockey League. However, don't make a mockery of Rollins capturing the award, as he was still a sensational goaltender for the Blackhawks, despite the disastrous statistics. The Blackhawks of the early-to-mid 1950's were one of the worst defensive team that ever competed in the National Hockey League, and Rollins were close to being the sole man to keep them for being run out of the league. Several reports still rave about Rollins' incredible performances with the Hawks that season, although he only registered a mere 12 victories in 66 contest. The peak seasons of Al Rollins definitely lies between 1950 and 1954.
1954-55: I still read reports of Rollins brilliant play during the 1954-55 season, but the fact remain that Rollins didn't have the greatest of season with the Chicago Blackhawks. Only playing 44 games, Rollins' backup, Hank Bassen, did have far better statistics than him in 21 games. The unnoficial save percentage results of the 1954-55 season goes as follow (minimum 10 games played):
Harry Lumley, T
Terry Sawchuk, D
Jacques Plante, M
Charlie Hodge, M
Gump Worsley, NY
Hank Bassen, C
John Henderson, B
Jim Henry, B
Al Rollins, C
Rollins probably face the better competetion and the Blackhawks were still the worst team in the league, but my opinion his that the reports were still remembering the incredible first two season Rollins gave to the Blackhawks. Rollins definitely was not as good as his previous two season.
1955-56: This is a puzzling season for me. Although Rollins' stats are extremely better that season, the management at that point seemed to have lost confidence for the man they called the ''thin man''. Before anything, here's the unofficial save percentage statistics of that season (minimum 10 games played):
Jacques Plante, M
Glenn Hall, D
Gump Worsley, NY
Terry Sawchuk, B
Al Rollins, C
Harry Lumley, T
Hank Bassen, C
Compared to his unspectacular backup Hank Bassen, Rollins blew him out of the water. Considering the fact that still play for the dreadful Chicago Blackhawks, he compares extremely well to everyone not named Jacques Plante, who's playing behind a dynasty team. At that point in time, the relationship between the Blackhawks management and Rollins were difficult, and perhaps the Blackhawks were giving every opportunity to Bassen to win the job over Rollins.
1956-57: This would be the last full season in the National Hockey League for Al Rollins. Winning the starter job with the Hawks over Harry Lumley, he would play all 70 games for his club.
Glenn Hall, D
Terry Sawchuk, B
Jacques Plante, M
Gump Worsley, NY
Ed Chadwick, T
Al Rollins, C
Norm Defelice, B
Again, considering the dreadful team in front of him, Rollins' statistic is nothing to be ashamed of. The Blackhawks would start to bulk of their team in the following seasons, starting in goal with the legendary Glenn Hall, but that move would push Rollins out of Chicago. Unfortunately, we will never know if Rollins could of took a spot with another club in the following two seasons, as the Chicago Blackhawks made sure that Rollins would be buried in the minor for the rest of his career. Even in his small stint with the New York Rangers in 1960, the Hawks tried to block the transaction, as they didn't wanted to see Rollins play in the NHL ever again. It's still puzzling me how the Hawks treated Al Rollins during that time, but perhaps things happen behind close door that we will never know about.
1957-58/1958-59: Rollins played two season in the Western Hockey League, where he was still a superb goaltender. He was brilliant in the playoff of 1958 and receive two Second All-Star Team accolade during those two seasons. It's difficult to judge the strenght of the league and if Rollins was just dominating a lower league, but I believe he was still a fine netminder, perhaps close to a Top-10 goaltender in the world.
1959-60: With Gump Worsley going down due to an injury, the Rangers tried their luck with ageing Al Rollins, who exceeded all expectation and played beautifully with the Rangers. Newspaper were raving about Rollins, even thinking he could steal the spot of Worsley in the following season.
Al Rollins, NY
Johnny Bower, T
Glenn Hall, C
Jacques Plante, M
Terry Sawchuk, D
Don Simmons, B
Harry Lumley, B
10 games isn't a very extensive stretch of games, but those statistics are eye popping for a goaltender who was deemed ''not good enough'' to get a position in the NHL. For me, this show that Rollins could of been a good NHL goaltender until the end of the 1960 season and that he was steal of two good NHL season by the Chicago Blackhawks.
1960 and onwards: Although Rollins time in the NHL was over, Rollins was still passionate about the game and played hockey in various minor league until 1966. He would win the Allan Cup in 1962 with the Portland Buckaroos and was still consider a top goaltender wherever he played.
What can we draw on this exhaustive essay on Al Rollins? First of all, we have to understand that Rollins is a difficult player to judge based on statistics alone. It's important to understand that the Chicago Blackhawks of the 1950's were not a bad team, they were a terrible team, awful enough defensively to be considered as one of the worst teams to ever play in the NHL. Rollins had to be the saviour on every night if he wanted his team to win the hockey game. Also, Rollins had to perform in one of the best era for hockey goaltenders. I think my year-to-year analysis draw those conclusion:
1950-51: Incredible season. Top-2 goaltender in the league, with Terry Sawchuk (Broda, Lumley, McNeil, Rayner) 1951-52: Good, but unspectacular season 1952-53: Incredible season. Best goaltender in the league (Sawchuk, Worsley, McNeil, Rayner, Lumley) 1953-54: Incredible season. Top-3 with Sawchuk and Lumley (Bower, McNeil) 1954-55: Poor season. Perhaps the worst #1 goaltender in the NHL 1955-56: Very good season for Rollins, but it looked to have been a very good season for three other goaltender in Plante, Hall and Worsley. Rollins is very probably #4, over Sawchuk and Lumley. 1956-57: Good, but unspectacular season. Hall, Plante and Sawchuk are ahead of him, while Rollins, Worsley and Chadwick look to be in the same category. 1957-58: WHL. SAST. I will abstain to make a judgement on the strength of the league, as I don't know. 1958-59: WHL. SAST. I will abstain to make a judgement on the strength of the league, as I don't know. 1959-60: 10 game stint with the dreadful Rangers, but still makes him the best statistical goaltender of the league. Too few games to pass a judgment compared to other goaltender. The conclusion is that he had an incredible stretch of game with the Rangers.
This is Al Rollins. Three incredible peak seasons, three good-to-great season and three seasons were you can guess just how good he could of been in the NHL (1957 to 1960). Rollins was a relatively consistent goaltender who lacks longevity at the NHL level (although don't think he lacks overall longevity as he played in professional leagues for 22 years). Upon further research, I don't think it's far fetched to call Al Rollins the most underrated goaltender in the history of the game, like several sources cared to write down.
I'm a little worried about throwing names out there, because I don't want the discussion on Al Rollins to become a pissing contest between teams trying to sell their goaltender, but needless to say that I don't believe that Al Rollins was the 43rd best goaltender in the history of the game, like this draft position tend to show. I believe Rollins should be viewed in the 30-35 ranges.
Last edited by EagleBelfour: 04-03-2011 at 12:50 PM.
With their twentyfirst round pick (815) in the 2011 ATD, the Guelph Platers have selected: Felix Potvin
Potvin took the NHL by storm once he arrived.
- Greatest Hockey Legends
1992-1993 NHL All-Rookie Team (1st)
Played NHL All Star Game 1994, 1996.
Born: June 23, 1971.
Weight: 190 lbs
Led the league in GAA during the 92-93 season.
3 times top 10 in league wins (each time a 30+ game winner)
3 times top 10 in league save percentage (2,9,10)
5 times top 10 in league saves (1,2,3,5,9) and shots against (1,2,4,6,10)
5 times top 10 in league shutouts (7,7,8,9,9)
In 1996-97 Potvin set a (then) record for saves in a season with 2214.
That same 96-97 season he also allowed a league leading 224 goals on a (then) record total of 2438 shots against.
To put this in perspective, the most shots ever faced by Roy in a season is 1956 and by Brodeur 2182 despite Brodeur playing more games!
Potvin was outstanding in back to back final four appearances for the Leafs during 93 & 94.
Potvins first two seasons described by Joe Pelletier:
Potvin was brilliant as the Leafs went on a magical playoff run, only to fall short in a 7 game conference finals against Wayne Gretzky's Los Angeles Kings. Had the Leafs been successful, the Stanley Cup would have been a classic showdown - Leafs vs. Habs, Potvin vs. Roy.
Potvin followed up his rookie season with a 34 win season, tying Johnny Bower's team record for most wins in a year. He represented the Leafs in the All Star game and was even named player of the month in October. Potvin led the Leafs deep into the playoffs again, this time falling short against the Vancouver Canucks in the conference finals. Potvin was brilliant, perhaps no more so than in the opening round against Chicago. Potvin and Eddie Belfour had a classic goaltender grudge match. Potvin prevailed, including 3 nail biting 1-0 shutouts!
Potvin was also very strong in his playoffs with the LA Kings, upsetting the Red Wings his first playoff with them, and forcing the Avs to a 7th game while recording a .925 save percentage in the second.
Quotations and Perspective:
In his early years with the Leafs, Potvin was a workhorse who, in his first big-league campaign, carried his club to the semi-finals where they eventually lost to Wayne Gretzky and his Los Angeles Kings. By the time he'd completed his six-year run with the Blue and White, Potvin had more games played and wins than all other Leafs stoppers except for Turk Broda and Johnny Bower. He set a club record, leading the league in games played with 74 during the 1996-97 season. During that campaign, he faced more shots than any goaltender in league history.
- Legends of Hockey
Unfortunately as the Leafs team faded and Potvin was regularly getting peppered, he failed (or the Leafs failed to have a good coach to help him) to transition his game from relying on his amazing reflexes as he got older:
Felix was nicknamed The Cat not only because he obviously held the same name as the famous comic strip, but because he relied on his cat-like reflexes to stop pucks. Potvin tended to stay back in his net too much and struggled with his lateral mobility. Word quickly got around the league to shoot up high on him and make him move around. He would lose his angle and his cat-like reflexes weren't able to stop the onslaught. After a great start to his career, he fell from his status as one of the league's best goaltenders.
- Greatest Hockey Legends
Felix would later resurge briefly with the LA Kings for a couple of years, playing amazingly to help them reach the playoffs and upset the Red Wings in 2000-01 and then recording 31 wins and fighting a hard fought 7 game series against Dallas in 2001-02.
Potvin then helped mentor Andrew Raycroft during his Calder Trophy winning season in Boston before hanging them up (but not officially retiring!).
Dmitri Yushkevich, the 11-year NHL veteran who began his decade of excellence in scoring three points and defending on the top pairing in the 1992 Olympic gold win as a mere 20 year old, following that up with a Best Defenseman award in the 1993 world championships. He scored 62 points over his two full seasons in Philly with 291 shots and scored a team blueline leading 5 assists on the Flyers march to within two games of the Stanley Cup final. Yushkevich clearly had offensive talent, and in his post-NHL days he continued to produce. In 2003 he scored the fastest goal in Russian league history, in seven seconds, more impressive since he's a defenseman. He also scored the first ever hat trick in the playoffs in 2006. Over his career he had scored and assisted in each of five world championships, the Olympics and and a World Cup. So why didn't Yush score much in Toronto? He said in a Russian interview that his role with the Leafs was more defense first, that the coach wanted him to go against the opposition's top line and try to limit their opportunities. Yush said he wanted to be on the top pp unit but didn't get the chance. That's fine once you consider how good of a defensive defenseman he was, especially in multiple deep playoff runs. Leaf fans didn't take to Yushkevich much at first, the ex-Flyer not even getting the 30+ points a season he did in Philly. But by the time the 1999 playoffs cam around he was clearly ensconced as the team's most important blueliner. The alternate captain shut down Jagr and Lindros in a run to the conference finals (where they ran into Hasek), Yushkevich leading all Leafs in minutes played and receiving plenty of accolades for his defensive work, earning him an NHL all-star game appearance the following season (2000). In fact, Yush led all Leaf skaters in time for each of the three consecutive playoff runs for Toronto, averaging a heady 25:18 in the 2001 playoffs despite seeing limited powerplay time. Curtis Joseph backstopped the Leafs and described Yush well: "He's a warrior. The bigger the game, the bigger he plays, and not many guys can say that." Then he got a blood clot that kept him out of the 2002 Olympics, a huge loss to the Russian team blueline, Yush and Gonchar described in a Sports Illustrated article of Feb 7th 2002 as the best from that country. Dmitri really wanted to return from his treated injury in time for the 2002 playoffs, and there is plenty of documented accounts of how insistent he was to play and how in the end the league had to prevent him by not allowing it, as the clot could kill him if he received any kind of cut and it hemorrhaged. The 31 year old had played 10 years in the NHL and had been an important part of seven playoff round series wins. He retired from the NHL one year later, partially out of a contract dispute and partially because he had triplets to raise, and returned to Russia after 786 NHL games and 72 NHL playoff contests.
Dmitry is an in-your-face defenseman and a very valuable guy come playoff time, because he will get under guys' skin," Jeremy Roenick said. "He gives us an edge back there. He's a guy who will slash and whack and make offensive players more aware. He can take them off their game a bit."
... a total warrior, a shot-blocking machine who could shut down the best of them and even produce a little offense, to boot.
In the '99 playoff run, he was brilliant as the Leafs got past Philly in a nasty, grinding, defensive series (the Leafs won it while scoring 9 goals in 6 games) and again past Pittsburgh in the second round. Yushkevich drove Jaromir Jagr to distraction and he never got untracked.
Yushkevich kept on being great under Quinn. He was a rock in '99-00, '00-01 and through the first 55 games of 2001-02, when he was suddenly sidelined with a blood clot in his leg. He'd never play for the Leafs again, and it wasn't clear if he'd ever play at all. Toronto sent him to Florida for Robert Svehla, and it was the last season in the NHL for both of them.
In Toronto, Yushkevich blossomed in to a top-pair caliber NHL defenceman, particularly under the guidance of coach Pat Quinn, who joined the team in 1998. Between 1998–99 and 2001–02, Yushkevich also emerged as the leader of the Leafs' defense corps. In February 2002, Yushkevich was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood clot. As a result, Yushkevich was forced to miss the rest of the 2001–02 season. Despite Yushkevich's pleas to accept the risk and re-join the club in time for the playoffs, he was not cleared to play by the team. As a Leaf, Yushkevich totalled 506 regular season games and 44 playoff games. His performances with the Leafs earned him a reputation of a warrior, a grinder, and an expert shot-blocker.
In 1989 Yushkevich was invited to play at the World Junior Championships in Anchorage, Alaska, with the USSR junior team. He and Pavel Bure were the youngest at the training camp. Dimitri didn't believe he had a chance of making the team, but he was added to the first line, which included Pavel Bure, Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Mogilny and won his first gold medal. He subsequently appeared at two more junior championships, but his memories of these weren't as sweet. In the most important games in 1990 and 1991, the Soviet team lost to Sweden and Finland when the opposition scored last-minute goals.
In 1991 Yushkevich switched to Dynamo Moscow, then headed by Vladimir Yurzinov. The experienced Yurzinov favoured an NHL style of practice, tough play and swift passes, and prepared his boys both to win Russian championships and to migrate to the NHL. Thanks to this training, it wasn't hard for Yushkevich to play North American hockey when he came to the Philadelphia Flyers. By then, Dimitri was also an Olympic champion. To many experts' surprise, the young and ambitious Unified Team of the former USSR had won the gold in Albertville, France.
Yushkevich made a successful debut on the Philadelphia team in 1992 but three years later he was traded. In 1995 he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs, where his first three years proved an ordeal and a test of his durability. Things for Yushkevich changed after Pat Quinn arrived in 1998 and relied heavily on his skill and leadership.
In the 1999 playoff series, the Toronto Maple Leafs eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins, mostly because Yushkevich was so effective at hindering the Penguins Jaromir Jagr.
The 1999-00 season validated Yushkevich's stature as one of the league's leading defencemen and an invitation to the All-Star Game confirmed it. Yushkevich went on to play two more seasons in Toronto before he was traded to the Florida Panthers in the summer of 2002. The hard-nosed defenceman played only 23 games with the Panthers before being dealt to the Los Angeles Kings. After another 42 games, the Philadelphia Flyers re-acquired their original draft pick from 1991 in the latter stages of the season to help reinforce their blue line, however, Yushkevich's stay would be short lived, opting to play in his homeland as of the 2003-04 season.
On the international stage, Yushkevich represented his homeland at the Olympics in 1992 and 1998 and is a four-time member of Russia's World Championship team (1992, 1993, 1994, 1998 and 2004) and a member of its World Cup team in 1996.
By Pavel Zaitsev (Sport-Express: March 24, 2006)
Translated by Alexei Belousenko of Russian Hockey Digest
Metallurg's defenceman Dmitry Yushkevich became a first defenceman who scored a hat-trick in Russian playoff. Besides, he made an assist as well. After all, Yushkevich set a new record of the hockey club from Magnitogorsk among defencemen ' 36 points in one season.
Did you know that you might break Metallurg's record?
D. Yushkevich: Of course, I didn't. Actually, I don't keep a record of my scoring points for a long time. When I was young, I followed my stats closer. But now, more important to me team's wins, especially in playoff. Everyone in our team doesn't care who scores as long as Metallurg keep winning. I'm just happy to be in such a team, and make something useful in the first season here.
How would explain such high scoring game, especially after yesterday's loss?
D. Yushkevich: Perhaps, this is some sort of super compensation for what happened in our first game against Lada. The hockey god turned its face towards us, and gave us a chance to feel more confident in offensive zone.
Did you expect that special teams' play would be so important?
D. Yushkevich: Even yesterday we played well in powerplay, had many scoring chances. Thus, today we were told to change nothing and keep playing the same way, not only one period as we did last night, but all game long.
Have you ever scored so many points in one game in the NHL?
D. Yushkevich: I don't even remember now; not often anyway. Playing overseas, most of the time I played in a second special powerplay team, so I had not much time to play in powerplay. And now, playing in Magnitogorsk, our coach trusts me, and I go on the ice with such a talented guy as Evgeni Malkin.
He became an outstanding utility man with the Bruins. Bruins coach Phil Watson used him to shadow the league's greatest stars Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull and Frank Mahovlich. Watson said Burns was a good man for the job because he was an excellent skater and didn't let anything get under his skin. - Legends of Hockey
One of the best defensive forwards in the national hockey league, Charlie has done just about everything for the North Stars- played left wing, right wing, centre, and even coached them during the 1969-70 season. -Back of his 1972-73 hockey card
He was a good assistant captain who spent time with the younger players. He brought a lot to the table; a good playmaker who set up his wingers.- Tracy Pratt
He later played with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Minnesota North Stars. Always known more for his excellent defensive skills, he collected 13 goals and 51 points in his best NHL season, for Pittsburgh, in 1968-69.
If he had played longer in the post-expansion era, Burns certainly would have been a candidate for nomination as the NHL's best defensive forward. But the Frank J. Selke Trophy wasn't awarded for the first time until 1978, five years after he'd played his last NHL game. -Legends of Hockey
Manager coach Wren-Blair of Minnesota North Stars believes in tough hockey players and knows that the success of a hard-hitting club rests with the efficency of its penalty killer.
So, Blair rubbed his palms together in glee before saying "I'll take him" when Charlie Burns name appeared on the unprotected lists...-The Sunday Sun, Nov 1. 1969
He's smart. He's versatile and one of the best penalty killers in the game.- Minnesota coach Wren Blair via Sunday Sun, Nov 1., 1969
Our club played its best defensive hockey when Charlie was in uniform- Walter Bush Jr., North Star club president, via The Windsor Star, May 5, 1970
He's quick. He can skate with the best. He's one of the best shadows in the game and it makes him one of the best penalty killer.- Manager-coach Collins via Sunday Sun, Nov 1., 1969
The Toronto St. Pats are happy to select a great, versatile shutdown forward and penalty killer...
Awards and Achievements
-Amongst post-expansion forwards that played at least 400 games post expansion, Charlie Burns spent the most time on the PK than any other player (adjusted for a per game basis) at 79% of his teams penalty kill. (that includes both forwards and defensemen). The next best is Ed Westdall at 69%.
Defenceman Hy Buller played five NHL seasons in the 1940s and '50s. He was a fine passer who could also deliver jolting bodychecks and play with a chip on his shoulder in his own zone.
Originally Posted by Who’s Who in Hockey
During the six-team era of the NHL, several outstanding skaters remained buried in the minors. When Rangers manager Frank Boucher finally acquired Hy Buller – one of the few Jewish skaters in the NHL – in 1951 from the Cleveland Barons, he was a seasoned pro who could play solid defense yet bolster the attack with his hard shots from the blueline.
Originally Posted by Jews In Sports Online
There have been many questions about why Buller retired so early, and some people believe that anti-Semitism may have been a factor. A hero to New York's Jewish community while he played for the Rangers, Buller refused to play on Yom Kippur. Unfortunately, his Judaism made him a target on the ice as he was forced into many altercations and fights; he led the Rangers with 96 penalty minutes his rookie season despite complaints that he was not aggressive enough. In his final year in the NHL, 'Terrible Ted' Lindsay swung his stick at Buller twice during a game -- many believe that Hy was never the same after the incident. Buller always claimed that the years in the minors had taken a toll on his body and that he did not retire out of intimidation.
Originally Posted by Bee Hive Hockey
Known as "The Blueline Blaster", he was not an aggressive player. Was an exceptional stick handler and rusher.
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Buller was greatly admired by hockey legends Gordie Howe and Maurice Richard, and other contemporaries not only for his solid plays but also for his good sportsmanship.
Originally Posted by Frank Boucher
Sure, I'd like to see him crack (the opposition), but you can't have everything. Bill Quackenbush doesn't hit them either, and he's quite a defenseman. They're both exceptional stick checkers, fine stickhandlers and rushers. Buller, like Quackenbush, is very good on point in power players. He has our best shot from the blue line and can it away without a windup. The most noticeable thing about Buller is his coolness and quick thinking under fire. He'll adapt himself to any situation.
Originally Posted by Edgar Laprade
He arrived from Cleveland with quite a reputation as a good player. He was really good on the point. Some people would get rattled when they got the puck, but he was very cool and he took his time. He never let a wild shot go at the net.
Originally Posted by Conn Smyth, when Buller was still in the AHL
I'd rate him right up with the top 10 defensemen in all hockey today.
Originally Posted by Chuck Rayner
We were surprised to hear he was retiring. He was one of the best defensemen in the league. He was a real smooth skater, a good stickhandler, and a real good playmaker.
HY BULLER !!!
NHL Awards and Statistics:
1 x NHL Second Team AST (1952)
Points among Defensemen- 2nd(1952), 4th(1953), 13th(1954)*
Goals among Defensemen – 2nd(1952), 3rd(1953)
*-Missed 29 games due to injury: 6th in Points per Game
Between 1952 and 1954, Buller was: 4th in Points among Defensemen, 77% of 2nd (Doug Harvey) 2nd in Goals among Defensemen 3rd in Points per Game among Defensemen
AHL Awards and Statistics
3 x Calder Cup champion (1947, 1948, 1951)
2x NHL All Star Game Participant
1x NHL 1st Rookie Team
2x Top 15 All Star Voting (11, 15)
2x Top 14 Norris Voting (11, 14)
2x Top 9 Goals Among Defensemen (6, 9)
1x Top 10 Assists Among Defensemen (10)
6x Top 10 TOI in NHL (1, 1, 3, 5, 8, 10)
TOI Finishes on Team (5, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1)
2nd in Average TOI among all NHLers since the lockout (behind Chara)
1x Olympian (06)
3x World Championships (03, 04, 08)
Best Defenseman at 2003 World Championships
World Championship All Star Team (03)
Bouwmeester is best known for his skating ability. His coach in Medicine Hat, Rick Carriere, said his ability to move the puck up the ice and score meant Bouwmeester could have played in the NHL at the age of 15. He is a capable offensive player from his defensive position and frequently joined offensive rushes while with Florida, but failed to do so as often in his first season in Calgary, resulting in much lower offensive output. He is frequently among the league leaders in ice time per game and one of the most durable, as he has not missed an NHL game since 2003–04
"Jay is one of the most complete defenseman in the game, and we are very pleased to have reached an agreement that will make him an important component of the Calgary Flames success,"
"You can put him in any situation, power play, penalty kill, five on five, four on four and because he's such a smart player and such a great skater, he brings a lot of things to the table," xxx said. "He has a great understanding of how to play when the team doesn't have the puck and how to pay attention to detail."
"Skilled defensemen like Bouwmeester can sometimes walk in from the point and surprise a goalie -- and I think that's what happened on Jay's goal tonight," said Alex Ovechkin, who found the Florida Panthers defender with a pass. "That's what I was thinking."
Bouwmeester saw a lane open up from his right-point position, took a pass from Ovechkin and rifled a shot that whizzed by goaltender Roberto Luongo's blocker
"A 25-year-old defenseman who is big and strong like Jay and shoots the puck like he does and plays the minutes he does is certainly a guy I cheer for."-xxx
To me, Jay Bouwmeester is the total package. Shoots. Skates. Passes accurately and plays a ton of minutes defensively. He's a guy I always watch when I get a chance to see Florida's games."-Dan Boyle
"When you see him play night in and night out, you see him make all the simple plays and make everything he does look so easy. He's such a good skater, he takes two or three strides and he's past everyone. That's why he's an All-Star."
Panthers coach xxx said of Bouwmeester, "For me, he has been our MVP. He has done it all for us. He hasn't missed a game and plays against everyone's top players."
"To me, Jay's a great hybrid," DeBoer said. "I think he's one of the top-10 defensemen in the world. He's one of the few guys you can play against Ovechkin, you can play against (Vincent) Lecavalier, you can play him against xxx. He's big and mobile. And because of his feet and his range, he can shut people like that down. His offensive game is starting to come along as well. He's only 25 and he's going to get better and better."
Without showing us his pedigree in an NHL playoff game, there is still reason to believe he is a big-game player. He was a junior phenom in Canada, starring in three World Junior tournaments. He also played for Team Canada at the 2006 Torino Olympic Games at age 22. And Bouwmeester scored the winning goal for Canada in the gold-medal game of the 2004 world championship in Prague.
Plus, don't you just love the way he skates into openings on offense and is able to skate down opponents and then use his big body to neutralize them?
xxx and xxx are correct. Bouwmeester is the total package, a real impact player and difference maker on defense.
Having coached the Red Deer Rebels against a teenage Bouwmeester who was clearly destined to be one of the top picks in the draft (third in 2002), xxx saw no weakness in a game that has improved through six years in the NHL.
"I remember seeing him when he was 15. I said, 'Oh my god, this guy is good' because he had the size and the speed," said xxx of the 6-foot-4, 215 pounder who will be the undisputed top dog of the free agent pool if nothing comes from the Flames' freshly-acquired negotiating rights which end Wednesday.
"Obviously, he's a big guy who is an extremely good skater and very smart player. His intelligence and the way he skates are what makes him so good at both ends of the ice. I remember him in junior -- at 16 years of age, he was dominant that way."
Asked to compare Bouwmeester to Phaneuf, whom xxx coached for four years in Red Deer, xxxx balked.
"Two different types of players," he said. "Both are very good in their own right, but there's a physical part of Dion's game that makes the rest of it better when he's in that mode and is involved."
In short, Dion excels offensively while Bouwmeester excels everywhere.
Credit to seventieslord for the basis of this bio.
Eric Nesterenko was a versatile right-winger who played 1,343 regular season and playoff games in an NHL career that lasted two decades. He could score, play a physical game, and play effectively on the power play and penalty killing units.
Nesterenko filled a checking role for the most and was considered an agitator who could throw the opposition off its game. He was considered lethal in the corners where he became known as "Elbows" around the league.
The big winger went on to play 16 years for the Hawks and hit double figures in goals 12 times...contributed to Chicago's first Stanley Cup win in 23 years.
Nesterenko continued to be a hard-working member of the Hawks through to the end of the 1971-72 season. He was picked to suit up for the All-Stars against the Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs in 1965 and helped the Hawks reach the 1965 finals and finish first in the NHL standings for the first time ever in 1966-67. By the early '70s he was more of a role player... but did take part in the 1971 Stanley Cup finals which Chicago lost in the seventh and deciding game to the Montreal Canadiens. - Legends of Hockey
He was a player who could do everything well. He scored, played physical, stickhandled nicely, and backchecked.- Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide of Everyone Who has Ever Played In the NHL
Nesterenko was a fierce and relentless checker, and drew many penalties for his aggressive play. He gradually developed finesse and became the reliable RW of the much-improved Blackhawks...When he finally retired, he was one of the few who had played 20 years in the NHL. -Trail of the Stanley Cup Voulme 3
...he dedicated himself to being a checker with the Blackhawks. He forged out a reputation as a shadow, hounding the better scorers in the league, like Gordie Howe, Johnny Bucyk and Frank Mahovlich. Nesterenko accepted the thankless job without complaint and became quite proficient in this line of work...His long reach helped him to check and his use of his elbows kept the opposition on alert. - Hockey's Golden Era
Eric's longevity in the NHL was a result of his defensive abilities. He was a strong skater, and with his size, Coach Reay assigned him to cover the opponents' best wingers. Also, he teamed up with Bily Hay as one of the most effective penalty killing duo's in the league. In fact, he was the first Hawk to score two shorthanded goals in a game where he tallied twice against Montreal at the stadium, during a 7-0 win over the Canadiens. The effort has been matched a half-dozen times since then by the Hawks, but never surpassed.
Nesterenko has shadowed such stars in the 60's as Toronto's Frank Mahovlich, New York's Andy Bathgate, and Montreal's Bernie Geoffrion. Eric constantly frustrated those stars.-Tales from the Chicago Blackhawks
He lined up against Blackhawks right wing Eric Nesterenko, one of the toughest customers ever to play in the NHL- Breaking the Ice: The Black Experience in Professional Hockey
"If Imalch could keep me out there, they would leave their checker, Eric Nesterenko, on the ice. He was all over you, but for us, it was far better having Nesterenko on there than Bobby Hull.- Frank Mahovlich
Because of his large size and good skating ability, Nesterenko was compared favorably to Jean Beliveau early in his career. However no one confuses the two now that all is said in done...
...In Chicago Eric was transformed into a valuable defensive forward. His skating ability and hockey sense made him into a superb penalty killer and shadow of the league's better players. -Joe Pelletier
"All we did was check and let them come back in wave after wave. Nester checked Howe good enough but we didn't have enough guys to back him up." -Rudy Pious, Globe and Mail, 1963 Detroit vs Chicago Playoffs
Headline: Howe's Shadow Nesterenko Termed Key to Chicago Win
The Chicago Black Hawks try for their second successive National Hockey League semifinal playoff triumph over the Detroit Red Wings tonight, hoping two surprise factors again will prevail.
...The other is that Eric Nesterenko can continue his effective checking of Detroit NHL's scoring champion Gordie Howe.
The last-minute shift of Eric Nesterenko from his normal right wing spot to left wing assigned him to Howe, who got away only two shots under Nesterenko's fine checking Tuesday night.
If Howe can't break away from the Hawks right-winger, Pious think the Hawks might advance to the final against the Toronto-Montreal winner in the minimum four games.
"If Nesterenko can keep Howe in check for the rest of the series, we could get the job done early." Pious says.
...Abel (Detroit coach) conceded Nesterenko did a "really good job" on Howe but pointed out, "Our Howe, Parker Mcdonald, and Alex Delveccio line didn't skate as well as usual, so Nesterenko and the other Hawks found it a little easier to check them.-Montreal Gazette, March 28, 1963
Of all the forwards he faced during his 21 years in the National Hockey League, Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull among them, defenseman Allen Stanley says the man who gave him the biggest headache was Eric Nesterenko.
"He was the toughest" said Stanley, reminscing during his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame Tuesday night in Toronto. "I remember one night asking Tim Horton how I should check Nester.
"Tim told me to look straight in the eye when he came over the blueline and just get a piece of him and Tim would pick up the loose puck. It worked that night but Nester was tought. How was I supposed to know where he was going with the puck when he didn't know himself?" - The Calgary Herald, Sep 16, 1981
The Toronto St. Pats are happy to select a tremendous third line RW who can play tough and shutdown scorers very well...
Awards and Achievements
1 x Stanley Cup Champion (1961)
4 x Stanley Cup Finalist (1962, 1965, 1968, 1971)
SH Goals: 1st(1965), 1st(1967), 3rd(1969), 5th(1968)*, 7th(1964)*, 8th(1970)*
*Achieved with particularly low totals
Last edited by Leafs Forever: 04-03-2011 at 04:04 PM.
With our 18th selection, the 717th overall in this year All-Time Draft, the Detroit Falcons are extremely please to select right winger Konstantin Loktev
Russian name: Константин Локтев Height: 5'7'' Weight: 165 lbs Position: Right Wing / Left Wing Shoots: Left Date of Birth: April 16, 1933 Place of Birth: Moscow , USSR Date of Death: November 04, 1996 (Age: 63)
Soviet League Champion (1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966)
Soviet League Finalist (1962)
European Cup Champion (1958, 1959, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1966)
European Cup Finalist (1957, 1961)
Olumpic Gold Medalist (1964)
Olympic Bronze Medalist (1960)
IIHF WEC-A Gold Medalist (1965, 1966)
IIHF WEC-A Silver Medalist (1957, 1958, 1959)
IIHF WEC-A Bronze Medalist (1961)
Soviet First All-Star Team Right Wing (1957, 1958, 1960, 1965)
Soviet First All-Star Team Left Wing (1959)
Soviet Second All-Star Team Right Wing (1966)
IIHF WEC-A All Star Team (1965, 1966)
IIHF WEC-A Best Forward (1966)
Russian Hockey Hall of Fame (1963)
IIHF Hall of Fame (2007)
(Exhibition Game, Olympics & World Championship) Games by Opposing Countries
Penalty minutes: 1957, 1959
Years in Detail:
In the 1960's, no professional hockey player from North America were playing in the Olympics. Therefore, the World Championship and the Olympics should be viewed as equal tournaments in term of quality.
Years in Detail:
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier's Greatest Hockey Legend
Perhaps better remembered as a coach, Konstantin Loktev was a great hockey player, too.
Konstantin Loktev joined the national team in 1954, but it wasn't until 1957 when he found regular linemates in Alexander Almetov and Venjamin Alexandrov. Together the three became one of the greatest troikas in Soviet hockey history.
Loktev, as coach Anatoli Tarasov puts it, was an original hockey player. He raced up his wing with puck well ahead of him. This must have caused the opposing defenseman to smack his lips in anticipation of a big body check or a turnover. However this was part of Loktev's arsenal. He lured in unsuspecting defenders this way, and then miraculously and almost without fail, he'd put on a beautiful deke to leave the bewildered defenseman up ice as he danced in on the lonely goal keeper.
Loktev, who trained by himself in spare time, was a rough player as well, despite his tiny frame of 5'7" and 165 pounds. He never shied away from the boards and would fight for the puck until the whistle had blown. He was punished several times for rough play in his younger days by the Russian hockey federation. That punishment seemed to do him a ton of good, as he calmed down some. He remained aggressive but controlled, and became one of the all time greats.
Originally Posted by peoples.ru
If you saw Loktev from the stands, you thought he may be a worse player than his linemates, but everybody who understands hockey could see how great was his impact on his line's strength, not accidently he and not any of his linemates was named the best forward of WEC'66 in Ljubljana.
He was really unique player - he possessed a rear combination of skills. He was such a great stickhandler, that nobody could defend him one on one.
While he was never interested in glory, he was very prideful, he would always defend his opinion, never looking for a compromises.*
Originally Posted by Kings of the Ice
As a young RW, Konstantin Loktev was a frisky player who seemed to have a chip on his shoulder. Loktev had a tendency to play a risky game, at top speed, and he wasn't at all afraid of being slammed into the boards. In fact, he even provoked his opponents at times by holding his stick at arm's length and challenging them to take the puck away from him. But at the very last second, Loktev would veer off in the other direction and zero in on the net.
Loktev was the oldest player on that forward line, but on the ice he looked the youngest and most venturesome. He eagerly took on the dirty work.
The Loktev-Almetov-Alexandrov trio was probably the first soviet line in which all the players had equal ability and where each supplemented the other. After receiving a pass from a linemate, Loktev would skate a little with the puck and then get it to Almetov, who was already racing up the left flank. Alexandrov, in the center slot, would then switch places with Almetov. The whole play took only a couple of seconds.
It wasn't easy for Tarasov to order Loktev around. Loktev was still playing when Tarasov admitted he was ready to be a coach. He possessed an uncanny ability to analyze a game. It was Loktev who advised the coaches to shift Alexandrov from center to the wing.
Originally Posted by Chidlovski
Konstantin Loktev was a legendary Soviet player of the 1960s and one of the elite hockey coaches in the mid 1970s.
Being a highly rated player, Loktev had a fascinating career with both the Red Army club and Team USSR. He was a part of one of the all time best Soviet lines ever. He played a RW forward with Alexander Almetov, C and Venjamin Alexandrov, LW. Loktev wasn't as elegant as Alexandrov or as cool as Almetov, but he was definitely the toughest player of the legendary "troika". Unfortunately, most of the 1960s games are not available for viewing and the only available way to see this magnificent line in action is through the rare archival footage.
It was impossible to intimidate Loktev with physical pressure neither when he was a player nor when he was a coach.
Originally Posted by Red Machine
Konstantin Loktev lacked the scoring touch of his linemates but was a smart, courageous player and a most creative passer... became a favourite of Tarasov because of his hard work.
Originally Posted by SportReference.com
Playing together with his teammates from CSKA Moskva Veniamin Aleksandrov and Aleksandr Almetov, Loktev formed one of the best lines in the Soviet hockey history and they were primarily behind the Soviet success in the early 1960s, as they scored more than 250 goals in about 100 matches.
As a hockey player, Ed Van Impe was not blessed with blazing speed, flashy puck-handling skills or an offensive touch from the point. But buried deep within his frame was a copious supply of toughness, determination, and the intelligence to play within his abilities. Those abilities remained consistently anchored to his own zone where he held court as one of the ultimate defensive defensemen of his day.
...His arrival in the City of Brotherly Love was perfect timing for the sturdy rearguard to ply his rugged trade. For the more than eight seasons that followed, he blossomed into one of the Flyers' most consistent defensive blueliners. He excelled at clearing his crease and was a fearless shot-blocker. In a game against the Seals one night, Van Impe caught a puck right in the mouth off the stick of Wayne Muloin. Six of his teeth were shaved off at the gum line, 35 stitches were required to close up his lips and 15 more to tie up his tongue. But being tough as an old hockey glove, he still managed to return for the final eight minutes of the game.-Legends of Hockey
In an era when slashing was tolerated more than it is in contemporary hockey, Ed Van Impe was one of the most feared stickmen in the NHL.
...Van Impe was a major defensive component of the Broad Street Bullies who won Stanley Cup Championships in 1973-74 and 1974-75 while under coach Fred Shero. - Who's Who in Hockey
When Ed Van Impe laced up his skates, he underwent some sort of crazy metamorphosis. This mild-mannered, soft spoken gentleman would turn into a monster on the ice, never hesitating to to deliver his physical brand of hockey.
Van Impe, the second captain of the Broad Street Bullies, helped set the Flyer's bruising standards through his unrelenting play. He was known for his heavy open ice hits and his liberal stick work, but he never considered himself to be a goon.
"I don't want a tough guy reputation. I'd rather be known as a tough, hard working defenseman. I'd like to cut down the penalties. Some of them hurt the team," he said. In fact, that quote came in the early 1970s, prior to the arrival of the likes of Dave "The Hammer" Schultz.
While he never put up many points, Van Impe was respected for his defensive play. He was a left handed shot who was comfortable playing on the right side. He was steady defensively, sacrificing his body regularly to take out his man or block a shot. He was not in anyways flashy.
....Coach Fred Shero praised Van Impe and his decision to relinquish the C.
"His defense was never better after he gave up the captain’s role. He was right up there with the most valuable players on the team." - Joe Pelletier
At a glance, Ed Van Impe seemed too awkward to be a successful big-leaguer.
His skating reminded one of a snowshoer crossing the frozen tundra. His shot had a popgun consistency and his physique hardly suggested a Mister America.
In hockey sense, however, the sum was not a total of its parts.
Van Impe was all hockey player; through and through a nonpareil comptetitor and a defenseman who staked out his portion of the ice and defied any foe to cross his imaginary border. Those who did paid the price in welts, lacerations, bruises, and ocassionally, sutures. No doubt due to his Western Canadian roots, Van Impe had a frontier quality that was a throwback to an earlier era.
The husky, heavy-bearded veteran preferred preventing a score rather than flashing the red-light himself- not that he could do the latter very easily.
...Ed's willingness to take the team's younger players aside and patiently instruct them contributed to his captaincy. His reputation around the league was another story. A horror story, if you listened t osome of his opponents. Those who drifted to Van Impe's side of the rink were apt to feel the swing of lumber, as in cross check, high stick or butt end. He was not particular but his message was clear. Beware, brother, beware!
"I didn't want other teams to push us around," he said. "It was my belief opposing forwards had to respect us. I had to keep them wondering what I might do."
They wondered, all right, because no one ever knew just what response might be delivered by Van Impe other than the fact that it would be with vigour.
...Vic Statsiuk, coach of the Flyers at the time of the first incident (a puck to the face that shattered his mouth as he moved to block the shot, but he returned soon to finish the game) remarked, "Van Impe has a killer instinct. Not many hockey players would have taken the chance he did. A guy who will make a move like that really comes to play the game."
Picture sub quotes:
Ed Van Impe was one of goaltender Bernie Parent's (30) best protector's during the Flyers' Stanley Cup victories in 1974 and 1975.
Defenseman Ed Van Impe(2), Flyers Captain from 1968-69 through 1972-73, was always willing to take one for the team.
-The Greatest Players and Moments of the Philadelphia Flyers
It was certainly not an easy start as Van Impe suffered through serious injuries to his face and mouth requiring many stitches, while enduring the boos of spectrum fans during the early years. He overcame it all, gaining the confidence to become team captain and the skill to represent the Flyers as one of their earliest players in the mid-season NHL All-star game. Van Impe turned his boos into cheers and his excellent defensive play helped to earn two Stanley Cups by the time the team was only eight years young.- Philadelphia Flyers Encyclopedia
When you ask one of Van Impe's contemporaries about his style of play, the answer depends on that person's perspective. If he was a teammate, a smile inevitably comes comes to his face as he refers to Van Impe's toughness and talent using his stick as a "defensive" weapon. If he was an opponent, he grimaces almost as if he is still feeling the pain of one of Van Impe's patented spears in front of his net. If you go to the source, well, he has a way of putting it all into perspective.
"Look, I was limited in terms of skill level," he (Ed Van Impe) explains. "I wasn't a very good skater. In fact, a lot of guys felt I was a terrible skater. I wasn't very good with the puck either. And I didn't have much of a shot. If I had an asset, it was that I always like to claim my little piece of territory on the ice, which I treated as though I owned. This, I did most of my work from the corners to the front of the net, the areas where goals were scored. I wanted the opposition to know that if they were coming there, I was going to be waiting to remind them that it wasn't going to be an easy job to jab our goaltender or get in his way."
Van Impe's methods of reminding opponents are what everybody remembers. A hack here. A whack there. They were less than subtle reminders, but very effective.
Actaully, while Van Impe downplays his skill level, it's obvious others recognized him as a quality hockey player. He was selected to play at the NHL All-Star game three times during his tenure asa Flyer (1969, 1974, 1975).
During his nine season in the orange and black, he had a lot to do with the Flyers establishing an identity as a difficult team to play against.
In short, he was a warrior, using whatever means available to do the job. Playing through pain was part of the job. He took the philosophy to a new level one night in the Spectrum. Van Impe attempted to block a shot by an Oakland defenseman and caught the puck square in his mouth. In effect, his mouth had been shattered. Seven teeth were smashed (some knocked out, others were broken off), and his tongue and lips were badly cut. He went to the locker room, got sutured up, and amazingly, went back out to finish the game with the blood stains all over his jersey as a reminder of the pain he was enduring. After the game, all he had to do was go to the hospital to have what was left of his damaged teeth surgically removed. He played some subsequent games with his mouth wired shut as part of the recovery process. Yet he barely missed any action!
"Those were my younger, macho days," he smirks now. "Every athlete goes through their macho days. Also I was team captain at the time, so I felt I had to play through it. In the locker room, they told me not to go back out, but I insisted. Was it the smartest thing to do? Absolutely not. Would I do it again? Absolutely! It was a special thing to play for the Flyers and be their captain. I wasn't going to set any trends, but I sure wasn't going to break any, either." -Walking Together: The Broadstreet Bullies, Then and Now
Ed broke into the N.H.L. with the Black Hawks and after one season, Philadelphia drafted him in the first N.H.L. expansion draft. A solid body-checker and an expert at carrying the puck out of his own end, Ed has been a remendous help to the Flyers- Back of 1970-71 Hockey Card
Hard-hitting Eddie was the Phileadalphia tram's first pick in the 1967 expansion draft...Ed seldom scores a goal, but specializes in keeping the opposition off the scoreboard with tough body checks.- 1972-73 Hockey Card
Ed Van Impe was a pro eight years before breaking into the NHL with Chicago in 1966. Named Philadelphia captain in 1968. A very hard hitter, and no stranger to the penalty box.- Back of 1972 Hockey Card
Ed is most known for his ability to clear opposing forwards away from the front of his goalie. He's big and never hesitates to use his size to his best advantage. - Back of 1976-77 Hockey Card
ED VAN IMPE
Awards and Achievements
2 x Stanley Cup Champion (1974, 1975)
3 x All Star Game Participant (1969, 1974, 1975)
Last edited by Leafs Forever: 04-04-2011 at 05:15 PM.
- Won the Stanley Cup with Detroit (2008)
- Won Gold medal at the Winter Olympics (2006)
- Won Gold medal at the World Championships (2006)
- Named MVP and Best Defender in World Championships in 2006.
- Named to the World Championship All-Star Team in 2006.
- 34 goals, 181 regular season points in 385 games played. (Still active)
- 2 goals, 32 playoff points in 63 games played.
Originally Posted by The Hockey News
Hits anybody that moves and can intimidate in open ice. Skates well and is usually in sound defensive position. Has a wealth of offensive ability. Big-hitting, big-minute defenseman with great mobility.
Originally Posted by The Hockey News
Niklas Kronwall, finally healthy at this time of year, is another two-way threat who likes to hit.
Originally Posted by TSN.ca
Trying to beat a hockey team with four defencemen as good as Nick Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart is like trying to break a pane of glass with a feather.
Kronwall, a 27-year-old Swede in his first championship series after having previous post-season wiped out by injuries, has been particularly impressive. The 12 points and plus-13 on the plus-minus scale on the resume of the six-foot, 189-pound blue-liner are leading numbers for all NHL defencemen in these playoffs.
Originally Posted by Ansar Khan, mlive.com
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall has been more active in joining the rush this season, more involved offensively. When Kronwall is at the top of his game, he is a double-edged sword for the Red Wings because of his ability to deliver crushing open-ice hits and contribute offensively.
Originally Posted by Nicklas Lidstrom
Nik's very good at reading the play, getting up in the play; He's got good patience, good poise with the puck. He's hanging onto it and finding a lane.
Originally Posted by Hakan Andersson, Director of European Scouting for the Detroit Red Wings
I know one scout who tried to bring up Niklas Kronwall's name with his team. They just laughed at him. They never even had a serious dialogue. They just stopped him. They said 'a 5-11 Swedish defenceman?' [The Red Wings] organization is more open-minded than that. Turns out he got to keep his job, and we successfully landed one of the league's best two-way defenseman because of it.
Niklas Kronwall becomes a wrecking ball and destroys Martin Havlat, surprisingly, the hit yielded a suspension. The 1:50 mark shows the best replay of the massive hit.
Last edited by Velociraptor: 04-05-2011 at 05:17 PM.
Position: Center HT/WT: 5'8", 165 lbs Shoots: Left Nickname: "Pee Wee"
- 356 goals, 878 regular season points in 888 games played.
- 14 goals, 36 playoff points in 34 games played.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Like any small man in a big-man's game, Dennis Maruk has had to contend with skeptics about his business of dazzling all parties concerned with his spectacular play.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
In spite of his scoring genius, he was passed over by a number of NHL teams in the 1975 draft because of his small stature. It wasn't until choice number 21 that the California Golden Seals secured his rights.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
As he entered the NHL in 1975-76, he sported a fu manchu moustache that was not exactly fearsome in appearance. What was frightening for the opposition, however, was his ability to steal pucks and explode down the ice on breakaways. There were few players in the league who engineered as many one-on-none scoring chances as Maruk. He was fleet of foot, could stickhandle smoothly, and carried a wrist-shot that packed some pop.
Maruk made the transition and adhered to what he called an individual style of play. With an awareness of the Baron's financial troubles, the name of the game was to score big to ensure another shot at the big-time after the team's demise. As such, he continued to pour in a healthy supply of points until the club's assets were absorbed by the Minnesota North Stars.
In a questionable move, the North Stars unloaded his rights to the Washington Capitals, in spite of his impressive numbers. It seemed that the diminutive centreman was having difficulty securing the respect that he deserved. The Stars evidently preferred to invest in their bigger prospect, Bobby Smith. The Stars' loss, however, was a clear gain for the Caps. In Washington, Maruk caught fire as one of the NHL's top scorers. In his second full season with the club, he potted 50 goals as a mere warm-up to his third campaign when he poured in 60 goals and 76 assists for a total of 136 points.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
But again, in spite of his phenomenal output, he was traded back to the Minnesota North Stars for the start of the 1983-84 campaign. The Stars were in the process of giving up on centre Bobby Smith and decided that perhaps Maruk would be useful after all.
The move back to Minneapolis was his final NHL destination. He skated for another five-plus seasons of reasonably solid offensive production before being demoted to the Kalamazoo Wings of the IHL where he retired in 1988-89.
In considering his prime years with Washington, only nine players in league history have scored as many goals in a single season as Dennis Maruk and only eight players equaled or surpassed his single-season point totals. As a result, Maruk was selected for the All-Star team in 1978 and 1982.
It didn’t take long for Maruk to earn a reputation as an aggressive playmaker and crafty goal scorer. Soon he rose through the ranks of the Toronto Marlboros organization, the Junior A farm team for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Marlboros organization had a Junior B affiliate called the Markham Waxers. Players advanced to Junior B, then Junior A and then, if good enough, the NHL.
Although he had just turned 15, Maruk was called up to play for Markham. Back then, Markham was a small town near Toronto. The team’s general manager, Gus Badali, who later became an NHL agent for stars such as Paul Coffey, Wayne Gretzky, Dale Hawerchuck, Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman, had an eye for talent. He wanted Maruk on his team even though he’d be competing against much older players. Maruk didn’t disappoint. He was one of the league’s best offensive players as a centerman and was named rookie of the year.
Originally Posted by Gus Badali
Every night that he went out there he was a threat to score goals, He was just a dangerous, dangerous hockey player. A lot of people would say, though, 'I don't know how far he can go, as far as the pros go, because he's only 5'8".' But Dennis proved everybody wrong at every level that he went, that size was not a factor, that he could handle bigger and older players, and he did it.
Originally Posted by Emile Francis, on Dennis Maruk
This guy gets knocked down a dozen times, gets up and scores a goal.
Maruk continued to impress fans and players with his offensive wizardry, and improved his defense. In 1978, he played in his first All-Star game.
So how does a 5'8" center thrive in the National Hockey League?
Originally Posted by Dennis Maruk
I remember as a 19-year-old being worried when I went to pro camp, so I asked Dave Hutchison what it was going to take for me to make it, he told me that I could score goals and make plays, but that I had to stay aggressive -- always be aggressive. I always remembered that and it helped me stay in the NHL.
Dennis Maruk quietly was one of the most electrifying athletes in hockey during his hey-day, yet in many ways he slipped away without anyone noticing. Why is that?
Originally Posted by Dennis Maruk
I never played for teams that were very good, or that got a lot of coverage. Those teams never seemed to be in contention. Even the Washington teams (that) I had 50 and 60 goals for, (they) weren't very good teams. One thing I did do -- played the game at 100 per cent all the time.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Dennis Maruk turned out alright for a guy who was supposed to be too small to play professional hockey. He played in 888 National Hockey League games, accumulating an impressive 356 goals and 522 assists for 878 points. Included in those totals are back-to-back seasons of 50 and 60 goals respectively, and a 136 point season!
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Dennis stepped right into the NHL the next year, and did not disappoint. Right from that first season he showed he had what it took to play in the National Hockey League, despite his lack of size. He scored 30 goals and 32 assists in a full 80 game schedule. The Cleveland Barons entered the NHL's graveyard after 1978 and Maruk became a member of the Minnesota North Stars. But not for long. After only 2 games in a North Stars jersey, Dennis was traded to Washington in exchange for a first round pick. Minnesota used the pick to select highly regarded Tom McCarthy. Maruk went on to become a superstar.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Dennis was an aggressive player, almost chippy at times. But he was a clean player too, only picking up more than 100 PIM in a season just once. Ironically that was Maruk's best year. Maruk scored 60 goals and 136 points in 1981-82, and had 128 PIM.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Maruk dwarfed his own numbers in 1981-82 when he turned in one of the best single season performances in National Hockey League history. He scored 60 goals and 136 points in 80 games, still team records.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Maruk will likely never join the Hockey Hall of Fame, because of intangibles he couldn't overcome (size), but three of his sticks reside there. They included an all-star game stick and the sticks he used to score goal 351 and his 60th in 1982. Maruk was one of the best players to ever play the game, that nobody knew about.
Originally Posted by The Modesto Bee, Nov. 19, 1975
Say good-bye to Dennis Maruk, the California Seals low-scoring rookie, and say hello to Dennis Maruk, the National Hockey League's latest scoring wizard.
Originally Posted by The Reading Eagle, Mar. 1, 1977
The speedy Maruk, Cleveland's leading scorer, had little chance for a spill before sending the Barons ahead.
- 1-time Stanley Cup Champion (1986)
- 264 goals, 646 regular season points in 1003 games played.
- 16 goals, 51 playoff points in 113 games played.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Ryan Walter was a born leader.
Originally Posted by Ryan Walter, asked about his playstyle
I was a bit adaptable I think over 15 seasons In the beginning, I think it was I was pretty aggressive and a Rick Tocchet type of player that scored goals and had to sort of play a very rounded game. I played center and wing in those early years.
Coming into Montreal, early in my time there, I was playing with Guy Lafleur and Doug Wickenheiser and so it was more of an offensive bent obviously. And then, about half way through my time there, I ended up being a bit more of a defensive specialist and that continued through Vancouver.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Walter was a deceptively strong person, with leg power and balance being the trademark of his skating. He was a tenacious checker who was able to drive through his checks. He also possessed a great understanding of the game, and was able to read the play and anticipate his check's moves ahead of time. His vision enabled him to position himself perfectly to break up plays. Never possessing the quick release needed to become a top shooter, Walter was an opportunistic scorer who scored 264 goals in 1003 NHL games.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
When Walter left Montreal he finished out his career in his home province playing two seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. Walter, a devote Christian, was named the Bud Light/NHL Man of the Year in 1991-92 when he was also the Canucks' nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy and an alternate captain for the Canucks.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
As an NHLer, Walter proved himself to be an adaptable player. During his four seasons with the Caps, he played a tough, aggressive game, getting a solid share of points and penalty minutes.
In 1982, he was traded to Montreal where, in the presence of Guy Lafleur and Doug Wickenheiser, Walter adopted a more open, offensive style of play. In 1985-86, he reached the top of his personal goals list by winning his only Stanley Cup with the Habs.
After nine seasons in Montreal, Walter signed as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks in 1991. He put in his final two professional seasons there as a defensive specialist.