With its final pick in the draft, the Pittsburgh Hornets select John Mariucci, D
Originally Posted by seventieslord
As the two-year captain of an original six franchise (for Chicago in the 1946 and 1948 seasons), Mariucci has to be recognized. While not an all-star caliber player (which available players were?), there are plenty of quotes to support his toughness and his workmanlike attitude. He is definitely remembered. Then you add in the fact that he was an all-star multiple times in leagues other than the NHL, and that he's in the HHOF as a builder (indicative of leadership, dedication, and a true love and zest for hockey) and he's a slam dunk at this point. Some say that no one has ever done more for USA hockey than Mariucci.
Mariuccu was an NCAA all-american in 1940 and on the 1943 EAHL first all-star team. In his first AHL season (1949), he had a very respectable 42 points, good for 5th among defensemen in the world's second-best league.
Mariucci had 13 points in the NHL in 1942, but there were four guys with 28+ points. However, when he had 11 in 1946 and 1947, that was equal to half of the #2-scoring blueliner. By today's defense scoring standards, those are like 30-35 point seasons, so don't let the low raw totals sour you. For what it's worth, Mariucci was the highest-scoring 1941-1948 NHL defenseman remaining, despite missing the two most lucrative war years: 1944 and 1945.
this below quote indicates Mariucci was a forward, which they got from the loh.net website, but this is a mistake. No other source says Mariucci was a forward; he was definitely a defenseman. The Trail also lists him as a defenseman in his stat panel and in every playoff game that he started.
Originally Posted by vintageminnesotahockey.com
After graduation from college Mariucci played for the Chicago BlackHawks for 5 seasons. He was a solid defensive forward and combative team leader who served as captain twice. Mariucci didn't back down from any opponent and waged many fierce battles. In his first 13 NHL games with the Hawks, Mariucci had just under fifty stiches from his forehead to chin. "I'm tired of sewing you up," Chicago trainer Eddie Froelich growled. "Imagine how I feel," Mariucci replied, (per Chicago reports).
Originally Posted by Who's Who In Hockey
One of the toughest hombres ever to glide over a big-league hockey rink... John's fistic ability was remembered by those who chronicled hsi 15-minute fight with Detroit's Black Jack Stewart, both in and out of the penalty box.
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHL
established himself as a fearless defender who backed down from no man...
Originally Posted by Red, White and Blue On Ice
"Of course I didn't back off from bodyckecks in my first NHL game," said Mariucci, "but this major league hockey is more finesse than brute strength and I was trying to prevent goals rather than get into fights. I've got a lot to learn. It's the fine points of the game that I'm working on the hardest."... It took very little time for "Maroosh" to establish a notable presence in the city off Lake Michigan... "Mariucci has certainly caught the fancy of the Cihcago hockey crowds. 'Marush', and "come on, Minnesota' were frequent rafter ringers, especially after John came out #1 best in skirmishes against the boards... never one to miss a bodycheck, no matter how extraneous to effort, Mariucci sent half a dozen Canadiens sprawling during the course of the evening... Mariucci attempted one solo sojourn that took him to the lip of the Montreal nets, but his scoring thrust was stopped. He was on the ice when the Hawks scored both of their goals, and otherwise gave all indications of being a permanent fixture in Chicago hockey doings"...
He established a feud with Detroit defenseman Eddie Wared... He had found his NHL niche as the brash, tough guy enforcer with the off-ice heart of gold... Mariucci's tough guy reputation belied the fact that he was a superb skater: (three quotes from 1943 in the EAHL) "It was John Mariucci, however, who was the real strength of the team last night. Playing a defense position, he spent almost as much time down ice aiding the attack as breaking up rival plays. The bull moose of the team seems to gain skating speed with every start."... "Mariucci did not have wings last night, but he moved up and down the ice as if he were flying. Johnny is by far the fastest skater in the league."... "paced by John Mariucci, the Strong Man, with five goals, the Coast Guard conquered New Haven... used a halfback's stiff arm on his swerving solo dashes into scoring position. Three times he registered goals by racing the full length of the ice. A skilled as well as fast skater, he provided opposition that the New Haven defense could not meet. The crowd thundered its appreciation in applause for this colorful performer..."
Fighting may have stopped on a worldwide basis, but it hadn't stopped for him. He was never better as a battler than in a 0-0 home game tie with Detroit December 6, 1946: "whatever the goalless aspect of the match may have lacked for the excitement seekers was made up for in a 15 minute gory brawl, featuring Jack Stewart and John Mariucci... Referee King clancy was looking the other way when Stewart cut Mariucci as the game was going into its late stages. With blood streaming down Mariucci's face, Clancy ordered him into the penalty box, apparently for spilling gore onto the ice. Mariucci fought one round on the ice, then resumed in the penalty box. The fighting was good, but a bit messy on account of the wonds. Altogether, the combatants each drew a minor, a major, and a misconduct...
Mariucci finished third in the league in PIM with 58… The Canadiens took the first game 6 to 2 but had little difficulty in winning the second 5-1, but Maroosh would nonetheless leave his mark in this match before the series resumed in Chicago. Chicago Daily News, March 22, 1946: "a four-way bout at Montréal started when Cooper and Chamberlain whacked each other over the heads near the Hawk net... Then Richard skated in, swung at Cooper and missed… Whereupon Mariucci leveled "The Comet" (later renamed the Rocket) with a devastating right... Richard had just reached the Bastile when Mariucci snarled something at him and Richard swung again, this time over the boards… Johnny leaned from the box and belted him onto the ice once more."
On August 17, 1948 his NHL career came to an end at Chicago established a working agreement with the HL St. Louis flyers and assigned him there as captain with additional duties as scout.… Four days after the season opener, the locals were treated to a vintage Mariucci performance, but this time with a touch of offense. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 17, 1948: "Mariucci was off the ice, but went over to the Indianapolis bench… He seemed to choose the entire visiting team. There is the usual jawing before somebody swung it somebody else, and the upshot was… Mariucci and Lee Fogolin were rolling on dry land, underneath the Indianapolis bench, in a first-class brawl… Mariucci took a cross ice pass from Eddie Olsen and let fly a long shot that just zoomed into the chords… 19 seconds later Mariucci piped home another long shot from way out that gave the flyers their 3-2 victory"...
St. Louis went on to capture the HL's Western division title and faced the Eastern division winning Providence Reds in the first round of the playoffs. Slowed by injuries to key players, the flyers lost in seven games. Nonetheless, he was his usual self as the Post-Dispatch, March 29, 1948, described him as "dashing" and "whose every move is cheered in St. Louis" while "taking the worst beating of any flyer" and "though taped with miles of adhesive, he'll be out there tonight."
Originally Posted by The Hall: Celebrating the History and Heritage of the USHHOF
He did, in the words of an old but appropriate cliché, become a legend in his own time… Became a fixture manning the Blackhawks defensively end of the 1948 season and eventually became the team captain in the process… Never one to back away from a fight, the hard rock Mariucci was second in penalty minutes during the 1947 season… A legend, a character, an infamous brawler, and a true gentleman, he will always remain immortalized as the "Godfather of Minnesota hockey".
Originally Posted by Hockey, Chicago Style
Perhaps the best, and the meanest Hawk defenseman of the 40s...
Originally Posted by The Gods Of Olympia Stadium
Bill Gadsby: "...Oh, I knew I hurt him. Like I said, I didn't feel very good about it. You don't want to maim a guy. I don't, anyway. Now some guys, like John Mariucci, he'd like to hope the son of a ***** maybe dead. That's the type he was. Ever hear of him? John Mariucci. He was on the Blackhawks when I broke into the NHL in November 1946. Mariucci was for Minnesota, and he stuck out, believe me. He was the toughest I've ever seen play the game of hockey – the meanest and the toughest! It was either my second or third game in Chicago, and him and Jack Stewart of Detroit got in a fight. They hit each other for 2 to 3 min. on the ice. I knew Stewart was a tough guy, and I knew Mariucci was a mean, tough ******* from playing with him. In those days they only had one penalty box, and in they go together. Both of them are caught up. Their noses, chains, and mouths are all bloody and bleeding. They started up again. And they beat the – – – out of each other. They were taking turns hitting each other, just to see who was going to go down first...
But that John Mariucci! Mariucci took care of the Bentley brothers and Bill Mosienko, our best players in Chicago. Guys would hit the Bentleys with the bad check, a stick check, or into the boards; Mariucci would go after them just like it had been his own son. And he would beat the pistol out of them. He'd beat them up! Big Doug McCaig, who played here in Detroit – he was about 6 foot four and probably weighed 220 – he hit Max Bentley one night at center ice with a bad check. I mean, really bad. Mariucci was in our corner and he started skating toward McCaig, picking up speed as he went. McCaig was just getting up off the ice. Mariucci had his fist closed for the whole way, about 60 feet. He hit McCaig right here in the John and lifted him right up off the ice. 20 years later, our trainer here in Detroit, Lefty Wilson, told me Doug McCaig didn't know where he was for three days.…
Mariucci used to get Charlie horses. He'd be all bruised up. He get little bottle of that Capsoline they had. It's a liniment. It's hotter than a son of a *****. I'd put it on sometimes, and I had to go get a wet towel and rub it off, it's so damn hot. He would take a shower in it! He'd slather it on both legs. And he play. He just hobble of the dressing room and play. I've never seen a guy like that."
Benny Woit: "tough guys? There were lots of them. There was a guy named John Mariucci, who played for Chicago. Mariucci wasn't that big of a man, but he was a mean little son of a gun, too."
Ted Lindsay: "I'll tell you another guy who was tough. John Mariucci. And he was a good hockey player besides. He played for the Blackhawks in my first years. Mariucci was tough as nails. They didn't make them any tougher. The only guy tougher than him was black Jack Stewart. It was funny. Those guys have their own rivalry."
Leo Reise: "when I first came up in 1947, John Mariucci was my defense mate. John was my buddy. We got along famously. The best fight have ever seen was Mariucci and black Jack Stewart. In Chicago, bareknuckled, right out at center ice. Nobody grabbed anybody. Nobody was trying to pull the shirt over. Boom! Boom! And they fought to the penalty box. Oh, what a fight that was. He stood back and were thinking, "I'm glad it's not me." It was a great fight! Did they make a great pair with a fought. Oh, boy.… Mariucci was tough, but if anybody says he was the toughest guy in the league back then, it's only because they didn't know black Jack Stewart that well."
OHL Second All-Star Team (1983)
Member of the 1984 Canadian Olympic Team (7 pts in 7 games)
NHL All-Star Game (1991)
NHL Totals GP:946 G318 A:401 PTS:719 PIM:1018
Playoff Totals GP: 57 G:22 A:26 PTS:48
From North Star Legends:
During his prime, Dave Gagner was a skillful scorer whose game was aided by his great determination and grittiness. Standing just 5'10" and 180lbs, Dave played much bigger than his listed size. He was an aggressive and fearless little guy who was a 30+ goal threat when at his best. Twice he topped 40 goals.
An intelligent player, Gagner wasn't a great skater but knew how to shake his check to get open. A finisher more than a playmaker, Dave possessed a good shot with a quick release. An adequate-at-best defensive player, Gagner was an on-ice leader. He was an admirable NHLer, giving everything he had on every shift.
Things changed for the better for Dave in 1988-89. Voted as the North Stars' Most Improved Player, he exploded with 35 goals and 78 points, proving to be a top 2 line center.
The North Stars brought in a new coach in Pierre Page that season and he immediately liked Gagner's spunk and energy. After a strong training camp, Page called him "the hardest worker in the National Hockey League." Under Page's coaching systems, Gagner was finally in a perfect fit, and finally was given a chance to succeed.
Dave had an incredible start to the year. 22 goals and 41 points by mid season. He slowed down a bit in the second half of the year but ended up with 35 goals and 78 points in what amounted to his first full NHL season.
Page would only coach the team one more year, but Gagner's success continued for many years to come. He followed up his breakthrough season with a 40 goal, 78 point 1988-89 season. He had a career high 82 points including a second consecutive 40 goal year in 1990-91. Which saw him win team MVP honors as well as an appearance in the All Star game.
He continued to be a consistent scoring threat, scoring 31, 33, and 32 goals in the following 3 years before slowing down a notch. He scored 14 goals in the lockout shortened 1995 season.
Half way through the 1995-96 season, after 14 goals in 45 games with the Stars, the team traded Dave to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a deal that was designed to strengthened the Leafs. The Leafs already had superstar Doug Gilmour on their lineup, and Gagner's style of play was similar. Though nowhere near as good defensively, Dave was a poor man's version of Gilmour - very spirited, fearless play with good offensive output.
Dave will always be remembered as a solid NHLer, a hard worker and a great team guy.
Jack McDonald was a star hockey player for years before the National Hockey League even existed. By the time the NHL officially formed, Jack was in the twilight of his career, and served primarily as a substitute with the Wanderers, Canadiens, Bulldogs and St. Pats.
Prior to the birth of the NHL, there was the NHA. The National Hockey Association was essential the forerunner to the NHL. Jack was a star in the NHA, scoring 146 goals in 168 NHA games. Jack was a powerful, high scoring left winger who held his own with such superstars as Joe Malone and Newsy Lalonde.
Had Jack had more success in the NHL, he would have been considered one of hockey's early greats. However, because he didn't, he has become more or less forgotten about.
Same goes for several NHA stars who peaked too early to have success once the NHL came along. But the NHA was essentially the NHL throughout the 1910s.. Therefore Jack and other NHA stars should be remembered for what they truly were - great hockey players.
Thanks to SeventiesLord for his previous bio:
Originally Posted by seventieslord
LW Jack McDonald
- 5'10", 155 lbs
- Stanley Cup (1912)
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1906, 1919)
- Was leading CHL with 9 G in 3 GP before it was disbanded; joined OPHL and finished 4th in scoring
- Placed 4th, 7th, 11th, 12th in goals in the NHA/NHL (1911-1919)
- Placed 6th in PCHA goals in his only season there (1913)
- Placed 4th, 4th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th in assists in his best pro seasons
- 11th all-time in NHA goals as seen in the above chart
- Tied with Don Smith and Harry Cameron for 21st in total pre-merger goals with 171; the top-51 players who all have 101+ were all drafted when Smith and McDonald were taken on Day 1, except for two players: Herb Jordan (35th, 129) and *** ****** (44th, 109)
- Scored 2 of outmatched New Glasgow's five goals in a two game series with the 1906 Wanderers.
- Won the 1912 cup against a weak opponent from Moncton, but led his Quebec team in scoring with 9 goals in 2 games. The rest of the team had 8 combined! Malone's 5 goals were next-best.
Originally Posted by loh.net
Jack McDonald's career straddled the formation of the NHL. He played four seasons with the Quebec Bulldogs of the Eastern Canada Hockey Association before joining the Quebec Bulldogs of the National Hockey Association, the precursor to the NHL, in 1910-11. After two seasons with the NHA Bulldogs, McDonald played for the Vancouver Millionaires of the PCHA in 1912-13, returning east to join the Toronto Ontarios of the NHA for the 1913-14 season. McDonald enjoyed his strongest season with the Ontarios, scoring 27 goals and 8 assists in 20 games. The following season, he was back with the Quebec Bulldogs, where he played for the next three seasons. The NHL was formed in 1917, and the Montreal Wanderers claimed McDonald in the Dispersal Draft. After 4 games, the Montreal Canadiens snatched Jack and he finished the season with that franchise. In 1918-19, McDonald again played for the Montreal Canadiens, but when the Quebec franchise returned to the NHL in 1919-20, Jack McDonald became a Bulldog once again.
Originally Posted by The Trail Of the Stanley Cup, Vol. 1
Jack McDonald showed up as a ringer with New Glasgow in a cup series against Wanderers... he then played four years with Quebec, broken by one year at Waterloo...at Waterloo he played with Malone and Oatman. This same trio was the regular Bulldog line for two years when they brought Quebec its first cup in 1912.
The Quebec cup holders were all offered contracts in the PCHA the following year and McDonald and Oatman deserted the bulldogs. After a year with Vancouver, McDonald rejoined the Ontarios. He scored 26 goals on a line with Doherty and Lowrey for a team that won only four games. He was back with Quebec the next three years filling out on various lines.
Although *** ****** played for ten different teams and Jack McDonald for only eight, the palm for being an itinerant player must go to Jack who changed teams fourteen times.
- 6'1", 195 lbs
- Stanley Cup (1991, 1992)
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1981)
- Avco Cup Finalist (1978)
- WHA Defense scoring leader (1978, 1979)
- 5 34-point seasons in NHL
- 199 pro playoff games, most in MLD (153 NHL, 46 WHA)
- 8th in Norris voting, 12th in All-star voting (1983)
- Averaged 21.49 minutes a game for 1097 NHL games for teams with 0.99 GF/GA ratio
- Top-3 in total TOI/GP on team 8 times (1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3)
- Top-3 in ES TOI/GP on team 9 times (1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3)
- 20% PP usage, 39% PK usage
Originally Posted by loh.net
In 1980, Roberts was traded to the Minnesota North Stars where he played parts of eight seasons as a rugged rearguard with a touch for head-manning the puck. He also frequently played for Team USA at the World Championships and the Canada Cup. In 1988, he was traded to the Flyers for eleven games and then passed along to the St. Louis Blues where he remained for parts of four seasons.
Then, as the Pittsburgh Penguins were on the rise, coach Bob Johnson remembered how useful Roberts could be for providing blueline stability, having coached him with Team USA. He brought him into the Pens' fold just in time to make a successful playoff run to claim the club's first-ever Stanley Cup victory. Roberts got to like playing a supporting role for Lemieux, Stevens, and Jagr. So, he stuck around for another Stanley Cup win the following year.
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1977
has the grace of a star. Like the great defensemen, he is showing the ability to control games when he is on the ice. He progressed so rapidly last season in his rookie campaign, by playoffs he was thrilling teammates and frustrating opponents with sparkling moves triggered by the instincts that well within him… Youngest player to ever play in the WHA… Can do things with the puck instead can skates other players can only dream of doing… Rugged enough.
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1978
a potential star. Only 20, and already a veteran of two seasons, all he is missing his maturity… Roberts, the whalers say, must learn to use his teammates to better advantage… Has talent plus… Has a tendency to try to do too much by himself… He has the ability to control a game.
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1979
now a sagacious veteran of 21 years and three campaigns. He can be brilliant. He can also be brutal but that's the price of his youth. Shows remarkable improvement every year… Tends to be offensive minded… A quiet person.
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1980
he is the only whaler who approaches Mark Howe in talent. Even younger, 22, with four seasons behind him, Roberts seems to respond to challenges. Ind this whole season will be a challenge… The better the competition the better he plays… Teems with natural talent… Has a vast amount of experience for his age… Bugged by a few fans in Springfield who can't forget his bad games… Superb skater and puck handler… Definitely a rugged defenseman… Reads everything. "Gordie Roberts can be as good as he wants to be," said Harry Neale, former whalers coach.
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1981
an excellent young player with a sizable amount of talent… Extremely durable, he's missed only nine games in five seasons… Strong and tough, he has the potential to be an All-Star… He's always been an excellent rusher but must improve his defensive work… If he matures as expected, the whalers will have an excellent defense.
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1982
important addition to the team last season… Solid two-way back liner with seven years Pro experience despite being only 24… Fine puck handler and rusher, aggressive defensively… Good power-play man with strong shot.
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1984
one defenseman who did improve was veteran Gordie Roberts, who had his big-league season in all areas of the game.… Last season was probably his best… When he joined stars in 1980 trade, team was loaded with rushers so he switched to defensive style…
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1985
had excellent season in 1984 and was teams best playoff player until back injury chopped him down in the first game of conference final against Edmonton… Good all-around player who handles and move the puck well and is sound defensively…
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1986
it took a long time for him to live up to expectations… "Everyone expected too much," said Glenn Sonmor, who coached in the WHA… Two years ago, he matured into one of the better defensemen in the NHL… Quick and the fine skater, his strength is moving the puck. Now he is much improved defensively. "Ask any defensemen. There's a lot of growing pains. You learn by your mistakes. You learn to take advantage of your strong suits don't do the silly things that get you into trouble."
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1987
has his scary moments but he's talented…
Originally Posted by hockey scouting report 1991-92
tied for best plus minus on team… Survives in the NHL largely on his experience and his conservative game. He can't do that much skills wise, so he doesn't try to put himself in precarious situations. Roberts won't give you points, but he will give reliable positional play and cool demeanor under pressure. Since he doesn't lug the puck and isn't a great passer, he works well with the Penguins forwards, most of whom come back for the puck. He's able to spring them for quick outlets and make the transition to offense, but won't be leading any rushes. Despite his lack of offense of involvement, Roberts was a +13 for the Penguins in the playoffs. He is a good skater, with agility and good balance.
Roberts plays a little taller and a little heavier than his stature. He is a willing if not punishing checker, very sturdy, and he moves men out from in front the net. Since he can turn the play so quickly, he doesn't allow the opposition sustained pressure in the zone. Roberts was an unsung member of glittering defense corps, and played steady stay-at-home role. He has a strong work ethic and is a valuable fifth defenseman for the pens.
Last edited by seventieslord: 08-06-2011 at 12:51 AM.
- 5'11", 195 lbs
- 11th and 13th in All-Star voting (1972, 1973)
- Played in NHL All-Star Game (1973)
- 3 34+ point seasons
- Averaged 25.19 minutes per game for 792 games for teams with an average GF/GA ratio of 0.95
- Top-3 in total TOI on team 11 times (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 3)
- Top-3 in ES TOI on team 10 times (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 3)
- 3.5 seasons as #1 defenseman on top-5 defensive team (1972, 1973, 1975, 1976)
- 32% PP usage, 51% PK usage
- CHL Top Defenseman (1969)
Originally Posted by loh.net
Defenceman Barry Gibbs played nearly 800 games for five different team between 1967 and 1980. He was an aggressive defender in his own end and could supply a decent amount of offense from the point.
Born in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Gibbs played junior with the Estevan Bruins. He was the first player taken in the 1966 Amateur Draft when the Boston Bruins called his name. Although he saw some NHL action, Gibbs spent most of his first two pro seasons developing with the CHL's Oklahoma City Blazers. In 1969 he was named the CHL's top defenceman and placed on the first all-star team. The Bruins were deep on the blueline with the likes of Bobby Orr, Don Awrey, Dallas Smith and Rick Smith so Gibbs was sent to the Minnesota North Stars for draft picks.
The steady rearguard spent 5 1/2 years supplying solid two way play on the Stars. In 1971 he was one of best players when Minnesota gave the Montreal Canadiens all they could handle in the Stanley Cup semifinals. Two years later he scored a personal high ten goals and was picked to participate in the NHL All-Star game. In January, 1975, the veteran blueliner was traded to the Atlanta Flames for Dean Talafous and Dwight Bialowis. He was an integral part of the club for parts of four seasons then played briefly with the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings. In 1980-81, Gibbs played his first minor league season in a decade before retiring.
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1972
the best of the North stars young defenseman are Barry Gibbs and *********... both love to hit… A rugged defender who plays a hitting game… It shows in his penalty minute totals… Leading scorer among Minnesota defenseman… Has a strong, accurate shot
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1973
likes the rough stuff…
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1974
up-and-coming young blueliner whose absence was felt last season when he missed 15 games with injuries after being picked to play in All-Star game… Still showed puck carrying at shooting skill… He and Ted Harris form a strong tandem on defense… Spent his formative Pro years in Boston minor-league system, where he developed an aggressive style of play.
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1975
turned in his finest NHL season statistically, but would trade the points for a better North stars –… One of top choices for All-Star game two years ago, but slipped last season along with rest of team… Still team's best all-around rearguard… Excellent shot from the point, effective at bringing a puck up ice.
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1976
flames were delighted to obtain him in midseason deal with Minnesota… Said Cliff Fletcher: "Gary is one of the 10 best defensemen in the league."… He lived up to expectations… Credits Ted Harris with helping to polish his defensive skills.
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1977
big addition to Atlanta defense… Handles puck well, steady under pressure…
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1978
rugged two-way defenseman who developed hard-hitting style of play in the Bruins organization… Established himself as a quality major league defenseman with Minnesota… Polices the right side and is adept at neutralizing left-wing to come into his own and challenge him one-on-one… Doesn't score many goals but has a knack for getting most of them on slapshots from the blueline point… With his beard and helmet, remind some observers of Bluto, the sinister looking guy in the Popeye comics.
Originally Posted by The Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1980
Friday defensemen just reaching his prime… Bounced back from bouts with flu and mononucleosis two years ago… Also played in Atlanta where he was popular with fans for textbook defense… Impossible to beat one-on-one.
Originally Posted by Players: the Ultimate A-Z Guide of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHL
for a guy has to frequently hurt as Gibbs, it's amazing he lasted 13 years at 797 games in the NHL. Once, with Minnesota, he broke his jaw and had it wired shut for six weeks. He missed three games. Another time, he played half the season with a broken wrist without even knowing it.… Cliff Fletcher called Gibbs one of the 10 best defensemen in the league. Hyperbole, perhaps, but Fletcher was not alone in this belief.
Last edited by seventieslord: 08-09-2012 at 12:02 AM.
The areas the Soviets have particularly-worked to improve since 1972 are face-offs and getting their defensemen to play more offensively. Soviet defensemen no longer hesitate to shoot from the blue line. At the same time, they also are tougher around their own net; in this series NHL forwards will not be able to set up light housekeeping in front of Tretiak the way Phil Esposito did in 1972. This new breed of defenseman is best represented by 20-year-old Sergei Starikov, captain of last year's world champion Soviet Junior Selects. Starikov is fast, a punishing checker, and moves the puck out of his own zone well. He is the Soviet Larry Robinson.
Team USSR: 186 Games Played, 13G
Soviet League Play: 510 Games Played, 58G, 86A, 144PTS, 218PIMS
Olympic Games: 19 Games Played, 2G, 9A, 11PTS, 6PIMS
7 points in 7 games with the Soviet team in the 1980 Olympics
Two Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Olympic Silver Medalist
3 Assists in 6 Games in the 1984 Canada Cup
D Igor Stelnov
Originally Posted by russianhockey.us
The former defenceman won nine Soviet championships and eight European Cups with CSKA Moscow before he finished his career with seasons at Khimik Voskresensk, Rögle (Sweden), Asiago (Italy) and again CSKA until 1998.
He won the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Winter Games with the Soviet Union, the 1986 World Championship and silver at the 1987 World Championship. He also participated in two Canada Cups.
Team USSR: 153 Games Played, 13 Goals
Soviet/RSL League Play: 364 Games Played, 19G, 26A, 55PTS, 178PIMs
Olympic Games: 14 Games Played, 1G, 3A, 4PTS, 13PIMs
1987 Canada Cup: 8 Games, 1G, 4A, 5PTS, 6PIMs
Based on Goals For, Goals Against, and Short-Handed Goals Against, here is how I believe Watson ranked on his team:
1969 – top-4 in Oak, and one of the top pairing PKers
1970 – top-3 in Pit, and one of the top pairing PKers
1971 – top-3 in Pit, and one of the top pairing PKers
1972 – top-2 in Pit, and one of the top pairing PKers
1973 – top-4 in Pit, and one of the top pairing PKers
1974 – top-4 in Pit, and one of the top pairing PKers
1975 – top-3 in Det, and one of the top pairing PKers
1976 – top-3 in Det, and one of the top pairing PKers
1977 – top-4 in Wsh, and one of the top pairing PKers
1978 – top-2 in Wsh, and one of the top pairing PKers
Originally Posted by Years of Glory: 1965-66
Bryan Watson, a rambunctious defenseman, who would quickly earn the nickname “Bugsy”, was drafted from Chicago and became a hard-checking force along the blueline...
... One of the unsung heroes for Detroit was Bryan Watson, who covered Bobby Hull like a blanket. Hull, the NHL’s most gifted scorer, was limited to a pair of goals in the series, both scored when Watson wasn’t on the ice
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Watson had the face of a light heavyweight boxer with plenty of scars and a warm smile to soften his tough-guy looks. He was small in stature but backed away from no one. He was an average skater at best who had little scoring touch around the net. But his value came in his refined art of clutching, grabbing and clinging tactics that he used to effectively blanket and antagonize opponents.
In 1966, during a semi-finals game against the Blackhawks, Watson, as a Red Wing, bothered Bobby Hull like an irritating rash, holding the power winger to only one goal in the series. Hull named his persistent antagonist "Super Pest."
In spite of his defensive skills, Watson spent most of the sixties bouncing between the minors and the majors. At the NHL level, he put in two short stints with the Canadiens, a two-year outing with the Wings, and a short visit with the Seals.
It wasn't until the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired his services in 1969 that he finally settled into his spiritual home. With the Pens, Watson took his game of antagonism to its height. Over his five-plus seasons with the club, he played with combative consistency. Although he only led the NHL in single-season penalty minutes once, he managed to eventually become the league's all-time penalty-minute king until Dave Schultz and Tiger Williams shattered his mark sometime later.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Nicknamed "Bugsy" by Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio, Bryan Watson was known to be an agitator extraordinaire. He bothered people, doing whatever it took to make them lose their concentration.
In spite of Bryan's small size (5'9" and 175 Ibs), most people were distinctly aware of his presence…
Watson himself used to say that the contact felt good and got his circulation moving. Pete Stemkowski of the Rangers called him a "Madman". Denis Potvin once described how during a fight Bryan drove his head right into his cheek. Anything counted in Bryan's book. His style of play could easily be seen on his PIM totals.
A loyal and absolutely fearless player who never hesitated to stop pucks with his head if the situation called for it, Bryan was a great teammate. In the dressing room he was always on the lookout for a good practical joke. He knew when to lighten the bench, and when to set a fire under someone's ass. He was definitely one of those players who every team liked to have on their side.
Originally Posted by Ken Schinkel (teammates)
Bryan is very verbal, and will take whatever steps are necessary to do his thing. That thing means to get into fights, give elbows, and make people boo when he comes to the ice.
Originally Posted by Ken Schinkel (opponent)
I felt it when Bryan came to say hello in the corners. You always knew you got hit when Bugsy got to you.
Originally Posted by Gary Smith
He was the ultimate team man. He gave you all he had and everything he did he did for the team.
Originally Posted by Fred Glover
He was a hard-nosed player and expected everyone to play that way. He would have gone through a wall for you.
-Big two-way goal scoring center who has dabbled a fair amount at right wing.
- Played in the 2009 All Star game
- 11th in Hart voting in 2009
Size: 6'3, 200 lbs.
Top 20 finishes:
- 2nd, 7th, 13th in goals
- 12th in points
VS 2 points:
76%, 67%, 56%, 50%
- Scoring numbers likely deflated due to generally getting less ice time than the majority of comparable players due to the Flyers depth at center. (Only broke 20 minutes once, and then just barely).
Originally Posted by Broad Street Hockey
Carter was not merely scoring, but doing it despite taking on tough defensive assignments, going out in the defensive zone against the opponent's best players.
... In three of the last four years, Carter has been used extensively in his own end against top-line competition. The story here isn't that Carter stepped up his defensive game this year; it's that we're finally appreciating that side of his game.
Carter’s skill set is irreplaceable – he’s exactly what GM’s drool over at the draft – big, fast, skilled, great goal scorer. They don’t grow on trees. The only thing more rare is #1 d-men who are 6’3, skate like the wind, and run both sets of special teams.
looks as though star two-way center Jeff Carter could be traded
He can do just about everything -- solid defense and the potential to be a 50 goal scorer. He's a consistent 35 goal scorer as it is now.
Goalkeeper Bert Lindsay played with the Montreal Wanderers and Toronto Arenas during the first two seasons of the NHL. Prior to this he was a well known figure in the PCHA, NHA and various senior leagues.
Lindsay starred for four seasons on the Victoria Aristocrats and led the PCHA in wins in 1913 and 1914. The talented backstopper was named to the association's all-star team in 1913.
- second best GAA and likely 2nd best goalie in the NHA in 1909-10 after Riley Hern
- PCHA First Team All Star in 1912-13
- Led the PCHA in wins and GAA in 1912-13 and 1913-14
Adding to the excitement was the team roster (Of the Renfrew Millionaires). O'Brien and Ambrose were paying huge cash salaries for a team of hockey stars, attracting attention and the best talent. Bert Lindsay, father of well-known hockey legend Ted Lindsay, was brought in to play goal for the Millionaires. Lester and Frank Patrick were signed at the outrageous cost of $3,000 and $2,000 a season. Frank "Cyclone" Taylor became the highest paid athlete in the world when he joined the Renfrew Millionaires for $5,250 a year.
- Finished 11th, 13th, 9th in Selke voting from 1985-86 to 1987-88 (also received 1 vote in 1984-85).
- Killed 51% of his team's penalties (10th all time since expansion) for PKs 12% better than the league average. (Did this over 721 games).
He approached (the 1984 Olympics) camp like any other and worked like a beaver, his nickname. There is nothing fancy about Tippett's play. But what you notice immediately is his work habit. He is ready for each shift, sticks to the fundamentals and checks tenaciously.
Originally Posted by Dave Tippett
My biggest asset is my skating. I can play the clutch-and-grab game against professionals because of my skating.
Originally Posted by James Patrick
Dave is small, but what people don't realize is how strong he is.
Washington got goals from two unlikely sources, defensive specialist Dave Tippett and enforcer Alan May and beat the New York Rangers, 3-2, last night to even their Patrick Division semifinal series at two wins apiece.
I'll also select G Joe Daley, the winnigest goalie in WHA history.
1x WHA 1st Team All Star
1x WHA 2nd Team All Star
4x Top 9 Wins in WHA(1, 2, 5, 9)
4x Top 5 GAA in WHA(2, 2, 2, 5)
4x Top 8 Shutouts in WHA(1, 4, 4, 8)
3x WHA Champion
1st all time in Wins, WHA history
Daley finished the 1970-71 season with a record of 12 wins, 16 losses and 8 ties, with one shutout and a 3.70 GAA. His goals against was just slightly higher than Crozier's, and his win-loss record was slightly better. Still, at the end of the season, GM Imlach felt more confident with Crozier and Dryden as his goaltending tandem. On May 25, 1971, Daley was traded to the Detroit Red Wings for defenseman Mike Robitaille and center Don Luce.
In 1972, he was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the World Hockey Association's General Player Draft. The WHA was a new league, which sought to earn credibility by signing established NHL talent, including a few NHL superstars, to play in their league rather than remain in the NHL. Daley was one of many NHLers to join the new league in the early 1970's. The move to Winnipeg was a homecoming for Daley, who grew up in East Kildonan, Manitoba, a suburb of Winnipeg. He played 6 seasons as a member of the Jets, from their inaugural season of 1972-73 until their last season in the WHA, 1978-79. During that time, Daley became the winningest goaltender in WHA history with 167 wins. He was a part of three consecutive Avco Cup Championship teams between 1976 and 1978. He retired from professional hockey following the 1978-79 season.
Daley posted a 12-16-8 record for the Sabres, the best among the three netminders that played for them that year. Despite his success for the Buffalo, the Sabres opted to go with Roger Crozier and xxx for the next season and traded him to the Red Wings.
With the Wings Daley played the last games of his NHL career, appearing in 29 contests and posting an 11-10-5 record.
Despite playing 105 games in the NHL, Daley will be best remembered for the second stage of his career which began with the formation of the World Hockey Association in 1972. Daley was selected by his hometown club, the Winnipeg Jets and he would spend the next seven seasons; the duration of the WHA's existence, with them.
Daley served as the Jets back up in 1972-73, but he took the starting reigns the following year and enjoyed great success with them. In 1975-76 Daley won 41 games and backstopped the Jets to their first Avco Cup as league champions. By the time the WHA folded Daley was the winningest goaltender in league history and had three Avco Cup championships on his resume. When the league folded in 1979 and the Jets were absorbed into the NHL, Daley retired from hockey.
I'll also select my coach, Red Berenson, a one time Jack Adams winner and a guy with a very good winning % in a short NHL career. I don't see how he's not better than Bobby Kromm.
1981 Jack Adams Trophy Winner
.569% Career Winning % in NHL
2x NCAA Champion
6th all-time in NCAA Wins
Berenson retired from playing in 1978 and joined the Blues' coaching staff. He became the team's Head Coach midway through the 1979–80 season. A year later, he won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's Coach of the Year. He returned to his Alma Mater as Head Coach in 1984 and has remained in the position ever since. Berenson has led the Wolverines to 11 Frozen Four appearances, and NCAA championships in 1996 and 1998. In CCHA competition, his teams have won 11 regular-season and 9 tournament titles, and the Wolverines have secured a winning record since Berenson's second year at the helm. In addition, Berenson's squads have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 21 seasons. This is the longest streak ever in college hockey history. His all-time record as Michigan's Head Coach is 730–338–72, a record which currently places him 6th in NCAA history for career victories. The Wolverines have also won 12 Great Lakes Invitational titles under Berenson.
Philadelphia will also select a guy that can really fill a hole anywhere in our lineup and really is good at everything. The only question with him is competition, C Alexander Uvarov
23 goals in 59 career Team USSR games
203 goals in 259 career Soviet League games
1x Soviet League Champion
This is Alexander Uvarov, one of the earliest hockey stars in Russia.
Like most athletes new to hockey in the Soviet Union in the late 1940s, the 5'7" 160lbs Uvarov was a bandy star. Bandy was a similar game played on ice and skates, with a ball instead of a puck. Uvarov was a noted skating wonder in bandy, so once he mastered the art of handling the puck he became a top hockey player.
Though the game was only introduced when Uvarov was already in his 20s, he was noted as an exceptional player because "he had an outstanding ability to think on the ice. He controlled the game and orchestrated play by speeding up or slowing down the pace of the game when needed. In short, he was the pace-setter."
Uvarov may have been the very first dominant center in Russia, thus setting the standard for the classic Soviet pivot - masterminding the offense with playmaking rather than goal scoring. He would brilliantly set his Moscow Dynamo linemates Valentin Kuzin and Yuri Krylov free to score goals. Uvarov did not get much credit, but he often was the key reason for the goal.
On the national team, Uvarov's advanced understanding of the game was utilized in another fashion. He was the defensive expert used to shutdown the top lines of the Czechs, Swedes and Canadians. Because of his unselfish play he allowed the Russians to stay in games earlier in their involvement in hockey, and later helped them win. All again without necessarily scoring the big goal himself.
The hat-wearing Uvarov and his linemates often confused the opposition with many short passes rather than rushing the puck individually, and with criss-crossing positions. Neither tactic was common back then, and would become the foundation of Soviet hockey theory.
All thanks to the early example set by Alexander Uvarov. He was the ultimate team player, and was acknowledge as such by serving as team captain for Moscow Dynamo for 11 years.
Uvarov scored 202 goals in 259 Soviet league games, although Dynamo only won one USSR Championship (1954). He participated in 27 games with the national team, most famously with the 1956 Olympic team that shocked the world to win gold.
"He had speed, a smooth skating style and stamina... quickly mastered the art of handling the puck... had all the requirements - speed, technique, powerful shots on goal, and an ability to help out on defense... had an outstanding ability to think on the ice. He controlled the game and orchestrated play by speeding up or slowing down the pace as needed.... had excellent peripheral vision... another special talent was versatility... his line attacked aggressively and scored the most goals domestically... when on the national team he became the shutdown center, neutralizing opposing stars... strategy was to keep the puck away from the opposition using a series of short, swift passes... The 1956 Olympic gold medal game was practically won on two goals scored on passes from Uvarov... a team player of the highest caliber, always placing the team's interests above his own... was team captain for 11 seasons in a row, and played until age 38.
Reversing his numbers the next year, the rangy rearguard spent only 10 games in Buffalo and the bulk of the season with the Canadiens as injuries limited Bouchard to only 27 regular season games.
The stay-at-home defenseman who could take a hit, dish one out and competently move the puck to his forwards, based his game on solid positional play. Thriving in his role of countering oncoming attackers effectively but unspectacularly, Laycoe rarely exceeded the rules of the game, only once collecting more than 30 penalty minutes as a Hab.
Traded to Boston towards the end of the 1950-51 campaign, Laycoe spent the next five seasons patrolling the Bruins’ blue line where the man who was also The Rocket’s occasional tennis partner while with the Habs, Nonetheless, he helped spark the infamous Richard Riot in 1955, with Laycoe being the player Richard would strike on his way to being suspended a few days later.
Defenceman Hal Laycoe played over 500 NHL games in the 1940s and '50s. He was a solid positional player who took the body well and moved the puck up to his forwards with efficiency.
Born in Sutherland, Saskatchewan, Laycoe played senior hockey in Saskatoon with the Dodgers and Quakers. During World War II, he skated with the Canadian Postal Corps as well as the Toronto and Winnipeg Navy units. He turned pro in 1945-46 by playing 17 games with the New York Rangers and starring on the blueline of the New York Rovers of the EHL. Following the season he was named to the EHL's second all-star team.
Laycoe was a solid regular in 58 games for the Blueshirts in 1946-47 before he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in the off-season. He was a semi-regular in Montreal but also saw extensive ice time in the AHL with the Buffalo Bisons. In February 1951, he found an NHL home when he was traded to the Boston Bruins for Ross Lowe. Laycoe solidified the Boston defensive troops through the 1955-56 season and helped the club reach the finals in 1953.
With so many years of elite competition already under his belt, Ragnarsson had all of the skills necessary to step right into the Sharks' lineup and add stability to the team.
He did so by establishing himself as a consistent and dependable rearguard who played a sound positional game and made good use of his size to maintain control of his own zone. He also showed great stamina by logging a tonne of minutes in key situations.
Ragnarsson opened the 2001-02 campaign at his usual post on the Sharks defense, surrounded by his youthful proteges before being dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers midway through the 2002-03 season. Upon his arrival with the Flyers, Ragnarsson continued his solid play in his own zone and was a key player in helping Philadelphia reach the Eastern Conference Final in 2003-04.
Ragnarsson is a two-time member of Sweden's World Championship team (1995 and 1997), a two-time member of it's Olympic Team (1998 and 2002) and a member of it's World Cup team (2004). Ragnarsson also participated in the 2001 All-Star game.
Thanks to Vancityluongo for a previous bio quote:
Originally Posted by Vancityluongo
Ragnarsson was a defensive anchor on the Swedish National team. A shutdown specialist, who also had a bit of an edge. Also a key member of the Flyers and Sharks defense for a number of years, he'll be counted on to play a solid defensive game, and make sure his presence is known whenever he steps foot on the ice.
- 7 Calder Cups (1938, 1940, 1945, 1948, 1951, 1953, 1954)
- 3-Time Calder Cup Finalist (1944, 1946, 1950)
- 6-Time AHL 1st Team All-Star (1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1944, 1945)
- AHL 2nd Team All-Star (1943)
- 636-413-122 in 1171 AHL games (.595)
- 75-61 in 136 AHL playoff games (.551)
- 10 Regular season titles
- Qualified for playoffs in 18 of 19 seasons
Originally Posted by AHL Hall of Fame
Cook retired in 1937 and became head coach of the AHL’s Providence Reds, leading the team to the Calder Cup championship in his first season. Two years later, Cook’s Reds won another Calder Cup, and in 1942, he coached the Eastern Division team in the first AHL All-Star Game, a benefit to raise funds for American and Canadian efforts in World War II. Cook also put himself back on the ice while in Providence, playing a total of 37 regular-season games during his six years with the Reds.
In 1943, Bun Cook took over for his brother Bill behind the bench of the Cleveland Barons and soon solidified his reputation as one of the most popular and successful teachers in the sport. His 13 seasons in Cleveland saw the Barons dominate as a perennial power in the AHL, including seven first-place finishes in the regular season and five more Calder Cup championships.
Cook retired from the AHL in 1956, following his 11th trip to the Calder Cup Finals. He led his team to the postseason in 18 of his 19 seasons and finished with a record of 636-413-122 (.595), still leaving him as the winningest head coach in league history. His incredible seven Calder Cup championships are by far the most ever by an AHL coach; no one else in league history has won more than three. Cook also ranks second all-time with 1,171 games coached and second with 75 postseason victories.
Originally Posted by Forgotten Glory: The Story Of Cleveland Barons Hockey
Bun was noted as a master strategist and a great developer and motivator of young players. While brother Bill was an explosive coach who could lose his temper quickly, Bun was more soft-spoken and took a fatherly approach in motivating his players. Bun would never bawl out a player in front of his teammates. Instead, he would rather sit down next to a player in the locker room after a game and quietly discuss that player's mistakes and build up his confidence... he could be tough as nails if the situation so merited.
Originally Posted by Forgotten Glory: The Story Of Cleveland Barons Hockey
Cook was a big believer in experience in pressure situations. He was consistent with this philosophy all through his coaching career.
Originally Posted by Forgotten Glory: The Story Of Cleveland Barons Hockey
The Barons gave up on the Right winger a little too soon. Whitey never developed into a big scorer in Cleveland because Bun Cook constantly drummed it into his head to think backcheck before scoring.
Originally Posted by Forgotten Glory: The Story Of Cleveland Barons Hockey
Ceresino was one of the most improved players during the early going. One of the league's fastest skaters, Ray had a habit of skating too close to the boards when carrying the puck. This made it easy to take him out of plays. After working tirelessly with coach Bun Cook, the quick winger was able to adjust his style to using all of the ice on his side of play. This adjustment allowed him to use his great speed and become more elusive. The goals naturally followed.
Originally Posted by Forgotten Glory: The Story Of Cleveland Barons Hockey
It was no secret to insiders that there were strained relations between Cook and vice president and GM Jim Hendy. They didn't see eye to eye on a number of issues. The tempest in the teapot centered around Cook's handling of players. The coach took a fatherly approach toward his team. Obviously, it worked. Cook won more championships than any other coach in the game. Still, Hendy thought he should have won more. He, and many of the team's stockholders, thought that Cook was too soft on his players... So Bun Cook was gone. One of the game's truly great gentlemen, he took with him a legendary coaching record... The greatest coach in AHL history would be missed in Cleveland. He was one of sport's most well-liked figures, beloved by players and fans alike.
- 6'1", 190 lbs
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1953, 1957, 1958)
- Placed 7th, 8th, 9th, 13th in Norris voting (3-12 voting points)
- Placed 12th & 15th in scoring by blueliners in his best offensive seasons
- Almost an all-star (5th in voting) (1960)
- Played in NHL All-Star Game (1960)
Originally Posted by loh.net
A bruising, hard-hitting defenceman, Armstrong anchored the Boston blueline for every one of his 542 career NHL games after graduating from Stratford in junior hockey. He never rushed the puck, got into plenty of fights, and made it to the Stanley Cup finals twice, losing to Montreal in 1953 and again in 1957.
He played junior in Stratford in the late 1940s until breaking in with the Bruins in 1950-51. The following year was entirely with the farm team in Hershey until the playoffs when he was called up as a stopgap measure and played in five games. Amrstrong spent most on the next dozen years in the NHL.
In 1961-62, he started the season, as usual, in Boston, but was demoted after nine games. Two years later, he retired.
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHL
"He could tie up guys in such a way that wouldn't draw penalties," said Red Sullivan.
Originally Posted by Fischler's Hockey Encyclopedia
Long before Ted Green and Derek Sanderson came along to vent their fury with the big, bad Boston Bruins, Bob Armstrong was terrorizing opponents on the Bruins' blueline. A big, balding "defensive defenseman", Armstrong scored only 13 goals in 10 full seasons, but he could hit.
Originally Posted by Heroes: Stars of Hockey's Golden Era
Throughout his decade-long career with the Bruins, Armstrong was considered a solid performer in the club's defensive corps. The ex-Bruin rates his talents a little more severely. "I had to work like hell. I wasn't a very good skater. I couldn't go around my grandmother. I tried never, ever to let anybody go inside... ever. The threat of scoring is minimized that way."
Last edited by seventieslord: 09-01-2011 at 10:10 PM.
Frank "Buzz" Boll was a fast skating left-winger who demonstrated an ability to score during a career that lasted eleven full seasons. He reached double figures in goals eight times and was considered one of the most consistent players in the league.
Born in Filmore, Saskatchewan, Boll excelled with such clubs as the Weyburn Wanderers, Regina Pats, and Weyburn Beavers before he joined the senior Toronto Marlboros in 1931-32. After gaining valuable pro experience with the IAHL's Syracuse Stars, Boll joined the Toronto Maple Leafs on a regular basis in 1933-34.
As a rookie, the young forward witnessed the Bailey-Shore incident and participated in the subsequent benefit game. Boll was a solid player for the club through the late 1930s and often played on the same line with Bill Thoms and Bob Davidson. In May 1939, Boll and Busher Jackson were the key players sent to the New York Americans for Sweeney Schriner. Boll spent three years in New York, including the franchise's last season in 1941-42 when it was based in Brooklyn.
Following the demise of the Americans, Boll's rights were transferred to the Boston Bruins in the Special Dispersal Draw. The veteran winger was teamed with Bill Cowley and Art Jackson and produced a career best 25 goals. Boll played one more year in the Black and Gold before retiring in 1944.
This from Greatest Hockey Legends (Joe Pelletier)
Frank "Buzz" Boll started his NHL career in the most unlikely of fashions, but ended up working his way to the top. He should be remembered as an extremely consistent performer at both ends of the ice, and not as a baseball bat-wielding bouncer!
Born in the tiny village of Fillmore, Saskatchewan, "The Fillmore Flash" excelled with such Saskatchewan amateur and junior clubs such as the Weyburn Wanderers, Regina Pats, and Weyburn Beavers. The Leafs were impressed with him enough to bring the young prospect east in 1931 to play Ontario senior hockey with the Toronto Marlboros.
The move from the tiny farming community to Canada's biggest city must have been quite an adjustment for Boll. He needed some money, so in the summer of 1931 he landed a job working for Conn Smythe. Smythe and his group begun construction of the fabled Maple Leaf Gardens, and required a night watchman of the construction site. Smythe would always help out a hockey player or prospect, and he was more than happy to give Boll the job. Boll was provided with a make-shift shack with a stove and some fire wood, as well as a 15 cent baseball bat to keep intruders off of the grounds.
Boll was eager to impress Smythe on the ice too, and did so with the Marlboros. He scored 14 goals in 20 games before finishing the season as a professional with the Syracuse Stars of the IAHL. He would spend most of the 1932-33 season learning the professional game down in Syracuse as well, but by 1933-34 he emerged as a National Hockey League player.
Boll was one of the most unheralded players of the Leafs teams of the 1930s. A quick left winger with a good scoring touch, Boll was consistently solid although never flashy enough to earn rave reviews that others on the team would get. He was a conscientious defensive player, often playing on a checking line with Bill Thoms and Bob Davidson. He was a guy who did everything well but nothing excellently.
In 4 of Boll's 6 seasons in Toronto Boll would top 10 goals in the 48 game schedule. Given that the era back then was extremely defensive, Boll's totals would be the equivalent of 30 goals in today's day and age. Boll would slip below the double digit numbers only during two injury plagued seasons.
In May 1939, Boll and Busher Jackson were the key players sent to the New York Americans for the flashy Sweeney Schriner. Boll spent three years in New York, including the franchise's last season in 1941-42 when it was relocated to Brooklyn.
Following the demise of the Americans, Boll's rights were transferred to the Boston Bruins in a dispersal draft. The veteran winger was teamed with Bill Cowley and Art Jackson and produced a career best 25 goals. Boll played one more year in the Black and Gold before retiring in 1944.
Boll retired with 133 goals and 263 point in 437 NHL games. He would play in 31 playoff games, but all of his 7 playoff goals and 10 playoff points came in the 9 games of the 1935-36 playoff season with Toronto. That outburst led all Leaf scorers and returned the Leafs to the Stanley Cup finals, but unfortunately wasn't enough to get the team past the Detroit Red Wings.
Hope this helps people, Boll seems like a tremendous player, he, Hampson and Larouche give me a good 1st line.
Go Sens Go and acquire a defenseman and another scoring winger.
When he made the transition to the big league, first with Winnipeg, the team that originaly drafted him back in 1989 and then with Florida, his duties were suddenly a checker, filling a role by stopping the other team's best players. After a trade to Pittsburgh in 1996, Barnes, with the retirement of Mario Lemieux who has since returned to the Penguins, was given a chance to return to his offensive game, playing on a line with Jaromir Jagr. The one-time defensive specialist responded with a thirty-goal season, reminding hockey fans in Alberta of the time when everybody was talking about the kid from Spruce Grove.
It was in Buffalo that Barnes' value as a two-way, clutch centerman really came through.
In four seasons with the Sabres, Barnes averaged 42 points, and routinely was sent out against the opposing team's best players in a checking role. Barnes was highly effective in head coach Lindy Ruff's system, and another team took notice of his abilities.
In four seasons with the Stars, Barnes platooned himself in the lineup as one of the premiere checking forwards in game, and was definitely a fan favourite.
Originally Posted by NHL Hockey: An Official Fans' Guide 2002-03
Stu Barnes is a great lead-by-example captain.
Originally Posted by Miami Ice: Winning the NHL Rat Race
Barnes, the finesse playmaker, could set up XXXXXXX, the natural goal scorer...
- 6'0", 196 lbs
- Top-9 in Selke Voting 5 Times (3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th)
- Career Adjusted +19
- Killed 38% of penalties for teams 3% above average on the PK
- Best ES points percentages by the seventies system: 33, 33, 32, 30, 29
Originally Posted by loh.net
At 21, Erixon came to New York and appeared in 75 games with the Rangers, scoring five goals and 30 points. Known more as a defensive specialist, Erixon never reached the ten-goal plateau in any of his ten years with the Rangers. Erixon's final season was 1992-93. He finished his NHL career with 57 goals and 159 assists for 216 points in 556 regular-season games. He added seven goals and seven assists in 58 playoff games.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1986-87
Erixon has good fundamentals and knows his position on the ice. He is an excellent defensive forward because of his skating and anticipation abilities but is simply not a goal scorer. He is a good checker and does well on the PK units because of his speed at getting to the puck and his ability to read the offensive play. He will zip in and out of the slot for shots (and he'll have to score from in close if he scores at all) but he won't hang around there waiting for opportunities. Erixon handles the puck fairly well, able to get the passes to his teammates, but not very often in his role as a checker.
Erixon has been hurt and is fragile, missing almost a third of his games during his first three seasons. He is not a physical player, successful more by determination and desire than anything else, but will lean on the opposition if the play calls for it.
Erixon and Sundstrom are cut almost from the same cloth, except that Erixon is more of an up-and-down player than Sundstrom is, able to perform the defensive functions asked of Sator's system. Erixon is one of those players the Rangers think has all kinds of potential. he has reached his potential as a checker and won't grow to anything much beyond that role.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1987-88
Erixon distinguished himself as a checker extraordinaire last year, often frustrating the likes of Mike Bossy and Mario Lemieux... Erixon's good fundamentals really allowed him to come into his own as a defensive force. He is always aware of his position on the ice and that anticipation - combined with strong, tireless skaring - makes him an excellent defensive forward. He is a relentless checker... Jan's instincts and foot speed will get him into position for many scoring opportunities and, if he had any hands at all, he'd score 20-25 goals a year...he doesn't have a goal scorer's touch; he does not release his shot quickly, nor does he do it accurately.
Because he does bump his check - and because his check will hack at him - Erixon suffers his share of bumps and bruises. He is not an overly physical player... He will, however, take whatever the opposition dishes out. Many opponents become so frustrated by Erixon's shadowing that they slash him, spear him and throw him to the ice... The importance of Jan Erixon, particularly to an Esposito-managed team that values offense over defense, is inestimable. He plays a very intelligent game and performs his checking job without getting penalized, many times forcing the opposition to take penalties in frustration.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1988-89
Superb, but quiet, fundamentals make Erixon a superb, but quiet player. His ice vision and anticipation are excellent, and Jan combines those qualities with tireless and strong skating to perform as one of the best - if not THE best - defensive forward in the NHL... his instincts and foot speed afford him many scoring opportunities; unfortunately he has almost no scoring touch.
Erixon is not the strongest checking forward in the league, but he may very well be the toughest. He simply cannot be slowed down. Jan uses his body excellently to deny the puck along the boards or thwart the attempts of players like Mario Lemieux. Those opposition players become so frustrated by Erixon's shadowing that they slash him, spear him and throw him to the ice. Erixon takes it all, and gets back up to continue his job. That's Tough.
Any superlative regarding Erixon's defensive ability is completely applicable.. he is a player any team would like to have.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1989-90
Erixon possesses extraordinary - but quiet - skating skills and hockey sense. He is extremely strong on his skates, as well as extremely agile. He has great balance and quickness - which add up to great lateral movement - though he doesn't have rink-length speed. His hockey sense is exceptional, and it puts him where he is supposed to be remarkably well... he uses his teammates well and has great hands for passing and accepting passes, and Jan carries the puck very well. In fact, he is almost impossible to separate from the puck by legal means because of his hand skill and balance. Those skills do not translate into goals, however. Erixon shoots the puck well, but because he's so unaccustomed to thinking offensively, he doesn't shoot the puck at the right moment.
We've already talked about balance, but Erixon adds great strength to that balance to make his checking relentless and physically tiring to the opposition... because he cannot be slowed down - even illegally - Erixon may very well be the toughest (checking forward in the league); he takes tremendous punsihment from the players he checks. He's very smart at using his body to bump the opposition off the puck or protect the puck, and his relentless play forces the opposition to take penalties to thwart him. The main question is health... a healthy season would go a long way towards gaining him the Selke Trophy he deserves as the league's best defensive forward.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1990-91
Hockey sense and skating skills are the finesse keys to Erixon's exceptional checking ability. He is an almost tireless skater, and a strong one as well. He has the ability to go stride for stride with the players he's checking and that's because of both his endurance and his overall mobility... Erixon uses that anticipation and vision aspects of his hockey sense to their best degrees when he forechecks. His brains and skating combine to make him an active forechecker, a player who angles extremely well so as to force a play instead of just chasing the puck. His sense works to show him the holes, and he plugs those holes or intercepts the puck during his individual checking assignments.
His hand skills are a paradox. He makes and takes passes exceptionally well and, because the puck is almost impossible to get off his stick, once it's there he's very strong in traffic and in puck control situations... unfortunately, Erixon has no more success getting the puck off his own stick than the opposition does... his hands are as poor for scoring as his feet are good for checking.
The components of skating are balance, and, obviously, strength or power. Erixon puts both to use in his checking, and he can be a physically overwhelming player because of those assets. Not physically overwhelming as in a stick of dynamite, but his insistent and persistent hitting wears down the opposition like the ocean wears down a beach... he is a finely conditioned athlete and he needs every ounce of his strength and conditioning to both absorb the tremendous punishment he receives (his checks abuse him unmercifully in attempts to get away from him) and to avoid injury - something he has been unable to do.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1991-92
Most checking players in the league have trouble scoring and Erixon is no different. It's probably the reason he is a checker in the first place. Erixon works hard to pry the puck loose, his skating and hockey sense create so many turnovers and opportunities, and his ice IQ makes him the perfect complement for two all-offense linemates... Erixon has strength. He has balance. He is one of the best in the league at angling players to the boards, then beating them for the puck along the wood. He skates through hooks and hits and body slams, kicks the puck ahead to his stick while being held. When he has the puck, Erixon knows what to do and when to do it, but he simply does not finish.
From the standpoint of abuse accepted, sacrifice made, strength along the boards, and dedication to the checking arts, Erixon may be the most physical player the Rangers have. He is not going to separate shoulders with a bodycheck, unless the shoulder is his own. He is not going to do much of anything, other than outwork your whole team for the puck, go non-on-five while killing penalties and keep his legs going while smeared along the boards by at least two opponents. Erixon's work ethic is universally respected in the dressing room. he is determined to do his job well, utterly without need of credit or recognition. A more selfish Erixon might me a more successful one.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1992-93
Effort, hustle, positioning, tenaciousness and hockey sense make all the difference in Erixon's game. Positioning, especially, is a key to the way he makes his living. He makes a player with the puck go around him, or through him, which is not easy, because Erixon is very smart and does a good job covering ground. Erixon skates very well; generally, if he leaves his feet, it is by choice, because he is very difficult to knock down. He does a very good job of pursuing the puck. While killing penalties, he gouges giant chunks of time off the clock by playing keepaway with the puck; he'll accept three or four hits, move the puck a few feet, pin it against the boards, take a few more whacks and hacks, then kick the puck to his stick and clear it to a teammate. Offensively, though, he is a bust.
Erixon has tremendous wrist strength to control the puck with one hand. He has the leg strength for drive that keeps the puck alive along the boards and in the corners. And has the mental strength to accept the punishment he always seems to absorb. He is a splendid forechecker who complements his skating skills with hockey sense that helps him cut off the rink on a player with the puck. Erixon does hot hit so much as he finishes, eliminates, rubs out. But he also pressures the puck carrier into turnovers, and his success is unquestioned as a shadow of the other team's top offensive threat. As valuable a contributor as Erixon is, health has been a problem almost from the start of his career. And while he is so exceptionally dependable in the games he plays, he is rehabilitating a work-related injury almost constantly. How much more punishment he can take is a legitimate question.
Renberg will provide the glue for my first line. Throughout his career he was solid in both ends of the rink, provided excellent board work, and a physical presence.
From Legends of Hockey:
A native of Pitea, Sweden, Mikael Renberg was drafted from his hometown in 1990 by the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers selected Renberg 40th overall in the NHL Entry Draft. He remained in Sweden the next three season with Lulea HF and stints with the Swedish junior and national teams. In 1993 Mikael earned a silver medal with the national team at the World Championship and a chance to make the Flyer lineup in the fall. He made the most of his opportunity. Renberg performed so well that he just missed out on winning the Calder Trophy for best rookie. It took the remarkable performance of Martin Brodeur to deny Renberg of the award.
Renberg did settle for setting the Flyer rookie scoring record and being named as Philadelphia' s Pelle Linbergh Trophy winner. The following season Renberg teamed up with Eric Lindros and John Leclair to form the " Legion of Doom" line. The Flyers captured the Atlantic Division title and advanced as far as the Eastern Conference finals before bowing out. Renberg was recognized with the Viking Award as the league' s top Swedish player.
Injuries limited Renberg' s playing time in 1995-96 but he rebounded the next season by helping Philadelphia claim the Prince of Wales Trophy. The Flyers lost out to Detroit for the Stanley Cup. Sensing they were a player or two short of winning the NHL' s top prize, the Flyers traded Renberg to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1997 off-season. Just over a year later the Flyers dealt with the Lightning to get Renberg back in the fold. In the meantime Mikael Renberg had represented his country in the 1998 Olympics and 1998 World Championship, winning gold in the latter tournament.
Renberg stayed with the Flyers until March 8, 2000, when he was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes. Mikael play just ten games and five playoff contests before returning to Sweden. The next season he opted to stay with his old club, Lulea HF, before returning in 2001 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who had traded for his playing rights.
Prior to his arrival with the Leafs, Renberg representd Sweden at the 2001 World Championships. Upon his return to the NHL, Renberg went on to become a solid two-way player for the club, despite battling injuries and went on to represent his country for the second time at the Olympics, at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002.
Born in the small northern town of Pitea, he certainly wasn't the stereotypical Swedish player. He may not have been as noted of a physical player as the other two (legion of doom), but in reality he possessed great upper body strength and a surprising nasty streak.
Renberg grew up idolizing shifty, pint-sized dynamo Mats Naslund, but he was anything but. He was not a great skater, though he had incredible balance on his skates. His long stride combined with uncanny anticipation skills always kept him in good position.
Because of his great anticipation skills, defensive responsibilities of the line fell to Renberg. This explains why Renberg's scoring statistics and recognition trail that of his linemates, but in no way was he any less important to the team's success. Far from it, actually. Without such a dedicated team player willing to sacrifice personal achievement for the betterment of the team, the Flyers top line would have been doomed.
Renberg didn't hang on to the puck very long when he did get it. Always a shooter first, he worked hard on releasing shots quickly. Many of his goals came from crashing the net and shoveling loose pucks and rebounds. But he also had a patented play on the power play where he'd come in on his off wing and snap a strong shot off of his back foot.
Renberg could be well compared to Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom. Neither were flashy hockey stars, just solid on ice citizens with a desire and work ethic that was second to none. The two were childhood friends and grew up together both off and on the ice. Holmstrom's father was one of their earliest mentors. Renberg's father was a great sportsman himself, a former professional soccer goalie now providing for his family by operating a gas station and garage.
The right winger's NHL debut was impressive to say the least. Named as a All-Rookie Team forward, Renberg scored a team rookie record 82 points. He also paced all rookies with 38 goals.
In the lock-out shortened 1994-95 season, the right winger led the Flyers to the Atlantic Division title and a playoff berth for the first time in six years. Renberg recorded 57 points in 47 games and led the Flyers with eight game-winning goals. In the playoffs, Mikael scored 13 points in 15 games as the Flyers advanced to the Eastern Conference finals before eventually losing to the New Jersey Devils. At year's end, he won the Viking Award as the top Swedish player in the NHL.
With Renberg watching the Flyers struggle throughout the post-season, the common sentiment, be it from players or coaches, was that the Flyers really missed Renberg.
Al will be one of our top defensemen, providing leadership, offense, and solid defensive play from the blueline.
CPHL Second All-Star Team (1967)
WHA Second All-Star Team (1974)
WHA First All-Star Team (1978)
From Legends of Hockey:
Not many players have appeared in three consecutive Memorial Cup tournaments, but defenseman Al Hamilton is one. As a member of the Edmonton Oil Kings, Hamilton played in the 1964, 1965 and 1966 tournaments, with the club winning the national title in that final year.
Perhaps the pinnacle of Hamilton's pro career came in 1974 when he appeared in three games for Canada in the 1974 Summit Series against the Soviet Union.
From Edmonton Oiler Legends:
Hamilton put up some decent offensive numbers in his day, scoring 53 goals and 311 points in 455 WHA games. He was solid in his own zone too, blessed with fluid skating and good size, and the knowledge of how to best use both to his advantage. He managed to overcome a serious eye injury to help the Edmonton Oilers reach the 1978 Avco Cup championship finals.
Hamilton was the Oilers undisputed leader back in the WHA, and a true team player. His contributions off the ice were equally valuable as his contributions on the ice. His infectious love of the game made everyone around him better.
Author Ross Brewitt remembers Hamilton well in his book "Into The Empty Net."
"I always remembered Al Hamilton as one of those people who enjoyed hockey more than others because it all seemed so natural. He enjoyed the games, the practices and most of all the heckling and banter, the inside jokes that are a facet of the game that outsiders usually underestimate."
Hamilton was regarded by the Sabres as the best young defenseman available in the expansion draft. Finally Hamilton was given an opportunity to play lots, often manning the point on the power play.
Even though the Sabres were weak, especially on the blue line, Al acquitted himself with a 2 goal, 30 point season. Although his +/- rating of -23 is not impressive, it needs to be taken in context. Al was often used against the other team's top players, which is an especially trying task with an expansion team. The fact that his coaches felt he was reliable enough for such situations speaks louder than his poor +/- ranking. Al stepped his play up nicely in 1971-72. His 4 goals and 34 points led all Sabres rearguards, and placed him 4th overall among Sabres scorers. his +/- improved to -12, and, in a usual show of confidence among young defensemen, he played a more physical game, picking up 105 penalty minutes.
Al would remain in Alberta's capital city throughout the entire life of the WHA. He emerged as an all star defenseman, scoring an impressive 53 goals and 311 points in 455 career WHA games.
When you think of great Edmonton Oiler defensemen you think of Paul Coffey, or maybe Kevin Lowe. But WHA fans are quick to point out Hamilton. His supporters simply have to point out that it was Hamilton who was the first Edmonton Oiler to have his jersey retired.
Hunter will be used sparingly and matched up against other enforcers (especially against those lines that attempt to "Semenko their Gretzky". He does not provide much offense, but is relatively strong defensively.
From Calgary Flames Legends:
Tim Hunter only scored 138 points in over 800 NHL games, but was a player every team in the NHL would have killed to have.
"I was a player with not a lot of talent but came to play every night and played very hard, hated to lose and loved the game and loved to win."
Tim had no measurable finesse skill to speak of. He was at best an average skater. He had no speed or agility on skates but had excellent balance, which aided him in the physical game. He could do little with the puck in terms of shooting, passing or handling. Most of his goals came by crashing the crease or accidentally deflecting off his shin guard.
While Tim lacked the skills to do the finesse game, he excelled at the physical game. He was as big and strong as they come. He did some good work along the boards and in front of the net. And of course Time was a willing and good fighter, and occasionally would use his lumber in a not so legal manner.
Tim had a small and well defined role on the ice, but it is impossible to over exaggerate the importance of his contributions off of it. He was a great team player - excellent in the dressing rooms. The Calgary Flames became a powerhouse in the 1980s, and Tim's fingerprints are all over that. His wit, humor, support and leadership helped to mold a group of individuals into a top flight team. It is Tim's off ice contributions that were the most important contribution he made to his hockey team.
Hunter was originally drafted by the Atlanta Flames in the third round of the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. It wasn't until the 1983-84 campaign that Hunter made the NHL for his first full season, and registering his best offensive numbers (11 + 11 for 22 points). By this time of course the Flames relocated to Calgary, Alberta, Tim Hunter's home town.
Tim never really dreamed of playing in his hometown as the NHL wasn't there when he was a kid, but he did appreciate that opportunity. Tim became a mainstay in Calgary as much as Lanny McDonald or Paul Reinhart.. Tim of course played the role of enforcer. Most often he could be found on the 4th line right wing, although he occasionally played on left wing and defense - a position he had trained as a junior with the Seattle Breakers.
Hunter played in Calgary for parts of 11 seasons and left the Flames as the club's all-time leader in penalty minutes with 2,405. He was an assistant captain with the team for a long time, including when the Flames captured their first Stanley Cup in 1989.
Though he will always be remembered as a Flame, he did play with some other organizations as his career wound down. He joined the Quebec Nordiques for the 1992-93 season before being claimed on waivers by the Vancouver Canucks half way through the season. Tim spent parts of four seasons with the Canucks and was an inspirational leader in helping Vancouver to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994. He left the Canucks after the 1995-96 season and signed with the San Jose Sharks for the following year where he finished his career.
Hunter finished his playing career with 62 goals, 76 assists and 138 points and 3,146 penalty minutes in 815 regular season games while collecting 13 points in 132 playoff contests.
CHL Second All-Star Team (1971)
Played in NHL All-Star Game (1978)
From Legends of Hockey:
Centre Ivan Boldirev was a superior puck handler with a natural touch around the net. He spent 15 years in the league with six different clubs and recorded nine 20-goal seasons.
Boldirev came to Canada in his youth. After starring with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the NOHA in 1966-67, he spent two years with the Oshawa Generals under the sponsorship of the Boston Bruins. When he was ready to turn pro, Boston sent Boldirev to the CHL to work on his overall game. In the end, the Bruins had too many good forwards and traded the youngster to the California Seals in November 1971.
The talented pivot toiled for nearly three years on one of the NHL's all time sad sack franchises. In May 1974, his career took a turn for the better when he was acquired by the Chicago Black Hawks. Boldirev spent nearly five years in the Windy City where he worked the power play and teamed effectively with Grant Mulvey and Darcy Rota.
Late in the 1978-79 season, the clever centre was part of major trade between the Hawks and the Atlanta Flames which involved star forward Tom Lysiak. Boldirev averaged over a point per game for his new club but the Flames were knocked out in the first round of the post-season. The next February he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks to add playmaking savvy and experience to the club. His best season came in 1981-82 when he scored 33 goals as the club reached the Stanley Cup finals for the first time.
Boldirev set a career-high in 1983-84 with 35 goals and helped Detroit qualify for the playoffs for only the second time in twelve years. He slipped to 19 goals the next season but did reach the 1,000 game milestone before retiring.
Payne will provide scoring, and some damn clutch playoffs to our top 6.
Played in NHL All-Star Game (1980, 1985)
From Legends of Hockey:
An offensively gifted forward, Payne played two seasons with the 67's, scoring 57 goals in his second season and helping his club reach the Memorial Cup tournament. Payne made his professional debut with Minnesota during the 1978-79 season while seeing limited action with the CHL's Oklahoma City Stars. Once Payne's NHL season came to an end, he suited up for Canada at the 1979 World Championships.
In his sophomore season Payne established career highs in goals with 42 and points with 85 while making his NHL All-Star Game debut earlier in the year. Payne was an instrumental in leading the North Stars to the Stanley Cup final in 1981 against the eventual Cup champion New York Islanders. In 19 playoff games, Payne recorded 29 points (17-12-29). Payne went on to play parts of ten seasons in Minnesota, and had seven consecutive 20+ goal seasons before calling it a career early into the 1987-88 season.
Throughout his 10-year career Payne played in 613 games and finished with 466 points (228-238-466), while appearing in two All-Star Games (1980, 1985).
From Minnesota North Stars Legends:
Payne, a big left winger with the Minnesota North Stars from 1978 through 1988, blew out his knee during the 1985-86 season. The final three seasons of his solid career were filled with surgeries, re-injuries to the knee, and frustration.
He broke through in his sophomore season in 1979-80 with a 42 goal campaign and a strong playoff with 14 points in 15 games. But he reached his true zenith in the playoffs of 1980-81. After a setback in the regular season with "just" 30 goals, he exploded with 17 goals and 29 points in 19 playoff games as he helped lead the Stars to a Cinderella appearance against the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup finals.
After seeing Payne play so masterfully at such a high level throughout the playoffs, great expectations were placed on his shoulders. If he could have played that way consistently over a full season, there'd be no doubt he'd be an all star and perhaps the game's best LW at that time.
He had a good but not great year in 1981-82 with 33 goals and 78 points. Come playoff time he again found the magic switch to turn his game up an extra notch. He scored 4 goals in 4 games, but unfortunately the North Stars came back to reality and were eliminated early in the playoffs.
Payne's production continued at the 30 goal level until his knee injury felled him.
Despite the injury, Payne tried very hard to return to the NHL. At one time he was as strong a skater as there was, though lacked agility. The knee injury all but removed what speed and agility he had. He remained strong on his skates, but checkers could knock him off the puck much easier.
Payne could be compared to Claude Lemieux or a Trevor Linden. All three players found an extra gear come playoff time and were great playoff warriors.