Ready to turn pro, Roberts split his first season between the Calgary Flames, who had drafted him, and the Moncton Golden Flames of the AHL. His stay in the minors was short, however, as he caught on permanently with the Flames in 1987-88, about the same time his childhood buddy, Nieuwendyk, arrived as well.
From that point forward, Roberts established himself as a rambunctious player, known for his hard drives towards the opponent's net. In fact, his first-ever NHL goal was scored against the Vancouver Canucks. He put himself and the puck behind the goal line.
Roberts' second full year with the Flames brought him to the top as the club secured its first and only Stanley Cup victory. After the big win, he only got better as the years progressed. In 1991-92, he reached his height of personal output, scoring 53 goals in one campaign.
Several seasons later, however, all of the hard drives and hits taken from behind caught up with him. He missed most of the 1994-95 season with the hope that a long rest would ease the burning pain in his neck and numbness in his arm. He attempted a comeback the following year, but found that his symptoms got worse. A closer check by doctors revealed bone spurs and nerve damage in his neck. The operation required to correct the situation would be delicate and could offer no guarantee that Roberts would ever play pro hockey again.
He sat out the 1996-97 campaign and embarked on a vigourous reconditioning program. With his new super healthy regime in place, Roberts made a comeback as a free agent with the Carolina Hurricanes. With his neck built up like that of a bulldog's, Roberts was back in the league's goal creases engaged in territorial jousting. Over the three-plus seasons since his operation, he has played solid hockey, netting his usual 55 to 60 points per campaign.
In 2000, Roberts accepted a lucrative offer to sign as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs and during the 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs was the team's leading point getter and its best player. In the summer of 2002 Roberts underwent shoulder surgery and missed the better part of the 2002-03 season, before returning in the latter stages of the season and post season.
In 2003-04, Roberts surpassed the 1,000 games played plateau and notched his 800th point.
Over two injury plagued seasons in Pittsburgh, Roberts managed to notch his 900th career NHL point and would be considered one of the best leaders & mentors the Penguins' ever had. After a magical run to the Cup Finals in 2008, Roberts was acquired by the Tampa Bay Lightning where he would play the final 30 games of his career before retiring in March of 2009.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Just a youngster with the Flames when they won the Stanley Cup in 1989, Roberts grew to become one of the last great pieces of that team, averaging 39 goals and 200 PIMs from 1990 through 1994. That included a team record 53 goals (and 207 PIMs) in 1991-92.
He was an admirable player. Not a great one based on skill sets, but an opportunistic hard worker who was rewarded, perhaps overachievingly so.
He was a mucker and grinder at heart, a great cornerman and net crasher. He was incredibly intelligent, arriving at the net at the right time and driving through lanes to open up offensive room for his teammates. He was in no way fancy, relying a quick release and banging and crashing to score all of his many goals.
Physically he was scary. He feared no pain and launched his bodies at opponents on nearly every shift. His powerful skating stride punctuated his effectiveness, and made him a natural forechecker and penalty killer.
Strong and determined, he set the tone on many nights in Calgary. If not through his hustle and pursuit game, then by dropping the gloves. He was not a true heavyweight, but he had the mindset of a pit bull.
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - May 6, 2002
Gary Roberts of Toronto didn't have to be the triple-overtime hero in Game 2 of the second-round series between the Maple Leafs and Ottawa Saturday night...But it was Roberts, whose skill level is complemented - overshadowed, for the that matter - by his grit and work ethic, who ended the third-longest game in Maple Leafs history by throwing a wrist shot between the legs of Senators goalie Patrick Lalime at 4:30 of the third overtime.
Of course, he did it only after stumbling toward the middle of the ice, regaining his balance just in time to snap off the winner. "It wasn't pretty," Roberts said. "But if you look at the goals I've scored, they're not pretty, so we'll take them any way they come." The Maple Leafs don't look to Roberts for highlight-tape goals, thought; that's the domain of Mogilny and, when he is healthy, Mats Sundin. Which isn't to suggest that Toronto fails to appreciate his contributions.
"I would think every team in the league would be lucky to have a Gary Roberts," Maple Leafs Coach Pat Quinn said. "He does such a great job for us. He's a great leader, a hard worker and he comes to the rink to play every night." Those are commendable qualities, and prompted the Toronto Star to suggest yesterday that Roberts "has emerged as the de facto captain" of the Maple Leafs since Sundin was forced from the lineup by a broken wrist in Round 1 against the New York Islanders.
"Maybe it's overshadowed a little bit when you have a guy like Mats [who] can do the things he does out there, but in his absence, you takenotice of Gary a little bit more," Maple Leafs forward Alyn McCauley said. "I guess you could say Gary has been thrust into being the captain without the 'C' on his sweater.
Originally Posted by The Vindicator - Dec 27, 1992
Here are two reasons why the Calgary Flames climbed into the first place in the Smythe Division last week: Gary Roberts and Dave King. Roberts, a 26-year old left winger, had 20 goals and 27 assists through the first 35 games as the Flames bolted to an impressive 21-10-4 start.
King, the former coach of the Canadian national team, has made all the right moves with Roberts. Unlike former coach Doug Risebrough, King boosted Roberts' confidence by playing him on the power-play and penalty-killing units.
Originally Posted by "One More Chance" Daniel G. Habib - May 27, 2002
With injured teammates falling all around him (10 regulars have been out of the lineup for at least one game since the middle of the second round), Roberts has become the leader of Toronto's march through these Demolition Derby playoffs. After Sunday's 2-1 loss in overtime to the Carolina Hurricanes, in which Roberts set up Toronto's goal and played with gusto, the Eastern Conference finals were tied at one game apiece. Though he was sixth on his team in scoring during the regular season, Roberts was tied for the NHL playoff scoring lead through Sunday, with seven goals and 12 assists. His timing has been equally impressive. In the conference semifinals against the Ottawa Senators he ended Game 2 in the third overtime by snaking a wrister from the slot between goalie Patrick Lalime's pads to even the series. He also scored game-tying goals in Game 6 against the Senators and Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals against the New York Islanders. "Gary has one gear, and it's go," says Toronto coach Pat Quinn. "He plays with a lack of respect for his body."
Roberts's strengthening of his body not only allowed him to make a comeback, which he did successfully with the Hurricanes in 1997-98 (he was traded to Carolina in August '97), but also let him regain the ruthless power-forward style that in '91-92 made him the second player in league history (after Kevin Stevens) to score at least 50 goals and get 200 or more penalty minutes in the same season. Subtle as a sledgehammer and equally as potent, Roberts constantly crashes his 6'1", 190-pound body into defenders and dive-bombs the offensive zone in pursuit of loose pucks.
"The thing to remember when you're trying to defend Gary is that he never takes the long route to anywhere, and when he gets the puck, he's taking the shortest route possible to the net," says Carolina coach Paul Maurice, for whom Roberts played for three seasons before signing as a free agent with the Leafs in July 2000. "You've got to get between him and the net, and that's not fun."
Roberts is at his best around the crease because he's big enough to screen the goal-tender and strong enough to keep defenders from pushing him away. "He's one of the toughest guys to knock out of there or to even move his stick," says Alyn McCauley, who centers Roberts and right wing Jonas Hoglund. "I take the puck wide on a two-on-one, and I look for Gary to go to the net."
"Gary started playing hockey when he was five, and he was big for his age," his father, Herb, a retired steelworker who raised Gary in Whitby, Ont., says with a laugh. "That's why his game is the way it is—he's always been aggressive." That aggressiveness surfaced in Game 5 of the series against the Islanders when Roberts leveled New York defenseman Kenny Jonsson from behind, sending Jonsson crashing into the boards and causing him to sustain a concussion. ( Roberts was assessed a charging major but was not suspended. He said that he was simply finishing his check.) Two games later Roberts plowed into Islanders goalie Chris Osgood on a rush, kneeing Osgood in the midsection. "When you play that intense, stuff like that happens," says Leafs defenseman Nathan Dempsey. "Gary never intends to hurt anybody."
Toronto, though, has the benefit of Roberts's remarkable wrecking-ball act and the inspiration of the hardest-working man in hockey. "He leads by example," Leafs winger Tie Domi says of Roberts. "He plays every shift like it's his last."
Originally Posted by "Stitches In Time" Michael Farber - Oct 12, 1998
On March 20, 1994, Carolina Hurricanes left wing Gary Roberts, then with the Calgary Flames, had his right thumb shattered in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs when it was hit by a shot. Trainers stanched the flow of blood, and he didn't miss a shift. Between periods Roberts had the finger put in a splint, and he kept playing in the following weeks while it healed. In the playoffs that spring Roberts, who couldn't lift his right arm above his head because of an injured neck, put on a protective collar for Game 6 of the first round against the Vancouver Canucks. However, he removed it in overtime because he was having difficulty looking down and seeing loose pucks near his skates. Roberts was by far the best player in the series.
Originally Posted by "Roberts Rises to Occasion for Depleted Toronto" Shawna Richer - May 1, 2002
So the Leafs entered Game 7 with a battered and bruised team and without their usual leaders among the skaters.
Alexander Mogilny scored two goals in the Leafs' 4-2 victory to capture the series, but the best player was arguably forward Gary Roberts, who assumed a leadership role during the entire series but particularly in this decisive game.
As the Maple Leafs stormed the Islanders' net and the puck bounced around goalie Chris Osgood midway through the second period, the hulking Roberts left nothing to chance.
Islanders defenseman Darren Van Impe looked for the puck behind the net, but Roberts skated hard through the zone and slammed his opponent into the boards. The puck sailed past, allowing the Leafs to continue their press.
Roberts, sporting black and blue swelling under his left eye and a small row of stitches on his cheek, was a menacing force in this series, and tonight's game was no exception.
He finished his checks. He nailed his passes. He managed four shots on goal in the first period, scoring Toronto's first goal when he scooped up a tidy drop pass from Tie Domi outside a face-off circle. His goal, at 13 minutes 27 seconds of the first period, tied the score at 1-1. He set up Mogilny for an empty-net insurance goal with 40 seconds remaining.
''I haven't taken the puck to the net in this series like I know I can,'' Roberts said. ''It was nice to score. I tried to do that early in the game. I was just coming off the bench so my legs were fresh, and Tie made a great play to get me the puck.''
On his way through the crease during his scoring play, Roberts tripped over a falling Osgood. His skate seemed to strike Osgood on the leg. It appeared unintentional, but it threw Osgood and the Islanders off their game for at least a period.
Early in the third period, Roberts slid headfirst and hard into Osgood, pushing him inside his net. ''I was just trying to get to the net and be smart and not get any penalties,'' said Roberts, who won a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989.
Roberts was a force against an Islanders club missing its own captain, the injured Michael Peca. Roberts led the Leafs in hits in three games. He scored two goals and contributed four assists. He knocked the Islanders' top defenseman, Kenny Jonsson, out of the series in Game 5 with a punishing check from behind.
''Gary brought a lot of leadership tonight,'' forward Darcy Tucker said. ''He got us back into the game with his goal, and he kept us in with his physical play. We lost a lot of leadership in this series, and because of his Stanley Cup experience all the guys fell in behind him.''
Roberts is no stranger to the role. Roberts, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound Toronto native, notched 11 points in 11 games in the Leafs' postseason run to the conference semifinals last year. And he has been as important if not more to the club this spring.
''He's been really important to us throughout the season,'' forward Alyn McCauley said. ''Even in the loss, he got us a goal in Game 6. That got us going for this game, and then lo and behold, he gets our first goal tonight. It's not surprising, coming from him.''
A fine playmaker with a dangerous shot, Brian Rafalski attained success in college and Europe before making his mark on the NHL. The crafty rear guard had an extremely high hockey IQ and was a smooth offensive operator.
2002-03 Stanley Cup
2007-08 Stanley Cup
1999-00 Stanley Cup
2006-07 Named to play in the NHL All-Star Game
2003-04 Named to play in the NHL All-Star Game
2001-02 Named to play in the NHL All-Star Game
2010 Olympics Best Defenseman
2010 Olympic Silver Medal
2002 Olympic Silver Medal
1999-00 NHL - All-Rookie Team
- REG: GP 397 W 258 L 57 T 74 GAA: 2.24 SO 46
- PO: GP 112 W 80 L 32 GAA: 240 SO 10
Awards and achievements
Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 1971.
Calder Memorial Trophy winner in 1972.
Vezina Trophy winner in 1973, 1976, 1977*, 1978*, 1979*.
Stanley Cup champion in 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979.
Played in 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 NHL All-Star Games.
Selected to NHL First All-Star Team in 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979.
Selected to NHL Second All-Star Team in 1972.
Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
In 1998, he was ranked number 25 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
His number 29 was retired by the Montreal Canadiens on January 29, 2007.
His number 1 was retired by the Cornell Big Red on February 25, 2010 making him one of only two players to have his number retired by the Cornell hockey program, the other being Joe Nieuwendyk.
Hockey Hall of Fame Member
Boston Bruins Captain, 1963-66
3x NHL All Star Game Participant, all merit based
3x Top 10 Norris Trophy Voting(5, 8, 10)
4x Top 15 All Star Voting(7, 11, 12, 15)
8x Top 10 Goals Among Defensemen(2, 5, 5, 6, 6, 9, 10, 10)
5x Top 10 Assists Among Defensemen(2, 7, 8, 9, 10)
7x Top 10 Points Among Defensemen(5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10)
It was with the Bruins that Leo's reputation as a hard-hitting, defenseman grew. Tim Horton regarded him to be the toughest blue liner to beat in a one-on-one situation. He was nicknamed "Fireplug" for his compact stature and devastating body checks.
Although there were bigger men on the blue line, especially closer the end of his career, none hit harder than Leo Boivin. After retiring, he stayed in the game as a scout. He went behind the bench as the interim coach of the St. Louis Blues during the 1975-76 and 1977-78 seasons, and coached the Ottawa 67's of the OHL for a time, but at the end of the day he preferred scouting to coaching.
When you think of premier bodycheckers in hockey you think of Tim Horton, Eddie Shore, Lionel Hitchman and Scott Stevens. Well Leo Boivin belongs in this category as well. Boivin was known for his explosive hits to break up rushes, and he almost always skated away with the puck.
In fact Tim Horton himself claimed that Boivin was the toughest defenseman to beat in the entire league. This is somewhat amazing considering "Fireplug" stood only 5'8" tall and weighed anywhere from 170-185 pounds
Leo Boivin started his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1951-52 where he played in only 2 NHL games. Then he was sent down to the AHL. He began in the NHL full time the next year. He remained in Toronto until 1955 when he got traded to the Boston Bruins. It was in Boston where he really became a top notch defensemen. He starred in Boston for 11 years. Leo helped Boston get into the cup finals in 1957 and 1958 where they lost both times to Montreal.
Boston then fell on some hard times when they finished in last place for three years straight. Boivin was on the move once again this time to the Detroit Red Wings. He helped the Wings to the Cup finals in his first year there. Leo then went on to play for Pittsburgh and Minnesota. The North Stars released him in the summer of 1970, and instead of taking an offer to join Punch Imlach's Buffalo Sabres, Leo opted to retire.
When Boivin, who captained the Bruins from 1963 to 1966, retired he finished with 72 goals and 250 assists for 322 points and 1192 PIM. But fans will always remember him for his body checking skills. Foster Hewitt said it best when he described this particular play involving Boivin and the great Frank Mahovlich.
"Mahovlich has a breakaway! He's at the Boston blue line. Only Boivin between him and the goal. Big Frank dekes left. Now he shifts right, trying to sweep around the burly Boston defenseman . . . WHAMMO! `Uh-oh! Boivin catches No. 27 with a wicked hip check. Frank does a cartwheel. Now Boivin has the puck . . . ''
Boivin landed a starting job with the Leafs in 1952-53 and played with Toronto until being traded back to the Bruins early in the 1954-55 season. It was with the Bruins that Boivin's reputation as a hard-hitting, stay-at-home defenceman grew. Tim Horton considered him to be the toughest blueliner to beat in a one-on-one situation and some Bruin historians refer to him as the link between Eddie Shore and Bobby Orr. Boivin was captain of the Bruins during four of his 12 years with the club and he played in the NHL All-Star game during the 1961, 1962 and 1964 seasons. His Bruin teammates called him "Billy Boy Boivin" for no other reason than the alliteration had a nice ring to it.
A trade to Detroit mid-way through the 1965-66 season provided Boivin with his last chance at a Stanley Cup, but it was not to be. Detroit lost the final series to the defending champion Canadiens four games to two.
Also nicknamed "Fireplug" for his compact stature and devastating body checks, Leo Boivin was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1986.
The Leafs were searching for a replacement for hard-hitting defenceman Bill Barilko, who had disappeared while on a fishing trip to northern Quebec during the summer of 1951. "Bill Barilko being lost was a terrible thing." They believed that the tough, young defenceman from Prescott just might fit the hole they had on their blueline. "That was my game even in junior hockey. I just kept getting better and better at bodychecking."
It was with the Boston Bruins that Boivin's reputation as a hard-hitting, stay-at-home defenceman was firmly established.
Yet, Leo was most remembered for his time with the Boston Bruins as he helped lead them to two Stanley Cup finals in the late 50's. Leo starred with other Boston defensive stalwarts Allan Stanley, Fern Flaman, Doug Mohns and Bob Armstrong. He remained the anchor of a youthful Bruins defensive corps during the difficult reconstructive period of the early 1960s. Although just 5' 7", he was considered a very tough opponent, as Tim Horton referred to him as "the toughest blueliner to beat in a one-on-one situation". He has also been called the last of the toothrattling body checkers. Mr. Boivin became Captain of the Boston Bruins in 1963
He broke into the league in 1952 and established himself as a very heavy hitter who was also an excellent defender.
Leo is considered one of the sensational finds of the past season. He likes to knock people back on their heels, and the way in which he has planted his elbows, arms, and head in the midsection of How or Richard, proves it.
Of all the players who spent the majority of their NHL careers with the Bruins and were ultimately elected to the HHOF, few have been more forgotten than Leo Boivin. The stocky defenseman, who played in the NHL right up until 1970 spent 12 seasons with Boston from 1954 to 1966.
An all star with the Bruins 3 times and the team's captain from 1963 to '66, Boivin was given the Hall of Fame honor largely because he was one of the best body checkers ever to come along. When Ted Green joined the team in the very early 1960s, it was Boivin who taught him the intimidating style of play and the finer points of body checking. Leo also worked with a young Eddie Westfall and taught him the most effective method of hip checking.
A low center of gravity(he stood 5'7"), a firepluglike build and nearly 200 pounds of muscle were Leo Boivin's major assets. Breaking in with the Maple Leafs, Leo was traded to Boston where he spent nine colorful seasons before moving to Detroit...
When Leo was enshrined in the HHOF in 1986, his admission was challenged by some analysts who believe he was not that qualified, despite his hitting, whereas others claim that the league does not have an award for defensive defensemen. Boivin represented the most flamboyant, but no less effective type of checker, and therefore qualified.
Leo Boivin was a rugged defenseman who was considered the premier body checker of his era. Tim Horton, one of the most powerful players in hockey, rated Boivin as the toughest defenseman in the league to beat, while Boston GM Lynn Patrick compared his style to that of Eddie Shore. Like Shore, Boivin sometimes would knock down opponents who attempted to stop his rushes.
Leo Boivin, dishing out a good body check was just as satisfying as scoring a goal. Sturdily built at 5'9" and 190 pounds, Boivin was a strong believer in playing the man, not the puck. He was a textbook hitter...
I throw one of those passes they talk about where, you know, you're looking over your shoulder admiring it, saying how pretty it is, and Leo came whipping across the ice with one of those hip checks of his. The next thing I knew I was looking up at the lights, literally. I was looking at the ceiling, flying through the air upside down...
Delivered mid ice with a shoulder or hip, a body check is hte universal symbol of Canadian hockey. Hard, clean, elemental, a punishing man to man contest, as it fades from our game it is more and more symbolic of glories themselves past. A lost art it is called, its practitioners-Ching Johnson, Red Horner, Bingo Kampman, Bill Ezinicki, Bill Gadsby, Leo Boivin...
Later the Bruins had a stocky defenseman, Leo Boivin. He was only about 5'8" and 200 pounds, but he could deal terrific body checks. He was generally recognized as about the best of all time, and the fans at the Boston Garden loved him.
Traditional rearguards, such as Allan Stanley, Leo Boivin and Butch Bouchard, plied their trade with heavy hits and solid defensive positioning and produced some of the most competitive low-scoring games in hockey history.
DETROIT, Feb. 19 (UPI) Leo Boivin scored the winning goal and turned in a flawless defensive performance as the Detroit Red Wings gained a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in a National Hockey League game today.
Boivin began playing the best hockey of his career.
...Leo Boivin, the new "bellcow" of the Detroit defence...
A minute later, alert defensive work by Boivin and McCord, who each took out a man in the Wing zone, shook the puck loose to Howe in the right corner.
If this is a weak defense, it's fooling the league. At the moment, it is the best. Boivin and McCord rattled the bones of the Black Hawks in nothing short of a sensation. Boivin broke plays and rushed from start to finish and scored his first goal since coming to Detroit.
This deal has been of inestimable value to Detroit from the start. Prentice and Boivin are playing the best hockey of their careers. Boivin wasn't picked among the three stars, but should have been. He was terrific.
Position: Centre HT/WT: 6'0", 185 lbs Handedness: Left Nickname(s): "Turk" Born: June 16th, 1946 in Niagara Falls, ON
- Won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1968.
- 2-time Stanley Cup Champion (1970, 1972)
- 10th in 1971 All-Star Voting.
- scored 202 goals and 250 assists for 452 points in 598 games, adding 911 penalty minutes.
- scored 18 goals and 12 assists for 30 points in 56 games, adding 187 penalty minutes.
When asked what his pre game meal was Derek Sanderson once replied "A steak and a blonde"
Legends of Hockey
Known as "The Turk," Derek Sanderson was a tough centre who had it all and then lost everything.
He became known as a tough guy who wouldn't back down from any fisticuffs and was likely the best two-way player in the game.
When the WHA was formed, the Philadelphia Blazers came calling with a contract and a large sum of money for The Turk. After the Bruins told Sanderson they couldn't match the offer of over $2.65 million, he bolted. Sanderson became the highest paid athlete in the world.
Greatest Hockey Legends
Sanderson made quite the impression on the Bruins faithful before he actually played with the Bs. In 1966 with the Bruins mired in cellar of the NHL, Bruin management held an exhibition match between their top 2 Junior teams, the Niagara Falls Flyers, led by Derek Sanderson, and the Oshawa Generals led by Bobby Orr. The game was to give Bruins fans a look at the future in Orr, but Sanderson had his own agenda. He was determined to get into a fight with Orr in that game. He was just making sure the fans would remember the name Derek Sanderson as much as they remembered Orr's. Despite his attack on the "franchise," Sanderson actually gained a lot of respect from fans and management for his style of play that game. Sanderson would go on to be a quintessential Boston Bruin.
The Calder trophy wasn't the crowning jewel in Sanderson's trophy room though. The two Stanley Cup championships, 1970 and 1972 were, but for the man they called "Turk," the first one had to be sweeter, simply because of the circumstances surrounding the 1970 Cup winner.
The 1970 Cup of course was won courtesy of perhaps the most famous goal in NHL history. Bobby Orr took a pass from the corner and put the puck past St. Louis goaltender Glenn Hall. As the puck went in St. Louis defenseman Noel Picard tripped Orr as he jumped, causing Orr to fly in a superman-like fashion.
But who made that perfect pass to Orr on that goal? Derek Sanderson.
Turk was as tough as nails, a tremendous forechecker and faceoff specialist and, with Ed Westfall, the top penalty killer of his era. He was the perfect team player and a huge part of the Bruins success in the early 1970s. Its too bad alcohol interfered in his life as I think Sanderson would have been a Hall of Famer had he remained sober. He was just that good.
Legends of Hockey, cont.
DEREK SANDERSON had the tools to be an NHL star. In fact, for several seasons, he was just that. After getting the chance to play two games with the Boston Bruins in 1965-66, and another two the next season, SANDERSON cracked the Bruins' lineup in 1967-68. His rookie season was solid, and SANDERSON proved he was in the NHL to stay, scoring 24 goals and 25 assists for 49 points. The NHL awarded the CALDER TROPHY to DEREK SANDERSON for 1968-69, while Jacques Lemaire of the Canadiens was a second place finisher.
Who's Who in Hockey
The Bruins knew Derek Sanderson had a surplus of guts when he ran at defenseman Ted Green, the Boston jawbreaker. Derek hit Green twice. Green's stick slashed at Sanderson's head. Undaunted Sanderson slashed back. Green's thin, slit-like eyes bore through Derek like laser beams "Listen, kid, I hit you. But you don't hit me. You got that straight? You don't ever hit me or you won't be playing in this league long"
Sanderson stared back at the Bruins bully and said "The next time you do that, I'm going to crush your face"
The Hockey Guys: Underrated Nation
The Bruins would win their first Cup in 29 years and Sanderson had been a big part of that victory. He was becoming a better and better defensive specialist as his time in Boston went on and coupled with his physical play and his skill set, Sanderson was a very valuable and dangerous combination. Unfortunately he was also becoming a dangerous combination off the ice.
Quotes on Sanderson's versatility at left wing, where he may be playing on the third line
Originally Posted by Who's Who in Hockey, Stan Fischler
BORN: Niagara Falls, Dntario, June 16, 1946 POSITION: Center/Left Wing, ... media coverage could be translated into talent, Derek Sanderson would have been ..
New York Times - Oct 31, 1975
Derek Sanderson, the brawling center who is one of the most flamboyant and ... With the Rangers, playing mostly at center and occasionally at left wing,
Boston Globe - Feb 13, 1969
Derek Sanderson has traded in his shin pads and skates for a cast and crutches, he could be available for the weekend But the veteran left wing will...
New York Times - Mar 31, 1975
Then Derek Sanderson, playing left wing alongside Continued on Page 47, Column 5 The New York Times/John Soto Scouts' Gary Croteau (18) scores against ...
Last edited by Velociraptor: 03-22-2012 at 05:33 PM.
Morenz was the most electrifying player of his era, and perhaps ever. To compare him to a modern player for today's fans, "The Russian Rocket" Pavel Bure is an interesting comparison, although historically Morenz is most often compared to Maurice "The Rocket" Richard. However Morenz, unlike those two, excelled at both ends of the ice.
For much of his career forward passing was illegal so end to end rushes were the norm. He excelled in that area in spectacular fashion. He had blazing speed and could do magical things with the puck at that speed. He would dance through the entire team, often with reckless abandon, and often resulting in a terrific scoring chance. He did so in dramatic fashion, often bringing the fans out of their seats like so few hockey players are able to do.
Legends of Hockey
He has often been referred to as hockey's first bona fide superstar. He electrified fans and confounded the opposition in a way that ensured his exalted status in hockey history.
He contributed to the Canadiens' consecutive Stanley Cup wins in 1930 and 1931. His blinding speed and puckhandling wizardry were key factors in Montreal's upset win over Boston in the 1930 finals.
Morenz was one of the dominant offensive forces in the league in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He scored a league-high 51 points in 1927-28 and was presented with the Hart Trophy. Two years later he registered an incredible 40 goals in 44 games. In 1930-31, he won his second Hart Trophy and scoring title with another 51-point season. Morenz was also selected to the NHL's inaugural First All-Star Team in 1931. The following year he scored 49 points in 48 games and was awarded his third Hart Trophy in five seasons as well as another spot on the First All-Star Team.
In 1950, he was voted the outstanding hockey player of the half-century by a national press poll.
King Clancy on Morenz
"He was the best," said King Clancy, a long time foe of Morenz and a great judge of hockey talent and hockey history. "He could stop on a dime and leave you nine cents change. He was in a class by himself. And when he couldn't skate around you, he'd go right over you."
Toe Blake on Morenz
You can take any era of hockey and the stars of yesterday would be stars of today. And Morenz is right up there at the top of the class. I don't think from end to end I ever saw a guy like Morenz. He was small, stocky, with the most powerful legs you've ever seen. He'd make rush after rush - at least 20 a game - and it never mattered how hard he got hit. Most players, after they were hit, you'd think 'Oh, he can't take that again,' but it didn't matter with him. Shot up into the seats in one rush, by killers like Eddie Shore and Taffy Abel and the like, and he'd come right back as if they didn't exist. And I'll tell you another thing, one of the greatest backcheckers I ever saw. He was just a terrific hockey player."
Nels Stewart on Morenz
He had everything, could rush, score goals, backcheck. You couldn't put the Rocket in the same breath as Howie, and that goes for everybody else, including Bill Cook. None of them were in the same stable.
The Morning Leader, Jan. 26, 1929
Morenz is heavy for a forward, perhaps the fastest skater in the league and most dangerous in the goal mouth. Like Conacher, he is one of the few left-handed shots who drives the puck with the velocity of the great right-handers such as Cooper, Dye, Shore, Duncan, and Ward
New York Times, April 4, 1927
With the hockey stick-swingers still briskly battling away for the Stanley Cup, several readers have thought this a golden opportunity to raise the issue of an all-star hockey team. Step up and take your pick. Almost everybody agrees that Howie Morenz of the Canadiens belongs at centre ice on any all-star combination. Beyond that, all agreements are off.
The Calgary Daily Herald, Mar. 27, 1930
Howie Morenz, scintillating centre star of the Canucks, won the game for the Montreal team. Scoring both goals and missing a dozen more by inches. He was the Canucks main hope. Easily outskating any player on the ice, Morenz proved beyond a doubt that he is one of the best players in the National Hockey League Today.
The Calgary Daily Herald, Mar. 24, 1925
As the team played last night the entire team plays defense. Three men on a line with another roving in front is their defense, and when Morenz, Joliat or Boucher went up, they returned fast enough to cut off Cougar rushes that had broken past the defense time after time.
Ottawa Citizen, Apr. 3, 1928
Canadiens are generally regarded as the speediest team in the NHL and there are some who are inclined to the belief that it is a case of speed versus brawn, when the Frenchmen meet Maroons, but this is far from the case.
Canadiens possess plenty of speed, 'tis true, but Maroons are far removed from the truck-horse class. Collectively, the Gerardmen have just as much zip as the Habitants. Siebert, if that player is fit (was in hospital with illness), and Dutton are faster than Gardiner and Mantha, the Canadiens defence regulars, and Munro has a little on "Battleship" Leduc, in point of speed. At centre, Howie Morenz has much more "foot" than Hooley Smith and Art Gagne can skate away from Nels Stewart, but Jimmy Ward uncorks more speed than Aurel Joliat, his check.
550GP – 271G – 201A – 472Pts
39GP – 13G – 9A – 22Pts
NHL Playoffs + Inter-League Stanley Cup Finals
47GP – 21G – 12A – 33Pts
Stanley Cups: 1924, 1930, 1931 NHL Championships: 1924, 1925 (lost SC during Inter-League play), 1930, 1931
3 Time Hart Trophy Winner: 1927-28, 1930-31, 1931-32 *1st Hart is pre-forward pass, all 3 are post-league consolidation
Hart Trophy Voting Record: 1, 1, 1, 2, 6, 6, 7, 8
*results only available for top 3 in 1932-33 when Morenz was a 2nd Team All-Star, none of the top 3 were centers, so he probably wasn’t 4th, but may have finished somewhere from 5th – 10th
Hart Trophy Voting Record (Pre and Post Forward Pass)
Pre-Forward Pass: 1, 2, 6, 6, 8
Post-Forward Pass: 1, 1, 7
Hart Trophy Voting Record (Pre and Post League Consolidation)
Pre-League Consolidation: 2, 6, 6
Post-League Consolidation: 1, 1, 1, 7, 8
Retroactive Conn Smythe: 1924
Official All-Star Teams (Morenz played 7 seasons before All-Star awards were introduced)
1st Team All-Star: 2 (1930-31, 1931-32)
2nd Team All-Star: 1 (1932-33)
Unofficial All-Star Teams
1924-25: 2nd Team (finished runner-up for the Hart behind another center)
1926-1927: 1st Team (according to New York Times article on Apr. 4, 1927 quoted above)
1927-28: 1st Team (voted in unanimously by managers of the 10 clubs, also won the Hart that year). Source: Ottawa Citizen http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...orge+hay&hl=en
Official + Unofficial All-Star Teams
1st Team: 4
2nd Team: 2 *1 2nd Team All-Star was from pre-consolidation of professional leagues, rest were post-consolidation
**Pre-forward pass: 2 1st Team, 1 2nd Team; Post-forward pass: 2 1st Team, 1 2nd Team
Regular Season Top 10’s (Total)
Top 10 Points: 1, 1, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 10
Top 10 Goals: 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 7
Top 10 Assists: 1, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Regular Season Top 10’s (Pre-Forward Pass)
Top 10 Points: 1, 3, 3, 4, 5, 10
Top 10 Goals: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7
Top 10 Assists: 1, 4, 6
Regular Season Top 10’s (Post-Forward Pass)
Top 10 Points: 1, 3, 7, 10
Top 10 Goals: 3, 3, 5
Top 10 Assists: 3, 3, 5, 7
Regular Season Top 10’s (Pre-League Consolidation)
Top 10 Points: 4, 5, 10
Top 10 Goals: 3, 5, 7
Top 10 Assists: 6
Regular Season Top 10’s (Post-League Consolidation)
Top 10 Points: 1, 1, 3, 3, 3, 7, 10
Top 10 Goals: 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5
Top 10 Assists: 1, 3, 3, 4, 5, 7
NHL Regular Season Scoring 1923-24 to 1932-33 (prime years only - stopping after 10th NHL season) Totals
1st in Points with 376 (next closest: A. Joliat 305 and N. Stewart 289)
1st in Goals with 245 (next closest: N. Stewart 203 and Bill Cook 187)
2nd in Assists with 131 (1st place: F. Boucher – 157, 3rd place: A. Joliat – 124)
Per Game (minimum 300 GP)
1st in Points Per Game with 0.96 ( next closest: Bill Cook 0.90 and N. Stewart 0.86)
1st in Goals Per Game with 0.63 (next closest Bill Cook 0.61 and N. Stewart 0.60)
T-2nd in Assists Per Game with 0.34 (1st place: F. Boucher 0.50, tied with H. Smith, 4th place: C. Weiland 0.33)
NHL Regular Season Scoring 1926-27 to 1932-33 (prime and consolidated league years only) Totals
1st in Points with 295 (next closest: Bill Cook 283 and F. Boucher 260)
2nd in Goals with 181 (1st place: Bill Cook 187, 3rd place: N. Stewart 169)
2nd in Assists with 114 (1st place: F. Boucher 157, 3rd place: A. Joliat 99)
Per Game (minimum 200 games played)
1st in Points Per Game with 0.96 (next closest: Bill Cook 0.90 and N. Stewart/F. Boucher 0.83)
2nd in Goals Per Game with 0.59 (1st place Bill Cook: 0.60, 3rd place N. Stewart 0.57)
2nd in Assists Per Game with 0.37 (1st place F. Boucher 0.50, 3rd place H. Smith/C. Weiland 0.33)
Playoff Scoring During Stanley Cup Winning Seasons
1924 (NHL only): Led Team and NHL in Goals, Assists, and Points (2GP-3G-1A-4Pts)
1924 (NHL + SC Final): Led Team in Goals, Assists, and Points (6GP-10G-3A-13Pts)
1930: T-3rd on Team in Points (1pt behind 1st), Led Team in Goals (2nd in NHL)
1931: T-4th on Team in Points, Tied for Team and NHL Lead in Assists
Montreal Canadiens Playoff scoring 1924-1934 (NHL Games Only)
Howie Morenz: 1st in Points with 22 (next closest: 17 and 13)
Howie Morenz: 1st in Goals with 13 (next closest 8 and 7)
Howie Morenz: 2nd in Assists with 9 (1st place: 10, 3rd place: 6)
NHL Playoff Scoring 1924-1933 (NHL Games Only) Totals
Howie Morenz: 3rd in Points with 20 (1st place: F. Boucher – 28, 3rd place Bill Cook – 21)
Howie Morenz: T-3rd in Goals with 12 (1st place F. Boucher – 14, 2nd place Bun Cook – 16, Tied with Bill Cook, 5th place Harry Oliver – 13)
Howie Morenz: 5th in Assists with 8 (1st place F. Boucher – 14, 2nd place Aurele Joliat, Murray Murdoch, Bill Cook - 9)
*If you include the 8 Goals and 3 Assists Morenz recorded during the two Inter-League Stanley Cup Finals Series he played in, he jumps up to 1st in Points, 1st in Goals, and 2nd in Assists
Per Game (minimum 20 games played)
Howie Morenz: T-2nd in Points Per Game with 0.57 (1st place F. Boucher 0.72, 4th place Bill Cook 0.53)
Howie Morenz: 3rd in Goals Per Game with 0.34 (1st/ place F. Boucher 0.36, 2nd place Dit Clapper 0.35, 4th place Bun Cook 0.33)
Howie Morenz: 10th in Assists Per game with 0.23 (1st place F. Boucher 0.36)
Last edited by Hawkey Town 18: 02-20-2012 at 09:15 PM.
He ranked with the great forwards of the game, combining speed and poise, aggressiveness and finesse, with unsurpassed mechanical ability.
There was never a better left winger than Hay at his best. I've seen a lot of good ones, but none who had more stuff than George. He was in a class with Aurel Joliat, Jack Walker, Bun Cook or Harvey Jackson. He could do everything, that fellow. Besides, he was one of the easiest players to handle I ever had -- always in condition, always on the job, always willing to play any position. He never got into any trouble on the ice and was rarely sent to the penalty box. We've often said in the dressing room that when Hay kicks against a decision, the referee should be run out of the league.
The Morning Leader - Jan. 16, 1923
GEORGE HAY EASILY WINS LEFT WING POSITION ON STAR TEAM
In selecting Hay we are compelled to drop two strong candidates in the persons of Ty Arbor of the Eskimos, and Foley Martin, of the Tigers. But there is no question as to the best man for the job. Hay has shown himself all season the pick of the left wingers.
Georgie has never played better hockey than he is doing right now. He is going through game after game with added polish. He is handling the stick and puck with the finesse of an artist, and is bagging goals with unfailing regularity.
Hay's work is vigorous and pleasing to the eye. He has an almost uncanny habit of prancing through the hardest game without a bump, and he never lets up all the time he is on the ice.Best of all, he never hogs the puck. His breakaways with Barney Stanley and Dick Irvin are a treat to watch.
Georgie is another graduate from the Winnipeg School of Hockey. He broke into the senior company with the Monarchs after his big brother Reg, and started the fireworks right away. The sporting writers in the 'Peg predicted a wonderful future for the boy if he didn't lose his head at his success. Happily, Georgie is blessed with a good supply of common sense, and he didn't get excited. The result is that he ranks with the best in the game today.
Hay, an exceptional stick handler.
George Hay was considered the best stickhandler in hockey when he played in the NHL
Awards and Achievements:
4 x WCHL First Team All-Star (1922, 1923, 1924, 1926)
2 x NHL First Team All-Star (1927, 1928)
Detroit Falcons’ Team Captain
Served in both World Wars!!
Several quotes supplied by Leafs Forever, TheDevilMadeMe, and jarek
Stanley Cup Winner 1907 and 1908
Ross played defense for 14 years during his career. He started playing with Westmount of the Canadian Amateur Hockey League in 1905, along with Brandon, Manitoba in 1906 and Kenora Ontario in 1907 where he helped lead one of hockey's more fabled teams to the Stanley Cup. The next year he played for the Montreal Wanderers, also leading them to the Cup. He would also play with Edmonton and Haileybury Ontario before joining the Ottawa Senators of the NHA, which was the league that was the NHL's predecessor. When the NHA became the NHL in 1918, Ross played one last year, this time rejoining the Montreal Wanderers.
Ross is also one of hockey's creative innovators as he improved the design of the goal nets which were still being used in the 1980s more-or-less used today. He also perfected the hockey puck which hasn't changed, except for that silly experiment by an American Television station! Ross also came up with early forms of a helmet and the plus/minus system, not to mention the "kitty bar the door," which resembles today's neutral zone trap.
Legends of Hockey
In addition to an exemplary career as a defenseman, He contributed to the development of hockey through his off-ice endeavors. He recorded 85 goals in 167 regular-season games and provided stability and savvy in the defensive zone.
In 1905 he made his first appearance for a major hockey organization by scoring 10 goals in eight games for the Westmount franchise in the Canadian Amateur Hockey League. He rapidly earned the distinction of being one of the top rushing defensemen in the game.
The following year he skated for Brandon of the Manitoba Hockey League. His play attracted the attention of the Kenora Thistles, who worked out a loan agreement with Brandon in time for their Stanley Cup challenge against the Montreal Wanderers in January 1907. During the two-game set, he received numerous ovations from the Montreal crowd. Although he didn't score, he made a number of quality offensive rushes that contributed to Kenora's Stanley Cup win. A year later, hiss services were purchased by the Wanderers in a move that strengthened an already formidable outfit. He was a key reason the Red Bands finished at the top of the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association standings and then beat back the Stanley Cup challenges from Winnipeg, Toronto and Edmonton.
He followed with two years in Ottawa, where he introduced the "kitty bar the door" defensive alignment that baffled teams preferring a freewheeling offensive game.
Jim Coleman – Legends of Hockey TV Series
If you wanted to gather a team to win the Stanley Cup it was a good idea to hire Art Ross. That’s the reason he played on so many different teams because when anybody was building for a Cup bid they’d get Ross to anchor their defense
Legends of Hockey TV Series
Adding Art Ross was the reason Kenora was able to beat the Ottawa Silver Seven after losing.
After Kenora, Ross moved on. The Wanderers hired Ross because he was the main reason they’d been beaten, so it made sense to put the lad in the red Wanderers jersey. The next season they won the Cup.
The spokesman Review, Nov 25, 1917
When Art Ross quits hockey the winter game will lose “the greatest player it ever produced”. That batter title has been tossed about a bit, confered on first one and then another, but when they've all been rattled through the sifter Ross stands out as the brainiest, most consistent player over a long period of years that the game has ever known
Six feet in height, perfectly proportioned, always in the pink of condition, Ross in his hey-day added these assets terrific speed and a stick-wizardy that was little short of marvelous. In later days he lost his high flight of speed, but the ability to puzzle opponents with sheer trick skill has not deserted the big Scotsman. Although he doesn't flash and circle about the ice with the meteoric dash of yore, opposing defense still find it a difficult task to get the puck off Ross's elusive stick. Add to this a hockey brain of far more than average keenness which stored up the experience of many years, and Ross is still today a formidable addition to any game.
The ice game has never had a smarter player than Ross. How, when playing with Ottawa, he euchered the Wanders out of the championship of 1914-15 is still fresh in the minds of conetemporary fans....
The dope was that Ottawa would try to make their defensive stand through a strong offense, and that was the style the Wanderers primed themselves for. Instead, when the game started Ross spread out three players in front of the Ottawa net. …
It was a neat a bit of ice generalship as was ever seen, and was a perculiarly graitifying victory to Ross.
Comparison to Hod Stuart
Pittsburgh Press, March 21, 1908
A discussion was started yesterday to the relative merits of Ross and the late Hod Stuart as hockey players. Nearly all who attended the Gardens in recent years have seen the great cover point, who met such an untimely death, play and regard his as the greatest ever. But there are many who declared Ross is superior, and not a few will watch his work tonight to make their own deductions.
Comparison to Lester Patrick
Montreal Gazette, Dec 26, 1908
Lester Patrick is stated to be as in good condition as he was when he played for the Wanderers two years ago, but this is doubtful. It is considered by the challengers that he has finer points in his stickhandling than Ross, but Ross is a stronger man at withstanding attacks and he has almost as spectacular and certainly a more aggrresive manner of going up the ice. In Montreal Ross is regarded as the greatest defense player in hockey.
Detroit Free Press, Dec 23, 1917
Headline: Art Ross, Known as Best hockey Player, to quit
Feb 5, 1917, The Calgary Herald
ART ROSS Who's work at cover point for the Wanderers is subject to much comment in hockey circles. He has been in the professional ranks for many years and is still considered to be the most formidable defence man in the game.
The Pittsburgh Press, March 10, 1908
It is a question if a better defense man than Art Ross was ever seen in the business. He was a terror to all other teams and it was a cry all over the circuit to “Watch Ross and beat the Wanderers.” He was the particular player that the Ottawa watched but with all the precaution that the team took. Ross got away and it was his pair of goals that won the game that gave his team the silverware.
Ottawa Citizen, Feb 10, 1910
Art Ross did the bulk of the work for Halleybury. He alone was successful in warding off the attacks of the Ottawa players...Ross was in game at all time, and had it not been for his sterling work Ottawa would run up a much bigger score.
Montreal Gazette, Jan 14, 1908
Hooper (coverpoint), who had been handicapped by a late start this season, showed more speed last night and made one or two last night. He is still weak in blocking, however. For a time Ross and Hooper changed positions last night, but Ross is too strong a man in keeping a forward line out to justify a shift...”
In late 1910, he rejoined the Wanderers, putting up four seasons there before joining the Ottawa Senators. "Ross played like an eel," XXXXX once said. "He was one of the greatest stickhandlers I ever saw. He could spin on a dime, and he was so tricky there was no blocking him."
He was viewed as a fearless player who never backed down from a fight in his life. Ross' highest PIM total was in 1913-14 with the Wanderers in the NHA. In 18 games, he spent 74 minutes in the penalty box! From 1912-17, Ross would never spend less than 55 minutes in the penalty box in one season despite only averaging 18 games per season in the NHA.
February 17, 1915 saw Ross square off in a fight with Toronto Blueshirts' player XXXX which ended up with both players being arrested for assault. The fine of $1 each was paid in total by XXXX who lost a coin toss to Ross while in jail. Referee Cooper Smeaton was almost arrested as well for his inability to control the fracas, but he escaped without penalty
It was while Ottawa was travelling to Montreal for the 1915 NHA championship that Ross invented "kitty-bar-the-door" hockey, thinking that the fast, powerful Wanderers could be stopped by stringing three defensemen across the width of the ice, 30 feet in front of the goalie, defying any Montreal forward to skate through. The confident Wanderers, playing on home ice, even had a fleet of taxis waiting outside the rink to take them to the railway station so they could head west to meet Vancouver for the Stanley Cup. Their pride and Art Ross's defensive shell ensured that the taxis came in handy for the Ottawa Senators instead, who won the round on goals and caught the train to the coast.
- 3-time world champion (1972, 1976, 1977), playing against the best the USSR had to offer
- 4-time WC All-Star right wing (1974–1977), all over Boris Mikhailov
- 7th all-time leading scorer in World Championships, with 110 points (52 goals and 58 assists) in 102 games. (1st among Czech players).
- Top scorer in at the 1976 World Championships, with 20 points in 10 games.
- Voted Best forward at the 1976 World Championships
- 2-time Izvestia Tournament Champion (1970, 1977), playing against the best the USSR had to offer. *Izvestia Tournament known as “mini World Championship”
- Voted Best forward at the 1979 Izvestia Tournament (also was leading goal scorer)
- Inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame (2001)
-Won the Golden Hockey Stick (best player in Czechoslovakia) 4 times – 1973, 75, 76, 79. The only player to win 4 Golden Hockey Sticks (given to the best Czechoslovakian/Czech player), until some guy s named Jaromir Jagr (9) and Dominik Hasek (5) came around
- The Soviets feared him so much, they treated him much like the Canadians treated Kharlamov
One of the best players in the world in the 1970s. Was famous for his exceptional technical skills and on-ice creativity. Nicknamed the Fox, he was a nightmare for the opponents' defense lines because of his unpredictable moves.
Vladimir Martinec was one of the smartest and most technically skilled European player ever. It is doubtful if there has ever been any player in Europe as eager to improvise as Martinec. He was extremely creative with the puck and drove his opponents crazy.
Few players were treated more brutally than Martinec. This small (5'9" and 178 Ibs) right wing somehow always seemed to bounce back totally undisturbed and more often than not with a smile on his face. His constant smile was a sort of a trademark and frustrated his opponents even more. A lot of reporters used to ask him why he always was smiling, even after a vicious crosscheck in the back. He said that he did it because he enjoyed the game so much and always had fun.
It was evident that he loved the game as he always did something extra with the puck that left the fans absolutely stunned. Martinec was known as "The Fox" for his cleverness around the net as he simply outsmarted his opponents. He was extremely popular among his teammates who knew him as "Marcello".
The Hockey News Century of Hockey
He was one of the Czechoslovakia’s greatest pure finesse players of all-time and all but impossible to stop 1-on-1.
People’s Republic of China, Issues 63-84
Furious at their fiasco in the first encounter, players of the Soviet team deliberately injured ace Czechoslovak player Vladimir Martinec with sticks 2 minutes after the match began.
Ottawa Citizen – Dec. 29, 1978
Vladimir Martinec has been selected the outstanding Czechoslovakian hockey player in a poll conducted by the youth daily. Mlada Fronta. Second in the survery was Ivan Hlinka followed by Marian Stastny, Bohuslav Ebermann and Jiri Holocek.
Triffy on the HOH board made a great argument that Martinec had to have been at least very close to Kharlamov, Petrov, Mikhailov, and Maltsev, since the Czechs went 5-7-3 against the Red Machine, and Martinec was their best skater.
Originally Posted by Triffy
The Czechs weren't that far behind the Soviets in the 70's, when Martinec earned his reputation. That was somekind of golden era for Czechoslovakian hockey. They won gold in WCHs in 1972, 1976 and in 1977. That was when the Soviet Union hockey was shining. Kharlamov, Petrov, Mikhailov, Maltsev and Vasiliev, to name a few, weren't enough.
Martinec started his international career in 1971. He played his last WCH tournament in 1977. I'll list the games played during Martinec's time between Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia below.
During the time span, Czechoslovakia won 5 times. The Soviets won 7 times. The games were tied 3 times. Remember that in 1968 the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia. So the games had very strong political tone in them. Martinec won the Best Czech player award three times during the same time span. So I think it's reasonable to say he was their best player.
Because the Czechs were close to Soviets as a team, their best players must have been close to the best Soviets such as Kharlamov, Petrov, Mikhailov and Maltsev. I have Martinec ranked slightly below Stastny and Stastny is somewhere around 50-60 on my list.
Top 5’s in Czech League
Top-5 Scoring (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th)
Top-5 Goalscoring (1st, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th)
Top-5 Assist (1st, 1st, 5th, 5th)
Top-5 Czech Golden Hockey Stick: (1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 3th, 4th, 5th)
More showing Martinec was both a playmaker and a goalscorer
Here's how Vladimir Martinec's 1.12 assists per goal ratio (58A:52G) at the WC's compares to some of the other stars of his generation…
Alexander Maltsev: 1.16 (89A:77G)
Valeri Kharlamov: 1.15 (85A:74G) Vladimir Martinec: 1.12 (58A:52G)
Vladimir Petrov: 1.08 (80A:74G)
Boris Mikhailov: 0.72 (71A:98G)
Born: Smithers, British Columbia
6'0, 195 lbs
Jimmy Watson made his NHL debut in the 1972-73 season, and was the defensive linchpin for the Flyers until injuries forced him to retire after the 1981-82 season. An elite positional defenseman, Watson employed strong skating, good puck-moving skills, and excellent hockey smarts to become one of the most respected defenders in the NHL. He is often credited for his upbeat leadership style, on and off the ice. In contrast to the Broadstreet Bullies teams he played on, Watson was able to play a strong physical game while staying out of the penalty box.
He was an excellent playoff performer, and a key member of Philadelphia's Stanley Cup Championships in 1974 and 1975, and was noted for his brilliant play in the the Flyer's 1976 finals run. Watson's play in 1976 left an impression on Scotty Bowman, who selected Watson to play for Team Canada in the 1976 World Cup along with Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin, Larry Robinson, Serge Savard, and Guy Lapointe. Watson was an opening-game starter, and played very well until he was forced out of the tournament with a concussion and broken jaw after taking a wayward slapshot to the face against the American squad. Perhaps tellingly, Canada chose to move on with just 5 defenders in Watsons absence, rather than dress Carol Vadnais or Paul Shmyr for the remainder of the tournament. Watson played in 5 allstar games, a remarkable number for a stay-at-home defenseman averaging around 20 points a year. Often playing through injury, Watson was an integral part of a Flyer's squad that made deep playoff runs a yearly routine.
"I got nine years in, should have had five or six more, maybe even longer. I was always in great shape. But injuries eventually get almost everybody in the game, got Joe, got me. I don’t feel cheated at all, no sir, not at all. I feel very, very fortunate and grateful for everything I got." - Jimmy Watson
"The guy to keep an eye on tomorrow is 22 year old Jimmy Watson. Although he'd sooner be caught up at the other end than admit it, Jimmy in his sophomore year may be one of the top four defencemen in the NHL." - Montreal Gazette (January 10, 1975)
"Watson's completely reliable from beginning to end" - Scotty Bowman (August 24, 1976)
"Jimmy Watson is an all-star" - Bobby Clarke (The Phoenix, May 21 1980)
"I'll tell you this, the Flyers miss Jimmy Watson. He's their key defenseman." - -Phil Esposito (Pro Hockey, 1980)
“In a day of a more up-and-down game, his lateral movement was exceptional. He anticipated the play and was really competitive, just a really good player.” - Bobby Clarke
"Jim Watson is the most underrated defenseman in the league. He's not flashy or a great goal scorer, but is always in position and rarely makes mistakes" - (Miami News, April 21 1977)
"Jimmy Watson was the Flyers' best defenseman" - (Montreal Gazette, May 8 1974)
FLYERS AT THEIR BEST WITH THE GLOVES ON
"Wayne Cashman waited until the referee's attention was elsewhere, then gave Jimmy Watson a straight right to the head; Watson skated away." - Boca Raton News, May 11 1976
"...said Jim Watson, who had an outstanding series..." - (Montreal Gazette, Apr 26, 1976)
"The Flyers slowed down the free-skating North Stars with valuable defensive play from Jimmy Watson" - (Post Wire Service, May 2, 1980)
"Emotionally, the Flyers were driven by the presence of XXXXX and Jimmy Watson" - (Boca Raton News, May 23, 1980)
"Flyer's defenseman Jimmy Watson, who has been brilliant in this series..." - Montreal Gazette, May 15 1976 (after game 3 of the 4-game 1976 finals)
"Seemingly indefatiguable on the ice, Jimmy has the ideal temperment for the gashouse spirit that pervades the Flyers locker room." - Montreal Gazette (Jan 10, 1975)
"Jimmy Watson, their great young defenseman..." - (Montreal Gazette, Jan 10 1975)
"Jim Watson, Team Canada's top defenseman..." - (The Leader-Post, Sep 9 1976)
"He was so smooth, steady, could backhand a pass as well as anybody who played in that era." - Joe Watson
One of Jim's biggest fans was Fred Shero, who coached Philadelphia's to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975. Shero described Jim as one of the best and most underrated defencemen in the NHL and predicted that the younger Watson would have won the Norris Trophy as the league's top blueliner, had an eye injury in the 1976 Canada Cup tournament not hampered his development. Watson retired from professional hockey in 1982, after appearing in 613 regular season games and another 101 playoff contests for the Flyers. http://www.bchhf.com/Joe%20and%20Jim%20Watson.htm
"Flyer's defenseman Jimmy Watson got his 100th career assist on the Flyers' first goal. He notched 101 in the second. Watson said the obvious. 'It doesn't mean a thing. We're trying to get those two points'." - Jimmy Watson (Reading Eagle, Jan 13 1978)
Nickname: Moose Height: 6'3'' Weight: 200 lbs Position: Defense Shoots: Left Date of Birth: December 11th, 1935 Place of Birth: Duparquet , Quebec, Canada Date of Death: October 30, 1998 (Age: 62)
Memorial Cup Champion (1954)
JOHA First All-Star Team (1955, 1956)
Stanley Cup Champion (1961)
Stanley Cup Finalist (1965)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1963, 1964)
Played in NHL All-Star Game (1961, 1963, 1964, 1969)
Team Captain (1968-1969)
Top-5 Scoring Among Defenceman (5th, 6th)
Top-5 Goalscoring Among Defenceman (4th, 7th)
Top-5 Assists Among Defenceman (3rd, 6th)
Top-5 Penalty Minutes Among Defenceman (4th)
Calder Memorial Trophy:
1956-57: 7th position (Larry Regan)
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
1959-60: 10th position (Doug Harvey) (1 vote)
1960-61: 9th position (Doug Harvey) (5 votes)
1961-62: 13th position (Doug Harvey) (3 votes)
1962-63: 4th position (Pierre Pilote) ([20-8])
1963-64: 3rd position (Pierre Pilote) ([21-7])
1964-65: 10th position (Pierre Pilote) (1 vote)
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Elmer Vasko was a large, fast, and skilled defenseman who came up through the Chicago Blackhawks farm system. At 6'3" Vasko was a huge man for his time. The Chicago fans likened his up-ice charges to that of a moose. Yet, for his first three seasons in Chicago the stay was not particularly pleasant. The team was in one of the darkest spots in club history. Last place finishes were common and the chances of making the playoffs were bleak. To make matters worse, Vaske could not play to his full capacity. He had to wear a special shoulder harness just to play a shift. After his shoulder surgery in 1959 Vasko improved vastly.
Vasko's improved play coincided with the improvement in the Blackhawks. He was partnered with Pierre Pilote to form one of the toughest defensive tandems in the league. The result was a Stanley Cup victory in 1961.
Originally Posted by Hockeenight.com
Moose Vasko embodied the qualities of his nickname. He partnered the slick, smooth-skating Pierre Pilote on a defense pair that gave the Hawks both a robust and rapid presence on the blueline.
If that sounds uncannily like the pairing of Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith, it is because for those of us who watched them play together back in the day, Vasko was to Pilote what Seabrook is to Keith. Like Seabrook, Vasko wasn’t flashy. Also like Seabrook, in contrast to his partner, the Moose quietly ensured that Pilote had the freedom to whirl, dash and drive the attack.
Moose never went looking for a scrap, but if you made him angry, he’d flatten you.
Originally Posted by Total Hockey
Vasko reached the NHL in 1956-57 and at 6'2'', 200 pounds he was one of the biggest player in the league. His size and strength made him a solid, and popular, defenceman.
Originally Posted by Who's Who In Hockey
It was the perfect Mutt and Jeff combination for a decade in Chicago Stadium: the hulking ''Moose'' Vasko teaming with the petit Pierre Pilote on the Blackwawk blueline.
Vasko performed his defensive skills with an even-tempered geniality that belied his size, six feet three and 210 pounds.
As a rookie, Vasko was expected to be the defenseman for the coming era, but his basically gentle heart was a downfall.
Originally Posted by Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol. 3
Vasko was one the biggest player in the NHL and his size and strength made him a formidable defenceman. His style of skating was far from graceful and when he took off on one of his headlong rushes it was not unlike a stampede.
- ''I used to think they were booing me. Now I know they want me to go out and do my best. It's great to be wanted!'' - Elmer Vasko, on fans chanting 'Mooooose' everytime he went rushing the puck
Signing, Trades & Injuries:
- Played his first few seasons in the league with a bad shoulder. He had to wear a special shoulder harness just to play a shift. After his shoulder surgery in 1959 Vasko improved vastly
- In June 6th 1967, Vasko was claimed by the Minnesota North Stars in Expansion Draft
Fun & Interesting Facts:
- Vasko was also one of the few players of Slovak descent back when Slovakia was not even acknowledged as a country
- After his second retirement from hockey, Vasko opened a fast-food business
- He was a member of the Hearing Impaired Hockey Association, which teaches deaf and hearing impaired children and young adults how to play hockey
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette; March 27th, 1959
Jacques Plante and Moose Vasko collided in the first period and Vasko found himself playing for a few moments with Plante's big goaler's stick.
Nickname: The Handyman, Handy Andy, Old Mr.Eternity Height: 5'11'' Weight: 160 lbs Position: Left Wing, Right Wing, Centre Shoots: Left Date of Birth: February 16th, 1914 Place of Birth: Wilcox , Saskatchewan, Canada Date of Death: August 24th, 1990 (Age: 76)
Memorial Cup Champion (1934)
Stanley Cup Champion (1942, 1945, 1947, 1948)
Stanley Cup Finalisy (1935, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940)
Frank Selke Trophy (1942*, 1945*, 1946*, 1947*)
Assistant Captain (1947-1948)
*Trophy retroactively awarded by the book 'Ultimate Hockey'
- #62 on the book 'Maple Leafs Top-100' list of the Top-100 Best Toronto Maple Leafs players of All-Time
- Named the best defensive forward of the 1940's by Ultimate Hockey
- Named the best shadow of the 1940's by Ultimate Hockey
- Named the best penalty-killer of the 1940's by Ultimate Hockey
- Named the most underrated player of the 1940's by Ultimate Hockey
- Named the best utility player of the 1940's by Ultimate Hockey was the older of the two brothers (his brother was Don Metz) who spent the 1930's and most of the 1940's with the Toronto Maple Leafs. His nickname, ''Handyman,'', was fitting as he was the Leafs' master plumber - a responsible defensive forward, a clutch scorer, and one of the best penalty-killers in NHL history.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Modern hockey fans will name Bob Gainey or Guy Carbonneau or Jere Lehtinen as the greatest defensive forward ever to roam the NHL ice. But one player who should not be forgotten about is "the Handyman" Nick Metz.
In addition to be a superb shadow, Metz was a great utility player. He was especially good on the penalty kill. For a short time Metz and Joe Klukay teammed up to kill off Leafs penalties. There may never have been a finer set of PK forwards.
Metz was also a leader on the Leafs teams that won 4 Stanley Cups in the 1940s. He was very underrated on a team that also boasted Charlie Conacher, Joe Primeau, Syl Apps and Turk Broda.
Following his junior stint Metz joined the Leafs where he spent his entire 12 year NHL career. Throughout those years Metz was a consistent player night in and night out. He also chipped in nicely offensively. Eight times he hit double digits in goals back when the schedule was mostly 50 games long. He maxed out at 22 goals in 1944-45
Originally Posted by Ultimate Hockey
Metz was easily one of the best defensive forwards ever and was a fantastic utility player as well, able to excel at any skating position. He was an underrated commodity on a team with names like Conacher, Primeau, Apps, and Broda. Over the years, Metz's poise and manner had a calming, even sobering effects on rookies.
Although not known for his offensive abilites, he was certainly no slouch
In 1946-47, he played alongside Joe Klukay on the Maple Leafs to form possibly the greatest one-two penalty-killing punch in NHL history.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Although primarily a checking forward, he could score as well, enjoying a 22-goal during the Leafs' Stanley Cup-winning season in 1944-45. In fact, Metz helped the Maple Leafs win four Stanley Cups during his career in Toronto.
Originally Posted by Who's Who in Hockey
Older than brother Don by two years, Nick Metz, along with teammate Joe Klukay, developed the best penalty-killing combination the NHL had ever seen. He was regarded as one of the most versatile forwards of all time and many critics believed that he retired prematurely.
Originally Posted by Maple Leafs Top-100
Metz dedicated himself to being a very good defensive player and a top penalty killer. However, he was not totally devoid of offensive skills.
Metz was one of the best Leafs throughout the '39 playoffs.
The Leafs finally broke through to win the Stanley Cup in 1942, and Nick Metz and his brother Don were both instrumental in getting the Leafs past Detroit in a very difficult seven-games final.
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald; January 16th, 1942
Nick Metz, slim winger from Wilcox, Sask., never plays any harder than his conscience and the exigencies of the situation demand. But when he does shift gears there isn't a better hockey player in the National Hockey League.
Originally Posted by Leader Post; April 24th, 1948
During the last two seasons, Nick has been used in a utility role, teaming with Joe Klukay to form one of the league's outstanding penalty-killing duos.
- ''That Metz is the best all around player in the league. He can play anywhere, and good. In any kind of going you can use him at center, on the wings, or at defense and he'll give you all he's got.'' - Conn Smythe
Fun & Interesting Facts:
- Nick Metz is the older brother of former NHL player Don
- Metz first game in the NHL was on November 8th, 1934, playing alonsdie Pep Kelly and Art Jackson, two former linemate when playing with the St.Michael's Majors
- Metz missed two years of hockey, serving in the military during the second World War. Metz served on Canada's west coast, based in Nanaimo, where they guarded against possible attacks from Japan
Finnish Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Teppo Numminen gained a well-earned reputation as the "iron man" of the NHL. When Philadelphia center Rod Brind'Amour missed his team's home opener of the 1999-00 season, Numminen became the league's new leader in consecutive games played, not having missed once since December 15, 1995. He'd compiled three consecutive seasons without missing a game and 1998-99 was the fifth time in his NHL career that he'd gone all season without missing one.
But the "iron man" streak was only one aspect of Numminen's game. He also played in the 1999 All-Star Game, starting on the World Team, and led the entire Phoenix defensive corps in goals, assists and points. Numminen, who had spent his entire NHL career with the Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise, entered the league in 1988 after spending several seasons with the Finnish league team Tappara.
...Establishing marks for consecutive games played, Numminen was a perennial leader on the Coyotes in the average minutes per game category. In other words, he not only plays in all of his team's games, he gets plenty of ice time as well.
...Numminen's international career has seen him represent his homeland on numerous occasions which include, six World Championships (1987, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 2004), four Olympic Games (1988, 1998, 2002 and 2006), one World Junior Championship (1988), two Canada Cups (1987, 1991) and two World Cups (1996 and 2004).
Originally Posted by Kings of the Ice
...The typically modest Finn has been quick to deflect the attention away from himself after becoming the league's ironman, though, preferring instead to give credit to something more ephemeral - fate. "I've been lucky", he said... "You play so much ahd you don't want to let your team down, so it's a big challenge. Every game is an opportunity to play well and help your team."...
Originally Posted by The Hockey News
Is one of the most underrated defensemen in NHL history. Makes a consistent first pass and is a great co-pilot on the power play. Sound positioning is the secret to his success.
Teppo Numminen !!!
Awards and Achievements:
2 x Olympic Silver (1988, 2006)
Olympic Bronze (1998)
Canada Cup Bronze (1991)
World Cup Silver (2004)
World Championship Silver (1998)
World Championship Bronze (2006)
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1989-90
Numminen has a fine complement of finesse skills. He's a very good skater, possessing speed, quickness, and agility. He's a very mobile player, able to challenge the puck at the both bluelines, and he also has the ability to change gears up and down within a stride. His hockey sense is good and will improve as he continues to become acclimated to NHL tempo. He passes the puck really well and he can rush with it too, making him a threat to become an attacker - although so far he plays a conservative game. Teppo can find the open man and make not just the correct play, but a great one if given time. He shoots the puck in stride well... He's got all the skills, now let's see if he has the guts.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1990-91
He gets good reads of the ice and uses his vision and anticipation in conjunction with his puckhandling to orchestrate rushes from the Jets' zone. He'll also use his skating skill to support an offensive rush as a late attacker... a good playmaker, has little trouble finding open men at both ends of the ice.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1991-92
It is a pleasure to watch Numminen skate. He has a long, graceful stride and an effortless shift from forward skating to backward skating and up again. He may take some extra time making decisions with the puck in the attacking zone, but he is far more automatic - and far more persistently correct - making decisions in the defensive and neutral zones, which is why he is a good penalty killer.
Numminen looks to pass first, looks to carry second as a method of clearing the puck from his defensive end. In center ice, he does not hesitate for an instant if the situation calls for the puck to be drilled around the boards and into the attacking zone. Though European players tend to want to make a play at the blueline, Numminen wants to make the play that will work for his team. The main thing to him is that the puck keep moving... He gets few assists because few teammates are willing to go to the net to look for garbage goals from his rebounds.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1992-93
Numminen is just a good, solid defenseman. While not particularly fast, he is fairly agile on his skates and very seldom gets beat one on one. He makes the right play, the easy play, that gets you out of the defensive zone... Numminen sees the ice well and moves the puck well... Numminen bumps more than Phil Housley or ******* ******** and is more effective physically to get the job done. He is able to skate with opponents and get the stick on them. He also accepts the body bombs in the corners... Numminen is a quiet, real solid person. He is never a problem in the dressing room.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1996-97
The most underrated defenseman in hockey.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1999-00
Numminen's agility and anticipation make him look much faster than he is. A graceful skater with a smooth change of direction, he never telegraphs what he is about to do. His skating makes him valuable on the first penalty killing unit. He will not get caught out of position and is seldom bested one on one. If he is under pressure, Numminen is not afraid to give up the puck on a dump and chase... He would rather dish off than rush, and is a crisp passer, moving the puck briskly and seldom overhandling it. He is terrific at making the first pass to move the puck out of the zone... Numminen is uncannily adept at keeping the puck in at the point, frustrating opponents who try to clear it out around the boards. He can intentionally shoot the puck wide for tip-ins. He is not afraid to pinch, either... Numminen plays an acceptable physical game... He'll employ his body as a last resort, but would rather use his stick and gain the puck. He is even tempered and not nasty... Numminen is underrated. He is not a Norris Trophy type, but no NHL team would hesitate to take him and put him on their top pair... A complete, if not elite, defenseman.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 2002-03
The "all-underrated" team tag has become kind of a cliche now. Suffice it to say Numminen does not have the flashy numbers or playing style to merit Norris consideration, but is just a notch below the game's elite defensemen... Smart and reserved... plays hurt... Surely it would have helped his cause if he had played for some successful teams... he is respected throughout the NHL, though.
Originally Posted by Hockey Almanac 1993-94
An outstanding offensive defenseman, he plays somewhat in the shadow of Phil Housley... Numminen brings plenty of his own gifts to the rink, however. An excellent skater, he moves through the various zones gracefully and with good speed and acceleration. He has a hard shot from the point, and will sneak into the high slot for centering leads. For much of last season he was the team's most reliable defender... Tough enough to survive the rigors of the NHL, Numminen nonetheless manages to stay away from penalty trouble... Experts in Winnipeg and around the Central Division who see him a lot agree Numminen is among the most underrated defensemen in all of hockey. The Jets certainly know they have a blue-chipper.
WILL - Play in both ends
CAN'T - Be ignored as a catalyst
EXPECT - Good puckhandling
DON'T EXPECT - Irresponsible play
Originally Posted by Hockey Almanac 1994-95
Not the fastest skater on the ice, he is nevertheless one of the most graceful and elusive. He has the ability to skate with the puck and evade the most tenacious checkers. Very smart, he knows when to carry the puck and when to pass it off. He has a good point shot and is an accomplished penalty killer.
WILL - Cover lots of ice
CAN'T - Be underestimated
EXPECT - Excellent puck work
DON'T EXPECT - A one-way player
Originally Posted by Hockey Almanac 1995-96
He has good first-step speed... clever and intuitive
WILL - Survive on skating
CAN'T - Be outfoxed defensively
EXPECT - Great passing
DON'T EXPECT - Him to get nasty.
Originally Posted by Hockey Almanac 1996-97
By his own admission, Numminen isn't a flashy player. but he is steady and one of the top-15 defenseman in the NHL. Last year the Jets put rookie ***** **** on Numminen's flank in the hopes that the rookie would learn from watching the team's best defender... Numminen has long been underrated and underappreciated, but that is starting to change.
WILL - Move the puck well
CAN'T - Beat him with fakes
EXPECT - Lots of assists
DON'T EXPECT - Many penalty minutes
Originally Posted by The Hockey News – April 27th, 2007
On the surface, the veteran Finn - who re-signed another one-year deal last summer - didn't exactly look like a great fit on the young and gun Sabres. But he was just want the Sabres wanted, a puck-moving blue-liner oozing with experience.
"The type of player he is and the way the game changed after the lockout, our pro scouts thought that he would be a very good fit for us," said Regier. "We were looking for a veteran presence, to stabilize and teach young players and lead by example. He has the game down to a science. He's so effective and efficient."
A puck-moving defenceman has become more than ever a premium in the new NHL. Numminen doesn't stand out on television and he'll rarely make the highlight reel, but watch the face of his teammates light up when bringing up his name.
"The one thing that I think hockey fans probably don't notice is his ability to get us out of our zone," star goalie **** ****** said Friday after the pre-game skate. "He makes smart passes. When he's under pressure he knows where his outlets are. He's one of the smartest defencemen I've seen at using his leverage and using his smarts to battle for pucks."
"And it's the five-foot passes that he makes that are sometimes the best ones all night."
The crackdown on obstruction and hooking has allowed opposing forwards to forecheck unabashed, putting more stress than ever on retrieving defencemen to make the right decision - quick. That's Numminen's forte.
"There's always something to be said to having a veteran, savvy defenceman that can make any type of real stressful play look easy," said head coach Lindy Ruff. "And I think that's what he does. Under pressure, he's the guy that hangs unto it and will find the open man."
Sabres defenceman **** ****** says there is no better example on how to play the position.
"He has the eye for the game, so to speak," said ******. "He may not be the fastest guy but he's always in the right position, he's usually right where he should be."
Originally Posted by The Hockey News – October 8th, 2008
Numminen smiled at the sight and familiar smell. This, finally, was back where he belonged after missing all but one game last season because of a faulty heart valve that was surgically repaired.
"It's been a long road," Numminen said. "It's great to be back doing things you love to do. I lost a big part of my life last year, but now I'm back. And I'm really enjoying it."
... "When I watch him play, it's just effortless, and it rubs off on all the other players," goalie **** ****** said. "I think we were missing him for a while last year."
Defenceman ******** ****** specifically pointed to Buffalo going 14-18 in one-goal games and the 14 times the team lost by squandering a lead after two periods as examples of the difference Numminen could have made.
..."Those points were big for us, and I think that's the main reason we have him back here now," ****** said.
...As for Numminen, Ruff has difficulty quantifying the impact his veteran presence will make.
"I've never seen a guy so happy," Ruff said. "He doesn't take a practice for granted. He doesn't take a game for granted. It's refreshing to talk to him, to watch him. He's a great example for our young players."
Originally Posted by The Hockey News – December 1st, 2009
But after his jump to the NHL, a couple other veterans – Teppo Numminen and ***** ***** – helped Butler acclimatize himself to the league. Like Butler, neither play with a particular show of flash, but the St. Louis native noted that what he picked up from them was their smart, responsible positional plays that always allow them to make an impact.
“Teppo had an outstanding career and he did a good job of making me feel comfortable when I was out there, talking to me,” Butler noted. “He’s such a smart player. If you watch the way he plays he makes few mistakes, passes are dead-on, he’s always in the right spot, always taking away a passing lane.
Originally Posted by Pro Hockey Play By Play 1995-96
A solid player, easily the best Winnipeg defenseman, and his +12 is a real achievement on this team. Just finished his 7th season in Winnipeg, which means he has the patience of a saint.
Originally Posted by Toronto Star Coaches Poll, 1994
BEST DEFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN: Best Defensive Defenceman: Ray Bourque (8), Chris Chelios (4), Scott Stevens (3), Teppo Numminen (1)...
Originally Posted by The Globe and Mail – April 18th, 1992
***** will no doubt try to keep Bure away from that trio and for the most part, will be successful. But even though Paddock won't admit it, the guy he REALLY wants on the ice when Bure is out there, is defenseman Teppo Numminen.
Originally Posted by The Globe an Mail – February 5th, 2000
He's probably the most underrated defenseman in the NHL. Numminen has a complete game and goes about his business so efficaciously that he's often taken for granted. He could be an MVP on just about any team.
Originally Posted by The Globe and Mail – March 18th, 2002
Numminen is a finesse guy who, technically, might be the best in the league. ***** is very similar to Numminen, positionally very sound.
Originally Posted by CBC – September 15th, 2001
"We are proud to name Teppo as our new captain," said Coyotes general manager Mike Barnett. "Teppo is a first-class individual who is well-respected in our locker room and around the NHL.
"He is an elite player with an incredible work ethic. He leads by example and will serve as the perfect role model for our younger players."
Originally Posted by CBC – September 23rd, 2002
His steady defensive play and calming influence in the locker room makes him an essential player on the Coyotes.
Originally Posted by CBC – June 30th, 2003
"Teppo Numminen has played 15 great seasons for this franchise," said Coyotes general manager Michael Barnett.
"He is our captain, he plays hard every night and is a leader on and off the ice. He is the consummate professional who is admired and respected by his teammates."
...Only two current NHL players have a longer tenure with their original franchise than Numminen -- Detroit's Steve Yzerman and New Jersey's Ken Daneyko.
Originally Posted by CBC – July 22nd, 2003
"Teppo Numminen has literally been our franchise player," Coyotes general manager Mike Barnett said in a release. "He is a first-class individual. He has been an on-ice leader and a role model for all of our players.
"We will always remember his 15 years of service and dedication to this organization."
Numminen has been the team's captain for the past two seasons and has notched at least 30 points the last six seasons.
"Teppo Numminen is a talented player who adds veteran leadership and experience to our defensive corps," Stars GM Doug Armstrong said in a statement.
"He plays a solid game on both ends of the ice and is the consummate professional. We're very excited to add him to our team."
Originally Posted by CBC – August 5th, 2009
Numminen's reputation as a steady, durable player earned him the position of (assistant) captain with Dallas and Buffalo. He also enjoyed a brief reign as the NHL's "iron man" after playing all 82 games in each of the Coyotes' first three seasons in Phoenix.
Owen is a great teammate. A lot of people know how tough a skater he was but he also had great hands to go with it. He was great in tight, and had the finesse to go with the toughness. He was a unique player.
Originally Posted by Mike Ricci
He had great hands. People don't realize he could do some pretty good things with the puck. He could shoot the puck, obviously, but he had great, in-tight finesse skills to go with that toughness. He was a unique blend. We were together for a lot of years. I got to watch it firsthand. It was a lot of fun.
Originally Posted by Doug Wilson
To be a power forward in the NHL is like being a running back in the NFL. You take a lot of punishment and hand out a lot of punishment. To have played as long as he has, and at that level, is remarkable.
Originally Posted by Doug Wilson
Owen Nolan was a dominating player on the ice and remains an important member of the history of the San Jose Sharks franchise.
Originally Posted by Doug Wilson
He was one of the rare prototypical power forwards that had enough skill to beat you either way. You look in this business; everybody's trying to find that type of player now. They don't exist. To play that role, it's a physical role, it's very tough on your body and tough mentally, and to have the talent to do the other things, too, it's rare. He had a huge impact on this franchise, and it's no surprise to me that winning followed. His competitive fire. But he is just a unique, unique player. I'm not sure we've had one since, and you're trying to find them going forward. So he does deserve an awful lot of credit for where this team got over those hurdles and got to the next level.
Swamp Devils pick a hard hitting defensive specialist who can play every forward position, Don Marcotte, F
Originally Posted by wikipedia
was noted as a premier defensive forward, while being versatile enough to play any forward position.
Awarded a "Retroactive Selke" by Ultimate Hockey for 1976
3rd in Selke voting to Bob Gainey and Craig Ramsey in 1978 (the first time the award was given out)
2nd in Selke voting to Bob Gainey in 1979
Also received multiple Selke votes in 1980, 1981, 1982
1979 Coach's poll: Selected the 2nd best defensive forward after Gainey and the 3rd best penalty killer after Gainey and Ramsay
Selected to play for the Canadian All Stars in the 1979 Challenge Cup
Originally Posted by legends of hockey
Although listed as a left winger, he could play all three forward positions. He usually skated with Derek Sanderson and Ed Westfall in whose company he excelled as a great two-way player and penalty killer who could dish out bone-jarring hits. In 1970-71 he tallied six short-handed goals.
Marcotte's best season came in 1974-75 when he scored 31 goals and 33 assists during the regular season. He was also a strong playoff performer, netting 61 points in 132 post season outings.
Originally Posted by Bruins 1971-72 Yearbook
The records show that Don Marcotte scored 15 goals the past season ... What they don't show is that for the amount of time he got on the ice, Marcotte's goal scoring average matched anybody on the team, with the possible exception of Phil Esposito. Marcotte was the Bruins' trouble-shooter If Coach Tom Johnson needed somebody on the right wing, it was Marcotte . . . If it was the left side or center, same thing. Unfortunately for Don, the Bruins went so well, he wasn't needed that often . . But the hard-hitting forward proved his value as a seventh player who could come off the bench cold and spark the team. He also proved invaluable as a penalty-killer.. . Not only did he shackle the opposition but he himself scored six of his 15 goals while killing penalties
Originally Posted by The Boston Globe, April 14, 2005
Just like the Energizer Bunny, he kept going and going and going.
A hard-nosed two-way player, Don Marcotte first skated with the Bruins in 1965 and retired with the Bruins after the 1982 season never lacing the skates up with another NHL organization. He bled Bruins blood, never let up and did whatever it took to win games.
“Everybody had different jobs to do and you had to do what you had to do," said Marcotte. "I was a two-way player and would go up and down. I would go up and forecheck and come back and backcheck. That kept me going and I loved it. I had a job to do and took a lot of pride in it.
... Throughout his career playing in the NHL, Marcotte was known for his hard-hitting and penalty killing. He currently ranks sixth all-time in games played (868), ninth is seasons played (13) and tenth in goals (230).
“I am very proud for the style of play I played,” said Marcotte. “I called myself a two-way player. I thought hockey was played at both ends of the ice and that was the way I played the game.”
Marcotte was also a key member of two Stanley Cup Bruins teams (1969-70 and 1971-72).
Reading one of Don Cherry's books recently...he said he didn't like to match lines with a checking line, he'd rather put a good defensive forward on each line and roll lines. But if he wanted a checking line he could move Don Marcotte to any line and it would be a checking line.
Don Marcotte was Lafleur's shadow for three seasons. The powerplay that resulted in Lafleur's famous goal was for too many men; Lafleur apparently went to the bench, but went back out right away. Marcotte followed as did another Bruin.
Originally Posted by overpass
To follow up a little on my last post, here is a list of the top penalty killing wingers of the last 40 years, as defined by those wingers who spent a lot of time killing penalties on effective PK units. I think this list is interesting in part because few wingers have actually spent a lot of time killing penalties - usually centres and defencemen have a larger role.
PKTime=an approximation of the number of season equivalents of shorthanded ice time that the player played. Calculated by sum of (PlayerPGA/TeamPGA).
TeamPK+=strength of the penalty kill units for which the player played. 1 is average, lower is better. 0.80 means that the unit allowed goals at 80% of a league average rate. Calculated by 1-(TmPGA -TmSHGF)/TmTSH, with each season weighted by the players PKTime.
Best penalty killing wingers by the numbers, 1968-2010
Position: Right Wing HT/WT: 6'0", 180 lbs Handedness: Right Nickname(s): "The Riverton Rifle" Born: April 23rd, 1950 in Riverton, MB
- 1-time Stanley Cup Champion (1975)
- Won the Conne Smythe Trophy in 1976.
- Played in 2 NHL All-Star Games (1976, 1980)
- 1-time member of the NHL Second All-Star Team.
- Top-10 in All-Star Voting 3 Times (2nd, 4th, 8th)
- scored 381 goals and 285 assists for 666 points in 934 games, adding 387 penalty minutes.
- scored 47 goals and 22 assists for 69 points in 94 games, adding 22 penalty minutes.
Top 10 Finishes:
Goals - 3x - (1, 7, 7)
Plus/Minus - 3x - (3, 6, 9)
Power Play Goals - 1x - (10)
Shorthanded Goals - 1x - (1)
Game Winning Goals - 3x - (2, 3, 6)
Originally Posted by Leach, on winning the Conne Smythe in '76
I think it was great because I believe I was the first forward on a losing team to ever win the Conn Smythe. I know other goaltenders had won it beforehand on losing teams but I think at that time it was a great honour to be awarded that trophy and everything else. I didn't really enjoy it at the time because of us getting knocked out in four games.
On February 23, 1972, Leach was part of the package sent by Boston to California to acquire XXXXX XXXXXXX. The Golden Seals were blatantly overmatched most nights, but Leach's talent began to shine through the depression of losing. In 1972-73 and 1973-74, he recorded consecutive 20 goal seasons. In the second of these years, he formed the team's top line with XXXX XXXXXXXXX and XXXX XXXXXXXX.
A few days after winning their first-ever Stanley Cup, the Philadelphia Flyers took a giant step toward repeating the triumph when they fleeced the Seals in a deal for Leach. In 1974-75, Leach teamed with Clarke and Bill Barber to score 45 goals and earn the respect of the tough fans in the City of Brotherly Love. While helping the Flyers repeat as Cup winners, Leach scored eight goals in 17 post-season games.
It was in the Flyers' failed attempt at a third triumph in the playoffs that Leach's star shone the brightest. During the 1975-76 season, he scored 61 regular-season goals but saved his best for the post-season. Leach's 19-goal effort in 16 games earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy even though the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup finals swept his team. Of further significance was the fact that the Riverton Rifle scored 80 combined goals (regular-season and playoffs) to break Phil Esposito's standard set in 1970-71.
Incredibly, in 1979-80 the wily veteran scored 50 times and helped the Flyers set an NHL record by going undefeated in 35 consecutive games from October 14 to January 6. More important, Leach took on defensive responsibilities and killed penalties for the first time in his career. He also scored 16 points while helping Philly reach the Stanley Cup finals, where they lost to the New York Islanders in six games.
The fleet winger registered 60 goals during his last two seasons in Philadelphia before joining the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent prior to the 1982-83 season. Leach scored his last 15 NHL goals wearing the famous winged wheel. In 1983-84, he skated for the Montana Magic of the Central Hockey League before bringing his pro career to a close. Leach finished with 381 goals in 934 regular-season games while earning a reputation as one of the top snipers of his day.
Greatest Hockey Legends
During most of the mid 1970s to the early 1980s, NHL teams needed gun control. You see when teams faced off against the Philadelphia Flyers they had plenty to worry about, namely Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber and Bernie Parent. However teams would often focus the attention of their top checkers against a streaky though explosive right winger from Riverton, Manitoba. That winger's name? One of the most prolific sharpshooters nicknamed "The Rifle" - Reggie Leach.
... However in all fairness the Bruins at this time were the defending Cup champs and had a deep talent pool. Reggie wasn't able to crack the talent rich lineup enough to show what he was truly capable of doing.
Playing with names like Clarke, Barber and MacLeish, Leach exploded. During his first year, 1974-75, with Philadelphia, Reggie scored 45 goals, plus a great playoff performance with 8 goals which lead Philadelphia to a second Stanley Cup, Reggie's first.
In 1975-76 he enjoyed his best year scoring a league leading 61 goals and totaling 91 points in the season. In the playoffs he broke Richard's goal scoring streak with goals in nine consecutive playoff games and set the NHL record for most goals in a playoffs with 19. He tied an NHL record set by Hall of Famer Maurice Richard on May 6, 1976, when he scored five times to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals. The win meant that the Flyers earned a trip back to the Stanley Cup Finals but were swept in 4 games by the Montreal Canadiens. Despite the Flyers' loss, Leach was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as he was clearly the best player in the playoffs. The trophy is definitely a highlight in Leach's career.
Reggie "slipped" to 32, 24 and 34 goals respectively over the next three seasons. He returned to the 50 goal club in 1979-80 and remained a productive Flyer until 1982. For the 1982-1983 season, Leach signed on with the Red Wings as a free agent, extending his NHL career by one year.
Throughout his thirteen year career, he had ten 20 goal seasons and three 40 goal campaigns. He also played in two All-Star games in 1976 and 1980.
Originally Posted by HHOF Time Capsule
Leach toiled with two organizations (Boston and California) before reaching stardom following his trade to Philadelphia in 1974. A gifted scorer, Leach teamed with former junior teammate Bobby Clarke and Bill Barber to form the LCB Line that led the Flyers to their second consecutive championship in 1975. The following year Reggie led the league with 61 regular season goals and a league-record 19 playoff goals to earn the Conn Smythe Trophy. His NHL career lasted until 1983 and he retired with 381 goals.
Bill Meltzer, Flyer Heroes of the Past
The only person who could have stopped Reggie "The Rifle" Leach from being remembered as one of the greatest snipers ever to lace up a pair of skates was Reggie himself. Arguably the most naturally gifted member of the famous LCB line, Leach had a hat trick of devastating shots in his arsenal. He had a wicked 100 MPH slapshot that intimidated defenders and goaltenders alike, a wrist shot that could pick any corner or find the tiniest five hole opening, and a tricky backhander that made many a goalie look foolish. Leach was dangerous any time he got the puck over the blueline. He could score from any angle and was a good enough stickhandler to elude would-be shotblockers and pokecheck attempts. He also had underrated speed and was lethal in transition. Reggie Leach should have ranked among the NHL's all-time leading goal scorers. He doesn't. While he did score a respectable 381 goals, with all of Leach's offensive ability and the talent that surrounded him on his line, 500 goals or more should not have been an unrealistic career milestone for him to attain.
New York Times - Apr 20, 1977
Reggie Leach, who they say can shoot from anywhere, shot while on his stomach and half-leaning on his elbows tonight, lifted the puck ...
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - May 18, 1996
Reggie Leach was known simply as "The Rifle,'' and with good reason. His shot was hard and true, and lethal to a lot of opponents.
Two decades ago, he was the most feared sniper in hockey. That's a major accomplishment for any player, and an even more remarkable feat for Leach, because there probably were nights when he saw more than one net.
Hockey News - Dec 6, 2007
Alcoholism probably kept Reggie Leach out of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and he's determined to do whatever he can to help young people avoid the downward spiral in which he became trapped
-Eleven time PCHA First Team All-Star (1912, '14, '15, '16, '18, '19, '20, '21, '22, '23, '24)
-Eight time Stanley Cup Finalist, One time winner (1910, '10, '15, '18, '21, '22, '23, '24)
If we take a conservative approach and say his 11 first teams in a split league era are the equivalent of being a top 4 goalie. That puts him between Hall (12 or 13) and Patrick Roy & Martin Brodeur (10). He played 22 years of serious hockey. 16 at a major pro level. Playing until he was 42. He was 26 when he received his first first team all-star and 38 when he got his last.
Originally Posted by The Regina Morning Leader Friday October 31st 1924
His contract reposes in the club's strong box, and Mr. Patrick sighed with relief when he recieved it, for Lehman has no peer today as a custodian.
One of the super-stars of the game, Lehman has no counterpart in sport on the continent. Where are the baseball, the lacrosse or the track star of 22 years ago today--gone where the woodbine and the ivy twines enjoying the fruit of early endeavors in ease and comfort.
Originally Posted by The Regina Morning Leader Friday October 31st 1924
hose who suggest that Lehman is about through should have seen him in action against Canadiens last year in the world's series. Early in the first game a flying puck broke the Lehman nose. He was off briefly for repairs, came on again and played spectacularly. Next game he played equally well. He was hailed as the most wonderful goalkeeping star in Canada and his work was regarded as faultless.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen - Apr 13, 1961
The fish-cold statistics of record books tell the story of Hugh Lehman's hockey life. Few players can match his nomadic exploits and, quite possibly, there never has been a goalkeeper who can match his ironman career.
Comparisons to Peers:
What we see time and again, over a long period of time, and from the West Coast to Ontario. Hugh Lehman was the benchmark for superior goalkeeping. When others are said to be better than Lehman, it is high praise. (When Charlie Gardiner is, we can safely say that Gardiner's peak value is high, but his career value is lacking.) And when others are said to be less than Lehman, it is no criticism at all.
Originally Posted by Regina The Morning Leader - Feb 26, 1919
and last but not least, the goal-minders, who have demonstrated that they can stop the hard shots a la George Vezina and Hugh Lehman.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen - Mar 18, 1922
Hugh Lehman who has been a star for the last twenty years. And it could not be said that youth was served to the detriment of Lehman this time, as the veteran played equally as well as the St. Patrick's wizard.
There are multiple reports about how Lehman wasn't a goalie who took any guff from forwards trying to intimidate him and throw him off his game.
Originally Posted by The St. John Sun Friday March 4th, 1910
Hugh Lehman and Harvey Corbeau of the Berlin professional hockey team and Benj. Dusty and Reg. Sanford of the Brantford team were charged at Brantford today with fighting in a game of hockey Monday Night. The fight really took place, although a squad of police had been sent to the rink anticipating trouble. The magistrate found it difficult to decide who were the aggressors and discharged all hands.
Originally Posted by The Regina Morning Leader Friday October 31st 1924
If this is an age of hero worship in athletics write the name Hugh Lehman, the "eagle eye" of the fastest sport in the world, high up on the small boys shrine. Clean, purposeful, active and bettle-browed in action, no man has ever taken liberties with Lehman's citadel and escaped scathless.
Hugh Lehman was one of the first goalies who handled the puck on a regular basis, prevented dump and chase tactics and benefited the offence with a quick transition game.
Originally Posted by The Regina Morning Leader Friday October 31st 1924
Lehman for years has maintained his reputation as the most colorful goalie in the game. His mind works with the speed of an electric battery and his ability to size up a situation quickly and toss a pass to an uncovered colleague is one of his greatest assets in the moil and turmoil of a furious struggle. Many a quick break away of the Maroons has been engineered by Lehman.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - Mar 21, 1924
The latitude the code allows the goal keeper in the matter of passing out the puck was made evident by Hughie Lehman, the custodian for the coast team. His clearing and passing out proved a revelation to many and certainly added to the spectacle, for many of his moves were smart, as well as calculated and frequently baffled the Canadien forwards, who were boring in on the goal.
Prior to his arrival on the West coast, Lehman was the subject of constant bidding wars in Ontario, with Galt, Berlin/Kitchener and the Ottawa Senators all vying for his services. Berlin/Kitchener was most successful. Then when the Patrick family formed a Western league, he was the star acquisition for goalkeepers, while Moose Johnson was the star skater.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen - Nov 16, 1909
The Ottawa club, as announced by The Citizen last week is still negociating with Hugh Lehman. Berlin hockey magnates say that Lehman has signed there while Chairman Bate of the Ottawa team's committee announces that the former Pembroke boy has accepted Ottawa's terms.
Originally Posted by The Calgary Daily Herald - Nov 13, 1911
Hugh Lehman, the crack goalkeeper of the Berlin club, has signed a contract to play with one of the Vancouver teams in the new league. Lehman, according to Patrick, will receive one of the largest salaries ever paid a goalkeeper in Canadian hockey.
By this time Lehman had all but cemented his status as the best goalie outside of the NHL. He led the PCHA in goals against six times and played in 8 Stanley Cup finals. He was an innovator, becoming one of the earliest goalies to venture out of his net to stickhandle the puck. One mythical story has Lehman skating up ice and scoring a goal. No evidence of this feat exists in Vancouver newspaper archives, although some suggest it may have happened back when Lehman was still playing in Ontario.
Typically speaking, discussing the 1910's generation of goalies (Clint Benedict, Hugh Lehman, Georges Vezina and Harry Holmes) have been compared in a zero sum game. If Georges Vezina is close to Clint Benedict, as shown in my bio last year then Benedict must not be a top ten goalie. Which has been shown to be balderdash in vecens' bio this year. So clearly what we should be doing is viewing them as a positive sum game. If Vezina is around the same as Benedict, and Benedict is a top 10 goalie, then Vezina is at least top 15. And if Hugh Lehman is the best of the Western leagues, which were a peer of the Eastern leagues. Then Hugh Lehman is also a top 15 goalie. And if this seems like an oversell, then I look at this fact. Lehman, Benedict, Vezina and Holmes were all elite goalies, arguably the best in the world, for over 10 years, closer to 15. A generation of goalies having that degree of consistent success over a stretch that long happens two other times in history, those being: Sawchuk, Plante, Hall & Worsley and Roy, Hasek, Brodeur & Belfour. The top three from those two generations are almost always rated as the top 6 or 7 goaltenders of all time. So why is the 1910's generation rated so low? They changed the game. Playing low, handling the puck and countless other ways they defined the position. They created a clear gap between haves and have-nots in goalies. So instead of viewing Benedict as an all-time great and his peers somehow not top 20, we should view Benedict, Vezina and Lehman as a generation that is close to Sawchuk, Plante and Hall or Roy, Hasek and Brodeur, and Holmes as a Worsley/Belfour of the generation. I end with a quote reminding us that past generations can be the peers of, or superiors of latter generations, and that that is one of the key tenants of the work we do here.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix - Oct 21, 1942
Any six of them [PCHA star players] could hold their own against any of the all-star selections [1st, 2nd & 3rd teams for the entire 1930's] or any group picked from current players
He was as complete a player as there was back in the days of the "onside" game. He could skate, shoot, and make the big play from his point position… Stuart was a clean player who played for keeps. His punishing checks and long reach frustrated his opponents as much as his offensive rushes dazzled the fans.
Originally Posted by The Patricks: Hockey’s Royal Family
Hod joined the Wanderers for their first game two weeks later, and this diamond-in-the-rough – a doggedly tough and tenacious defenseman…
If there was ever a “team policeman” in those days to equate with today’s designated “hit man”, it was Hod Stuart… He (Lester Patrick) was trapped by two Ottawa players who homed their sticks, plainly intent on administering a lesson in submission. They were slashing at him with their sticks when Stuart, just back on the ice and barely recovered from his own ordeal, came roaring to the rescue. With blood still oozing from the hastily stitched gash on his forehead, he waded in and took on all four assailants.
Originally Posted by Putting a Roof on Winter: Hockey Rise from Sport to Spectacle
William Hodgson Stuart, the star of the Pittsburg Bankers, accepted an offer from Portage Lake, and in Stuart, the team had the kind of player who is today called “the franchise”.
Originally Posted by Daniel Mason, hockey historian
One of hockey’s first great defensemen.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Just how good was Hod Stuart? When the Hockey Hall of Fame was established in 1945, the powerful skating defenseman, the Bobby Orr of his era, was included as one of the 12 initial inductees. That tells you just how highly acclaimed he was.
Originally Posted by Lester Patrick, describing his criteria for picking Stuart to his all-time line-up
My opinion is based on consistency of players over a period of years, and the fact that men selected possessed nearly all the fundamentals of an ideal player - physique, stamina, courage, speed, stick-handling, goal-getting ability, skill in passing, proper temperament and, above all, hockey brains.
Originally Posted by Bruce Stuart, asked who he thought was th best all-around player
Hod, my brother. He has more speed ad genuine science than any two players on the other teams.
Hod Stuart !!!
Award and Achievements:
Hockey Hall of Fame (1945)
Stanley Cup Champion (1907)
WPHL League Champion (1903)
IPHL League Champion (1905)
Named WPHL’s Best Cover-Point (1903)
2 x Named IPHL’s Best Cover-Point (1905, 1906)
WPHL First Team All-Star (1903)
2 x IPHL First Team All-Star (1905, 1906)
Ultimate Hockey’s “Best Offensive Defenseman” of the 1900s
Ultimate Hockey’s “Best Defensive Defenseman” of the 1900s
Ultimate Hockey’s “Best Skater” of the 1900s
*** subject to change as new information gets presented
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette – March 14, 1907
While he was on the ice, Stuart exhibited many of those qualities which have gained him renown in the hockey world. He handled his stick with marvelous dexterity, skated rings around most of the men on the ice, broke up rush after rush with ease, and several times carried the puck down through the whole Toronto team, his great speed carrying his huge bulk along with almost irresistible force.
When he was at cover-point Stuart was generally the turning point of every attack, and during the entire period the defense appeared well nigh impregnable. After his retirement the locals had comparatively little difficulty in sifting through or circling right up to the posts. With Stuart in the dressing room, the Wanderers appeared to be little better than the average team. The big fellow appears to be the backbone as well as the brains of the outfit. He instills confidence and spirit into the men in front of him, wakens them when they lag, steadies them when they are inclined to give way to the rattles, is cool and collected in an emergency, and is in every way the life of the team.
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press – January 27, 1906
Hod Stuart, of course, put in another great game. He can’t play any other way.
Originally Posted by The St. John Sun - October 19, 1906
Pittsburg is so far away from here that little is heard of its team for next year. Hod Stuart, the greatest of all cover-points, is at its head, and will doubtless get a fast seven to represent the Smoke City.
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press – December 18, 1904
Hod Stuart is a whole team by himself.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette – June 24, 1907
He was last winter the most talked of hockey player in Canada, and in the hockey district of the United States...
Stuart's reputation was widespread, and he had been termed by many competent authorities the finest player who ever handled a hockey stick.
Stuart's work throughout the winter is well known here and requires little comment. He was the backbone of the team, and without him the Wanderers would have been lost. He was a real general of the game, he knew it thoroughly himself, and could play any position from forward to point, and he had the ability to impart what he knew to others. One feature won Stuart hosts of friends here in Montreal, and that was that in all the many hard games he took part in during the winter he played clean, gentlemanly hockey all the way through.
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press – December 17, 1906
Is the Pittsburgh International Hockey League team to lose its wonderful leader, Hod Stuart, the greatest hockey player in the world?
Originally Posted by The Montreal Star – December 4, 1906
Two weeks ago, the Star announced that Hod Stuart, considered the greatest hockey player in the world, was going to play with the Wanderers.
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press – January 17, 1906
Spittal referred to Hod Stuart, the local’s famous cover-point, as undoubtedly the greatest hockey player who ever donned skates. And “Baldy” was correct there, too…
Hod has been accused of being a rough and dirty player, but there was nothing in the least offensive in his work last night. He was here, there, and everywhere, always following the puck when it went down the rink, and yet never losing sight of his opponent. When the Canadians line would start towards the Pittsburgh goal, with the puck in its possession, Hod always got busy. He would skate in and out between the opposing men, and nearly every time take the puck away from the man who was dribbling it.
He did his work without any rough tactics, but Stuart was so big that when a Canuck bumped him it was usually a case of the fooler being fooled, for Suart skated on, while the aggressive Soo man was sent sprawling to the ice.
Stuart is undoubtedly in a class by himself, when it comes to coolness, quick thinking, and speed…
Originally Posted by Calgary Herald - January 15, 1912
"the greatest hockey player of them all was born right in Ottawa. His career was snuffed out when he was at the top of his form. The late Hod Stuart had it all on them, bar none. We have had many fine players in Montreal, but there isn't a person in the city who won't say without hesitation that Stuart was the greatest...
Hod was a big fellow, fast and a skater. He could score with any forward in the game..."
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press – February 14, 1906
There is no wonder that Hod Stuart’s name is mentioned wherever hockey is played. His work toward the last half of the second half was sensational. Stuart plays both offense and defense, and what he doesn’t do in a game is not worth doing.
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press – November 25, 1906
Hod Stuart – than whom there is no better – is here…
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press – December 11, 1905
Hod Stuart has been barred from the International Hockey League, the western contingent claiming he won too many championships and that he is too rough. He is one of the best hockey players on this continent.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette
Hod Stuart, cover-point for the Wanderers, Canadian hockey champions and holders of the Stanley Cup, considered one of the finest all-round athletes in Canada and perhaps the greatest exponent of defense play in Canada’s winter sport.
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press - March 4, 1906
... while Stuart was in the game at point, his foot was in such conditio that he could hardly stand up.
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press – March 8, 1907
Bruce Stuart is not any more lamb-like than his brother Hod. The Stuart boys never run away from trouble.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - Mar 29, 1934
One of the great tragedies of hockey was the death of Hod Stuart... He was rated the finest player who had ever handled a stick up to that time and one of the greatest athletes Canada had ever produced.
Of almost perfect physical build, Hod Stuart was over six feet tall and weighed about 175 pounds. He was rather slim but strong and muscular and was possessed a splendid courage. No more noble looking athlete ever graced the hockey arena.
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jan 28, 1933
It was there that Hod Stuart, still called by historians the greatest hockey player who ever lived...
All Time All Star Teams:
In 1925, MacLean's magazine in Canada published an "All-Star, All-Time, Canadian Hockey Team" which "represents the opinions of sporting editors and other critics throughout the Dominion."
First team: Sprague Cleghorn, Hod Stuart
Second team: Eddie Gerard, George Boucher
Third team: Joe Simpson, Lester Patrick and Art Ross (tie)
Lester Patrick, who helped found the PCHA and competed as a player there, must have been very familier with Moose Johnson, the star PCHA defenseman. He appeared to prefer Hod Stuart too.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier's bio of Tommy Phillips
In a 1925 article Patrick was asked to select his all-time all-star team. Here's what he said:
"My opinion is based on consistency of players over a period of years, and the fact that men selected possessed nearly all the fundamentals of an ideal player - physique, stamina, courage, speed, stick-handling, goal-getting ability, skill in passing, proper temperament and, above all, hockey brains."
Patrick selected Hughie Lehman in goal, Sprague Cleghorn and Hod Stuart on defence, and up front he chose Tom Phillips, Arthur Farrell and Fred "Cyclone" Taylor.
One major caveat: As Patrick admits, he places a high value on "hockey brains." One of his three forwards was Arthur Farrell, as well (better?) known for writing what I think was the first popular book on hockey strategy as he was for what he did on the ice.
(And once again note that Patrick apparently preferred Stuart to Gerard too. But like overpass says, it's hard to tell how much of that is nostalgia for the player who died in the middle of his prime).
With pick 290, the Swamp Devils pick a player whose value should have skyrocketed since BM67 uncovered more or less complete All Star voting records for the 1930s and 1940s:
Jack Crawford, D
IMO, Crawford could easily be a defensive-minded #3 in this, so I'm thrilled to have him as a #4.
These are Crawford's finishes in All Star voting:
1939: 8th (also finished 4th in Calder voting)
1940: no placement (only played 35 of 48 games)
1942: 5th (one alternate vote from a tie for 3rd)
1943: 3rd (2nd Team All Star)
1944: 6th (only played 34 of 50 games)
1945: 6th (only played 40 of 50 games)
1946: 1st (1st Team All Star, more 1st place and total votes than Ken Reardon. IMO, this is the equivalent of a Norris Trophy)
1948: 7th (only played 45 of 60 games)
Overall All Star record: 1st, 3rd, 5th, 5th, 6th*, 6th*, 7th, 8th, 8th
Even after you take into account the fact that it was a weak era, that's still an outstanding record for a defenseman available right now.
Overpass found during the defenseman project that the players did a poll and chose Crawford a 2nd Team AS in 1941-42.
Captain of the Boston Bruins from 1946-50.
Style: Big "husky" defensive defenseman who generally played a clean game without many PIMs, but who certainly knew how to hit:
Originally Posted by One on one with Fern Flaman
Although just 20 years of age, the physical Flaman was able to study at the feet of legendary hitters like Pat Egan and Jack Crawford, both teammates with the Bruins and established himself as a strong NHL defenceman.
Bonus point: Crawford is a right handed shot, which makes it easier for him to clear the puck from the right side on the PK
Originally Posted by Time Magazine, March 20, 1939
The Bruins are tops this season because of: 1) remarkable defense play; 2) the three most spectacular first-year players in the league—Goalie Frankie Brimsek, Defenseman Jack Crawford and Wing Roy Conacher; 3) canny Manager Art Ross; and 4)...
Newspapers of the time usually only specifically mentioned a player when he was involved in a scoring play or was injured, so it's hard to find specific information about a defensive defenseman like Jack Crawford. Here is what I have:
Crawford had to sit out 2 games in the 1948 playoffs with the flu. This is how newspapers described his loss:
Originally Posted by Windsor Daily Star, Mar 27, 1948
Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins called the role today before their second Stanley Cup playoff tilt and found 49 of 50 potential starters ready for action. But the 50th name may have a lot to do with the outcome of the series.
Trailing in the best-of-seven series after they dropped a heart-breaking 5-4 decision in overtime Wednesday night, the Bruins prepared for tonight's tilt as Key Defenseman Jack Crawford battled an influenza attack that may keep him out of action.
That still leaves Pat Egan, Murray Henderson, Fern Flaman, and Claire Martin ready for action on the back line, but the Beantowners would miss the steadying influence of Crawford, a defense mainstay for Boston teams the last nine years.
Originally Posted by Calgary Herald, March 30, 1948
The Bruins were forced to play without Jack Crawford, their outstanding defenseman when they dropped their second straight game to the Leafs in Toronto on Saturday.
Crawford, sidelined by a heavy cold, will dress for the third clash tonight, and coach Dit Clapper predicts, will provide a steadying influence on his teammates who have performed in erratic fashion in both of their postseason tilts with the league champions.
Fun Fact: Crawford is widely credited with being the first hockey player to regularly wear a helmet. He didn't do it for protection - he did it because he had suffered a disease as a teenager that made him lose his hair and he wanted to cover his bald head.
Originally Posted by The Evening Independent, April 1, 1936
An acrobatic midget of barely 125 pounds, Roy Worters, rose to the topmost heights of goal tending brilliance to thwart the big, bruising Toronto Maple Leafs and give the New York Americans a sensational 1-0 victory before 14.000 enthusiastic fans here last night.
The counter that exploded Toronto hopes for a quick and decisive victory came at 16:15 of the middle frame. From then on the match belonged strictly to Tiny Worters.
Originally Posted by The Leader-Post, April 1, 1936
Worters the Hero
There was handshaking and back-slapping for everyone, but to Worters went the credit for the win, even though curly-haired Joe Jerwa did score the lone goal. Without Worters one goal would not have been enough to halt the Leafs in the third period.
He [Dutton] lauded Worters, posing for pictures with the little goalie, hugging him affectionately.
"I never saw anything like Worters in that third period," Smythe declared. "He was wonderful."
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald, November 8, 1957
Roy Worters, 57, former National Hockey League goalie who was small in stature, but a giant in reputation, died Thursday at his home after a lengthy illness.
[Jack Adams:]"Shrimp was one of the greatest netminders of all time. He was a truly great player and a smart businessman."
[Clarence Campbell:]"Apart from his prowess as a goalkeeper, he was a fine citizen and as such a real credit to hockey."
[Frank Selke:]"Roy was one of the truly great goalies and a fellow who never lost interest in hockey as long as he lived."
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette, March 28, 1928
On a Boucher - Bun Cook combination the latter swooped down on the Pirate goal but Worters toppled him.
Originally Posted by The Calgary Daily Herald, October 29, 1935
Little Roy Worters, who isn't much younger than the NHL's oldest goaltender, will be back between the posts. In training here, Worters has shown no signs of slipping from among the game's best custodians. For years he has been acknowledged without many peers.
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald, Jun 11, 1969
Roy was so small, only 5'11'', 130 pounds, that little of him showed above the crossbar in goal, but he had cat-like reflexes, a good eye and outstanding courage...
...his lack of size was no handicap.
I asked Sweeney Schriner about Roy Worters on Wednesday and Dave said: 'You know when I was reading about Roy, my first thought was why did they wait for so long to put him in the Hall of Fame? I felt he should have been in before me, because he was older (Sweeney was inducted in 1964). He was one of the greatest of goaltenders."
Schriner felt that Worters' ability in fending off pucks with the back of his glove was one of his biggest assets. "He could knock off shots with ease. He was also very good with his feet, the little stinker. I always maintained he was one of the greatest goaltenders hockey has ever known." Sweeney only played one season with Worters but he found him, like so many others, to be a man who didn't have an enemy.
"He was in the twilight of his career when I played with him," Sweeney was saying, "but even then he was one of the greats of the game. I was surprised he wasn't in the Hall earlier."
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette, January 2, 1926
Worters performed brilliantly in the net and prevented several sure scores.
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press, October 4, 1925
...Roy Worters, goaltender, declared by experts one of the greatest net guardians the game ever has known.
During his two years with the Yellow Jackets he was scored on fewer times than any goalie in either group of the United States Amateur Hockey association, holding the opposition to a fraction less than one goal a game for 81 games, a record not before heard of even in Canadian hockey circles.
Every club in the NHL sought Worters' services, but Pittsburgh had the first call and was not hesitant in meeting his terms.
With their eleventh round pick (352) in the 2012 ATD, the Guelph Platers have selected:
C, Brad Richards
Stanley Cup Champion, 2004.
2004 World Cup of Hockey Winner.
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner, 2004.
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy Winner, 2004.
2000-01 NHL All Rookie Team (1st).
Named to the NHL All Star Game 2011.
Born: May 2, 1980
Richards is a top flight playmaker and is known for manning the point on the powerplay. He has speed and a hard shot as well.
Top 10 in assists: 4, 4, 5, 6, 10
Top 10 in points: 7, 9, 10.
In addition to his offense play, Richards is noted for his two-way ability. He has Selke votes in two seasons thus far in his career.
(A token vote in 2006-07, and tied for 15th with Jordan Staal 2010-11).
Career Regular Season Stats:
While leading the 2004 Lightning to the Stanley Cup, Richards scored a record 7 game winning goals and captured the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Career Playoff Stats:
Quotations and Perspective:
Originally Posted by A Lightning's Thunder, Stephen Cannella, SI, June 07 2004
. With top-gear speed and a sonic slap shot, Richards, 24, has the skills to complement the Lightning's other top forwards, Hart Trophy candidate Martin St. Louis and the supremely gifted Vincent Lecavalier. But even though Richards scored a career-high 79 points in the regular season, his profile remained below sea level until the postseason. Heading into Game 5 on Thursday, he has 21 playoff points, tied with St. Louis for the team lead. Seven of Richards's ten playoff goals have been game-winners, surpassing the NHL record held by the Colorado Avalanche's Joe Sakic (1996) and the Dallas Stars' Joe Nieuwendyk ('99). Tampa Bay is 30-0-2 this season when Richards scores, including 8-0 this postseason. "He reminds me of Sakic, with the way he battles," says Lightning defenseman Nolan Pratt. "In this [locker] room he's certainly not overlooked."
Richards's reputation, or lack of one, wasn't enhanced by his flameout in last year's playoffs, when he failed to score in II games and Tampa Bay was eliminated in the second round. The weak performance underlined what Lightning coach John Tortorella had long said: The 6'1", 194-pound Richards needed more sand in his game. Last Dec. 23 Tortorella—who expects gritty play from everyone on his team—hauled Richards into his office between periods of a game in Boston and chewed him out for failing to block a shot in the defensive zone.
That same night Tortorella benched Lecavalier, and while the coach and the star engaged in a public spat in the ensuing weeks, Richards—who says he was "embarrassed" by his dressing-down—quietly remade his game. He dropped anchor in high-traffic areas in front of the net and began clawing through checks to gain and keep the puck. Twenty of his 26 goals came after Jan. 1. "Richie has the tools to make great plays," says Lightning associate coach Craig Ramsay. "He had to understand the price you have to pay to make them."
Originally Posted by Tampa Bay to Tatarstan, Michael Farber, SI, Jan 10 2005
... Richards is a center--right wing with an impressive hockey IQ who scores and passes and invariably makes his linemates better.
Originally Posted by Double OT: Lightning must make trade, Mike Brophy, THN, Dec 12, 2007
... Richards has had a hard time finding his game the past two years, but at 27, there are still those who believe he can be a force in the league – a lower-case Joe Sakic, if you will.A strong power play performer (he usually plays the point and often stays out the entire two minutes) Richards is minus-10 this season after going minus-19 last season. He is minus-40 in his career. That said, Richards is considered a valuable team leader.
Originally Posted by Chicago makes offer, but other team in Richards mix, Scott Burnside, ESPN.com, Feb 26 2008
... Although Richards is having an off year offensively (51 points in 62 games), he remains one of the top two-way players in the game. Richards still has three years to go on a contract that pays him an average of $7.8 million annually.
Originally Posted by Don Waddell turns the tables this trade deadline by dealing a rental, cP, NHL.com, Feb 26 2008
The Stars have been impressive in rising up to second in the Western Conference but ask anyone around the game and they'd tell you they weren't quite in the same league as Detroit, San Jose and Anaheim. That changed with the Richards deal. The 2004 Conn Smythe Trophy winner brings big-game experience and an impressive two-way game to a club that needed to find more offence.
Originally Posted by Pacific Division preview, Sam McCaig, THN.com, Sept 27, 2009
Mike Ribeiro, Brad Richards and Jere Lehtinen provide offense, veteran leadership and two-way play.
Originally Posted by Button breaks down the Western Conference, Craig Button, foxnews.com, Oct 1, 2010
Not to despair, though, as the Stars have a group of players ready to assume the leadership of the team. Brad Richards is a tried and true first-line center who has the ability to create offensive magic.
Originally Posted by Stars lose Richards, but enter season deeper team, foxnews.com, Aug 9, 2011
... Richards is the biggest departure this offseason, as he leaves a significant void in the Stars' lineup. The No. 1 center led Dallas in points in each of the last two seasons, and was a scoring threat every time the Stars were on the power play. Richards quarterbacked Dallas' power play and led the League with 384 minutes and 18 seconds of power play time on ice last season.
Originally Posted by Cox: Rating the best of the best in the NHL, Damien Cox, Toronto Star, Jan 27, 2012
Top 20 Forwards
13. Brad Richards (NYR): Big part of Rangers renaissance. Two-way pivot.
Last edited by BraveCanadian: 02-21-2012 at 03:19 PM.
674 pts in 941 games
4 Stanley Cups
Lady Byng Trophy in 69-70
Top 10 assists: 2nd , 5th , 7th , 8th , 9th , 10th
Top 10 goals: 9th
Top 10 points: 4th , 7th , 8th
Hart Voting : 8th , 10th
Phil Goyette came out of junior as a slick passing, high scoring offensive dynamo in the Montreal system. Unfortunately for Goyette, Montreal didn't need another high scoring center as they already boasted Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard and Ralph Backstrom
As a result of this overcrowding down the middle, Phil spent 3 years in the minors before catching on with Les Habitants in 1957-58 on a full time basis. While in the minors Phil learned to become a defensive center. He learned the fine art of defensive anticipation, shadowing your check and face-offs. Phil finally caught on with Montreal as a defensive minded 4th line center.
In his official rookie season Phil played strong defensively but also showed a good playmaking side. He scored 9 goals and 37 assists for 46 points in 70 games. In the playoffs he played an integral role, scoring 4 goals in 10 games in capturing another Cup.
However for the first time in a long time Phil got some serious ice time and he responded strongly. There was never any doubt that he had offensive skills, but finally he got to display them as he registered 24 goals and 41 assists for 65 points
Goyette, an extremely clean player who only had 131 career PIM in 941 game
Phil helped the Blues reach the Stanley Cup finals, scoring 3 times and assisting on 11 others for 14 points in 16 games.
He also used his vast playoff experience to help the Rangers to a strong playoff showing.
Legends of Hockey:
Some say that he had eyes in the back of his head because of his great peripheral vision and smooth passing skills. He was fast becoming a well-balanced craftsman who could play effectively at both ends of the ice
He'd always been a fiercely dedicated Hab. Nonetheless, he donned his Rangers' sweater and continued his role as a slick playmaker who was well versed in all facets of his game
Credit to Dreakmur for the majority of this profile. Credit to BM67 for many of the newspaper clippings.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
A tremendous playmaking center and smooth skater, Edgar Laprade was one of the NHL's best forwards during the late 1940s. Blessed with exceptional lateral mobility and an effortless skating style, he was a brilliant penalty killer and determined checker. Laprade could also score and was one of the league's most dangerous skaters on the counterattack. Unfortunately, many of his exploits took place when he played for a New York Rangers franchise that was in decline.
Laprade was worth the wait and was quickly nicknamed "Beaver" by his colleagues as a tribute to his industrious work ethic.
Originally Posted by Kevin Shea
An outstanding playmaker, Edgar Laprade was the National Hockey League's premier checking centres during an era when defensive forwards were overshadowed by the exploits of the goal scorers.
An outstanding skater and brilliant playmaker, Edgar Laprade was one of the few bright spots on the New York Rangers during a decade of consistent losing seasons. He proved to be an excellent penalty killer and dogged checker. But the two-way centre could also score, contributing 108 goals and 172 assists for 280 points in 500 regular season games, a milestone that only four previous Rangers had reached. In 1982, Edgar was elected to the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, honoured a second time the next year when his Allan Cup-winning Port Arthur Bearcats of 1939 were inducted as a team. In 1993, the Hockey Hall of Fame recognized his extraordinary contributions when they elected Edgar Laprade as an Honoured Member in the Veterans' Category.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Known as "Beaver" because of his hustle and work ethic on the ice, Laprade was known as a aggressive but very clean player. Twice he went the entire season without recording a single penalty minute, and only had 42 PIM in in his 500 NHL game career. He was also known as a play making center with great speed and athleticism. He was a tremendous defensive player as well, making him one of the greatest two way centers in NHL history. A strong back checker and prolific penalty killer, Laprade perfected the "poke check" as an effective strategy.
Originally Posted by Ultimate Hockey
Edgar Laprade was one of the New York Ranger's best players during one of the franchise's darker periods. He was a play-maker whose effortless skating style enabled him to rag the puck like a little wizard. He back-checked tirelessly and was a stellar face-off man, making him quite valuable to the Rangers in short-handed situations. And Laprade was as clean as he was effective. In fact, there were three seasons where he was not penalized at all!
Awards and Achievements:
Hockey Hall of Fame (1993)
Lady Byng Winner (1950)
4 x NHL All-Star (1947, 1948, 1949, 1950)
From 1948 to 1950, Laprade was 6th in Points and 4th in Assists.
Originally Posted by BM67
He didn't turn pro until he was 26. He served several years in the military during WWII, but before that he was a big part of a powerful Port Arthur team that challenged regularly for the Allen Cup, winning it in 39. The Allen Cup was a big deal back then, and that has to weigh in his favour as well.
Edgar Laprade went head to head against the Kraut Line in the 1942 Allan Cup finals, only a few months after the Krauts left the NHL in the middle of the 1941-42 season:
Edgar Laprade emerges as the game-winning factor. His leadership in the third period after a fluky goal tied the score was of a nature seldom seen in hockey, amateur or professional. He dominated the game while Port Arthur was building its third-period lead. He dominated the back-checking which held the lead.
Originally Posted by The Windsor Daily Star – April 23, 1942
He’s a Two-Way Marvel
Smallest of the famous hockey Laprades, Edgar fought like a bulldog on defense and sped like a greyhound on attack. He made plays on Port Arthur’s first two goals, which brought the Bearcats from behind into a lead they never relinquished.
He Has Krauts Flustered
His check was Milt Schmidt, considered one of the finest professional centers in the game when he played for the Boston Bruins. Bobby Bauer and Woody Dumart were on the opposition wings. But after four minutes of the third period these former great professionals were as flustered as ordinary amateurs.
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald – April 23, 1942
Edgar Laprade emerges as the game-winning factor. His leadership in the third period after a fluky goal tied the score was of a nature seldom seen in hockey, amateur or professional. He dominated the game while Port Arthur was building its third-period lead. He dominated the back-checking which held the lead.
Rangers will have their spark-plug, Edgar Laprade, back in action. Laprade, who missed eight of the Blueshirts' last nine games because of a knee injury, couldn't return at a better time. The Rangers played like minor leaguers while absorbing defeats in their last two games.
Laprade, who has a bum knee as the result of an accident the last week of the Nation Hockey League season and who has been bothered by recurring groin injury, notched two third period goals to break a 1-1 tie and trounce the Red Wings.
Laprade led rush after rush on Harry Lumley in the Detroit nets, beat him twice and broke up numerous Red Wing rushes with his sweeping checks.
New York hopes of a cup win were stirred anew by the brilliant showing of Edgar Laprade in Thursday night's game. The brilliant centre - he's been called 50 percent of the team - found the scoring range for the first time in the playoffs, getting the winning goal and the clincher. The light-hitting, wide-open game was right to his liking.
Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 02-21-2012 at 05:35 PM.
3x NHL All Star Game Participant
9x Top 8 Goals Among Defensemen(1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 8)
7x Top 14 Assists Among Defensemen(5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14)
9x Top 14 Points Among Defensemen(3, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14)
Detroit Red Wings Captain, 1980-82
73 career NHL fights
1 All Star Point in 82, 83, 84
1 Norris Point in 79, 85
10th All Star, 77-78
3 All Star Points, 85
4 Norris Points, 81
During 9 year peak(among defensemen), 1977-78 to 1985-86:
2nd in Goals(1 behind Coffey), 4th in goals/game
5th in Assists(behind Potvin, Robinson, Coffey, Salming, 19th in assists/game
3rd in Points(behind Coffey, Potvin), 10th in points/game
A tough, offensive defenseman, he was particularly well known for his hard slap shot. Larson became the first American player to score 200 goals and he appeared in the 1978, 1980 and 1981 NHL All-Star Games as the Red Wings representative. He finally made his international debut for the United States national team at the 1981 World Ice Hockey Championships tournament and also represented the U.S. at the 1981 Canada Cup.
Reed Larson ranks as one of the greatest American born and raised hockey players in the history of the sport. That being said, he is rarely recognized as such. This is partly because his career pre-dated the generation of American stars that first gained acclaim in the NHL, players like Jeremy Roenick, Brett Hull and Chris Chelios.
Reed Larson's hockey sense was uncanny, as he could read plays develop better than most players. He was a top offensive defenseman throughout the early 1980s, thanks largely to his effective shot. He would score many goals in his career, and many of his assists were a result of rebounds or deflections from his booming point shot.
Larson, a Minneapolis, Minnesota native, who starred in Minnesota high school hockey and later at the University of Minnesota before leaving school early to join the Detroit Red Wings in 1977. Though he left university early, he always cherished his time as an amateur. He led the team to a national championship in his second year, and he should have won another but his school was upset by Michigan Tech.
Larson was drafted 22nd overall by the Red Wings in 1976 but returned to school after he couldn't agree on a contract with the Wings. However when Reed was suspended from WCHA competition for the rest of the season after assaulting an on-ice official, Larson decided to join the Red Wings with 14 games left in the NHL season.
Reed proved he was ready for the NHL almost from day one as he embarked upon one of the greatest hockey careers any American defenseman has ever had. He finished as runner-up in the NHL rookie of the year race thanks to an impressive 19 goal, 60 point season. That was just a sign of great things to come. Over the next nine years as a Red Wing, the smooth skating defenseman amazingly never scored fewer than 17 goals or 58 points! Those totals included five consecutive 20-plus goal seasons including a career high 27 in 1980-81; and he had 8 of 9 seasons with over 60 pints, including a career high 74 in 1982-83. As a Red Wing he participated in three NHL all star games, as well as the 1981 Canada Cup and 1981 world championships.
A late season trade in 1986 saw Larson become a member of the Boston Bruins, where he played for parts of three seasons. It was with Boston that Reed tallied his 200th NHL goal, a milestone for defenseman and the single most celebrated statistic in his career.. He was the first American and only the 6th NHL player to reach the lofty level.
Reed Larson is the pure product of the Minnesota youth hockey program. High school hockey reaches a fevered pitch each year during their annual tournaments. It was in this context that Larson burst onto the high school scene as an all-city and all-state player. Three seasons under coach Herb Brooks at the University of Minnesota molded the young defender into one of the steadier defensemen of his generation.
Larson broke into the NHL via the Detroit Red Wings where he was a runner-up for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie. The acknowledgement was no fluke. In the ensuing years he recorded five 20-goal seasons and eight 60-point campaigns. He was the first American-born player and the sixth defenseman to score 200 career goals.
When Reed Larson wound up at the point, players scattered and goalies prayed he'd shoot wide.
"I faced a lot of shots, but no shooter fired the puck harder than Reed Larson," said goalie Ron Low, who dealt with Larson as an opponent and in practice as a Detroit teammate. "No matter what anyone says, Bobby Hull never shot the puck as hard as Reed did."
Those powerful blasts allowed Larson to rewrite the record book for Red Wings defensemen and for American-born NHL players. A native of Minneapolis, Larson won an NCAA title with the University of Minnesota in 1976, the year the Wings drafted him. "Reed has unlimited potential," Detroit GM Ted Lindsay said. "The potential to be an all-star."
He made his NHL debut late in the 1976-77 campaign, then rocketed to stardom the following season.
His 41 assists and 60 points were new records for Detroit defensemen, let alone for Wings rookie rearguards. But, like Babe Ruth's home-run numbers, Larson just kept breaking his own marks.
"He moves so effortlessly and he's got a lot of talent," assessed fellow Wings defenseman Terry Harper.
Larson collected 67 points in 1978-79 and tallied 22 goals in 1979-80, breaking the club mark for goals by a defenseman of 20, set by Flash Hollett in 1944-45. Not satisfied to stop there, Larson bagged 27 goals in 1980-81, one of six 20-goal seasons during his career. He garnered 52 asissts and 74 points in 1982-83, once again bettering his own records.
Larson is one of only three defensemen in NHL history to record at least nine straight seasons with 50 or more points. His nine successive 50-point campaigns came from 1977-78 through 1985-86, joining Paul Coffey (15) and Phil Housley (11) in this select group.
Larson posted five consecutive 20-goal seasons from 1979-80 through 1983-84. Among NHL defensemen, only Bobby Orr (seven) ever put together a longer stretch of 20-goal performances.
Serving as Detroit captain in 1980-81 and 1981-82, Larson played for the United States in the 1981 World Championships and Canada Cup. He collected his 451st point as a Wing on October 1, 1984 to surpass Red Kelly as the all-time leading scorer among Detroit defenders. Larson was the first U.S.-born NHLer to collect 500 points and the fifth Red Wing to reach this plateau.
"He was a good skater, moved the puck well and had quite a shot," was current Wings coach Scotty Bowman's scouting report on Larson.
Minneapolis Roosevelt’s Reed Larson joined the revolution by dunking his stick blades in boiling pots of water, then wedging them in doorways and other tight spaces while giving them a good bend.
The resulting banana blades added velocity and lift to Larson’s already cannon shots. The homespun “technology” was only small component in the creation of what is widely regarded as one of the hardest slap shots in state high school history.
“We all did that,” said Bill Baker, a former standout Grand Rapids defenseman, about doctoring stick blades. “But we didn’t shoot like Reed.”
The stocky Larson (he stood 5-foot-11 and weighed 185 pounds as a sophomore) spent his summers water skiing at his parents’ lake cabin. He was also into wrestling and gymnastics.
“That had a lot to do with my muscle development,” Larson said about his non-hockey activities. “Gymnastics was actually my favorite. If I turned on the Olympics that’s what I wanted to watch.”
Larson said he attended YMCA summer camps where his counselor was a state gymnastics champ. The rings and high bar were two of his preferred disciplines.
Muscle was packed onto muscle as those gymnastics-built beefy forearms and thick wrists were stressed and strained during regular shooting sessions in the Larsons’ garage.
“I helped my dad clean out one side of it, and we found an old wrestling mat that we hung up to shoot at,” Larson said. “I loved to shoot. I was always experimenting with different sticks and shafts and curves.”
The slippery plastic of an old “Mini-Boggan” sled served as the launching pad for slap shot after slap shot.
Larson was playing varsity for Minneapolis Roosevelt as a sophomore in 1971-72, and by his junior and senior seasons had established himself as one of the state’s premier defensemen.
“He had a great shot from the 10th grade on,” former Roosevelt coach Bucky Freeburg said. “He broke a lot of sticks and a lot of ankles and everything else. He was a tough kid who had a little mean streak in him. He proved that right away his first year.”
Minneapolis Roosevelt's Reed Larson won an NCAA title with the University of Minnesota in 1976. Star Tribune file photo
The Teddies were 16-1-2 when they reached the 1974 state tournament with Larson, a senior, as their leading scorer.
Roosevelt led Grand Rapids 2-1 entering the third period, but the Indians tied it in the first minute. The game was extended to overtime, and Grand Rapids won the quarterfinal matchup 3-2 on a goal by Erin Roth.
According to Freeburg, Larson was at the center of a controversial play in the third period.
“He took a 100-mph shot from center ice and scored, and they called one of our players offsides,” Freeburg said. “That was really a killer. The goal would have put us up 3-1, and the way we were really playing tight defense against them, I don’t think they would have come back.”
Larson said the Teddies might have been looking past Grand Rapids and ahead to a potential showdown against eventual champion Edina East. Larson said Roosevelt had matched up well against the Hornets despite losing a regular season showdown between the teams.
“I would have liked to play Edina again,” Larson said. “I really believe we were the second best team in the state behind Edina.”
Larson went to the University of Minnesota, where he won a national championship in 1976.
Baker, who had played against Larson in the 1974 state tournament, was teammates with Larson with the Gophers. Baker said Minnesota's unsophisticated power play acquired the nickname "Feed Reed." As in, get the puck to Larson, then get out of the way.
Other Bruins who have impressed during the 1980s include Charlie Simmer, Cam Neely, Reed Larson, and even little Nevin ... For all his Red Wings days, Larson laboured on a perennial loser but he handled it like a gentleman throughout .
Reed Larson joined an elite group, Gilles Gilbert nailed down a No. 1 goaltending job and together Thursday night they lifted Detroit Red Wings a step closer to an NHL playoff spot.
Larson, holder of several scoring records for Detroit defensemen, slid a wrist shot past Chicago goaltender Murray Bannerman during a first period power play to snap a 1-1 tie and the Red Wings went on to post a surprising 4-2 victory over Chicago Blackhawks.
With his goal, his 20th of the season, Larosn joined former great Bobby Orr and Denis Potvin of New York Islanders as the only NHL defensemen in history to reach the 20 goal plateau in four consecutive years.
"That's all right," Larson beamed when informed of the feat. "I'm not complaining."
With their thirteenth round pick (416) in the 2012 ATD, the Guelph Platers have selected: D, Bill Hajt
Stanley Cup Finalist, 1975.
Named to NHL ALLStar Game 1981 (Did not play due to ankle injury)
Named to NHL AllStar Game 1985 (Did not play due to shoulder injury)
Born: November 18, 1951
Bill was a stay at home defenseman and in spite of his size he was not a big hitter. The keys to his game were his great positioning and using his size to keep players wide or rub them out on the boards to take the puck away.
In his 13 year NHL career, Bill was a combined +321 player even though he added little offense besides moving the puck safely from his zone. This ranks Bill as #15 among all defensemen in plus minus since it has been tracked.
Hajt was an heavily used penalty killer on very successful PK units in Buffalo. Here is a table by pnep to put this into perspective:
Originally Posted by pnep
Top 2 DEF Who Had The Most PK Ice Time With That Teams
DEFs Come Up Multiple Times
Chris "Cheli" Chelios
Denis "Baby Bear" Potvin
Ray "Bubba" Bourque
Serge "The Senator" Savard
Mike "Rammer" Ramsey
Scott "Captain Crunch" Stevens
Tim "Superman" Horton
Nicklas "Lidas" Lidstrom
Terry "Harp" Harper
In addition, Bill did get enough recognition for his pure defense to garner a few Norris post season all star votes during his career.
Career Regular Season Stats:
The highlight of Bill's playoff career was during his first full season in the NHL. The Sabres advanced all the way to the Finals against the Bobby Clarke led Flyers and took them to 6 games before succumbing to the now two-time champions.
Buffalo would also make the final four in 79-80 but lost in 6 games to the ascendent Islanders dynasty in 6 games.
Career Playoff Stats:
Quotations and Perspective:
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier, GreatestHockeyLegends.com
Bill Hajt was a classic defenseman, a complete throwback to the old days of hockey when a defenseman lived up to his name and focused primarily on defense, rarely getting opportunities to score goals.
Hajt was a huge defenseman, especially during the 1970s. Standing 6'3" and 215lbs, Hajt wasn't known for utilizing his size in an overly-physical manner. Instead he would routinely and usually flawlessly steer people wide and out of scoring position. He would then tie them up and kick the puck to a teammate who would clear the zone. They key to his game was perfect positioning and about making the safest play possible in order to clear the zone.
Because of his less-than-flamboyant style of play and complete lack of an offensive game, Bill was virtually unnoticed most of his 13 year NHL career, spent entirely with the Sabres. The media and fans may not have appreciated Bill's play, at least not as much as his coaches and teammates did. In fact during the Buffalo Sabres "glory years" in the late 1970s as a true Cup contender, Punch Imlach called Hajt his steadiest defenseman.
Originally Posted by All-star winger McKegney sidelined by shoulder injury, Eric Duhatschek, The Calgary Herald Feb 11, 1985
A shoulder injury has claimed a second National Hockey League All-Star Game participant.
That same night, Buffalo Sabres' all-star defenceman Bill Hajt suffered a separated shoulder in a game against Calgary Flames.
Originally Posted by Bowman, Quinn need all-star help, CP, The Phoenix, Feb 9, 1981
Rival coaches Scotty Bowman and Pat Quinn were conducting last-minute searches Sunday night for replacements to their respective rosters after centre Bryan Trottier and defenceman Bill Hajt were scratched from the National Hockey League all-star game to be played Tuesday.
Hajt, of Buffalo Sabres, reinjured an ankle, while Trottier, of New York Islanders, hurt a knee, further detracting from the mid-season showcase...
Originally Posted by Nordiques go two up on Sabres, Dick Bacon, The Montreal Gazette, Apr 12, 1985
Buffalo coach Scotty Bowman, again forced to go without defensive stalwart Bill Hajt (shoulder)...
Originally Posted by NHL, Mark Mulvoy, SI.com, October 20, 1975
Buffalo's most complete but unsung line features penalty-killers deluxe Don Luce and Craig Ramsay along with Right Wing Danny Gare; they managed to score 90 goals last year while playing against the oppositions' highest-scoring lines. The temperamental Richard adds still more scoring power, but the Sabres will miss the muscle and 31 goals of WHA defector Rick Dudley.
On defense, Captain Jim Schoenfeld works with tough Jerry (King-Kong) Korab, while Guevremont teams with lanky Bill Hajt—the most unspectacular Sabre defenseman but perhaps the most effective.
(Ramsey, Ramsay, Peterson, Hajt etc. shut down the Canadiens)
Originally Posted by The Blankety-blank Sabres - Montreal swore by its offense until Buffalo got two shutouts in the playoffs, E. M. Swift, SI, April 18 1983
Ever had the feeling you've just witnessed two franchises passing each other in midjourney—one ascending, fresh, eager, excited; the other on the descent, benumbed, exhausted, aching—like skiers on a chair lift at the end of a long day? So it was last week as Scotty Bowman's young Buffalo Sabres humiliated the once-mighty Montreal Canadiens by winning their opening-round confrontation in the NHL playoffs in three straight games.
The second of them was set up by former U.S. Olympian Mike Ramsey as he slid into Wamsley following a dramatic end-to-end rush. Rookie Mal Davis scooped in the rebound to close the scoring for the night. But Ramsey was most valuable when he was back on defense, blocking shots, killing penalties—the Canadiens were 0 for 16 on the power play in the first two games—and jarring Montreal forwards with body checks. Said Bowman, who's not given to handing out accolades, " Ramsey doesn't get the credit he deserves, but he's a great player. You don't win gold medals and beat the Russians by being mediocre."
When the game ended, only 5,000 fans—most of them jeering—were left in the Forum. Larry Robinson, the best Montreal player in the series, was one of the few Canadiens willing to talk about the consecutive shutouts. "Sauve did his job, but I could have stopped the shots we had on him," he said. "We were out-manned everywhere we went. It's tough to put the puck on a teammate's stick when your nose is pushed up against the glass." Added a morose Berry, "I've never seen a team check that well."
Last edited by BraveCanadian: 02-22-2012 at 11:27 AM.