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ATD 2012 Bios Thread (as complete as possible: pic, quotes, stats, sources, etc)

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03-07-2012, 02:14 PM
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Cully Wilson RW

An old-time player who can clearly bring some skill, toughness, and aggitation to the table.

Awards and Achievements:
2 x Stanley Cup Champion (1914, 1917)
PCHA Champion (1919)
WCHL Champion (1924)

PCHA First Team All-Star (1919)
WCHL Second Team All-Star (1924)

NHA Points – 6th(1915)
NHA Goals – 4th(1915)
NHA Assists – 4th(1915)

PCHA Points – 6th(1916), 5th(1918)
PCHA Goals – 6th(1916), 5th(1918)
PCHA Assists – 5th(1916), 3rd(1918)

NHL Points – 7th(1920), 9th(1923)
NHL Goals – 8th(1920), 7th(1923)
NHL Assists – 9th(1922)

WCHL Points – 7th(1924), 7th(1925)
WCHL Goals – 6th(1924), 8th(1925)
WCHL Assists – 8th(1924), 9th(1925)

He was also a great play-off performer:
- Led Toronto with 3 goals in the 1914 Finals
- Led Seattle with 4 assists in the 1917 Finals
- Led Calgary with 5 goals in the 1924 Finals

Originally posted by Ultimate Hockey
“Carol "Cully" Wilson was the Left Coast's answer to Joe Hall. Wilson was a mean, moon-faced goblin of a man who specialized in running star players.”

Dirtiest Player Of The 1910's
Most Hated Player Of The 1910's
Originally posted by Legends of Hockey
“He was a talented goal scorer who also attained success in the PCHA, NHA, minors and senior leagues.”
Originally posted by the Trail of the Stanley Cup
”One of the bad men of hockey, who although an excellent player always seemed to be embroiled in fisticuffs or stick swinging duels... did not back away from the biggest players in the game... fiery... very prominent with the Metropolitans for four years... Cully was again in a cup series against Canadiens. He managed to check Morenz in such a way that the Canadien star was injured and put out of action. However, no penalty was awarded as it was probably not deliberate (or it was clean).”
Cully Wilson had a great game in the deciding match of the 1914 finals for Toronto:

Originally posted by Toronto Star 1914 Cup Finals
”When it comes to calling stars, little Cully Wilson cannot be well overlooked for he did some clever work...”
And he was VERY prominent in the 1919 season and especially the playoffs:

Originally posted by the Trail of the Stanley Cup Vol. 1, 1919 Season
Cully Wilson had become the bad man of the league and was ready to mix it up with anybody.

Tempers ran high when these teams met and the climax came February 26th at Seattle. Cully Wilson was carrying a chip on his shoulder and tangled with everybody. He picked Mickey MacKay for a vicious crosscheck that resulted in a compound fracture of the jaw for the clean playing Vancouver rover. Wilson was assessed $50 and a match penalty. In the game at Vancouver a week later, Wilson skated over to the press box to shake hands with MacKay, who was out for the season.”
Originally posted by the Trail of the Stanley Cup Vol. 1
”the Mets, led by Foyston and Wilson, swamped the millionaires. Frank Foyston was the star and bad boy Wilson played a good game.”
Originally posted by the Trail of the Stanley Cup Vol. 1, 1919 Cup Finals, PCHA Playoffs, Game 2
”The fans gave Wilson a good going over but he played steady hockey and stayed out of trouble.”
Originally Posted By Trail Of The Stanley Cup, 1919 Cup Finals, Game 3
Cully Wilson was resuming his usual tough play and made goaler Vezina a target.
Originally posted by the Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol. 1, 1919 Cup Finals, Game 4
”Joe Hall and Cully Wilson kept the game nicely spiced with their rough play. Hall was picking on Walker while Wilson, as usual, took on everybody.”
He had a very positive effect on Montreal in the 1921 season: (they were 6-7 pre-Cully Wilson and 7-4 after he arrived)

Originally posted by the Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol. 1, 1920 Season
"After a poor start, Montreal got Cully Wilson from Toronto and made a better showing in the second half of the schedule.”
Originally posted by the Trail of the Stanley Cup Vol. 1, 1924 WCHL Final, Game 2
”… Veterans Rusty Crawford and Cully Wilson shone on the forward line…”
More details about the (assumedly clean) check that put Morenz out of the 1924 finals:

Originally posted by the Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol. 1, 1924 WCHL Final, Game 2
”Morenz was hurt about halfway through when hit by Cully Wilson, who got no penalty from referee Art Ross. Morenz had the ligaments of his left shoulder torn and the collarbone chipped.”
He was not just a tough little player either - He had skill. First result in a NY Times search:

Originally posted by the New York Times, 12/16/1926
”Hay added another marker in the second period following a pretty piece of work by Cully Wilson, who worked the disk through the entire Ranger team and then passed to Hay directly in front of the net, the latter scoring.”

Last edited by JFA87-66-99: 03-23-2012 at 04:31 PM.
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03-07-2012, 05:51 PM
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Jaroslav Holík

Four top 3 Czechoslovakian league scoring finishes: 1st: 1966; 2nd: 1967, '69; 3rd: 1972; 6th: 1968, '74

Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Jaroslav was a big brute of a center, with laboured skating thanks to serious leg injuries early in his career
Originally Posted by Arthur Chidlovski
Was famous for his emotional and agressive style in both ends of the ice, often reached top results in both scoring and penalty minutes.
Originally Posted by Spokane Daily Chronicle - Dec 20, 1973
Brothers Jiri and Jaroslav Holik, also on that '72 Czech team, are regarded two of the hardest-hitting and technically skilled members in the league.
Originally Posted by Kings of the Ice
A complex man, Jaroslav Holik life has had lot of ups and downs. But he has been one of the most talked about people in the World of Hockey, whether as a player or as a coach.

Holik played a hard, highly focused game of hockey. He had very high expectation of himself and of others [...] He had no tolerence for insincerity or hypocrisy.

When he was 19 [...] it didn't take long before he was considered one of the greatest talents of his time. But them a serious injury hindered his further development.

Holik was mostly a defenceman, a tireless worker who inspired the other players because he never considered a match to be lost.
- In September 1962, he was struck with a puck just above his right ankle and came down with a bone narrow infection. Just as he was fully healing, he received a puck at the same spot, breaking his leg.

- Was suspended from the 1971 World Championship, for his view against the Russian occupation of his country.

It's hard to find great telling quotes about Jaroslav Holík. That's why I shied away from a bio last year. But reading as many articles I can find showed me a few things:
1. He took a lot of penalties.
2. He was equally adept as a playmaker and as a scorer.
3. He scored big goals, being noted as the game winning scorer in multiple big games, including the 1972 World Championships against the USSR.
4. He was very good on the powerplay, being noted many times as producing on the pp. Found one quote on killing penalties, not enough to say he's ATD worthy.
5. In the late 60's, the Holik brothers were the stars of Czech hockey. Although search bias could skew that.
6. He was an effective agitator who drew penalties.

He had good size for his era. Used his size a lot. Had the skill to produce. Might just be the Czech Jeremy Roenick.

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Last edited by Nalyd Psycho: 03-07-2012 at 07:02 PM.
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03-07-2012, 10:42 PM
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Jack Portland !!!

Awards and Achieveents:
Stanley Cup Champion (1939)

Can-Am First Team All-Star (1936)
Montreal Gazette’s 2nd Team All-Star (1939)

All-Star voting – 5th(1938), 7th(1938), 7th(1943), *11th(1937)

*1 vote

Originally Posted by The Trail of the Stanley Cup; Vol. 1
Jack Portland made his first appearance when he joined the Canadiens in late December and immediately showed his ability as a defense player.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
He was a key performer, providing a solid defensive foundation for the Bruins as they won a Stanley Cup in 1940.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
In the NHL Portland was always overshadowed by flashier stars such as Shore. He was a rugged, capable defender, burly and heavy at well over 200lbs. He was far from the fastest or most agile skater. In fact when he broke into the league he looked so awkward that he heard the cat calls from Montreal fans. That led to his departure from Montreal. He really found his game in Boston where he helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 1939.
Originally Posted by Montreal Canadiens official website
Anchoring the Montreal blue line for the next three seasons, Portland’s leadership, steady play and rugged physical approach to his on-ice responsibilities were an asset to the team and set an example for young defensemen Ken Reardon and Butch Bouchard as they moved up the ladder and matured into star performers.

As the 1942-43 NHL campaign wound down, the 31-year-old joined the Canadian Army and saw combat action in Europe while the team he had helped through a rebuilding process captured Stanley Cup titles in 1944 and 1946.
Originally Posted by Players: the Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHL
Portland was as talented an athlete as existed in Canada. He competed in the 193
2 Olympics in high jump; he was also accomplished at javelin and boxing… Teamed with Eddie Shore on the Bruins, the two formed a fearsome line of defense… his long stride and broad shoulders cut an imposing swath across the ice lanes”.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette – November 20th, 1940
After a half-dozen year, John Frederick Portland, burly and hard-hitting defenceman, comes back to the team he started with in the NHL, Canadiens.

It was announced at club headquarters here late yesterday afternoon that the six-foot, four-inch, 8-year-old, 220-pound rearguard had been bought outright by the Habitants from Chicago Black Hawks in a straight cash transaction.


Never a prolific scorer, the huge Portland is noted as a punishing checker, who can rough up his rivals. His strength and size give him a tremendous advantage in the clinches near the nets and along the boards fighting for the puck. He is expected to provide the Canadien defence with some of the power and heavy-belting qualities it has lacked.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette – November 20th, 1940
Portland departed from here as a green kid, full of promise. He returns with the promise long since fulfilled. Jack is a full-fledges veteran, well proven in the most rugged going, but still only 28. He is the kind of large battering defenceman Canadiens have needed for many years. His mammoth presence and shattering body-checks ought to make things a little more comfortable for Bert Gardiner in goal from now on.
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald – January 27th, 1940
When Chicago played a 1-1 tie with the Red Wings at Detroit last night, the Black Hawks had on their defense mountainous Jack Portland, who until a few hours before had belonged to Boston through his professional career. Portland was traded to Chigaco yesterday for another defenseman, Des Smith.

The trade bore out of rumors of strife between Manager Art Ross of the Bruins and the hard-hitting Portland…
Originally Posted by Windsor Daily Star, November 23, 1936
Charlie Conacher got three of the seven penalties that made the first period a rough and tumble affair, and two of them came from his clashes with 210-pound Jack Portland. Portland and Conacher started a feud early in the game and jostled eachother all evening.
Originally Posted by Calgary Daily Herald, December 1, 1936
Bruins have been undefeated in five starts, and Hooley Smith and Jack Portland, husky backliner, have borne the brunt of the defensive duties. Smith attributes much of this recent success to the great work of Portland and Ray Getliffe.
Originally Posted by Meriden Record, March 29, 1939
The scrap started when Phil Watson, Ranger center, and Jack Portland, heavyweight Boston defenseman, roughed eachother up at the boards.
Originally Posted by Calgary Herald, November 26, 1940
Their defense bolstered by the acquisition of big Jack Portland, Canadiens have been getting stronger and making it tougher every game for the opposition forwards.
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, December 30, 1940
Then in the third minute of the third frame, the huge Mr. Portland came barging down center. He walked through the Americans' defensemen, brushing them aside, and pausing only momentarily as they hit him and bounced off him as they had been doing all night. Then he caught up with the puck that had gotten ahead of him and flipped it goalwards. Adams came out of nowhere like a streak on a crossover play and stabbed Portland's pass into the lower left hand corner of the net.
Originally Posted by Leader-Post, October 29, 1941
Note to forwards opposing the Canadiens' defense. Jack Portland is down to 209 pounds and Coach Dick Irvin claims he is still losing weight. But Irvin hastens to add that the "man mountain" is at his best playing weight when hovering around 200.
Originally Posted by Frank Brimsek on Shore/Portland and Clapper/Crawford
It's easy to understand when you consider the kind of defence I have in front of me. Give a goaler the kind of protection those fellows give me and anybody would look good.
Originally Posted by Hooley Smith
There is no doubt in my mind, but what Portland will be the outstanding defenceman in the league before another season rolls around. He has all the makings of a topnotcher and right now you have to tell him only a few things in the heat of a game. A lot of people thought the Bruins would not be very close to the leaders at all this season, but Portland and Getliffe are two reasons why we are close now and will be when the Stanley Cup is being handed out.
The Bruins, when they get in shape, will be a mighty threat for they are a powerful looking lot and have about the biggest defense in the league. Portland looked like a far better player than ever before and the year he spent in the Can-Am seems to have made him.
Big Jack Portland, tallest defense player in the N. H. L. has become a regular only this season at Boston and is playing sensational hockey
Originally Posted by Some guy named Derek
He was traded to Bruins, and after seasoning in the minor professional league has become a powerful asset on the Bruin defence, fast, fearless, clean, but a heavy body-checker. He attributes his improved form to Lionel Hitchman and Shore, who has taken a great interest in him.

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03-08-2012, 12:37 AM
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Tony Esposito, G

- 5'11, 185 lbs
- Member of the HHOF (1988)
- Summit Series Champion (1972)
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1971, 1973)
- NHL 1st All-Star Team (1970, 1972, 1980)
- NHL 2nd All-Star Team (1973, 1974)
- Vezina Trophy (1970, 1972, 1974)
- NHL All-Star Game (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1980)
- Top-7 in All-Star Voting 7 more times (3rd-1971, 3rd-1978, 5th-1979, 6th-1975, 6th-1976, 7th-1977, 7th-1981)
- Top-11 in Hart Voting 8 Times (2nd-1970*, 3rd-1980**, 5th-1974, 6th-1972, 8th-1971, 9th-1973, 9th-1978, 11th-1979)
- Top-10 in Sv% 12 Times - among goalies with 1500+ minutes - every full season but two (1st-1970, 1st-1972, 2nd-1973, 2nd-1974, 2nd-1978, 2nd-1980, 4th-1971, 4th-1979, 6th/26-1976, 7th/25-1975, 8th/30-1983, 9th/31-1977)
- A workhorse: top-3 in minutes played 11 times (1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd)
- Team Stats: 8 times top-3 in wins, 8 times top-3 in shutouts
- Four significant playoff sv% rankings - among goalies with 300+ minutes (1st/5-1971, 2nd/13-1982, 3rd/5-1974, 3rd/13-1980)
- At time of retirement, was five years older than any other player in the NHL!
- #35 Retired by the Chicago Blackhawks (1988)
- #79 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players

---> *2nd to Bobby Orr in Hart Trophy Nomination (1970)
--->**3rd to Wayne Gretzky and Marcel Dionne in Hart Trophy Nomination (1980)


Originally Posted by legendsofhockey.net
As one half of perhaps the most colorful brother act in NHL history, Tony "0" revolutionized goaltending in the NHL with his legs-open "butterfly" style and his spectacular flop-on-the-ice saves during the 16 years he spent in the league, all except one with the Chicago Black Hawks... His first partial year with Montreal was unspectacular - the Canadiens had Gump Worsley and Rogie Vachon ahead of him - but after being traded to Chicago, he was impressive in his first full season, recording a Calder and Vezina Trophy-winning year in 1969-70 with a 2.17 goals-against average and a modern-era record of 15 shutouts.

Fans of the game were quick to point out that the Hawks under coach Billy Reay were a defensive-minded squad and that at 5'11" and 190 pounds, Esposito was a stocky, very mature 26-year-old rookie. But more important, he was fast gaining a reputation as having the quickest glove hand in the game and an unorthodox style that was confounding but nevertheless extremely effective. The Vezina win in his first year made him the first rookie to win the trophy since Frank Brimsek in 1939.

As a pro, he quickly gained a reputation as an emotional, vocal goalie who would yell regularly at his defensemen and stay well back in his crease except when he came out to poke-check skaters. He added to his rookie Vezina win by sharing the trophy with Gary Smith in 1972 and tying Bernie Parent in 1974. In his career, he totaled 76 regular-season shutouts.

Incredibly, the Black Hawks never failed to make the playoffs while Esposito was on the team. Internationally, he was a standout as well. In 1972 he shared the goaltending role with Ken Dryden on Team Canada in the Summit Series. And in 1981 he tended goal during the Canada Cup, but this time for Team USA, his country of residence.

Later in his career, Esposito began to gain a reputation as one of the grand old men of the NHL. But it wasn't always easy. By the early 1980s, he'd become dissatisfied with the way his teammates were performing in Chicago. But by 1982, with Tony's help, the Hawks turned their game around again. As the oldest player in the league, Tony started to play like he was a decade younger in the 1982 playoffs, with a goals-against average under 2.00.

By 1983-84, Tony was the oldest player in the league and the only one over 40 years of age. Observers started to notice that while he was once the type of player who insisted on playing every minute of every game, he wisely realized that, at his age, he had to pick his spots and he happily shared the goalie's duties with backup Murray Bannerman.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Tony O played part of the 1968-69 season with the Montreal Canadiens and earned his only Stanley Cup ring there while serving as the backup goalie. His first NHL game came against brother Phil's Boston Bruins and resulted in a 2-2 tie. In total that season Esposito would only get into 13 contests, with a 5-4-4 record. He did post 2 shutouts, including a 0-0 tie against Phil and the Bruins.

The following year he was acquired by Chicago. The Canadiens had to choose between the young Esposito and the veteran legend Gump Worsley. While the Habs did have Ken Dryden a couple of years away, the move could have proved to be disastrous if Dryden hadn't emerged. Tony inherited Glenn Hall's position in Chicago and played phenomenally for the next fifteen years.

His first full season saw him win the Calder and Vezina Trophies as he posted a 2.17 GAA and 15 shutouts in 63 games. The 15 shutouts is a modern day record for most in one season. He would go on to win or share 3 Vezinas, and five All Star berths. He thrived on a heavy work load. In fact, over 8 year stretch he averaged 68 games a season.

Despite Esposito's incredible play, the Hawks were never able to achieve elite status, which probably holds Tony Esposito back when it comes to discussions about the game's greatest goalies. He was clearly an elite goalie though, and was chosen to play in the 1972 Summit Series with Team Canada. He played in 4 games and by most accounts outplayed number one goalie Ken Dryden.

Tony O also played in the 1981 Canada Cup, but not for Canada. He had acquired his US Citizenship just in time for the tournament, and agreed to play of Team USA since he wasn't invited to Canada's training camp. Tony O instantly gave Team USA some credibility, but ultimately wasn't able to give them enough wins to make a splash in the tournament.

Tony would play past the age of 40, retiring as a Hawk in 1984. He would later go on to NHL management positions with Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.

He was a bit of an unorthodox goalie. He would play the butterfly style to stop shots, which back then was not as common as it is today. He often would cheat to one side when facing a shooter, displaying extra room and forcing the shooter to shoot, but then would quickly take it away with his quick glove hand. A noted poke-checker, the only thing more active than Esposito's stick was his mouth. He was a loud and talkative goalie, always yelling directions to his defensemen.

One thing is for sure - Tony was an exciting goalie to watch!


Originally Posted by Players, the Ultimate A-Z Guide of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHLt
throughout his career he proved to be a durable goalie, routinely playing more than 60 games a year. Much of his success came from his pioneering, and unorthodox, style. For starters, he caught with his right hand, which threw off many shooters. And he used a butterfly style of goaltending. That is, his knees touched but his feet were apart as he crouched in the ready position. The result was that his feet covered more of the lower part of the net, and the open space was so new that players didn't dare shoot at what was, normally, dead center of the goalie's pads. Espo augmented this stance by falling to his knees quickly.
Originally Posted by Kings Of the Ice
for the Blackhawks, the return to defensive hockey paid huge dividends, as the team went from sixth to first place in the East division. The teams GM Tommy Ivan summed up Tony's contribution: "you might say that we solved all of our goaltending problems in one season."... CBS broadcaster Dan Kelly once shared this sentiment: "how he ever stops the puck with that style is more than most hockey men can understand – but he does the job."

One of the NHLers who was puzzled by Tony's style was the Maple leafs Mike Walton. "I don't see how he is as good as he is," complained Walt. "He allows rebounds to come out in front, and he doesn't clear the puck into the corner like he should, but somehow he beats you!" For his part though, Esposito said that there was considerable method to the seeming madness of his style. "I probably watched Glenn Hall, the former hockey goalie, more than any other netminder. He is just sort of an expedient type of goalie and I think that's my style. I just try to stop the puck."

Although he was one of the coolest and most relaxed goalies when he was in the net, Esposito had a terrible time with the pregame jitters. "I get very nervous before a game. I have trouble with my emotions and my nerves. I keep my food down okay because I eat about seven hours before gametime. But I always worry about making a mistake. If I make a bad play, the puck is in, and everybody sees it. That feeling is what makes me sick."

Esposito usually shunned the spotlight, preferring to give most his credit to his defenders. "In case you aren't familiar with the Esposito personality," wrote hockey reporter Bob Verdi, "he isn't one to praise himself. If the Blackhawks win with him in goal, the guys played great in front of him. If the Hawks lose when he is playing, then it was his fault. Every, but every, goal is his fault. Folks who cover the team are waiting for someone to score an empty net goal on the Hawks to see if Tony will take the blame for that one, too."

By the early 1980s, he had become dissatisfied with the way his teammates were performing in Chicago. "We had absolutely no desire to win. The only desire was to survive, to get your paycheck. There were people who didn't care about anything else. The attitude was terrible, and I made up my mind that if it didn't change I would be back. I couldn't be associated with it anymore. "

"I have always had a pretty heavy workload and I liked it that way. But a two-goalie system is how the team wants it, and so far it has worked out well. I do find it a bit tough when I play a game on, say, a Sunday and then don't play again until the next Saturday. But I am satisfied with my play." So was coach Orval Tessier. "No coach could ask for anything more than Tony has been for this team. From the first day of camp, he worked his butt off and has been nothing but a very positive influence on this team."
Originally Posted by Without Fear
Johnny Bower's commentary on Esposito: "Tony Esposito was much quieter than his brother Phil, but you can't mistake that for lack of intensity. He hated losing, which I guess must've come from playing all of that hockey with his brother on the outdoor rinks. Tony mashed the traditional standup style with that of the modern butterfly. He was incredibly tough to beat when forwards were in tight on him because of his quickness. He could drop down into the splits and then be back up in the crouch before a second shot could be fired upstairs."

Second opinion: ABC Analyst John Davidson on Esposito: "when Tony played, he would smell like old horse liniment because he would get the rubdown all over his arms and legs from the training staff. At a time when goaltending wasn't a great deal of fun because shots were getting harder and higher and the equipment was better, Tony was always messing around with equipment. He had stuff to cover the toes of his skates. He had little bars to cover his eyes on the outside of his fiberglass mask. He always had little additions to his equipment. When you watched him play, he looked like a big guy in the net, spread out with big pads and arms. The when you met him, he really wasn't a big guy"

In the days before goaltending equipment was inflated to epic proportions, Esposito developed his advantage over the shooters. "He has a plastic pad he'd wear on his arm at the end of his blocker, which he used as a route to send pucks flying out of play, "Hall of Fame NHL linesman Matt Pavelich says. "He used to sew fishnet between his legs and under his arms. We checked his pants all the time, because we were sure he was using illegal Pats, but they always measured out to be correct. We couldn't figure it out, then one day, we discovered his secret. He had zippers in the side of his pants and he would just fill them with stuffing after we measured them.

His methods and his style were certainly unconventional, but it would be sheer madness to suggest that Esposito doesn't deserve recognition as one of hockey's greatest goalies." I respect him so much because he came up in an era when the hockey mindset jumps to the conclusion that you couldn't play if you are on your knees, "ESPN analyst and former NHL forwards Bill Clement says. "Tony went against the grain. He swam upstream like a salmon, but fortunately for him, he didn't die when he got to the top. He beat all the odds to be successful.
Originally Posted by The Chicago Blackhawks Story
New York Rangers coach Emile Francis regarded Esposito as a flash in the pan. "He couldn't even carry Giacomin's stick," snorted Francis. Tony's reply was brief. "Let Giacomin carry his own stick. I'll use the one I've got."

Francis' pique was understandable. Giacomin for several years has been the hardest working and one of the most highly regarded goalies in the game. His style is more orthodox than Esposito's, which has been called no style at all. Actually it is a combination of several styles, with strong – of freelancing throw it. Tony explained: "as a kid I watched Glenn Hall a lot on TV, and also Johnny Bower of Toronto. I tried to pick up something for each one. Paul is a reflex goalie, and they call me the "unorthodox goalie" maybe because, like Hall, I depend a lot on reflexes. From Bower I picked up the way he uses his stick. I try to poke check with it and I guess I use it more than most guys. I like to use the stick a lot and I'm not too proud to accept a little help from the goalposts, although they bounce off it against you about as much as they bounce for you."

Tony doesn't hug the goalposts, however as do most goalies. He'll move off to the side a little, figuring he'll be better balanced slide across the crease if the direction of attacks suddenly changes. In short, he prefers to roam, and that includes coming out of the net much more daringly than most goalies. He comes out freely, often wandering, as Reay complains, to cut down the angle is even more sharply and to gamble on sweeping the puck away from an onrushing opposition forward.

Reay shudders at Esposito's forays. "I've asked Tony to stay in his net, but occasionally he seems to think he's a forward and comes out almost to the blueline." And Tony's answer: "I guess Billy's right, but it works for me. I know it makes more sense to stay in the crease, but once in a while you have to take your chances when the puck is loose in front and an opposing player is the nearest man to it. You've got to gamble a little. I never go for the puck unless I think of got a better than equal chance of beating the other guy to it. I've been lucky most of the time."

Despite occasional tremors of apprehension when Tony takes a flyer, Reay is rather pleased with his goalies freewheeling and confident reliance on his superior reflexes. "He reminds me a lot of Glenn Hall. When he's behind that facemask and yelling you'd swear it was Glenn. And he has a lot of Hall's moves, the same quick reflexes. Also, he's like a third defenseman out there. He's in on every play. I've never seen a more alert goalkeeper. He'll never be beaten because he's asleep."

Esposito carries his stick in his left hand and catches the puck with his right hand. When he's crouching, his hands are touching, but his lower legs are bent outward so he can move in either direction for you. His position also keeps the puck from going through his pads, although occasionally he separates them to give the shooter target, then snaps shot, a feat requiring great timing. He has a way of dropping to his knees and spreading the paths out to either side on certain kinds of shots, mostly from the point. Sometimes he gets with his right leg when making a stop, but seldom touches the ice with his left knee unless he flops – which he does quite a bit.

One observer compares Esposito style of playing goal with that shortstop in baseball. It's an apt comparison. Esposito has great range and his skating skill, even on the awkward goalie skates, is an asset that can't be discounted. His steadiness under fire is remarkable. He gives the appearance of a man totally without nerves. It isn't quite accurate. Before the start of the game he betrays his nervousness by rocking slightly while the national anthem is played. He admitted: "I get nervous like anyone else, but during a game I haven't got time to think about it. You get keyed up, and if you're concentrating on what's going on, you're not aware of it. I try to stay calm as the game approaches, but in a way I'm glad I'm not. Have to be a little tense to function at your peak."

After a game, Esposito seems totally drained, but – unlike some goalies – is never on edge. And, true to the resolution he made years ago, he never blames anyone else for goal scored against him. After a disappointing game in 1970, in which Tony allowed a cheap goal, of Toronto sportswriter remarked: "that goalkeeper gives it to you straight every time – he doesn't alibi, does he? He's as calm as if he had a shutout."

Brother Phil noted that Tony always has had an even disposition. "Even as a kid, he never did get too nervous. He'd get excited once in a while, but mostly he was a pretty cool customer. Now, it's pretty hard to shake him up."

… "A shutout is really a team award. All the guys worked so hard for me. They have all year. I appreciate it so. That's why I have 13 shutouts – their work. The other guys played so well that I kept thinking, don't ease up, you don't want to let them down." He never did let them down.… A Stop on Detroit's Frank Mahovlich in the first period left Reay stunned. Esposito was out of the cage, to his right, when Mahovlich came in on a virtually undefended net. As Mahovlich got off a shot, Esposito appeared out of nowhere to turn it aside. "I've never seen a shot in my life that I figured was as sure a goal and then have it saved us. Esposito made on Mahovlich," said Reay. "I've never seen a better save in my life." That save was just one of 35 Esposito made as the Hawks went on to win… Two days later he held the Maple leafs 21:011 tie at Toronto. The next day, in Chicago, she shut them out 4-0 two round out a new modern NHL record for shutouts in a season at 15. More important, the victory moved the Hawks into a first-place tie with Boston, setting up the drive toward the Prince of Wales trophy in the final week.

Coach Reay made another point: "I never thought I'd see the day that record would be broken. Not with the kind of hockey that's played today and with the slapshot being used. There's no doubt in my mind players – on the average – shoot harder than they did 15 or 20 years ago. We had a few men who could drive the puck, sure, but not as many as today with the slapshot. And goalkeeper has to play a little more protectively than he had to years ago. That puck's winging at him. Strain is much greater than it used to be, and he takes more of a beating. What Esposito has done is incredible."

... The Hawks owed him more and the debt increased a little. He went through the Stanley Cup quarterfinals with his skills undiminished, holding Detroit two goals in each of the four games and giving the Hawks an unusual sweep with identical scores of 4-2. It was only after the seven-day layoff between the Detroit series and the semifinals against Boston that he lost his edge. Even at that, who can say that the injury he suffered in the first minute of play in the opening game with the Bruins on April 19 at the Stadium didn't have something to do with that?

Boston's Ken Hodge took a slap shot from the corner at Tony's left and the puck hit the goalie directly over the left eye, stunning him and knocking him to the ice... When the game was over, Tony manfully faced the reporters and refused to blame Hodge's stunning shot for his ineffectiveness that night. Even as he spoke, the imprint of the puck was visible over his left eye, although the shot had struck him on the mask. " Hodge blasted it. I'm not blaming him – he was probably just hoping it would bounce off somebody into the net. It stunned me at the time, but it didn't affect my play at all. If I had just come up with a couple of good saves we would have won that game. I just played badly. There aren't any excuses."

There never were, not even after the final 5-4 defeat at Boston a week later, when the Bruins reigned 54 shots on goal and Tony kept the Hawks in the game with some incredible saves. Time and again, the hockey fans left him naked to his enemies, yet he refused to complain. In the final summing up, neither would Reay blame Tony. "How could I blame him, after what he has done for us this year how could I ever blame him? He brought us to the top. Main difference this year is the goalkeeping, the big save Tony has given us. Last year it was the bad goal that was beating us – they were getting by DeJordy. This year we've had Esposito making the big saves game after game, the saved it gives you a lift. So many times you get that big save, and bang! You go right up to their end and put the puck in the net." To the and Reay defended Esposito's style against critics, even though he himself at first had been worried by the flopping, diving way his curlyhaired magician tends goal. "He has got a great glove hand and he's hard to beat down low. It takes a shot into a high corner to beat him, and not too many guys can do that if the defense keeps them off balance. Some goalkeepers are a split second behind the play: Tony's a split second ahead of it. He may be awkward, but he's rarely out of position. You know, I get kind of tired of people mocking his style. He keeps the puck out, doesn't he?" Only 20 himself, through sheer ineptitude, can ruin his career now. It is unlikely that will happen. Nobody ever would expect him to match his rookie season. He could play less ably and still be sensational. "If Tony plays anywhere near as well next season as he did this year, no one in the league is going to be even close to him as a goalie. Certainly, he can't have the same kind of sensational year, but if you just has a really great year, he'll still be in a class by himself."… According to Reay, most goaltenders mature later than other players. Tony is a well conditioned athlete, and there is no touch of the flake in his personality. He's much more serious than his fun-loving brother Phil, who remarked: "Tony's the type of guy for whom hockey is hockey and business is business. I respect him for it."
Originally Posted by The Hockey News: Century of Hockey
#23 greatest NHL season – Tony Esposito 1969 – 70: the Blackhawks rookie goalie racked up the second most shutouts in history and becomes known as "Tony O."... "He hates to have anyone score on him, even in practice. Many goalies today take practices to o lightly, but not Tony." – Chicago coach Billy Reay
Originally Posted by Chicago Blackhawks: 75 Years
"you always knew when it was game day, because Tony was miserable," quipped Stan Mikita. "He didn't say anything to him, and he didn't say anything to you. But he was our miserable, and he did a hell of a job." On game days, Esposito was in the zone of his own as he built his concentration toward the task that evening. Few athletes compared themselves as thoroughly as Esposito, who possessed an unconventional style and uncommon devotion to duty. He did his job, often in spite of injury, migraine, or illness. He was a warrior in every sense.
Originally Posted by Pro Hockey Heroes of Today
"goaltending is a job," Tony Esposito once said. "It's a tough, dangerous job. There is pressure every time you're in there. It was torture for me when I was a kid and still torture for me whenever the puck goes in. Not doing your job scares you. The older you get, the more afraid you get. To be playing well as a goalkeeper you have to be afraid. Not petrified, exactly, but you have to be afraid. Not afraid that you'll get hurt, but afraid they're going to score on you. Every time they come down the ice with that puck, I'm afraid the puck is going to go in. If it goes in, you get blamed. If it goes into often, your team get beat and you get blamed. In practice, I'm physically afraid I'm going to get hurt. I back up. I try to get out of the way. In practice, you don't have the adrenaline going for you like you do in a game. Who the hell likes to have pucks shot at them at 100 miles an hour from 15 or 20 feet? I tell them in practice, take it easy, don't blast away. But they do, they crank up from 10 or 15 feet out. If that puck goes into the masc at 120 miles an hour, it will ring your bell, all right. A concussion maybe. Mask keeps it from splitting your face open. But there are still places exposed on your head you can get cut. And having the mask banged against your face but puck can break your bones. But in games, I'm only afraid of being scored on. I don't back up. I forget the fear of getting hurt. I push it out of my mind. It's The giving up goals, the getting beat that bothers me. It's a job and it pays good, so I do it. But I don't like it. No, I don't like it. I do it because I can make a good living at it."

For brother Tony Esposito, hockey really was a job, and it wasn't fun. Tony was different from his brother both in appearance and personality. He was shorter, stockier, rounder of face. He was a warrior, who brooded about his job and found life difficult. Both brothers were tough, but Tony was the one who faced fear in every game and would not give in to it.

There are purists in hockey and feel style is essential, and Tony was not a stylish goalie. He was a "fall down" goalie who flopped all over the ice, diving this way and that to make savings. He often seems to be out of position. But his great reflexes and extremely fast hands and feet allowed him to make the saves anyway… "You do it anyway you can do it," Tony said in defense of his play. "It doesn't matter how you do it, just so you do." Chicago coach Billy Reay said, "totally fooled us. We got him because we thought he might become good. It turned out he already was great. He may not look like much, but he's a lot of goaltender. I don't care if he plays on his year, he keeps the puck out, which is what counts." Bobby Orr agreed. "He looks like hell. He does everything wrong. He gives the shooters all sorts of openings. He doesn't play the angles properly. He doesn't even keep his legs together. He gives you holes half the net wide. When you shoot for them, he closes them up. You think you've got him, and he's got the puck. He's amazingly quick. He has to work harder than smooth goalies. But he gets the job done."

The 1973 season, Tony went 2.51 with four shutouts. "The team was weaker so my record was worse. Of goalie is at the mercy of his teammates to some extent. I don't blame my teammates for the goals I give up. We all share in it. We are a team. We all have our jobs to do." Nevertheless, goalies still get blamed for defeats much more than do other players, and Tony was blamed for the Blackhawks failure to take the Stanley Cup. In 1970, he was riddled by 27 goals in eight games, an average of more than three again. In 1971 he bounced back with a splendid 2.19 Mark in 18 games. The Hawks went to the seventh game of the finals against Montréal, and Tony was shutting out the Canadiens 2-0 late in the second period when Jacques Lemaire lofted a high, easy shot from mid-ice. Somehow it escaped Esposito and bounced into the net. The Canadiens gained heart and attacked relentlessly in the last period. Henri Richard put two shots past Esposito to win the game and the cup for Montréal. "It was a long time before I recovered from that one. But I played a good game. Everyone had to see that. We should have one. But I let one bad one get by. So I was blamed." Then in 1973 Tony helped carry the Hawks to the seventh game of the finals against Montréal. The Hawks lost again, as Tony gave up six goals. It was a badly played series, the defenseless series, in which both goaltenders were riddled almost to the point of shell shock. Montréal's Ken Dryden said, "play was loose and we both suffered and struggled all the way. It wasn't a goaltenders series."

"People wonder why I don't laugh more, like Phil. Well, Phil's not a goaltender. I don't find anything funny in playing goal. But I don't know anything I could do besides playing goal that would make me anywhere near the kind of money I'm making. So I play goal. I'm hard on my family all season and I try to make it up to the in between seasons. It's not an easy life. I've learned I'm going to be blamed for every goal I give up. I don't like it. But I've learned to live with it."

Off in a corner, coach Billy Reay was talking about a goal the Hawks had given up in Vancouver. Someone pointed out to him that it was the only goal Tony had given up three games. Smiling, Billy said, "yeah, but it was a bad goal. It never should've been scored. Of course, I don't blame Tony, mind you." Of course. Tony wasn't laughing.
Originally Posted by Without Fear
at age 16, Tony Esposito was close to sure he was going to play professional hockey. He grew up in the shadow of his supremely talented older brother, and the fact that he had to wear glasses when he played, with a cage protector, hampered his game. His parents invested money in contact lenses, a considerable investment back then, and that probably saved his career… His mechanics scandalized the experts. He hung too far back in his net, they groused, making stops right on the goal crease. Conversely, others were ready to argue that he played too far out of the net. And he gave up big rebounds and didn't seem to know what to do with loose puck set his feet. None of that mattered much to the Blackhawks. He got in the way of the puck. They won games.

Two thirds of the way through the opening game of the Soviet leg of the Summit series, it appeared that it would be left Esposito to provide the Canadian net minding her Rolex. He had already logged a win and a tie, allowing only six goals, back in Canada. Esposito was anchoring an impressive 5-1 lead for the Canadiens in the third period. When the Soviets came back and scored five unanswered goals to put their record at three wins, one loss and one tie. "We should have won it 7-0" series co-organizer Alan Eagleson told author Scott Young. "But Tony had a bad third period In goal… He just shook his head and said, I blew it. There was no way they should've got five goals and one period. I'm the one to blame. God dammit, we can beat them, we would have tonight if I hadn't let you down." Such unadorned humility was typical of Esposito. He was always, first and foremost, a team player. He did not point fingers when he had an off game. Esposito's apology provided a catharsis for the rest of the team. He gave them permission to break one of the games taboos, to blame the goaltender. The team had played more than well enough to win. Esposito helped make them recognize that the series was winnable. Eagleson came to see the Esposito apology as an important rallying point.… And Esposito was not finished. He was in the net for the win in game seven, and finished the tournament with the best goals-against average and win loss record of all three goaltenders.
Originally Posted by NHL – the World of Professional Hockey
though some have, in brief stretches, played more spectacularly than Tony, no one has been as consistent.

Within a year, three of the Masters – Ken Dryden, Gerry Cheevers and Bernie parent – were gone. In searching for the heir apparent we need not scan the future, but the backward instead. He is found where he always was. In goal at the Chicago Stadium.

Tony Esposito notes the irony but understands the circumstances. "A great deal has to do with who you play for, "he said. "I've done a lot of things I've wanted to do in hockey. I have three Vezinas, but the Stanley Cup is the one thing I don't have. I haven't given up, I think were on the move now. Dryden was very capable, but I'll tell you this. He was blessed to be on the right team, in a position where he didn't have all those rebounds. He was a good first shot goalie, but not a good rebound goalie. I'm not saying he wasn't good, but he came with the right team at the right time. I used to come into some of those ranks when we had our bad years and the shots would be 42 to 18 and 15 of ours would be from the blueline. Hell, that would be a cakewalk. You could blow one goal and it would mean nothing, because your team is going to get you three or four. I've had good teams I've had that teams. When you have a good one, you say, thank God. But I can remember feeling sorry for the other goalie, too.

Then the WHA took Bobby Hull from the Blackhawks and by the next year Pat Stapleton was gone too. Age and complacency set in and soon Tony became that guy to be pitied. And once the decline was underway, Esposito never had the chance to disprove all the "buts" that came up, when the Hawks were powerful and his name was bandied among the best. There was his style, stoop shouldered, pads forming a V, which made the standups stuffed shirts shake their heads. There was, in the early days, has solid defense as has ever been put together, which some argued masked Tony's weaknesses. There were two trips to the finals and out haunting goal Jacques Lemaire scored from outside the blueline. "It aggravated me, there was no way he should beat me from there. We had them, 2-0. Bobby Hull hit the crossbar and the puck came right back out, and soon after Lemaire scored that goal. Yeah, it would have meant one cup I don't have, but I don't think history has been bad to me. I know I'm still playing. And I think I've been more consistent than many other goalies in the game today. There have been others who have been great for a few years, but they lost their nerve or lost the edge at a lot younger age than it has happened to me. I think that's how you judge performance. By the guy who can endure. I'm not saying I was better than anybody, but I know I've been around 12 years in the league. And I will continue to be. When I'm done playing, and I have no projection – I think it could be as many as 8 to 10 more years without any problems – then people will judge." But maybe it would still be those years when the Blackhawks declined that should count the most. "It was getting depressing, we were going nowhere. I never quit but it was embarrassing to me to associate with a team not even in contention. The key is the mental concentration. You lose some of that excitement from the first few years, and then you have to start working at it. I had to give more. You see so many guys who can't do it after a few years."

12 years have changed only the people around him. It's still the same Tony, staring through his best friends and teammates on the afternoon of the game. He needs only a mask for protection, his face at game time is almost as inanimate as plastic. He'll Barkin grumble at the same reporters immediately after a game that he'll greet warmly the next day. "After state time comes, from then on it's all business," he said. "I worry only about myself because I know what I have to do to get ready. I do have a problem afterward. I don't try to be rude, I just need that time, especially after a loss, to be by myself. If you lost this kind of an edge, you're satisfied. And that's when you level off. "

"I feel great. I think I moved as well as I did when I came up with Montréal in 1967. You don't lose your agility, or your strength or reflexes, maybe a little speed, but then I don't have to do sprints."

Now he's 36, and it would be as glorious as it would be ironic for him to move into his prime time with the Hawks recharged. But the truth is there's been nothing wrong with him all along. In no year since 1972 has Esposito played in any less than 63 games. And in too few of these HTC less than 30 shots. It has been hard to keep standing for all those rebounds. "I don't think I'm really unorthodox. You can play more standup playing for Montréal. Ken Dryden never worried about rebounds. If I didn't, I could stand there like a board, too. They see 20 game and two rebounds, it's fine. You get two on ones and rebounds like I have, you have to hang back. I may play a different style, but I play by the rules, if you know what I mean. I know when it's time to go down. I don't make a move until the puck is played. I don't go out there and play guessing games. Billy Reay told me I could read the plays and be in position better than anyone he's ever seen. I told him I never really thought about it, I just did it."
Originally Posted by Cold War: The Amazing Canada – Soviet Hockey Series of 1972
game three: ironically, Ken Dryden has been using from the sidelines that Esposito has been successful against the Soviets because of his goaltending style – staying back in the net, instead of coming out to challenge.

20 Esposito certainly deserves credit for his strong goaltending, especially a key save on Maltsev with 13 seconds to play…

Game six: on top of that, try the suspects his teammates have lost confidence in him; probably they'd prefer to have Tony Esposito in goal again.

Although it's Henderson who administers the coup de grace, others clinch the victory in the final 2 min. and 6 seconds. Tony Esposito makes four more saves, including another on unlucky Maltsev, for a total of 28.
Originally Posted by Ultimate Hockey
when asked about his butterfly goaltending style, Esposito laughed: "my job is stopping the puck and I don't really care how." He had remarkable reflexes and a real knack for clearing rebounds. Foot speed and hand eye coordination were this goaltending legend's stock in trade.
Originally Posted by Great Goalies of Pro Hockey
Esposito appreciated coach Reay's confidence in him. Like many goaltenders, Tony detested the team workouts where he had to defend against heavy shooting from his own teammates. "I don't put much stock in practice. Playing goal is a strange business, and every goal he has his own approach to it. Billy leaves me alone and permits me to practice when I feel I need it. I don't see anything very brave about playing well and work out. In Fact, if one of our players with a hard shot, like Dennis Hall, shoots a slapper from 30 feet away, I won't even try to stop it. I just get out of the net, and it can go in." At training camp for the series against the Russians, Esposito had no opportunity to study his opponents play. When asked if the lack of a book on the Russian shooters was a handicap to him, he replied: "I don't even keep a book on the NHL shooters. The smart shooters, the guys I really have to worry about, never do the same thing twice in a row, so what good is a book on them? A shot is a shot!"

Tony was a standout in the grinding eight-game series. Team Canada one-act, four games to three with one game tied. It was a hard-fought battle – the deciding eight-game goal came just 34 seconds before the games and. In the four games in which Esposito played Canada had two wins, a tie and a loss.
Originally Posted by Last Minute of Play
at practice he was foreboding and fierce, snarling at errant high shots and sloppy defensemen. Like a lot of first string goalies, he would work casually or reluctantly. Game day skates are the goalie's top priority. However, nothing changed when the game rolled around. During a game, he could be heard berating his teammates, foulmouthed and demanding, the tone never far from insulting.

Ultimately the pressure of the second matchup of the Summit series would fall on Tony, and to say he came up big would be an understatement. Standing through the interminable Russian anthem made me appreciate the gravity of our own, but it didn't take away from the electric buzz of apprehension in the crowd that evening. I couldn't help wonder about Canadian players, and especially about Tony. It wouldn't be the first time over anticipation and tension had turned a fine tuned athletes into a lead legged uncoordinated lump, and I wondered if the pressure had gotten to Esposito and left in my dream running sand. At about the midway point of the opening. All of Canada received the answer. In retrospect, after all these years, I still firmly believe it was the play that eventually won the series for Canada.

A Brad Park penalty left the Canadians shorthanded. Kharlamov is rocketed past the defense and made a move to the short side, Tony, moving to his right, snaked a foot to the goalpost and trapped the puck for the save. Kharlamov was so sure about the goal that he raised his arms overhead in celebration as he circled behind the Canadian net. I can still see Esposito getting back onto his feet, housecleaning the crease, looking up at the clock, nonchalant and relaxed, as if to say to Kharlamov and his mates, "a routine save. I do it all the time, ***hole." To me, scrunched into my corner seat in the golds, it was the omen, the lift Canada needed to go the extra step.

…A lone loner. It was all part of the mystique, or part of the intolerance. From opponents I heard a number of blistering four letter descriptions of Tony, while others weren't much more charitable in their name-calling. Inevitably the cursing was followed by "ask anyone who played with." So I did. One former Hawk, asked for a one-word description, thought for a moment, then said, "sour." Over the years it would be safe to say that Tony wasn't held in high regard socially, as a teammate or opponents, by those who went through Chicago's dressing room doors on either side of the hall. Most considered him opinionated, and Kent, self-indulgent and, worst of all, "not a team player. The last remark was a bit hard to believe, since the very challenge of goaltending is to keep the other team from scoring, the job most other players do in tandem with their defense partners or linemates, and in the best scenario, all together as a unit. Yet, as the saying goes, goalies stand alone; there the last stop before the red light. The goaltenders position, given the pressure of the job, is bound to have a major share of flakes, weirdos, and people who march to a different drummer. Most GMs consider the moods, on athletic builds, and behavior of goalies the cost of doing business in the NHL.
Originally Posted by Bill Chadwick: The Big Whistle
the Blackhawks goalie is Tony Esposito, whose style I don't think I'll ever figure out. He looks like he's so easy to beat that aunt Emma could score against him. Yet game after game, season after season, he turns in top-notch netminding for the Blackhawks. When I first saw Esposito, I have to admit I didn't think he'd last a month in the NHL. He looks awkward and leaves all kinds of openings for shooters. But it's a case of now you see it, now you don't. Espo will show you a big piece of the net and when you shoot for it, all of a sudden, he's got the area covered. I don't know how the man does it. He's an unorthodox goalie but he seems to get himself in the way of an awful lot of shots. You keep waiting for him to make a mistake and for that cockeyed style of his to betray him. But it never happens. It keeps getting better and better. I have a lot of respect for him and I have to admit that I misjudged his ability. I still don't understand how he does it.
Originally Posted by The Men In the Nets
Esposito has no alibi for missing the shot. "I just lost it, that's all. I saw the shot leave his stick and after that I don't know what happened but these things happen all the time to every goalie. It has nothing to do with my vision. I've been nearsighted since I was a kid. I could see the blackboard from the back of the room till I got glasses. Now I wear contact lenses when I play and they correct my vision... Billy Reay has a quick answer for Esposito's critics. "In Tony's first season we went from last place to first. In his second season we went to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals before losing. I have to say that his goaltending has been the difference."

One of Tony's greatest admirers is Bobby Hull who has scored more goals than any active NHL player. "Tony is a terrifically brave man. He is really aggressive. He comes out of those shooters. He isn't afraid of anyone in hockey."

Tony Esposito, like most goalies, doesn't consider himself a particularly brave man. In fact he feels fear is necessary if a man is to play goal well... When he speaks of the job, Tony Esposito has little relation in his voice. "It's a job, and I have to do it. But it's tough and I don't particularly like it."
Originally posted by Glenn Hall, the man they call Mr. Goalie' by Tom Adrahtas:
Esposito was the second major NHL talent to employ the butterfly style after Hall originated the method. The other was Detroit Red Wing XXXXX. Like XXXXXX, Esposito caught with his right hand, but almost everything else bout him was vintage Glenn Hall- minus the great skating ability. By mid-season, Blue coach Billy Reay remarked on the similarities of the two men, admitting that he sometimes though Hall was back between the Stadium pipes. "He even sounded like Glenn," said the coach. "When he was barking directions on the ice, you'd swear it was Glenn."

Esposito also drew comparison because he never blamed a teammate for a goal, was more than intense in his pre-game preparation, and admitted that being scored on or playing poorly was a far greater source of fear than being hurt.

But it was Esposito's popularization of the "V" that is his most lasting legacy. That he could employ it successfully proved it was a legitimate puck-stopping weapon, not a method that would only be unique to Glenn.

Esposito recognized the style's effectiveness, was greatly entertained by it, and incorporated it into his own. Since his heyday was in the '70s when TV exposure was everywhere, Esposito inspired a generation of goalie to adopt the butterfly simply because more kids got to see him than they did Hall. And, of course, because he was good. In his 15 years in the NHL, he earned a membership in the Hall of Fame. And in his very first full year, Esposito set a record that has yet to be broken in themodern era when eclipsed Hall and Plante's single-season shutout production, recording 15 whitewashes.
Originally posted by Tales from the Chicago Blackhawks' by Harvey Wittenberg:
Tony told me that he developed his own style of goaltending from watching two of the all-time greats, Glenn Hall and Terry Sawchuk.

Hall was famous for the butterfly style, but Tony added some more of his own ideas coupled with quick reflexes. In the 1971-1972 season when the Hawks finished first for the third straight campaign, Tony had a record low goals-against average of 1.77 in 48 games with nine shutouts. That mark stood for 30 years...

...Esposito kept the Hawks in it.
Despite the score, Esposito was the difference.
Originally posted by The Big M: The Frank Mahovlich Story' by Ted Mahovlich:
Detroit had played well against Chicago throughout the year and were optimistic about facing them in the first round. To beat the Blackhawks they'd have to solve the goaltending of the stingy Tony Esposito. Mahovlich remembered a game from that season in which Esposito was unbeatable. "That year we played a game against Chicago in Detroit. I'll never forget it. I had three of four good chances, but they beat us 1-0. Tony Esposito played one of the greatest game I've ever seen a goalie play - he stopped everything! It was a hell of a game."

For "Tony O", there was no such thing as a "good goal".
Originally Posted by Tony Esposito
"a lot of guys would get the 3-4 goal lead, and they'd say, 'we got a nice lead, we're gonna win.' Not me. I want the shutout. I don't wanna win 5-3, i wanna win 5-0. If you compete at that level... you wanna win."
Originally Posted by Jim Robson
"he had this flopping style that most of the traditional hockey people of the 60s didn't like. The coaches were mostly old school guys who didn't like goalies who didn't stand up and face the puck and cut down the angles. he was maybe the first of the real butterfly goalies who threw his legs out, and went down to cover the lower part of the ice, and it was successful for him, although a lot of coaches tried to talk him out of it."
Originally Posted by Darren Pang
"and at first, he was criticized for that style - that won't last, it's not a long-term style, that won't last the test of time, there are so many great players - and Tony, he did did his business, and all of a sudden the 'V' style was a popular style, and people started playing that butterfly style. And talk about teasing the shooter. Here, I'm going to give you six feet between my legs. And you're going to shoot it there, and I'm just going to shut it down before you even come close to getting it there."
Originally Posted by Peter McNab
"Tony was excellent in close. You'd think the way he went down, he'd be vulnerable to shots up top. But he was always in the right position, it seemed. Very difficult guy to beat, even though you thought, 'hmm, he's going down, maybe I'll throw it here.' it didn't happen.
Originally Posted by Don Cherry
"He tried every trick in the book all the time. He was the very first guy to take the snow and pile it beside the posts all the time, after a while it got so obvious that they had to kick it away. He's the guy who got the big glove, he's the guy who got the wire on the mask for the eyes, he tried all the different things, the bigger sweater to catch the puck. He had every angle figured the whole way, and that's the way he played - play every angle to win."
Originally Posted by Pat Quinn
"Tony started out with little webbings off here, nets between his legs... really incredible... most of us didn't realize it for a while, all we knew was he was stopping the puck, 'how'd he get that one?' Eventually, nobody could beat the guy very often, so we had to start getting some rules in there with some teeth. But Tony was clearly a great player, but also a very inventive one.
Originally Posted by Dave Dryden
"I'm sure he did a lot of... "maximizing" on things. And back in those days, that was almost considered, "we took the equipment as it came from the factory, we put it on, yes there were rules, but we didn't really measure it, and that was just the way it was"
Originally Posted by Bryan Lewis
"We were always suspicious of Tony Esposito. And he would be the master. He's probably changed the game for goalies over the years. And probably one of the main reasons today that they're having such a hard time on goalkeepers, because of what he's done in the past."
Originally Posted by Tony Esposito
"I used to have extra wide pads, but who didn't? But I'd stuff 'em myself, I did everything. They'd check 'em, I'd take the stuffing out. They'd leave, I'd stuff it back in. I repaired my own pads myself. I sewed 'em all, I did everything. I made 'em wider, sure, I had 'em like about 14 inches at times. But, why not, if you get away with it. And then I had a web between my legs one time. Year in s ago there was no rule about it in the 60s. Then I made this piece where no puck could go through the five hole. Then after, they made a rule, and I stopped that. They did all these things to me. Tried to ruin me, to throw me off my game (laugh)"
Originally Posted by Phil Esposito
"You don't think the goalies cheat nowadays? Whoa. Look at the size of their gloves. And their pads are like three inches wider than my brother wore."

"He was miserable before a game because he believed that's the way he had to be, to play his best. That's what he believed, ok? If that's the way a guy gets up for a game, then that's fine!"
Originally Posted by Tony Esposito
"When the puck drops, I'm like this: Tighter than a drum. Nervous. Everyone thinks you're calm? You're not calm, at least I wasn't. I'm sure that most goalies aren't. You're a nervous wreck."

"I'm not the kind of guy who'd have a bad game and then say, 'meh, it's just a game.' I never was. I wanted to play every game because I liked that competitive edge that you get only from playing. And I wanted to be successful, and I wanted to endure, and I wanted to set records. I wanted all those things. The way you have to do it is sacrifice. And I sacrificed a lot of my personal life to do it. But I'd do it all again."

"most players, once they retire, they never really have as much fun... the high point of your life is over, being a professional athlete and very successful. How do you top that? I'll never find that level of success in anything I do again. Not that level. I could feel successful in anything I do, and I think I am. But not like that.

When that national anthem comes on, even today, I think about when I'm getting ready for a hockey game, isn't that amazing? After all those years of hearing that anthem. It just makes me sweat, even today at an event. Even when I'm not participating. I get nervous... brainwashed, that's the word! (laugh)"
Originally Posted by Sports Illustrated, March 30, 1980
The rest of the Hawks' attack is less imposing, but a vastly unheralded defense, anchored by Goaltender Tony Esposito, makes amends. Esposito, certainly the most durable and probably the top goalie in the NHL, has starred for a decade despite migraine headaches, jangled nerves and broken bones. He has a crack in his left hand right now, but leads the NHL in wins (29).and shutouts (6) and has a fine 2.90 goals-against average.

"Tony's better than good," says Defenseman Bob Murray. "He's unbelievable."


Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1972
has one of the most unorthodox goaltending styles in the NHL but he keeps the puck out of the nest and that's what counts with the Hawks… Stands with legs spread in an inverted V, giving shooters an inviting target that seems to disappear quite quickly when they fire…
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1974
one of the two best goaltenders in the league, whether he looks it or not… Worrier who admits goaltending makes his handshake before and after games. "Sometimes the pressure gets almost too much to take," he says. Not the most graceful shot stopper but and All-Star who beat the Rangers in last season's playoffs with remarkable goaltending… Shooters claim he has an uncanny ability to anticipate shots.
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1975
practically single-handedly won a share of the Vezina Trophy for the club… Did have some bad games last season and didn't look great in the playoffs. Won't win any awards for his style, but he still considered one of the NHL's top three goalies. Says Bobby Orr: "Tony doesn't have an Orthodox style, but you can't get the puck past him."… "He's like a third defenseman out there," says Chicago coach Billy Reay. "He's in every play."
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1976
his goals-against average was his worst since his rookie season with Vancouver of the Western league… But remember that he was in goal for 70 one of the Hawks 80 games and the defense in front of him wasn't as good as it has been in the past because of a rash of Black Hawk injuries… There's no question that he's one of the best goaltenders around.… From the fall and sprawl school of goalies, but he gets the job done.… Says brother Phil, "Tony plays the angles as well as anyone in the game. He's also got exceptionally quick hands."
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1977
keeps on going as one of the league's top goaltenders and one of the most durable. He didn't get as much help last season as he used to, though… Another efficient season… Led league's goalies in games played with 68…
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1978
the Blackhawks week team defense allowed 298 goals last season, the most by a Chicago team since 1951. It wasn't all the fault of goaltender Tony Esposito. He was overworked and often unprotected by his forwards and defensemen… Iron man who played more games than minutes than any goalie in NHL last two years... Was brilliant in defeat in playoffs by Islanders last season.
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1979
the Hawks had the fourth best goals-against record in the NHL, behind only Montréal, the Islanders and Philadelphia. One of the biggest reasons for that was the continued fine play of Tony Esposito, a top rate goalie… If there is a weakness, it is the Hawks need for a capable backup goalie for Esposito, who is bushed by the time the playoffs roll around.… One of the few lefty goalies in the pros...
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1980
still one of the best… Overworked and maybe underpaid… Can carry a team when he's hot.
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1981
there's not too much more that can be said about Tony Esposito. He knows every trick there is and some that don't exist. He's as good as they come… One of the outstanding NHL goalies in history… Again workhorse of the league last season with 69 games… Club's resident grouch…
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1982
toiled valiantly in 66 games – the most of any NHL goalie – and needs to play that often this season if a Hawks are to move up… Heart and soul of team… Still hungry to play after all those years… He claims he wants a bonus if he doesn't play 65 games...
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1983
last season was by far the worst of his distinguished career. There were a few nights when he looked like a goalie who had lost it, although he did redeem himself in the playoffs helping team to conference finalMaster of the much duplicated butterfly style of goaltending...
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1984
Rebounded to play some superb goal… Had the lightest workload of his 14 season career.


Throughout his career, Esposito was universally named as one of the league's two best goalies when players and coaches were asked. The exception was the 1979 poll.

Originally Posted by March 13th, 1971 NHL Coaches Poll - Toronto Star
Best Goalie - Jacques Plante (Tony Esposito, Bernie Parent, Ed Giacomin, Glenn Hall)
Originally Posted by March 23rd, 1974 NHL Coaches Poll - Toronto Star
Best Goalie - Tony Esposito, Bernie Parent tie (Dan Bouchard, Rogie Vachon)

Originally Posted by Pro Hockey Almanac 1974-75, NHL Correspondents' Poll
Best Goalie: 1) Bernie Parent, 52 pts 2) Ken Dryden, 29 pts 3) Tony Esposito, 17 pts 4) Ed Giacomin, 5 pts
Originally Posted by February 21st, 1976 NHL Coaches Poll - Toronto Star Best Goalie - Ken Dryden (Tony Esposito, Bernie Parent, Rogie Vachon, Dan Bouchard)
Originally Posted by Players Poll taken before 1980-81 season
Best Goaltender 1 Tony Esposito 2 Don Edwards 3 Mike Palmateer


Originally Posted by seventieslord
Tony Esposito vs. Martin Brodeur

Brodeur - Esposito
Top-2 in Minutes, 9 times - 9 times
Top-2 in Wins, 12 times - 7 times
Top-2 in GAA, 3 times - 3 times
Top-2 in Shutouts, 8 times - 8 times
All-Star Teams, 7 times - 5 times
Hart Finalist Seasons, 2 times - 2 times

Based on the above, it looks like Esposito was a poor man's Martin Brodeur in the regular season. Of course, rows 2, 3, and 4 are team stats and row 1 can be heavily team-influenced. Yet, it is exactly these types of numbers that have earned Martin Brodeur such a lofty reputation. Why not Esposito?

Before I answer and address why, let's not close the door on the regular season accomplishments just yet. The single most important statistic is save%. Brodeur is usually above average in save percentage, yet rarely dominant in that regard. What are the ten best save% seasons posted by each goalie, in terms of ranking among the league's other goalies?

Best sv% placements
Brodeur - 3, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15, 16
Esposito - 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 4, 4, 6, 7

The other thing about Brodeur, though, is that even if he wasn't in the top-20, he was generally at least average. Maybe Esposito's worst seasons were worse, and thus he didn't sustain as great a day-to-day performance level as Brodeur? A good way to determine that would be to look at Hockey outsider's adjusted sv% thread:


Note that Brodeur does very well despite the lack of dominant statistical seasons - far behind Hasek and Roy, rightfully so, and ahead of the "pack" despite playing way more minutes. It really underscores the value of longevity and consistency. HO's thread doesn't go back before 1983, but the stats do exist, and I ran them myself. Esposito's career "adjusted save percentage" based on HO's model, would be .920, the same as Patrick Roy's. His five-year "peak" would have an adjusted sv% of .927, 3rd behind only Hasek and Roy..

So if Esposito had similar team success stats, and was more individually dominant in the regular season, is it even fair to say he was like a "poor Man's Martin Brodeur" in the regular season? Maybe he was better....

Regular season aside, why does Esposito lack Brodeur's great reputation? Well, he's not a "winner". He never won a cup. He got to two finals, and in one of them he flubbed a long Jacques Lemaire shot to lose the cup.

Single plays aside, is it fair to say Esposito didn't perform as well in the playoff opportunities he was given? Let's take a look:

weighted avg sv% pts+/- LgA, playoffs (Brodeur +5.1 - Esposito +3.9)

Esposito was not BAD in the playoffs, contrary to what some would tell you. It's often forgotten that in that in that 1971 playoff (that featured the Lemaire shot), Esposito's sv% was .928, versus a league average of .905, which makes it overall one of the most dominant individual playoff performances by any goalie, ever.

Overall, in Esposito's playoff career, he faced more shots than the league average:

weighted SA/60M +/- LgA, playoffs (Brodeur -2.8 - Esposito +1.5)

And a goalie like Brodeur was on a team that had the ability to shut it down in the playoffs even more than usual in the regular season. Esposito did not have this benefit:

career SOG/60M, playoff minus reg (Brodeur -0.97 - Esposito +0.64)

Lastly, although he performed about as well on a per-minute basis, he did not amass nearly as great a win% (.459 vs. .547). Why not? Well, wins are a function of goals against (which goalies have a lot of control over) and goals for (which they have zero control over). Esposito's Hawks came up with some brutal offensive performances:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider
To quote myself from another thread:

"In the playoffs from '75 to '79, [Tony Esposito] had at one point a 16 game losing streak... he had basically no support from his offense. In the losses his team scored:

0 goals - 3
1 goal - 7
2 goals - 4
3 goals - 2
4+ goals - 0

Esposito had no chance of winning unless he posted shutouts in 10 of 16 games. So, looking at the numbers, it looks like Esposito was doomed for four years, regardless of how well or poorly he played."

I'm certainly not saying that Esposito was as good a playoff performer as Fuhr or Smith. But I wonder how Espo would have done had his teammates scored 4-5 goals in each playoff game he started.

With or Without You

Originally posted by Seventieslord
Another way to assess a goalie's dominance is to compare their statistics to the sum of other goalies to play for their team during that same time. Backup goalies are generally of similar quality and generally play weaker teams. I decided to run some quick comparisons on some already-drafted goalies. Keep in mind that they need to have had a decent sample of other goalies playing for that team during their career, so a guy like Glenn Hall is not included, for obvious reasons, and neither is Terry Sawchuk, who missed just 13 games in his 5 dominant seasons. Also, this is not favourable to someone like Bower, who formed a HHOF tandem with Sawchuk. I will only do comparisons with the one franchise the goalie is best associated with. I could analyze sv% for all goalies, but for the pre-1983 goalies this would take a lot of work so I will use GAA for them as this can be done easily with hockey-reference.com. (shots against should be fairly steady on the same team, so GAA would work as a reciprocal of sv%) - Here is a list of some drafted goalies and the percentage by which they outperformed the rest of their team's goalies. (for GAA analysis it is goalie's GAA/teammates GAA, for sv% goalies it is goalie's error rate/teammates error rate.)

(study removed as overpass did a better job - see below)

Esposito, thanks to the O6 era and being owned by the dynasty Montreal Canadiens, never got the chance to be an NHL regular until he was 26. He displayed great longevity like Brodeur at the end of his career, but at the beginning doesn't get all those extra games, playoff games, and likely the "winner" reputation that would go along with it. Assume he started in the NHL at age 21, and assume those seasons went even 80% as well as his first 5 with the Hawks, and it's Esposito's 554 wins and 109 shutouts that Brodeur is chasing - Not Sawchuk, not Roy.

It's often been said that Belfour's Legacy gets hurt by being born at the same time as Dominik Hasek and Patrick Roy. Likewise with Esposito and Dryden/Parent, all born within four years. (Esposito was the oldest but played five seasons beyond either of them)

I wouldn't dream of selecting Durnan, Smith, Hainsworth, Gardiner, Fuhr, or Worsley over Tony Esposito. (Brimsek & Holecek are debatable as well)
Originally Posted by Seventieslord
Yes, it is possible that it was just them (GBC & Pappyline) convincing everyone else. Although I don't actually recall any Espo smearing going on. It may have been before my time. Both those guys were veterans when I started here.

Somewhere along the line there began a stigma against selecting Esposito, as though your team would be sunk in the playoffs if you took him. To whover started that - it's nonsense. I think Hedberg did a great job proving otherwise last draft.

No doubt his regular season resume is a lot stronger than in the playoffs. According to Puck Prospectus, he's 4th all-time in career GVT, behind (of course) the consensus top-3.


He won't be an elite postseason ATD goalie, but I can count 24 post-1953 goalies with at least 2500 playoff minutes, who have been, will be, or are very likely to be drafted as starters. Based on outperforming the league's average save% throughout their careers, Esposito is 10th among those 24, and 14th in experience (playoff minutes) (no doubt, due to wins and losses, and/or significantly more minutes, some will be called better playoff goalies than Espo). Just Roy, Belfour, Smith, Hasek, Dryden and Plante did better per-minute while playing more minutes.

Averaging out his regular season resume with his playoffs, he should be about 14th-16th among goalies.
Originally Posted by overpass
I like the WOWY method, but you have to be careful to weight by season. The method you used can really throw things off when a large percentage of the backups games come in a season with a different scoring level. For example, much of Tony Esposito's backups' games played came in the high scoring 1980s. So it's not an apples to apples comparison.

I have a file with the average goals for of the teams that each goalie faced in a season, which easily corrects for this problem, as well as correcting for whether the goalie got easier or more difficult starts (home/road and strength of opponent).

XWOWY: The expected With or Without You numbers for the goalies you listed, just based on the average opposing GF/G over those time periods

Adjusted WOWY: The WOWY numbers you presented, adjusted for the expected WOWY (this fixes weighting issues and strength of opposition issues)

Goalie WOWY XWOWY Adjusted WOWY
Hasek 0.71 0.974 0.73
Parent 0.81 0.977 0.83
Roy 0.85 0.989 0.86
Dryden 0.86 1.038 0.83
Esposito 0.86 0.930 0.92
Brodeur 0.88 0.984 0.89
Plante 0.92 1.064 0.86
Belfour 0.97 1.008 0.96
Smith 1.01 1.002 1.01
Fuhr 1.04 1.029 1.01
Esposito (70-81) 0.83 0.969 0.86

You can see Esposito and Plante's numbers are really skewed by failing to weight properly.

But you've also done Esposito a disservice in including his numbers from 1982-84, when he was terrible. If we remove those as not representative of his career, his numbers still look pretty good, as you can see by the Esposito (70-81) numbers.

So I don't disagree with you on Esposito, just doing my part to make the overall numbers a little more accurate.
Originally Posted by EagleBelfour
Hey 70's, to return on the Tony Esposito debate, I would really love you to take the time to read this:


and give me your opinion on the article + the back-and-forth debate afterwards. I've read it from top to bottom and taught they nailed pretty good Esposito overall performances in the playoffs. It definitely dosn't paint the picture you want to sell on Tony-O though. I'm not trying to bash Tony-O some more, I just want to get a clear picture on him, because as of now I really don't believe he was even average in the playoffs.
Originally Posted by seventieslord
TCG's article basically says exactly what my viewpoint is.

The first guy Bruce makes an incorrect assumption that Espo played in an expansion division - he did not. The schedule was completely balanced when Chicago moved over to that division. The alignment was just window dressing and for playoff seeding, as everyone played everyone else the same number of times. This has been established before.

Next, Bruce makes the assertion that the Hawks' GAA went up, on average, 54% in series that they lost, Before you get carried away with this number, you must remember three things. 1) As TCG pointed out, just once did he lose against a team with fewer regular season points. So it's only natural you will allow more goals against better teams - that's why they're better! 2) These better teams obviously took more shots. Espo didn't just start allowing 54% more goals per block of shots. Did they take 54% more shots than the Hawks were used to in the regular season? Not likely that much. But it would certainly have been something higher. Bruce's quick study does not account for that at all. I have the results for this in a book but I'm not sure it's worth digging up. 3) Better teams aside, this is an analysis of just a dozen losing series. Of course you're not as good in your losses, as you are in your wins. For Espo's career GAA to be what it is in the playoffs, he'd have to have been about 2.24 in the series that he won. This is not surprising. But of course who wants to credit him for the series he won? I'm sure similar stats can be drawn up for a lot of goalies and there would be some interesting results in there.

Bruce's next chart about playoff scoring dropping is correct in principle; however, the goaltenders being used for the chart played the majority of their careers on strong teams; they generally didn't face a team that should beat them until at least round 3. In the four round playoff system, a higher percentage of their games came against weaker teams and not powerhouses, whom Esposito played half his playoff games against.

Shot totals were available at this time; I'm not sure why one of these two didn't pick up a copy of THC; the discussion would have gone a lot differently. I see now that TCG discussed the regular season shots, which were sparse at the time, and known for only three seasons. The playoffs are in that book, in their entirety.Esposito's career playoff shots against per game average is actually the 3rd-highest among all goalies who have been, or will be drafted as starters here:

1. Bower 32.74 (+1.1)
2. Hall 31.90 (+1.1)
3. Esposito 31.71 (+1.7)
4. Worsley 31.38 (+0.6)
5. Barrasso 30.80 (+1.8)
6. Sawchuk 29.98 (-0.8)
7. Joseph 29.07 (+1.4)
8. Smith 28.87 (-0.8)
9. Fuhr 28.59 (-0.5)

the number in brackets is the weighted career average above or below the league average. Tony Esposito faced an average 0f 1.7 shots per game more than the league average, exceeded only by Barrasso.

In the end, TCG is correct to point out that the Hawks, all things being equal, still did allow more goals than they should have in those losing series. Everyone deserves a portion of that blame, including Esposito. But narrowing his playoff record down to that, ignores the series that he won, as well as the ones that he lost in which he was actually good.

Show me a goalie who, in the playoffs, faced more shots, from tougher teams than he faced in the regular season, and allowed fewer goals, yet still lost. That's not going to happen on a regular basis. Espo's Hawks bombed in general. Don't forget, when you count ALL his playoff games (as you should in any comparison), Esposito's sv% edge in the playoffs versus his contemporaries is 10th out of 24 post-1953 goalies likely to be ATD starters.

Efforts are made when voting on the regular season rankings, to completely isolate the players' regular season records and vote on them separately. (my last first round opponent disagreed with that, but I don't). The reason this is ok in the regular season, is that the regular season comprises generally 75-90% of a player's career games: They are very representative of what the player's performance is going to be in the ATD. Over a number of games that high, there is usually not a major issue with competition level, in terms of always facing a disproportionately strong or weak caliber of team.

For those exact reasons, it should not be OK to "just" look at playoff resumes as the determining factor in playoff performance in the ATD. For example, does anyone *really* think that Darryl Sittler will be a better playoff performer than Marcel Dionne in this? Playoff records are important to consider, but at some point common sense regarding the skills of the players has to come into play. A less obvious example is Turk Broda vs. Terry Sawchuk. Overall, Broda was definitely better in the playoffs. Does his GM get to claim a goaltending edge? I don't think so. Over a very large sample of games, Sawchuk clearly showed he was the better goalie, even if his "clutch" factor isn't as great.

So basically the point is, Esposito is not a "liability" as a playoff goalie in the ATD.


Powerplays against can have a great deal of impact on a goalie's sv%. A PP shot is a higher-quality shot, so if you face more PPs than the other goalies, you will have a harder time posting a high sv%. Here is Chicago's PPOA each season, expressed as a percentage of the league average:


This is an average of 101% per season. So basically, Esposito's career sv% stats are not overstated or understated by PPOA. They are what they are. The bolded are the six years in which he was 1st or 2nd in sv%. In three of those years, his team made it easier on him, in one, they made it harder.

It is actually pretty amazing how well the recognition accorded Esposito throughout his career matched his sv% exploits, when these numbers were not compiled until decades later:

Year sv% rk AS Hart
1970 1 1 2
1971 4 3 8
1972 1 1 6
1973 2 2 9
1974 2 2 5
1975 7 6
1976 6 6
1977 9 7
1978 2 3 9
1979 4 5 11
1980 2 1 3
1981 12
1982 26
1983 8

adjusted career playoff sv%

My own creation. Based on the same methodology as Hockey Outsider's regular season equivalent. It is obviously weighted more by playoff seasons in which the goalies played more minutes. This study is based solely on post-expansion seasons (as being compared to the average of 4 goalies is much different than the average of 8-16 goalies) and I only did this for ATD goalies with 3000+ playoff minutes (which is a total of 19 goalies). Results are normalized to .905. Here are the results:

Name Mins AdjPOSv%
Smith 7640 0.921
Dryden 6846 0.921
Roy 15209 0.918
Parent 4302 0.917
Belfour 9945 0.916
Vanbiesbrouck 3969 0.916
Hasek 7318 0.915
Brodeur 10949 0.910
Joseph 8106 0.910
Esposito 6007 0.909
Richter 4514 0.909
Fuhr 8834 0.908
Barrasso 6953 0.906
Hextall 5456 0.904
Liut 3814 0.904
Cheevers 5396 0.903
Vernon 8214 0.901
Peeters 4200 0.899
Giacomin 3834 0.891

It's funny, Esposito was just as good at stopping pucks in the playoffs as a lot of all-time greats and reputed "money goalies", but the way some talk about him, you'd think he was always the reason his team lost, and a guarantee for a playoff fizzle in the ATD. This is just not true.[/QUOTE]

Another one by seventies

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03-08-2012, 09:04 AM
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With pick 92 of the 2012 ATD Garnish selects defenseman JC Tremblay:

Position: D
Shoots: Left
Height: 5-11 Weight: 170 lbs.
Born: January 22, 1939 in Bagotville, Quebec

Some stats on Tremblay from hockeyreference.com:

-3 Merited NHL All Star Selections (7 All Star Game Appearances but 4 where on the Cup winning team)
-2 Time Dennis Murphy Trophy Winner as WHA's Top Defenseman
-Between the WHA and NHL 6 Post Season All Star Game Appearances
-358 Career Assists in the WHA (2nd All Time)
-2 Time Leader in Assists for the WHA over the regular season
-90 points in 142 Career Playoff Games between the NHL and the WHA
-5 Time Stanley Cup Champion
-1 Time Avco Cup Champion
-787 Career Points between the NHL and the WHA
-Considered one of the best players to not be in the Hockey hall of Fame

Here's what Joe Pelletier has to say about him:

Jean-Claude (J.C.) Tremblay is one of the most intelligent, two-way defenders of all time. Yet very few give him recognition as such. Tremblay's departure in 1972 to the World Hockey Association on one hand helped to establish the WHA as a true alternative to the National Hockey League, but on the other hand appears to have hurt his shot at eternal fame.

J.C. starred for years with the Montreal Canadiens. He became a regular in 1961 and played for 794 games until 1972. Tremblay was an excellent all around performer during this time, and saved his best performances for the playoffs.

He never was a true offensive force during his first 11 regular seasons. His highest offensive output was 39 points. He was tremendously responsible defensively and a great two way defenseman, often headmanning the puck to the speedy Montreal forwards, but never put up great numbers until 1970-71.

Defensively Tremblay was efficient and heady, relying on his intelligent stick to break up plays rather than bones. He never really had an obvious physical game, something that his critics pointed out regularly. But he was so smart, it did not really matter.

Tremblay established his reputation as a great in the playoffs, where he was a tremendous performer, seemingly able to turn up his game like flicking a switch. He scored 14 goals, 51 assists and 65 points in 108 games, helping the Montreal Canadiens to 5 Stanley Cup championships.

Thanks partially to injuries to Serge Savard and Jacques Laperriere, Tremblay exploded to posted career highs with 11 goals, 52 assists, and 63 points in 1970-71. The following year he scored 6 goals and 51 assists for 57 points. Tremblay had arrived as one of the best players in the league. In the eyes of the unitiated, he went from a good player to a great player.

Then in 1972-73, Tremblay, at the top of his game, jumped to the World Hockey Association. He captained the Quebec Nordiques as he led the league in assists with 75. He also added 14 goals for 89 points. Tremblay went on to be perhaps the best defenseman in the WHA's existence, as he had a career 66 goals and 358 assists for 424 points in 455 games.

Tremblay's jump to the World Hockey Association on one hand helped to establish the WHA as a true alternative to the National Hockey League and Tremblay as one of the highest skilled defenders around, but on the other hand appears to have hurt his shot at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

For years J.C. played in the NHL and didn't put up great numbers until his 11th season. Then, when he reached his prime, he left the NHL to join a league which was mostly regarded to be of lower quality than the NHL. If he had stayed in the NHL he, as it turned out, would have won 4 more Stanley Cups and be part of what many believe is the greatest team of all time (the 1976-79 Canadiens). Who knows how good the Habs defense would have been if Tremblay was added to the big three of Serge Savard, Larry Robinson, and Guy Lapointe?

So while it can be said J.C. Tremblay's jump to the WHA has hurt his chances of joining the Hockey Hall of Fame, Tremblay truly is a legend of hockey.
Legends Of Hockey:

A talented left winger for most of his amateur days, Tremblay made the pragmatic switch to defense when he was notified of the shortage of blue line prospects in the Canadiens system. In his first full pro season with the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens of the Eastern Professional Hockey League in 1959-60, he accumulated 25 goals and 56 points in 55 games and his effort garnered him the league's most valuable player honors. He played 11 games for Montreal that season and the following season he was called up to the parent club for 29 games.

He experienced his first Stanley Cup triumph in 1965 when he led all post-season skaters with nine assists in Montreal's victory over Chicago. Tremblay gained prominence in the eyes of demanding Canadiens supporters for the first time. He was equally brilliant the following season when he scored 11 points in 10 playoff games to help the Habs repeat as champions against Detroit. Following the series, Tremblay narrowly lost out to Red Wings goalie Roger Crozier in the voting for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Tremblay continued to produce offensively and helped Montreal to consecutive Stanley Cup wins in 1968 and 1969. Following the 1967-68 season, he finished runner-up in the James Norris Trophy voting to Boston superstar Bobby Orr. Nevertheless, the team was feeling the ire of the Forum crowd as their defensive play wasn't as stellar as in the past and they tended to struggle against the perceived "weak" expansion clubs.

Prior to the 1970-71 season, the Habs were deciding which of their veteran defensemen to unload as part of a rebuilding program. Tremblay's desire to play for the club was under scrutiny for the first time. A proud competitor, he voiced his desire to stay with the Canadiens. That year Tremblay broke Doug Harvey's team record for single-season points by a defenseman. He totaled a personal high of 63 points, then went on to register 17 points in 20 playoff matches to help the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup. After the playoffs, he was named to the NHL First All-Star Team for the only time in his career. Another factor that helped Tremblay was when he relinquished the distracting task of being the team's representative in the NHL Players' Association.

In 1971-72, Tremblay posted strong numbers once again with 57 points, but the New York Rangers in the quarterfinals defeated the defending champions. While negotiating a new contract with team president Sam Pollock, Tremblay was offered a deal by the WHA's Quebec Nordiques that he couldn't refuse. During the league's seven-year existence, Tremblay was one of the biggest stars. He led the league in assists on two occasions and helped the Nordiques win the Avco Cup in 1976. Twice he was the recipient of the Dennis A. Murphy Trophy as the top defenseman in the WHA.

Tremblay was a key member of the WHA All-Star squad that represented Canada during the 1974 series against the Soviet Union. His partnership with 1972 Summit Series veteran Pat Stapleton proved to be one of the strengths of the team, and it was this set of games that finally established Tremblay as an internationally recognized star.

Tremblay retired after the announced merger of the WHA and the NHL in 1979. An interesting sidelight was that his number 3 was retired by the Nordiques for his WHA exploits. Thus, he and John McKenzie became the only two players to enjoy retired-number status with NHL clubs even though they never played with those teams when they were in the league.
This from habsworld.net:

This is part a continuing series of articles entitled – The Forgotten Habs. Each column will focus on a player who was a valuable contributor to the success of the Montreal Canadiens. These players, by and large part have largely been forgotten to the passage of time, and their role in the history of the Canadiens has become a mere footnote in the team’s glorious history. None of these players can be found in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but without them, the history of the bleu, blanc, et rouge, would not be so illustrious.

“It’s enough that I get to play for the Canadiens. I never thought as a child it would come true.” – J.C. Tremblay

During his career with the Canadiens both the fans and the media focused on what J.C. Tremblay wasn’t. He wasn’t tough. He wasn’t consistent. He wasn’t a Norris Trophy winning defenseman. And above all he wasn’t Doug Harvey.

But “J.C. Superstar” was one thing, one of the most underappreciated players in the history of the Montreal Canadiens.

Born on January 22nd, 1939 in Bagotville, Quebec, the oldest of eight children, Tremblay played the left wing during his youth. However, when it was brought to his attention that there was a shortage of defensive prospects in the Canadiens system, he made the switch, Not only did he gain increased ice time, but he became one of the most promising prospects in the Canadiens system.

In 1957-58 he joined the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens, coached by Scotty Bowman, and with teammates Ralph Backstrom and Bobby Rousseau, he was able to help Hull-Ottawa win the Memorial Cup.

Tremblay’s skills blossomed in Hull-Ottawa, his passing, shooting, and skating all improved. In 1959-60 he made the first all star team, scoring 25 goals and adding 31 assists, and won the Eastern Professional Hockey League’s most valuable player. This earned him a temporary promotion to the Canadiens where he played 11 games. During the next year, 1960-61 he also split time, playing 29 games with the Canadiens (including 5 playoff games), and 37 games with Hull-Ottawa (scoring 40 points).

In 1961-62 Tremblay joined the Habs full time. This coincided with the departure of Doug Harvey from the Canadiens. Harvey had one six of the last seven Norris trophies and was the dominant defenseman of his time and one of the greatest of all time. He had also been a key contributor to six Stanley Cup winners. Needless to say these were huge holes for Tremblay to fill, and in many ways he was never able to escape Harvey’s shadow.

Tremblay went on to play in all 70 games for the Canadiens, scoring 3 goals and adding 17 assists. Doug Harvey, playing for the New York Rangers won his seventh Norris trophy.

In the next three years Tremblay’s points were 18, 21, and 20. These point totals were not up to the expectations of the Canadiens fans. Combined with the Habs not winning the Stanley Cup, there was a growing impatience. This led to Tremblay becoming the target of the boo birds in the Forum crowd. In many ways this led to psychological scars that never healed for Tremblay, despite his later success.

The 1965 playoffs represented Tremblay’s coming out party. J.C. led all playoff scorers with 9 assists in 13 playoff games as the Canadiens won their first Stanley Cup in five years. With a Stanley Cup win, part of the burden seemed to be removed from Tremblay, as he finally began to fulfill his potential and gain the acceptance of the demanding Montreal attendance.

J.C. was able to follow this up with a career high of 35 points in 1965-66. And in the playoffs he was the Canadiens best player scoring 2 goals and adding 9 assists in 10 playoff games. In leading the Canadiens to their second straight Stanley Cup, Tremblay thought he would win the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP. Instead the honor went to the Red Wings goalie Roger Crozier in a losing cause.

This was viewed by Tremblay as another example of people overlooking his talent. This lack of recognition for his play was truly a sore spot for J.C. In the off-season he was comforted when his hometown of Bagotville held a special day in his honor.

In trying to explain Tremblay’s lack of recognition later on, Jean Beliveau wrote that J.C. was “essentially a shy man, a bit of a loner, who, like a bear, would growl to keep people away.” But Beliveau also went on to acknowledge that J.C. “was a very important cog in our machine.”

Tremblay was not a physical player, he never had more than 24 penalty minutes in a season, and he tended to shy away from body contact. Unfortunately, this is what some fans and members of the media focused on.

But that was only part of the picture. There wasn’t a better puck handler in the league than J.C. He was able to produce offense from the blue line, and was the leagues best playmaking defenseman. One of his signature plays was to rush up to the center red line and flip the puck in the air towards the goaltender. When done properly the puck would take an unpredictable bounce in front of the goaltender. Tremblay later estimated that he was able to score 25 goals off these weird bounces by frustrated goalies.

On November 30th, 1966 in a game against Toronto, Tremblay and teammate Bobby Rousseau became the first players to permanently wear a helmet. Unfortunately, this helped contribute at the time to Tremblay’s soft image.

Tremblay responded to this criticism by having his best year yet in 1967-68. In addition to scoring 30 points, J.C. was also a plus 28. For the first time in his career Tremblay was named to the second all star team, and he finished second in the balloting for the Norris trophy behind Bobby Orr.

But it was in the playoffs where J.C. really shone, scoring 9 points in 13 playoff games. With the Canadiens up 3 games to none in the finals against the Blues, the Canadiens were trailing 2-1 in the third period. At 7:24 of the third, J.C. set up Henri Richard for the tying goal, and four minutes later scored the Stanley Cup winning goal.

After seven years in the league J.C. Tremblay was finally beginning to carve out a name for himself as one of the top defensemen in the NHL.

In 1968-69 J.C. was able to establish new career highs with 39 points and a plus/minus of +29 as the Canadiens repeated as Stanley Cup champions.

However, the next year, 1969-70 represented a lost year for the Canadiens and for Tremblay himself. The Canadiens failed to make the playoffs and Tremblay’s point total almost dipped to half of what it had been the previous year. This firmly put Montreal in a rebuilding mode. For the first time in his career there were whispers about Tremblay’s future with the Habs.

Tremblay proudly voiced his desire to stay in Montreal. The Canadiens were rewarded with his best season. In 1970-71 J.C. scored 11 goals and added 52 points for 63 points, setting a new record for Habs defensemen, breaking the record once held by Doug Harvey. Tremblay followed that up by contributing to a surprise Canadiens Stanley Cup championship, his fifth championship.

Now finally “J.C. Superstar” established himself as a great defenseman in his own right. For the only time in his career Tremblay was rewarded by being placed on the NHL’s first all star team.

But for Tremblay, the psychological scars remained.

Reflecting years later, J.C. remembered that, “a Montreal fan forgets good plays, the bad plays he remembers forever. One year (1970-71) I made a record for scoring for Montreal defensemen and I was a first team all star. Next year the first game I made a mistake – fans start booing. First game!”

In 1971-72 Tremblay was made one of the team’s assistant captains. He responded by contributing 57 points and an astonishing career high plus/minus of +52. Tremblay’s stature was never higher; he was named to represent Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series. And at the same time J.C.’s contract status was up in the air.

Into this picture stepped the newly formed World Hockey Association. Looking for star players the newly formed Quebec Nordiques targeted Tremblay and offered him a financially lucrative contract that the Canadiens couldn’t or wouldn’t match. Unfortunately, like Bobby Hull once Tremblay signed with the Nordiques he disqualified himself from playing in the 1972 Summit Series.

Tremblay was the first great star for the Quebec Nordiques, and was the WHA’s greatest defenseman. In his first four years he would be named to the league’s all star team. He would also be named the league’s top defensemen in 1973 and 1975. In 1977 Tremblay, helped lead the Nordiques to the AVCO World Trophy, after losing in the finals the year before.

But undoubtedly, one of the highlights of this period came in 1974 when the WHA held their own Summit Series against the Soviet Union. Named the captain of the team Tremblay led all defensemen in scoring in a losing cause during the eight game series.

Tremblay was the only player to play in all of the Nordiques seven years in the WHA. When Tremblay retired in 1979, the team was absorbed into the NHL the next year. Tremblay finished second in WHA history in assists, fourteenth in points, and sixteenth in games played. But before the Nordiques joined the NHL it was announced that they were retiring Tremblay’s number three.

Later that year with his daughter in need of a kidney, J.C. donated his. J.C. was reunited with the Canadiens when he became their chief European scout in 1985. Unfortunately, in 1994 Tremblay’s remaining kidney was diagnosed with cancer, and after a tough battle, J.C. Tremblay passed away on December 7th, 1994 at the age of 55.

J.C. Tremblay played the majority of his career in the shadows, first in the shadow of the great Doug Harvey, and then when his spot on the Canadiens was taken over in the next year by Larry Robinson. But J.C. Tremblay was a great player in his own right, a player for whom recognition was a constant struggle, and one of the top defensemen ever to play for the Canadiens.
This from Mike Wyman of chidlovski.net:

oved back to the blue line, he soon established himself as a magician with the stick and graduated to the Habs in 59-60. Unlike others in his position, his wizardry involved using his lumber to break plays rather than opponents' bones. He's often maligned because he didn't lay on the body as did most of his peers buy he didn't have to play a physical game to succeed.

By '61-62 he had established himself as a mainstay on a Canadiens squad that was in a rebuilding phase following their 5-Cup run in the fifties.

He was a student of the game, one of the smartest players on the ice at any given time. He led the Habs' in scoring in the playoffs leading up to the '66 Cup against Detroit and seemed to have a lock on the Conn Smythe, which ended up going to Roger Crozier, who played a couple good games in the final.

Tremblay was, as we say in French, un vieux bougonneux, or "grumpy old man" in the eyes of most media members, largely because he really didn't have much to say to them and was often curt and abrupt in his answers. The fact that his English was not too good may have had something to do with him aquiring a reputation as a grouch.

After a decade with the Habs that saw him accumulate 5 rings and a couple All-Star nominations, yet not the acclaim that was due his talents, Tremblay jumped to the upstart WHA and gave the Quebec Nordiques the same credibility that Bobby Hull brought to Winnipeg.

While he may not have been a favorite of the newspeople, he got along with his teammates and was a source of information, advice and inspiration to his teammates.

Wally Weir played a couple years with Tremblay. As a rookie he was offered a couple choices come contract time, a two way agreement that potentially paid more if he stuck with the team and a guaranteed deal for less money than the top end of the split contract.

Tremblay advised him to take the guaranteed deal, telling Weir that if he was any good, he'd sign another contract in a couple years for even more money.

Weir also remembered Tremblay practicing a trick shot for an entire season in practice. Sort of a chip shot where he's bring his blade down on the edge of the puck, sending it into the air, towards the goal for about 30 feet, when it would suddenly drop, as if falling offa table. He practiced it all year and finally used it effectively in the final game of the '77 Avco Cup final.

Overlooked by the HHoF because he had the misfortune of playing at a time when there was only one defenceman in the NHL, some guy named Orr in Boston, Tremblay was one of the most entertaining players on the ice, especially when his team was shorthanded. He would kill penalties virtually alone, dipsy-doodling up and down the playing surface, behind both nets, opponents trailing behind him ,completely outclassed in his game of "keepaway".

When asked for a comment on Tremblay when he passed away a number of years ago, Gordie Howe expressed surprise that he wasn't already enshrined in the HHoF.

"He's got 5 Cups. I've only got 4."

After his playing days he moved to Europe and was scouting for a number of years before passing away. Unfortunatly the Canadiens were latecomers to the practice of drafting players from outside North America and only started giving his reports weight once the rest of the league had been picking overseas players for years.
Was glad to get Tremblay to anchor my defense. He reads as someone who does everything well. I anticipate him being an able puck mover from the blue line for Garnish.

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The part about Tremblay donating a kidney to his daughter is wrong. He didn't have a kidney to donate as he had one removed in 1977.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=G8JOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2_oDAAAAIBAJ&pg=70 19,1776378&dq=tremblay+kidney&hl=en

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03-08-2012, 11:42 AM
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Also, i am surprised it says he played in Doug Harvey’s shadow considering he had a combined 40 GP in the 1960 and 1961 seasons when Harvey was still a Hab.

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Vladimir Konstantinov D

- 5'11, 190 Ibs
- Stanley Cup Champion (1997)
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1995)
- IIHF World Championship Gold Medal (1990, USSR)
- NHL 2nd All-Star Team (1996)
- NHL All-Rookie Team (1992)
- NHL Plus/Minus Award (1996)
- Norris Trophy Voting (2nd-1997, 4th-1996)

Originally Posted by Legends Of Hockey
By the time he joined the NHL's Detroit Red Wings in 1991, Vladimir Konstantinov was already a standout defenseman with the Central Red Army team in Moscow and a captain of the Soviet national team. Known for that hitting ability and solid defensive play, He helped the Wings end a 42-year drought to win the Stanley Cup in 1997. Tragedy struck shortly after that victory, however, ending his playing career and almost costing him his life

Within a couple of years Konstantinov grew interested in applying his talents to the North American game and so he made the necessary arrangements with Detroit, the team that had drafted him 221st overall in 1989. In 1991 Konstantinov made the move to Detroit, and he made an immediate impact. An aggressive, crafty player who relished the physical nature of the North American game, He was selected to the league's All-Rookie Team in 1992. Over the next few years he became one of the better defenders in the league.

He became known for his hard hits, both on open ice and along the boards, and his liberal use of his stick earned him some nasty nicknames, including "Vladimir the Terrible," "Bad Vlad" and "Vlad the Impaler." He was an expert at forcing opponents to take penalties, hitting them legally or otherwise, and then waiting for the referee to catch his adversary in the act of retaliating.

In 1996, Konstantinov's defensive toughness earned him a plus/minus rating of plus-60. and he was selected to the Second All-Star Team that year. In 1996-97 Konstantinov had an outstanding season. He was nominated for the Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman, and the Wings team he toiled for was one of the best in the NHL. The team had not won the Stanley Cup since 1955, but with Konstantinov, Fetisov, Sergei Fedorov and Igor Larionov leading the way, the Red Wings easily dispatched the favored Philadelphia Flyers in the 1997 finals to win the Stanley Cup.
Originally posted by NHL Source
In 1996-1997 season saw Vladimir Konstantinov post +60 plus/minus rating. The +60 has been the highest rating a player has finished with in the past 20 seasons, since Wayne Gretzky finished with a +70 in the 1986–87 NHL season.
Originally Posted by Jim Devellano
We took Konstantinov in the 1989 draft for a good reason , he was an outstanding player , a great athlete , and should have been taken a lot earlier than he was, but the world was a very differant place in 1989 than it is today and drafting Konstantinov anywhere amounted to a real gamble despite his obvious skills.

In the 1990-91 NHL season , the NHL agreed to play a series of games with three of the top teams in the Russian Federation , these games would count in the NHL regular season standings and it was a big deal at the time.The russians would send over three teams each of which would play seven games against NHL opponants.With 21 teams in the NHL at that point , that meant everybody would play one game against the Russians in their own building.

As fate would have it , the Detroit Red Wings game that season was against the Russian Red Army. One of the player on that fine team was Konstantinov , our draft pick. Quite frankly , although the series was an inconvenience for the NHL teams that year, occuring right in the middle of the season, those games did afford us the opportunity to see him play against NHL opponents. Not only would we see him up close and personnal in the Red Army's game against us, we'd also see him in the other six games against other NHL teams. There was no doubt in our minds after seeing those seven games Vladimir Konstantinov was a terrific player-and we wanted him.

He was a punishing body checker, very responsible in his own end , and a dominating presence whenever he was on the ice. He was clearly ready to step in and play against NHL opponants and help our hockey club right now.
Originally Posted by Ted Lindsay
Vladimir Konstantinov was the Greatest Hockey Player in the World at the time of his accident.
hopefully more to come. I would like to find out more about his pre-NHL days in russia?

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John Muckler, coach

- 2 Stanley Cups as Assistant Coach of the Oilers (1984, 1985)
- 2 Stanley Cups as Co-Coach of the Oilers (1987, 1988)
- 1 Stanley Cup as Head Coach of the Oilers (1990)

- Member of the Canadian coaching staff in the 1984 and 1987 Canada Cups

- 276-285-84 regular season record as an NHL head coach
- 36-31 playoff record as NHL head coach

- Coached in three NHL All-Star games
- Third in Jack Adams voting for 1993-94.

- Named "Executive of the Year" in 1996-97 by The Sporting News.

In the minors:

-AHL Coach of the year in 1974-75
-CHL Coach of the year in 1978-79
-Named the top coach in the Minor Leagues by The Sporting News in 1979

His role as assistant/co-coach of the Oilers

Originally Posted by John Muckler, the strategist, Derek Van Diest, Sun Media, May 17 2009

John Muckler knew his team would be in tough heading into the 1984 Stanley Cup final.

Despite dominating in the regular season - and with the exception of a second-round clash with the Calgary Flames - cruising through the playoffs, the Edmonton Oilers assistant coach had been around long enough to know the New York Islanders were not going to relinquish the Stanley Cup without a fight.

"To me, my favourite memory of that spring was the first game of the Stanley Cup final," said Muckler. "We did have some reservations going into that series, having lost to them in the final the year before.

"But after we were able to win that opening game, we were confident we could beat them and we went from there."

Grant Fuhr was outstanding in the first game of the final, outplaying Islanders goaltender Billy Smith as the Oilers went on to win the game 1-0.

Kevin McClelland scored the game winner 1:55 into the third period.

"That was probably the best goaltending I have ever seen in my career," Muckler said. "It was amazing watching two superstar goaltenders playing at the top of their game."

Muckler was already an established coach by the time he joined the Oilers in 1981.

He'd already spent time in the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars and Vancouver Canucks' organization and two years earlier had been named the best coach in all minor-league hockey by The Sporting News.

"We were never short on confidence," said Randy Gregg. "You can only go so far on confidence. But we also had a strategy and a sense of direction that I credit to John Muckler. He was a great strategist."

The Ontario native began his career as a player/coach in 1959 with the now defunct Eastern Hockey League's New York Rovers before moving on to the NHL.

"The entire coaching staff was just ahead of the curve in how the game should be played," said former Oilers forward Pat Conacher. "Just as far as puck control and all that. You had to have the team to be able to do that, which of course we did.

"But John Muckler was in charge of the game plan, and the way he approached the game, it was so methodical.
The thing that really stood out to me was him talking about goals against. Even though we were such a high-scoring machine he said that if we could (trim) our goals against by a goal, we would win the series."

The Oilers did just that, giving up just six goals in the final three games of the Stanley Cup final. Islanders superstar Mike Bossy was held to just three helpers in the series - two of them second assists - no small feat considering he had scored 51 goals and 118 points in just 67 regular season games.

"We knew going into that series we had to play well defensively," Muckler said. "We knew how effective the Islanders had been against us the year before and we had to play better defence. We were also fortunate to get stellar goaltending with Grant."

Muckler, who is revered by Oilers players for his work as a strategist, has made no secret of his desire to be a head coach.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, May 28, 1988

Though Muckler was considered a subordinate to Head Coach and General Manager Glen Sather through the 1980s, Oilers players credited him with devising many of the tactics that led to victories in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988. He ran practices, broke down game films and won the respect of such high-profile players as Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 21, 1990

(largely shamelessly stolen from TDMM's draft bio)

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At Pick 101 Garnish selects Yvan Cournoyer, Right Wing

Position: RW
Shoots: Left
Height: 5-7 Weight: 178 lbs.
Born: November 22, 1943 in Drummondville, Quebec

Some facts on Cournoyer courtesy of hockeyreference.com:

-6 All Star Games (5 Merited +1 As a Member of Defending Cup Champs)
-1973 Conn Smythe Trophy Winner
-428 Career Goals (67th All Time)
-6 Top 10 Finishes in Goals for a season and 2 Top 10 Finishes for Points
-153 Career Power Play Goals (38th All Time)
-127 Points in 147 Career Games
-10 Stanley Cup Wins
-863 Points in his NHL Career
-4 Time 2nd Team All Star
-Inducted to Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982

Here's what Legends of Hockey has to say about him:

Nicknamed "the Roadrunner," Yvan Cournoyer won 10 Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens and was made the team captain. By the time he retired, he was among the all-time leaders in scoring for the storied franchise and he and his team had proven many doubters wrong about his adaptability and perseverance.

By the time he was an 18-year-old star with the Montreal Junior Canadiens, Cournoyer's legs were so muscular that his pants had to be specially tailored to fit his legs. He constantly practised his shot using a lead puck that weighed more than four pounds and was soon known for his quick and heavy wrist shot. He totaled 111 points, leading the league with 63 goals in his final year with the Junior Canadiens. He made his debut with the big-time Canadiens during the 1963-64 season and earned a full-time spot on the roster the next season after only seven games with the Quebec Aces in the American Hockey League.

Though he had shown enough skill and speed to be used on the power-play, the Montreal coach, Toe Blake, deemed Cournoyer too much of a defensive liability to give him a regular shift. It would be that way for most of his first four seasons in the league, though Cournoyer was compensated with the Stanley Cup three times. When Blake left following the 1968 championship, Cournoyer became a better all-around player. With Claude Ruel behind the bench and Cournoyer taking a regular shift, the speedy winger blossomed, scoring 43 goals in 1968-69. He worked hard at both ends of the rink and earned a berth on the NHL's Second All-Star Team that season, as he would in three consecutive years beginning in 1971. Shortly after Scotty Bowman took over as coach in 1971, Cournoyer was placed on a line with Guy Lafleur at center and Steve Shutt on left wing. The Roadrunner had a career high of 47 goals in 1971-72 and was at the top of his game, stickhandling and skating around his much bigger opponents with surprising consistency.

Cournoyer played for Canada in the 1972 Summit Series, scoring three goals, and returned to North America to have his best post-season. He collected 12 points, six of them goals, in the final series against the Chicago Black Hawks and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable playoff performer.

In 1975 Henri Richard, the team's captain, retired and the leadership focus shifted to Cournoyer. He was made the Canadiens captain and he responded by playing with even greater determination, spurred by his desire to show the way for the whole team. It wasn't long, however, before the tough Montreal fans and media began to question whether Cournoyer could keep his fast pace as he got older. He slowed down a step in the 1976-77 season, but it had little to do with his age. A disc in his back was pressing a nerve and causing him pain in his right leg if he stayed on his feet for more than a few minutes at a time. Surgery was required, though Cournoyer stayed quiet about his pain in an effort to continue playing.

But in one game against the New York Rangers in February 1977, Cournoyer put on a display at Madison Square Garden that had even the home fans cheering for the speedy Canadiens star. He picked up the puck just outside the blue line and darted into the Rangers' zone. He circled the net once, then again, making two full circles around the bewildered defenders, who had given up chasing him.

Just two weeks after he skated circles around the Rangers, Cournoyer announced he was done for the season. The surgery couldn't wait and the Canadiens captain was forced to miss the post-season and the team's second consecutive run to the championship. Because of new rules regarding which names could be engraved on the Stanley Cup, Montreal coach Scotty Bowman was happy to announce that Cournoyer, who had played in 60 regular-season games, would be included. Previously, not being in the playoffs would have meant not getting his name on the Cup.

Cournoyer returned to the Canadiens lineup in 1977-78 and scored 24 goals in the regular season, though it was obvious, even if he refused to complain, that his back continued to give him problems. In the playoffs he added seven goals as Montreal won the Stanley Cup again, making it 10 titles for the captain. He made an effort to continue in training camp the next season and played 15 games before being forced to the sidelines again. Cournoyer was adamant that he'd play again and bristled when Jean Beliveau, then a vice-president of the organization, suggested it would be better if he retired. At 35, after playing 15 outstanding seasons in a tough league, Cournoyer was reluctant to let go of his hockey life. But after another back operation in 1978, he was forced to concede defeat. At the end of his career, he trailed only Guy Lafleur, Maurice Richard and Jean Beliveau on the Canadiens' all-time goal-scoring list.

In 1982 he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. His tender back ruled out playing oldtimers' hockey for much of the next 20 years. In 2000, during the All-Star Game festivities in Toronto, he returned to thrill fans at the Legends game, showing flashes of the speed that made him a constant threat to defenders and goalies and a hero in Montreal.
Joe Pelletier's page on Cournoyer

For those who got to witness Yvan Cournoyer apply his trade live and in person knew they were seeing something special. One of the best skaters and stickhandlers ever to grace a sheet of ice, Cournoyer played with an affection for the game of hockey that was as obvious as it was rarely matched.

Yvan joined the Montreal Canadiens during the 1964-65 season and by the time he retired in 1979, he had run up an impressive array of offensive statistics. He scored 25 or more goals 12 consecutive times in his career which was marked with consistency and championships.

But in his first years Yvan was used exclusively as a power play specialist. As a rookie he scored seven goals in 55 games. In his second year (1965-66) Yvan scored 16 of his 18 goals on the PP. The following season he scored 20 of his 25 goals with the man advantage. Yvan eventually scored over 150 power play goals during his NHL career.

Toe Blake, then coach of the Canadiens, wasn't satisfied enough with Yvan's defensive skills to give him a full-time job.

The French faithful didn't understand why Blake didn't play him more. They were constantly chanting "We want Cournoyer".

Blake would stalk behind the bench, his eyes blazing in anger.

"Why don't they let him alone?" he would snarl. "They're putting pressure on him and they're hurting him. They're hurting the team."

Blake was trying his best to keep the pressure off the young Yvan.

Earlier Blake had sent him down to AHL for a seven game stint which made a deep impression on Yvan.

"I knew then that the only place to be was with the big team," Cournoyer said. "I guess I always knew that, but it had never occurred to me that I might not be a part of it. When I got back, I said to myself, 'Yvan, this is the only place to be and you are going to work hard to be here.' Maybe it was then that I started to mature. Toe kept harping at my defensive play, and I kept working on it"

His best years were in the 1970s, when he had two forty plus goal seasons. Perhaps the finest moment in his career came in the playoffs in 1973, where he scored 15 goals in 17 games and was the recipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded to the MVP of the NHL's playoffs. The six time all star would taste sweet champagne from Lord Stanley's silver chalice an incredible 10 times in his career.

Despite his small size physically, Cournoyer was one of the strongest and most uncatchable skaters of all time. Nicknamed "the Roadrunner", Yvan's explosive acceleration on the ice often actually worked to his physical disadvantage at times.

"I played on my speed," Yvan once explained. "When you do that, injuries have got to happen. Imagine if you had a car that you only ran at full speed or a racehorse that you raced every day. If you're going at 100 percent all the time, something has to give every so often."

Yvan was not only fast but was also an impressive stickhandler, and had a booming slap shot that was deadly accurate. Yvan was actually a pretty tough player and was never intimidated by bigger stronger players.

"I was never the kind of guy who was going to hit first. But if a guy dropped his gloves I didn't back down."

That of course didn't happen very often since Yvan recorded only 255 penalty minutes during his NHL career, an average of 17 minutes per season, and had only 47 minutes in his 147 playoff games.

Yvan was a great leader and would be the Canadiens captain during their glory years of the late seventies. He wasn't a vocal leader but he let his on ice performance do the talking.

"It was certainly an honor to be named the captain. I was never a vocal leader, a guy who yelled or gave advice. I guess my teammates looked at me as the veteran and that they felt my experience would make me a capable captain," Yvan said.

Those qualities of speed, skill and leadership were very evident in the Summit Series against the Soviet Union in 1972. Yvan made several clutch plays.

In the second game of the series Yvan went on to score a dazzling goal, leaving the Soviet defenseman flatfooted and in shock as he raced in from his wing to beat Vladislav Tretiak. It turned out to be the winning goal.

Yvan remembers the play very well and still jokes that the Soviet defenseman must have caught a cold given the fact how fast he flew by him.
In the crucial eighth game, he scored the tying goal midway through the third period paving the way for Henderson's dramatic series winning goal late in the game.

In the 1975 Super Series, the Soviet Red Army team met the Canadiens on New Year's Eve in what was considered one of the greatest games of all time. Yvan played great that night, scoring one goal and setting up another. Had he been more lucky he could have scored a couple more. The Red Army defenders tried desperately to keep up with the Roadrunner during the game. Not surprisingly, he was named one of the game's three stars along with team mate Peter Mahovlich and Red Army goalie Tretiak.

Yvan was still flying when a back injury would fell him during the 1977 season. Yvan had an operation on March 14,1977 to remove a disc from his lower back. He returned in 1978, but it was clear he had lost some of his speed, which limited his effectiveness. He would be sidelined again with back problems in 1979. He seemed to be the Roadrunner of old when he returned for the 1979-80 season, but he found the pain in his back re-occurring and decided to retire rather than risk more permanent injury.

Yvan Cournoyer is considered to be one of the best right wingers of the seventies. In 16 seasons of play, Cournoyer established himself as one of the premier forwards in the NHL, scoring 428 goals and 435 assists in 968 games.

Yvan was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982.
ourhistory.canadiens.com says the following of Cournoyer:

Speed has been a hallmark of the Montreal Canadiens since their inception. The tradition began with the likes of Aurèle Joliat and Howie Morenz and each generation since has provided contenders for the title of “Fastest of all time”. Fans who remember the 1960s and 1970s will never forget Yvan Cournoyer. With legs pumping like pistons, he blazed his way through a 16-year NHL career epitomizing the skill, grace and firepower that symbolized the Flying Frenchmen.

Young Yvan Cournoyer had one objective: to play for the Montreal Canadiens. Dedicating himself to the task, he spent endless hours honing his skills on the ice and off. Countless summer hours spent shooting four-pound metal pucks strengthened his wrists and gave him the hardest shot the junior hockey world had seen in a generation.

Breaking in with a bang, Cournoyer scored four times in a five-game tryout in 1963-64 and stuck with the Canadiens the next season. Used almost strictly as a power-play specialist in his first years, Cournoyer bided his time, becoming one of the league’s most potent scoring threats despite seeing limited ice time. His scoring numbers increased annually, from seven in his rookie year to 18 the next, as Montreal captured the Stanley Cup in both 1965 and 1966.

Still rarely playing when teams were at even strength, Cournoyer notched 25 goals in 1967-68, a mark he would match or surpass for 11 straight seasons. Forum crowds thrilled at the sight of the 5-foot-7 forward in full flight, taking a pinpoint pass, blowing past defensemen and closing in on goaltenders.

By the time Cournoyer began his fifth season, reservations about his defensive play and ability to play in heavy traffic had been put to rest and he finally got the chance to play a regular shift. Responding to the challenge, Cournoyer didn’t disappoint, picking up 43 goals. His 83 points led the team’s scoring parade in 1968-69 as “The Roadrunner” entered his prime.

Opponents couldn’t hit what they couldn’t catch and Cournoyer was untouchable. Turning on a dime at full throttle without losing speed or control of the puck, Cournoyer defied the laws of physics night after night. By filling nets around the league with rubber, Cournoyer carved out a place for himself among the most celebrated Canadiens of all time.

Hitting his peak as the 1960s gave way to the 1970s, Cournoyer was named to four NHL All-Star teams in five years. Invited to suit up for Canada in the fall of 1972, Cournoyer was a favorite with crowds both across Canada and in Moscow, finishing the memorable series with the tying goal and an assist on Paul Henderson’s now famous series-clincher.

Maintaining the intensity of the Summit Series through the NHL campaign, Cournoyer blazed through a 79-point regular season in 1972-73, the third time he hit the 40-goal plateau. Cournoyer was still on fire in the playoffs, when he set a new NHL scoring record. His 15th postseason goal brought the 1973 Stanley Cup to Montreal, the sixth time Cournoyer would have his name engraved on it.

Named Canadiens captain before the 1975-76 season, Cournoyer wore the “C” for the final four years of his career. He promptly helped lead the Habs to four straight Stanley Cups, retiring after the 1978-79 triumph with his name written on the oldest trophy in professional sport 10 times.

Cournoyer’s 428 goals place him fourth all-time in the Canadiens’ record books, while his 435 assists have him sixth. Only five men have amassed more than Cournoyer’s career total of 863 regular season points. In sixth place for both points and assists in the postseason, Cournoyer’s 64 playoff markers are trail only Maurice Richard and Jean Béliveau.

The Hockey Hall of Fame opened its doors to Cournoyer in 1982, his first year of eligibility.

On November 12, 2005, the number “12” he wore for over 1,100 games was retired and raised to the rafters of the Bell Centre.
From the Boston Globe on May 9 1973:

One of the startling realities of the Stanley Cup final series is that the Chicago Black Hawks have nobody capable of covering Yvan Cournoyer.
1 note I will make is that these articles indicate Cournoyer won 10 Cups but Hockey Reference only has him winning 8 so keep that in mind.

Cournoyer's defensive game came under fire when I picked him and while he was drafted by me primarily to score goals I still expect him to play a responsible defensive game on the 1st line with Messier and Dumart. He was a good goal scorer during his career and I expect him to help anchor Garnish's offense.

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03-09-2012, 12:04 AM
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RW Peter Bondra

503 G, 389 A, 892 Pts in 1081 GP
1st (94-95), 1st (97-98), 4th (95-96), 4th (00-01), 6th (01-02), 8th (96-97) in Goals
1st in Shorthanded Goals, 94-95
Played in 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 All Star Game
2002 World Championship Gold Medal

Legends of Hockey
Bondra has always been willful, a fighter who does not shy away from rough play but will not tolerate cheap shots. But he is best known as a skilled sharpshooter who can pick off a corner of the net from almost any distance.
Washington Capitals Legends
Bondra was an explosive skater with a wide skating stance that gave him impenetrable balance. With a loose puck up for grabs he was like a sprinter out of the starting blocks. He could handle the puck too at top speed, often cutting in on his off wing and shooting in stride. Though his season totals were consistently high, he was a bit of a streaky player, scoring goals in bunches.

Bondra always had a goal scorer's mentality, firing shots on net whenever and from wherever possible. He had a lethal arsenal of shots, notably his wrist and backhand shots. Twice he led the league in goal scoring, 1994-95 and 1997-98. He finished his career in Washington holding Capitals team records in goals (472), points (825), power-play goals (137), game-winning goals (73), short-handed goals (32) and hat tricks (19).

Though he was not a noted playmaker, Bondra was a very committed team player. He did not neglect his defensive duties, and was a regular on the PK unit. Though he was 6'1" and over 200lbs, he was not an overly strong player in terms of muscling out players along the boards. But he would get his nose dirty.

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03-09-2012, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug Harvey
I hope the son-of-a-***** dies. Put that in your papers.

Red Sullivan !!!

Awards and Achievements:
5 x NHL All-Star (1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960)

Les Cunningham Award (1954)
AHL First All-Star Team (1954)
John B. Sollenberger Trophy (1954)

NHL Points – 6th(1955), 7th(1959), 20th(1956)
NHL Goals – 14th(1955), 19th(1959)
NHL Assists – 3rd(1955), 8th(1959), 9th(1958), 18th(1956), 19th(1961)

AHL Points – 1st(1954), 5th(1951)
AHL Assists – 1st(1954), 5th(1951), 9th(1953)

5-Year Peak: 1955-1959
12th in Points, 61% of 2nd place Gordie Howe
9th in Assists, 78% of 2nd place Gordie Howe

10-Year Peak: 1952-1961
18th in Points, 57% of 2nd place Bernie Geoffrion
12th in Assists, 69% of 2nd place Bert Olmstead

Scoring Percentages:
Points - 84(1959), 82(1955), 65(1958), 56(1956), 48(1961), 46(1960)

Best 6 Seasons: 381

Originally Posted by Heroes: Stars of Hockey's Golden Era
Sullivan, a centerman, was known for his forechecking abilities and his telent for verbally harassing the opposition.
Originally Posted by The New York Rangers: Broadway’s Longest Running Hit
George “Red” Sullivan was a natural leader… He wasn’t a prolific scorer, but what made him so useful to the Rangers was his heart and determination. Sullivan was used quite effectively as a penalty-killer, and he performed the task well by confounding the opposing power-play unit…. Sullivan was a leader, so much so that he was named team captain in his second season and wore the “C” until his retirement.
Originally Posted by New York Rangers official website
Sullivan was a sparkplug center for the team from 1956 to 1961, a pesky and determined leader whose gritty style of play inspired teammates and fans alike. He was chosen captain of the team in only his second season in New York (1957-58) and he succeeded teammate and close friend Harry Howell in that capacity.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
As a junior with the St. Catharines Teepees of the OHA, Red Sullivan had a handy touch around the net and played the game with a great sense of enthusiasm and commitment. As property of the Boston Bruins, the spirited centreman was ushered into the pro ranks with the Hershey Bears in 1949-50. Along the way, he managed to take a quick swig of life with the Bruins before heading back to his home in the AHL.


In the Windy City, Sullivan began to hit full stride with his knack for setting up goals, showing leadership, providing tenacious forechecking and an ability to needle his opponents with a truculent flair. He gave fans their money's worth for two seasons before being traded to the New York Rangers in 1956.

In the Big Apple, Sullivan picked up right where he left off in Chicago. He made a habit of stirring up trouble, especially against the Canadiens. He often took runs at goaltender Jacques Plante. Habs' defenseman Doug Harvey warned the abrasive Ranger centreman to lay off. When Sullivan failed to comply, Harvey speared him in the stomach with his stick and ruptured his spleen. A Catholic priest was called in to deliver Sullivan's last rights, but Sullivan survived and eventually resumed his duties as a Ranger.
Originally Posted by Those Were the Days: Fights of Yesteryear
As a rule, assassination attempts are not made public. Doug Harvey, a normally reserved Montreal defenseman, nurtured a long hate against the Rangers’ Red Sullivan because, Harvey later charges, Sully had a distracting habit of kicking Harvey’s skates out from under him during subtle melees in the corner of the rink. Several times Harvey suggested that Sully reform. But when verbalizing got no results, Harvey jabbed Sullivan in the stomach with the sharp blade of his stick in November 1956. The Ranger captain crumpled to the ice and was removed to St. Clare’s Hospital where a Catholic priest delivered his last rites. Fortunately, Sullivan recovered, following a spleen operation for relief of a contusion.
Originally Posted by Those Were the Days: Indian Moore
One night in New York, Moore tore over the Garden rink like Geronimo on the warpath. For a while it looked as if he were about to take on the entire Ranger team, but finally settled for Red Sullivan, New York’s tough captain.

The two had a couple of vicious brawls and Moore belted Red with fists and sticks.
Originally Posted by Biltmores on Broadway
In 1957-58, by finishing second, the Rangers avoided the Canadiens and drew Boston, the fourth-place team that had trailed them by eight points. The Rangers won the opener at home, 5-3, but it was a costly victory. Vic Stasiuk had skated the width of the rink and crashed into Red Sullivan, fracturing Sullivan’s jaw and splintering the Rangers’ play-off hopes.

1958 Coaches' Poll:
Named best defensive forward
Named best hustler/hardest worker

Noted as one of the best penalty killers

Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald – October 17th, 1951
George Sullivan, a kid from Peterborough, Ont., who scored 84 points for the Bruins’ Hershey farm in the American Hockey League last season, is the most prominent of Boston’s crop of rookies.
Originally Posted by The Windsor Daily Star – October 24th, 1949
An outbreak of fighting in the final period resulted in 10 penalties. Jack Andrews and George Sullivan of the Teepees and Lorne Pirie and Dan Windley of the Dukes drew majors…
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette – December 17th, 1952
Sullivan’s play-making efforts gave him the lead in assists.
Originally Posted by Reading Eagle – December 23rd, 1952
George (Red) Sullivan is setting the pace in points with 36…. Sullivan heads the playmaking department with 31 assists….
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press – April 5th, 1954
…Red Sullivan displayed the playmaking that enabled him to establish new American Hockey League scoring records as he tallied a pair of assists.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen – February 16th, 1956
In the final 20 minutes Red Sullivan, apparently hearing Phil Watson ride him from the Ranger bench, went after the New York coach with his stick. He was given high-sticking and misconduct penalties.
Originally Posted by The Windsor Daily Star – November 21st, 1956
Although not happy about the performance of some of his players, Watson is elated about others. His best line, he says, is composed of Red Sullivan, Parker MacDonald, and Jerry Foley. Sullivan and Foley also kill penalties.
Originally Posted by Reading Eagle – December 16th, 1957
In the first brawl, goalie Terry Sawchuk of Detroit and center Red Sullivan of the Rangers each received a major penalty for fighting.

Last edited by Dreakmur: 05-22-2013 at 06:47 PM.
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03-09-2012, 12:51 PM
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G Ron Hextall

296 W, 214 L, 69 T, .895 SV%, 2.97 GAA, 23 SO, 584 PIMs in 608 GP
1987 Conn Smythe
1987 Vezina
1987 1st Team All-Star
1987 Canada Cup Champion (as a backup)
Played in 1988 All-Star Game

Legends of Hockey
Ron became perhaps the game's most mobile goalie of all time. It also gave him a desire to do something no goalie had ever done before score. Sure enough, the night of December 8, 1987, in a game against the Boston Bruins, the Flyers had a two-goal lead and the Bruins pulled their goalie in the last minute. Hextall got the puck near the side of his net and fired it in, the first time a goalie had ever shot a puck into the opposition goal.

ncredibly, Hextall replicated the feat in the playoffs. On April 11, 1989, he again fired the puck into the open net, against Washington, thus also becoming the first goalie to score in a playoff game.

Hextall's style was physical, aggressive and unheard of. He would chase the puck anywhere in his own end, and his own players routinely shot the puck back to him when killing a penalty. Along with being a goal scorer, he also set every possible penalty-minutes record for a goalie, collecting more than 100 on two occasions and no goalie had ever come anywhere near the 100 mark. The first time came in his rookie season, when he was assessed 104 minutes. The very next year he broke that mark. He was also the most willing fighter among pad-wearers the game had ever known and as a result was suspended on numerous occasions.

In that rookie season, 1986-87, he took the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals against the dynasty of the Edmonton Oilers. He played heroically in defeat and earned the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff excellence, but in game four of that series, he slashed Kent Nilsson viciously and was suspended for the first eight games of the 1987-88 season. In the 1989 playoffs, he committed a foul of equal violence. Late in the team's final game against the Montreal Canadiens, in which the Habs were clearly going to win and eliminate the Flyers, Hextall skated into the corner and attacked Montreal defenseman Chris Chelios, hitting the surprised player repeatedly with his blocker. For that Hextall received a 12 game suspension to start the 1989-90 season, and upon returning he suffered a series of small injuries that limited him to eight games for the year. In an exhibition game against Detroit to start the 1991-92 season, he slashed Jim Cummins and was given another six-game suspension.

And his stickwork wasn't confined to the enemy. He was invited to Team Canada's camp for the 1987 Canada Cup and during practice he chopped Sylvain Turgeon's arm because he was apparently too close in front of Hextall's goal. Turgeon's forearm was fractured and he missed the tournament. Hextall didn't play in that Canada Cup, but he did play at the World Championship in 1992, his only international participation.

After being traded to the Nordiques and the Islanders, Hextall finished his career once again with the Flyers, taking the team to the 1997 finals before losing to the Detroit Red Wings, the closest he ever came to the Cup.
Wayne Gretzky, May 1987
"Hextall is probably the best goaltender I've ever played against in the NHL. Just when you think you'll bombard him, he comes up with the big saves. We always seem to get a 2-0 lead, then he tightens up, plays really well and doesn't give us anything."
The Sporting News Hockey Yearbook 1996-1997
"Because he is so active in the net, Hextall always will have his critics, but he is coming off one of his best seasons. Healthy in body and mind, Hextall was on top of his game, and there is no reason to think he suddenly will go into decline this season. By beating Tampa Bay in Game 1 of the conference quarterfinals, Hextall surpassed Bernie Parent as the winningest playoff goalie in club history."
Shoebox Memories: Ron Hextall
He was certainly a different hero for me, my first "bad guy" I really enjoyed. Maybe I was getting rebellious as I entered my teenage years, but until then everything was back and white, good and bad. I had never cheered for a bad guy before.

Hexy was bad. Slashing at Kent Nilsson. Later he would attack Chris Chelios and brawl with Felix Potvin.

Hextall, at least in those first few years, was fascinating to watch. You never knew when his temper would erupt like a volcano. But I do not think it was all the antics that really attracted me to Hextall's game. Above all of that, he was spectacular goalie to watch, and then there was his revolutionary puck handling, which led to his historic goal scoring.
Hockey's Tough Guys
I remember one particular discussion with a fan about Ron Hextall. We were discussing how all the great goaltenders throughout history somehow revolutionized the art of goaltending. With Ron's incredible puck handling ability, this fan said "Hextall revolutionized the game with his puck handling ability. He took it to a new level and was like a third defenseman back there. Too bad he forgot how to stop the puck late in his career."

Ron Hextall's career started out like gangbusters. As a rookie he challenged Grant Fuhr for top status as the games best goalie in the late 1980s. He was incredible and made the Flyers a true Stanley Cup threat. Over time Ron's play leveled off to the point where he continued to play solidly, but was a victim of his own early success.

Hextall in a way revolutionized a game. He certainly wasn't the first goalie to handle the puck, but he was so good at handling and shooting the puck. Teams couldn't dump and chase against the Flyers because Hexy would roam behind the net to stop the puck and then lift it over everybody into the neutral zone where a quick Flyers forward like Brian Propp or Ilkka Sinisalo was waiting to pounce on a loose puck. Also, Hextall was the leader of strong Flyers teams of the late 1980s. The Flyers came oh so close to knocking off the might Edmonton Oilers. Hextall's fiery play definitely characterized that team, something which is extremely rare for a goaltender to do.

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03-09-2012, 03:18 PM
tony d
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With Pick 141 Garnish selects Defenseman Sylvio Mantha:

Position: D
Shoots: Right
Height: 5-10 Weight: 178 lbs.
Born: April 14, 1902 in Montreal, Quebec
Died: August 7, 1974

Some facts and stats on Mantha courtesy of hockeyreference.com:

-2 Time 2nd Team All Star
-4 Time Stanley Cup Champion
-5 Time Leader in Games Played in A Season
-8 Top 10 Finishes in Defensive Point Shares for a season
-Elected to Hockey Hall of Fame in 1960
-Renowned for his great defensive game

Some quotes on Sylvio Mantha:

Legends Of Hockey:

One of the best two-way defensemen of his era, Sylvio Mantha enjoyed plenty of individual and team success in 14 stellar NHL seasons. He spent most of his big-league tenure with the Montreal Canadiens, with whom he was an important component of three Stanley Cup teams.

Born and bred in the St. Henri district of Montreal, Mantha first made a name for himself as a right wing with the Notre Dame de Grace juniors in 1918-19. That was followed by apprenticeships with Verdun in the Intermediate Mount Royal Hockey League, Montreal Imperial Tobacco and Montreal Northern Electric in the city's industrial league and a short stint with the Montreal Nationales of the Quebec senior amateur league. Well-known coach Arthur Therrien made an indelible impression on Mantha while coaching him at Verdun.

Mantha's four goals in nine games with the Nationales impressed the Montreal Canadiens enough to sign him in December 1923. Although he broke into the Canadiens lineup as a forward, he was soon moved back to fill a void on the right side of the team's blue line. Montreal was also trying to add youth to their defense corps, as veterans Sprague Cleghorn and Billy Coutu were on the downside of their careers.

Later that season, Mantha gained his first exposure to Stanley Cup glory when he helped Montreal vanquish the Vancouver Maroons and the Calgary Tigers. Then Cleghorn was traded prior to the 1925-26 season, paving the way for Mantha to take a more prominent role on the team. Mantha became a fixture on the Habs defense, pairing with Western Canada Hockey League veteran Herb Gardiner. On November 20, 1928, Mantha scored the first-ever goal in Boston Garden in a 1-0 Canadiens triumph over the Bruins.

Arguably, Mantha's two most rewarding seasons were 1929-30 and 1930-31. He contributed to consecutive Stanley Cup triumphs and was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team both years. By this time, Mantha was entrenched as one of the most revered defensive defensemen in the game. Further satisfaction came from sharing this success with his younger brother Georges, who was a defenseman and left wing for the Canadiens from 1928 to 1941.

In 1935-36, Mantha took on a greater challenge by serving as the Canadiens' player-coach. Unfortunately, the club didn't fare well and missed out on post-season play for the first time in a decade. Late in the 1936-37 season, he was signed by the Boston Bruins, for whom he played his last four regular-season games as defensive insurance.

After retiring, Mantha tried his hand as a linesman and referee in the American Hockey League and the NHL. However, the grueling travel schedule of an on-ice official proved to be too much. Mantha decided to stay in Montreal and ply his trade as an amateur coach. He guided the Montreal Concordias until 1943, when he switched to the junior ranks. Mantha passed his wealth of experience on to young players on the Laval Nationales from 1943 to 1945, the Verdun Maple Leafs from 1945 to 1947 and the St. Jerome Eagles from 1947 to 1948.

By the end of the 1940s, Mantha was ready to make a clean break from the game. In 1960 he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame and he died in August 1974 in Montreal, scene of many of his fondest memories, on or off the ice.
Joe Pelletier:

Sylvio Mantha almost could have been remembered as the man who forever misplaced the Stanley Cup.

Following the 1924 Stanley Cup victory, Sylvio and his Montreal Canadiens teammates were honored by the University of Montreal. Following the reception, Mantha and some teammates headed for owner Leo Dandurand's home to continue the celebrations. However the Model T Ford that Sylvio was driving stalled on a hill. All the players got out to give it a push until the car was started once again.

When the Model T was back in commission, the players jumped back in and headed for Dandurand's house. However they forgot that they placed Lord Stanley's Mug on the curb by the roadside while they were busy trying to revive the vehicle!! It wasn't until they arrived at Dandurand's house that they realized they misplaced the silverware. The players sped back to that hill and much to their relief found the Cup in all its shining majesty sitting exactly where they had left it.

Born in Montreal in 1902, Mantha became a Canadien when he was only 21 years old. He was a fine defenseman as is reflected by his team's successes - five first place finishes and three Stanley Cup championships. A physical player, Mantha, who played forward until he turned pro with the Habs, was paired with Herb Gardiner and the two formed a fantastic defensive partnership. Mantha, one of the all time best defensive blue liners, was twice named to the Second All Star team.

Mantha was named as the player-coach of the Canadiens in 1935-36, but following a poor finish was fired as coach. Mantha moved on Boston to play one final season in the NHL.
In 542 NHL games, Mantha scored 63 goals and 135 points - impressive numbers for a defenseman in the mid 1920s and 1930s. Following his NHL career, he turned to officiating, first as an NHL lineseman and later as a referee in the American Hockey League. He would later turn to coaching amateur teams in his native Montreal.

Sylvio Mantha was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1960.
From ourhistory.canadiens.com:

A native Montrealer, Sylvio Mantha grew up in St. Henri, a working class neighbourhood a stone’s throw from the Forum. Playing right wing in local amateur and industrial leagues, he attracted the attention of Canadiens General Manager Leo Dandurand, who snapped him up and had the strapping 5-foot-10, 180-pounder in uniform to start the 1923-24 NHL season.

The young forward was converted into a defenseman shortly after breaking in with the Habs. He went on to enjoy a long successful career, establishing the standard of excellence for stay-at-home defensemen for generations to come.

Mantha’s rookie season ended on the best possible note imaginable. He adapted to his new position with ease, thriving in his environment and ended the year as a Stanley Cup Champion.

A tough, strong and mobile defenseman, opposing forwards had no easy way to get around Mantha. Among the NHL’s bigger men, the fiercely competitive Mantha made good use of his size, able to eliminate oncoming threats with a solid hip check. The versatile rearguard also made frequent use of both his fists and stick in the heat of battle.

Mantha played his rock-ribbed game for 13 complete seasons with the Canadiens, missing an average of just one game per year. His tireless efforts and dedication to the team’s success led to Mantha’s appointment as captain to start the 1926-27 campaign. This was a title that, with the exception of one year, he would proudly hold for the rest of his tenure in Montreal.

With younger brother Georges’ arrival in 1928-29, the Canadiens iced one of the NHL’s first and most talented brother acts. They played together for the next eight years, sharing Stanley Cup Championships in 1930 and 1931, with both Manthas leading the charge in the postseason.

While his main charge involved preventing the opposition from scoring, Mantha also found the twine with regularity, scoring 10 goals in 1926-27 and 13 three years later. In 1928, he scored the first-ever goal at the brand new Boston Garden, securing a win for the visiting team.

Adding coaching responsibilities to his plate towards the end of the 1934-35 season, the veteran defenseman served as player-coach until leaving the club following the end of play in 1935-36.

After a brief on-ice return with Boston the following year, Mantha retired for good and devoted much of the next decade to coaching amateur teams in and around Montreal.

Mantha appeared in 538 regular season games over 13 years wearing the bleu-blanc-rouge, scoring 63 goals and adding 78 assists. His 689 penalty minutes secured his spot as one NHL’s best tough guys in the league’s early days.

In 1960, the Hockey Hall of Fame inducted Mantha as an honored member, recognizing his rightful place among the game’s superstars.
Sylvio Mantha passed away in 1974. His name lives on in his hometown, where a local arena is dedicated to his memory.
Really like my top pairing of Tremblay and Mantha. Think that having Mantha as Tremblay's partner will help both guys out. Expect Mantha to be a headache on the big forwards in my division.

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Leo Labine, RW

Position: Right Wing
HT/WT: 5'10", 178 lbs
Handedness: Right
Nickname(s): "The Lion", "Haileybury Hurricane"
Born: July 22nd, 1931 in Haileybury, ON

- 3-time Stanley Cup Finalist (1957, 1958, 1961)
- Played in NHL All-Star Game 3 times (1955, 1956)
- 128 goals, 193 assists, 321 points in 643 regular season games played, adding 730 penalty minutes.
- 12 goals, 11 assists, 23 points in 60 playoff games played, adding 82 penalty minutes.
- Was a top-10 scorer in the AHL for two seasons after leaving NHL
- WHL 1st All-Star Team (1964)

Top 20 Finishes:
Goals - 4x - (8, 16, 19, 20)
Assists - 2x - (14, 20)
Points - 2x - (15, 17)
Penalty Minutes - 2x - (3, 6)
Playoff Goals - (5, 6)


Legends of Hockey

For Leo Labine, the official NHL rulebook was little more than a list of bad habits to be avoided. An early pioneer of "trash talk," he used every trick, foul or tool available to terrorize and needle his opponents. He had an above-average scoring touch and a ferocious sense of team spirit that was not unlike his spiritual cousin, "Terrible" Ted Lindsay.

After brief stints with the St. Michael's Majors and the Barrie Flyers of the OHA, Labine cracked the Boston Bruins line-up in 1951. After a few trips to the minors, he settled in for the long haul, netting 24 goals in 1955.

The night after hurricane Hazel swept across the Great Lakes region in 1954, Labine went into Detroit's Olympia stadium and had a career night. "I had one of my better games," he stated with modesty. "I think I had three goals and three assists. I got five of them in one period! When the reporters wrote about the game the next day, they referred to me as the 'Haileybury Hurricane'."
Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played In the NHL

...as the story goes, Rocket Richard was knocked unconscious, came back and took the Habs to the finals. What no one remembers is that it was LaBine, Richard's career nemesis, who had knocked the Rocket out. LaBine wasn't big, but he was as ferocious and brutal on ice as any forward on the original six. He also had a sense of humour on the ice and might be the grandfather of all trash talkers, such was his rep for trying to throw star players off their game with a few sharp words. He started in Montreal's training camp as a youngster, but he caused so much trouble that the Habs simply told him to get lost. Boston signed him and felt the same way, but the B's also saw the value of such a disturber.
Heroes: Stars Of Hockey's Golden Era

"I was lucky to get out of the game alive," remarks Leo Labine. "I was a little aggressive sometimes". The Loquacious LaBine developed a reputation as a tough bodychecker and a better-than-average needler.
Stan Fischler's Hockey Encyclopedia

Opponents could never make up their minds whether Leo Labine was more to be feared as a scorer or a bodychecker... Labine terrorized the enemy while platrolling the right wing... Leo was more a needler than a scorer... nearly killed Maurice Richard with a vicious bodycheck...

He could also be terribly amusing. Once, when the Bruins were playing an exhibition game against the Rangers at New Haven, Leo decided that he would use the early September fog on the ice as a "smokescreen". After the play shifted from the New York to the Boston end, Labine hid behind the Rangers' net. Soon, he began laughing. Rangers' goalie Gump Worsley heard him, turned around, saw Leo, and called to referee Red Storey, who, himself laughing, ordered the linesman to blow an offside. By this time everyone in the rink, including Worsley, was laughing at Leo's jape.
The Picture History Of the Boston Bruins

Not only was Leo Labine a good, hard-hitting player, he was a good man to have around to lighten the spirits of the team.
The Bruins In Black and White

The bodychecker was a big crowd favourite with his tenacious style of play. Known as the "Haileybury Hurricane", LaBine's job was to shadow and hound the opposing team's scoring stars. He was a scrapper who was very skilled with his fists as well as his tongue. His confrontations with Rocket Richard are legendary. In 1958, NHL GMs named him in their top-five list of the toughest players in the league.
Hockey In the Fifties: The Game We Knew

Known as a gadfly on the ice, he was also a tough bodychecker with a deft touch around the net.
The Boston Bruins: Celebrating 75 Years

An impish disturber... A manic character who carried his stick at high port... infuriating... a little nutty, but lovable...
Dick Beddoes' Greatest Hockey Stories

Newsy Lalonde, before he died in 1970, picked an All-Mean-Team, capable of spilling enough corpuscles to gratify any blood bank in North America. He said he'd have been delighted to coach these "very perfect gentle knights":

Paddy Moran

Joe Hall, Sprague Cleghorn, Eddie Shore, *** *********

Leo Labine, Bill Ezinicki, Ted Lindsay, Cully Wilson, Bill Cook, Ken Randall

Labine, tougher than chuck steak, had a needling tongue that provoked ill-tempered opponents into penalties.
Montreal Gazette, 1954-03-26

Leo Labine rushed joyously into the fray, anxious to take on anybody, and ** ***** accomodated him... Leo Labine, who can't see a fight without wanting to get into it, took on Bert Olmstead.
Montreal Gazette, 1955-01-08

Lynn said the three men who had played the best hockey for the Bruins so far are Leo Labine, Fern Flaman and Fleming Mackell. "In that order, too", he added... Leo Labine is the Bruins' gag man, the fellow who always leaves his teammates laughing... he is a natural disturber of the peace once the puck is dropped.
Christian Science Monitor, 1955 Headline

SCHMIDT RATES LABINE BEST PLAYER IN LEAGUE... "He's only the best player in the league! That's all! And this game tonight proved it."
Toledo Blade, 1958-04-09

Claude Provost of montreal came out of the fray with his upper dental plate broken and his nose swollen to three times its normal size. He was checked by Leo Labine - cross-checked, said Provost - late in the game.
Ottawa Citizen, 1958-04-17

Dollard St. Laurent was injured when he was checked by or collided with Boston's Leo Labine... Of the injury, Toe Blake said: "Labine reefed him with his elbow. there should have been a penalty."
1959 Hockey Magazine

The buffoon of the Bruins... with only 16 goals for the pst two years, he has become defensive stalwart for Bruins and proficient penalty killer. A rugged performer, he has always been well up in penalty parade.

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Bruce Stuart

Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press, March 8, 1907
Bruce Stuart is not any more lamblike than his brother Hod. The Stuart boys never run away from trouble.

Stuart is huge (at 6'2, he was the tallest hockey player in his era), fast, physical, a great leader, and a clutch scorer. He's exactly what a pair of highly skilled but small players like Russell Bowie and Martin St. Louis need on their left side.

Top 5 finishes

CAHL (1900-1902)
Goals: 5th, 5th
No assists recorded

WPHL (1903)
Goals: 1st
Assists: 5th
Points: 1st

X-Games (1904)
Goals: 2nd
Playoff goals: 1st
No Assists recorded
Playoff PIM: 1st

IHL (1905-1907)
Goals: 4th
Assists only recorded once
PIM: 1st, 1st

ECHA (1908-1910)
Goals: 3rd
Assists: 2nd (only recorded once)
Points: 3rd
Playoff goals: 1st
  • First Team All Star (WPHL) in 1902, First Team All Star (IHL) in 1906, Second Team All Star (IHL) in 1907
  • Regularly captained his teams in the IHL
  • Won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Wanderers in 1908
  • Sighed by the Ottawa Senators after winning with the Wanderers
  • Captained the 1909 Senators to the Stanley Cup, their first Cup since Silver Seven stopped dominating in 1906.
  • After the Senators lost the Cup in 1910 to the Wanderers, Bruce Stuart, as captain, was "given free hand in the selection of players for next winter." (Source)
  • Stuart captained his handpicked team to another Cup win in 1911.

Inducted into the HHOF in 1961

Originally Posted by wikipedia
Stuart is considered to be an early power forward, a forward who combines physical play with scoring ability, in hockey history.
Originally Posted by legendsofhockey
Stuart could well be considered one of the first power forwards of the game. Standing over six feet tall, he was a large man for his era, and it should not go unnoticed that his statistical totals included 162 penalty minutes over the same three-year period.
Originally Posted by legendsofhockey
He was an all-round player, capable of playing any of the forward positions although he excelled as a rover due to his excellent skating abilities.
Stuart was a big, rough man, but he was also capable of handling the puck:

Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette, Jan 7, 1909
Play was becoming rough, players from both sides getting after each other, apparently to settle old grudges, particularly Smith and Stuart. Stuart's face was covered with blood, but he continued to mix it up roughly until he was sent off for five minutes for dropping Smith with a crosscheck.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette, Feb 1, 1909
Ottawa in the first half looked better than at any time this season. Bruce Stuart played his best game of the year and was really the star of the Ottawa team in the night's play. He worked without a letup, although evidently suffering from his bad knee in the second half. He was the best puck carrier for Ottawa and bored in more successfully than any forward on the ice. Walsh and Stuart made a dangerous pair in mid-ice.

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03-09-2012, 10:07 PM
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D/LW/C Goldie Prodger

63 G, 29 A, 92 Pts in 111 GP
8th (20-21), 10th (22-23) in Goals
4th (20-21) in Assists
6th (20-21) in Points
1912, 1916 Stanley Cup Champion

The Trail of the Stanley Cup Vol 1 (originally posted by seventieslord):
When Waterloo of the OPHL lost its star forward line to Quebec, they were faced with a rebuilding job for the 1911 season. They managed to secure players from Haileybury and Cobalt who had dropped from the NHA, but also added a new player who turned out to be a better prize. This was a big redhead named Goldie Prodger. He was a fast skater and his willingness to pass out heavy checks made him a natural for defense. However, the McNamara brothers had the defense jobs so he played as a forward.

His worth as a defenseman was recognized by Quebec and he was signed the following year by the Bulldogs. There he teamed with Joe Hall on defense and helped Quebec win their first Championship in 1912.

Hamilton entered the league the next year but the leftovers from Quebec were not enough to make a team and the other clubs had to help out. Toronto contributed Goldie and he played four years with Hamilton. The Tigers in their desperation to win, shuttled Goldie back and forth from defense to forward. He played defense with *****, Mummery, Randall, and **** and he was still fast enough (at 32) to keep up with Malone and Burch.
Ultimate Hockey (originally posted by seventieslord)
A strong, fast skater with a special ability to use the body... two-way skills impressed Quebec management...
Fischler's Hockey Encyclopedia (originally posted by seventieslord)
A strapping redhead with a thirst for violent body contact...his obvious aptitude for blueline duty was forsaken by his swift skating... Usually Goldie's presence meant a successful season for his squad...
The Hockey Compendium (originally posted by seventieslord)
strong defensively and a rushing threat... During our research, we found him continually turning up on the rosters of the most improved teams in history; Prodger, who switched teams 10 times in his pro career, seemed to cause every new team he joined to improve dramatically. Coincidence? How many coincidences add up to a fact? Prodger was part of six of the 25 biggest single-season rises in major league history, and every single team he joined displayed a substantial improvement in their defensive record the first season he was with them.

As you can see, the teams Prodger joined won 52% more often than they did the previous season, on average. Their goals against average also got 22% better, on average. Only once did Prodger not have a positive impact on his team's win%, and not once did he fail to have a positive impact on his team's defensive record.
Legends of Hockey
Goldie Prodgers made his professional debut while skating for the Waterloo Professionals of the OPHL. Although a defenseman by trade, his swift skating skill landed him on a forward line where he scored nine goals in 16 games.

Prodgers quickly became a fan favourite wherever he performed. He loved to play a tough, hard-hitting but honest game. As a player, he was described as a firebrand hurtling down the ice or like a shell just fired from a big British gun. He was also noted for using his stick like a war club.
The Toronto World, Mar 31, 1916
Goldie Prodgers, who was used as a substitute by Canadiens thru the greater part of the NHA season and who has been the sensation of the world's championship series, shares with Newsy Lalonde the main credit for tonight's victory. With the score tied in the last stages of the third period Lalonde and Prodger pulled a trick play that allowed Prodger to get half way up the ice before the Portland forwards knew just where the puck was. Prodger score on the play.
The Toronto World, Nov 24, 1915
Manager Kennedy is negotiating for Goldie Prodger and may have the big auburn haired star for coverpoint
The Calgary Daily Herald, Mar 1, 1924
Old sorreltop is one of the most popular players that ever wore a Hamilton uniform. He always gives his best and no matter whether the team is out in front or far behind, he generally manages to star, and has played as consistently as any man in the league ... his retirement from the NHL will be generally regretted, as he is popular with fans in every city in the circuit
The Montreal Daily Mail, Mar 31, 1916
Prodger saved the day. Taking the puck away from Harris behind the Canadiens net, Prodger rushed the length of the ice and beat out Murray on a pretty side shot
The Border Cities Star, Dec 18, 1922
Goldie Prodger was the outstanding player on the Hamilton forward line. Although lacking in speed, Goldie managed to get there, and in addition to scoring the winning goal, paved the way for the others that kept Hamilton in the running.
The Toronto World, Jan 26, 1914
Quebec are very weak somewhere this year, and it is hard to pick out the spot just where they fall down. They have all but one of last year's champions, in fact some people think they have a better man than ever in Goldie Prodger
Quebec Telegraph, Oct 17, 1919
It is announced on good authority that Goldie Prodger, one of the outstanding figures in professional hockey in the just before the war period.
The Montreal Daily Mail, Dec 20, 1915
Goldie outshone Cameron, who was otherwise the star of the game, with mid-season speed... Pitre and Prodger made the opening minutes fast with brilliant rushes... Prodger was benched for a heavy check.. Prodger went from end to end without any one to combine with him, leaping past Cameron and scored, making the event one to one. Goldie rushed twice more and the second passed McNamara and Leseur had no chance. Both goals were made on speed and low hard bullet shots to the corner. He left all forwards far behind and the defence in their tracks. Goldie was all over the rink for five minutes, finally winding up his spasm by giving the hickory to Lowery, whom he must have mistaken for one of the rougher Blue Shirts and was benched

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Bill Goldsworthy !!!

Awards and Achievements:
4 x NHL All-Star (1970, 1972, 1974, 1976)

Points – 18th(1970)
Goals – 5th(1974), 6th(1970), 12th(1971), 15th(1975), 17th(1972)

Point Percentages – 70(1974), 66(1970), 60(1975), 58(1973), 57(1972), 56(1971)
Goal Percentages – 92(1974), 86(1970), 70(1975), 67(1971), 62(1972), 52(1973)

Play-off Points – 1st(1968)
Play-off Goals – 1st(1968)
Play-off Assists – 5th(1968)

Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Right-winger Bill Goldsworthy was a clever goal scorer who played nearly 800 NHL games in the 1960s and '70s. He was best known for his fine work with the Minnesota North Stars and the "Goldy Shuffle" after each goal.


The crafty winger was a decent addition to his new club in its first two NHL seasons. In 1969-70, he broke through as a bona fide NHL sniper with 36 goals. The next season, his speed and offensive thrusts helped the North Stars give the Montreal Canadiens a tough battle in the semi-finals. A few months later, he represented Canada in the historic Summit Series versus the USSR. During his time in Minnesota, Goldsworthy scored at least 30 goals five times including a career high 48 in 1973-74 while playing on a line with Dennis Hextall and Danny Grant. He was considered one of the most exciting forwards in the NHL and was picked to participate in the All-Star game in 1970, 1972, 1974, and 1976.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Bill was a hard shooting winger developed in the Boston Bruins junior and minor league system. He played with the Bruins OHA junior team in Niagara Falls and helped the Falls Flyers win the 1965 Memorial Cup.


Bill was more of a shooter than a playmaker, he was not a one-trick pony. He could play at both ends of the ice and was known as a solid team player. These all around qualities helped him to be selected on Team Canada's Summit Series roster that defeated the Russians in 1972. Goldy appeared in 3 of the 8 games, scoring 1 goal and 1 assist.
Originally Posted by A September to Remember
The late Bill Goldsworthy was an aggressive forward who got into 3 games in the tournament…
Originally Posted by Minnesota North Stars Memories
Met Center fans never got tired of watching this guy's post goal celebration, known to himself and fans as the "Goldy shuffle". Bill Goldsworthy was unquestionably the first big North Star talent as well as one of the league's emerging stars of the expansion era. In his first season with Minnesota he led all NHL scorers in points in the 1967 playoffs. He later became the first player to record 200 goals with a post '67 team.
Originally Posted by Chidlovski
Bill Goldsworthy was able to show his scoring touch after the NHL expansion in 1967. Most of his career was associated with the North Stars team. In his years in Minnesota, he was recognized for his impressive shooting skills and established himself as a passionate forward and a team player able to perform a solid 2-way play at both ends of the ice.
Originally Posted by Lou Nanne
He was a very colorful, charismatic guy that had great speed and strength and a great shot.

Last edited by Dreakmur: 03-11-2012 at 05:37 AM.
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Percy LeSueur, G

Position: Goaltender
HT/WT: 5'7", 150 lbs
Handedness: Left
Nickname(s): "Peerless Percy"
Born: November 21st, 1881 in Quebec City, QC

- Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.
- Credited with a Retro Vezina and a Retro Hart in 1906 by Ultimate Hockey.
- Awarded "Best Goaltender of the 1900's" by Ultimate Hockey
- 61 wins, 3 shutouts, career GAA of 4.39 in 119 NHA games played.
- 7 wins, career GAA of 4.44 in 9 playoff games played with the Senators.


Originally Posted by Johnny Bower
The gifts Percy LeSueur provided hockey extended far beyond his peerless ability to stop the puck. LeSueur [B]was athletic enough to parry two and three shot in succession, even from close range, and was an able puckhandler, capable of clearing the biscuit to safety.
Originally Posted by Bill Fitsell
LeSueur was a pioneer and innovator, par excellence. He was a stand-up goalkeeper in the era when the rules prohibited netminders from lying, sitting, or kneeling in stopping the puck. He had an intense, roving style later attributed to Jacques Plante. 'He played with the alacrity of a tiger, reported the Ottawa Free Press in 1907. 'He played with his hands, head, and feet. He never throws the puck away and in the tightest corners carries it to the back of his net and gives it to one of his forwards. 'Facing a breakaway against Quebec, he ran out on the points of his skates and floored the attacker before he could shoot. As a player he developed a pad for the goaltender's gauntlet and in 1911 designed and patented the LeSueur net, with 17-inch deep top and a 22-inch deep bottom. He was a keen observer of the game and in 1909 wrote and published a 48-page booklet called "How to Play Hockey"
Legends of Hockey

Smiths Falls unsuccessfully challenged Ottawa for the Stanley Cup in early March 1906 with LeSueur in goal. His hockey season apparently over, LeSueur returned to his job as a bank clerk in town when he was picked up by Ottawa for the second game of their March 1906 Stanley Cup defence against the Montreal Wanderers. Ottawa was not able to defend the Cup but LeSueur stayed with the team for the following season and spent a total of eight seasons in Canada's capital.

LeSueur was a tall, standup goalie and was strong at clearing the puck. He was a student of the game and wrote a handbook of hockey which was given wide circulation while he was in his prime. He led the ECHA in wins with ten in 1908-09 and also led the NHA with 13 wins in 1910-11. Ottawa won the Stanley Cup in both years. He moved on to the Toronto Shamrocks in 1914-15 and the Toronto Blueshirts in 1915-16, where he ended his playing career.

As a coach, he led Galt to the intermediate OHA title in 1921 and was behind the bench for the Hamilton Tigers of the NHL for part of the 1923-24 season. He was the first manager of both the Windsor Arena and the Detroit Olympia. In 1927-28, he managed the Detroit entry in the Can-Pro League and during the 1928-29 season he was manager of the new Peace Bridge Arena in Fort Erie, Ontario, and also oversaw the Buffalo entry in the International Hockey League. LeSueur also invented the gauntlet-style glove for goaltenders and the style of net used from 1912 to 1925 in both the NHA and NHL.

Dubbed "Peerless Percy" by Malcolm Brice, sports editor of the Ottawa Free Press, LeSueur said that his biggest thrill was joining the Silver Seven in 1906 but running a close second was being chosen to play goal for the All-Star team in the Hod Stuart Memorial game in 1908, the first all-star game in hockey history.
Greatest Hockey Legends

Percy LeSueur started his hockey career in 1905-06, as a goaltender for Smith's Falls in the Federal Amateur Hockey League. He was to remain in hockey and have a profound influence on the sport for 50 years.

Smith's Falls is likely the least known of the Stanley Cup finalists, but the Ottawa Silver Seven certainly took note of goaltender Lesueur. Though the Silver Seven discarded the challenge of Smith's Falls with ease, Lesueur put on a show that impressed his opponents so much that they subsequently signed him, and used him almost immediately in replacing goalie Bouse Hutton.

Lesueur, a native of Quebec City who doubled as a bank clerk, would go onto become a goaltending legend. Percy rose to stardom in the 8 years he guarded the net in the nation's capital. He joined the team in 1906-07 and enjoyed two Stanley Cup wins in 1909 and 1911. LeSueur captained the team for three years before he was traded to the Toronto Ontarios in 1914. He played two seasons in Toronto and then joined the 48th Highlanders, giving him a tour of duty overseas.

He may best be remember by modern fans for introducing the "gauntlet type" goalie glove. He also served as an original member of the famous early radio broadcast "Hot Stove League."

Peerless Percy was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.

LeSueur improved upon existing ice hockey equipment: he invented the gauntlet-style goaltender glove which protected the forearms, and created and patented the LeSueur net which was designed to catch high-rising shots.

LeSueur's work in net was impressive: the Montreal Star remarked that his performance in the first game had kept the Seniors in contention, noting that the "most spectacular saves of the match were made by [him]"

Coincidentally, LeSueur's last season with Ottawa also marked the end of the Stanley Cup challenge era. In Stanley Cup play, LeSueur had a 7–2 overall record and was undefeated in seven games with Ottawa.

...fellow Hall of Famer Newsy Lalonde described him as "one the best goalies he ever faced", and Cyclone Taylor, a teammate on the 1909 Stanley Cup-winning Senators team, stated that LeSueur would always be in goal whenever "he was asked to pick an All-Star team"
Without Fear

Despite being decidedly outplayed in the opener of the two-game, total-goal series, Smith Fall's came away 6-5 losers, thanks to the work of LeSeur. "The most spectacular saves of the match were made by LeSeur, "noted the Montreal Star's account of the game. "Three of Ottawa's forwards got right down on him. First Frank McGee, then Harry Westwick, then Harry Smith shot, but on each occasion, though they were only a yard or two away, he managed to stop the puck and get it to safety. The way he stopped the most dangerous shots was a sight rarely seen." Although Ottawa overpowered Smith Fall's 8-2 in Game 2, the credentials of the man who would become known as "Peerless Percy" were established. The Silver Seven were so impressed that they decided it might be best for all concerned if LeSueur joined them.

Ottawa claimed that LeSueur's arrival in town was a coincidence. He'd moved to Ottawa anyway, so the Silver Seven figured they might as well sign him up. Owning an eight-goal lead in the two-game set, the Wanderers didn't protest his eligibility too vehemently. Montreal's Moose Johnson tallied an early goal, the LeSueur erected a barricade in front of his cage, as Ottawa poured in nine succesive tallies to tie the count. Only a pair of late goals by Lester Patrick prevented the Wanderers from blowing the biggest scoreboard advantage in Stanley Cup history.

LeSueur performed in Ottawa goal for eight seasons, leading the team to a pair of Stanley Cup titles, working as Ottawa's captain, coach, and manager during his tenure. "He is a sharp as a needle and recovers quickly," commented the Montreal Star. "He is a goaltender of high class"

LeSeur was an innovator because he changed the way the position was played by designing the first goalie gloves. A thinking man's goalie, he continued to come up with alterations that improved the game during and after his playing days.
Professional Sports Team Histories: Hockey

... the Silver Seven quickly acquired the services of the day's greatest goalie, "Peerless" Percy LeSueur (he had played against Ottawa just over a week earlier for Smiths Falls in their unsuccessful Cup challenge).
One Hundred Years of Hockey

Ottawa then eliminated Smith's Falls, champions of the Federal League in two straight games, but lost no time in picking up the Falls' outstanding goalie Percy LeSueur before their series with the Wanderers.
Hamilton's Hockey Tigers

Percy Lesueur, who coached Hamilton during the 1923-24 season, had been a star goaltender and hockey innovator.
The Renfrew millionaires: the valley boys of winter 1910

Percy LeSueur, the great Ottawa net-minder in 1909,
Great Goaltenders: Stars of Hockey's Golden Age

Benedict was brought in to be the understudy of Ottawa's legendary goalie, Percy LeSueur. It must have been difficult for Benedict to spend most of his time riding the pine during his first two seasons as a professional.
Our Game: The History of Hockey in Canada

The great Ottawa Senators goaler Percy LeSueur, a Stanley Cup winner before the NHL was established.
Putting it on Ice: Hockey and cultural identities

Percy LeSueur was the Stanley Cup champion goal tender of the Ottawa Senators, who, entering the 1912 season, was mid-way through an illustrious playing career.
New York Times - Mar 22, 1911

Again the goal tending of Percy LeSueur saved the Ottawa team from defeat.
Ces héros du passé, translated

The other is Percy LeSueur, who made ​​his mark in front of goal between 1903 and 1916. Talented forward in his teens he played his first game in the pros on the right wing for the Quebec Hockey Club. But it is by threading the skinny leggings of the time he shone with the Silver Seven and the Ottawa Senators, where he won three Stanley Cups. Interestingly, it was he who invented the glove of goalie style that continues today. He joined the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.
Calgary Daily Herald - Apr 8, 1913

Percy LeSueur, the peerless goalkeeper of the Ottawa Hockey Team...
New York Times - Mar 21, 1911

Percy Le Sueur was so effective and so capable that it appeared easy.
Mantioba Ensign - Jan 6, 1951

... Those who handle selections to the Hockey Hall of Fame get busy and add a few names which have too long missing from the roll of honor of Canada's national sport.

For a start, the names of such hockey immortals as Jack Marshall and Dickie Boon are suggested along with two others, Percy Lesueur and XXXXX XXXXXXXX

... LeSueur was a fine goalie in his own right and was a member of the famed Ottawa Silver Seven
Thanks to JFA for additional quotes/information.

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Bengt-Åke Gustafsson

Selke Voting Record: 4th (1986) 5th (1989) 14th (1984)
All-Star Voting Record: 6th C (1986) 7th LW (1984)
Lady Byng Voting Record: 6th (1989)

Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Bengt Ake Gustafsson was a sturdy and powerful forward with a broad chest and short legs that made him hard to knock down in a skirmish. He always skated upright, never losing sight of the puck and ignoring the opposition's hits and hooks.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Gustafsson was a natural leader and his teammates took their cues from him.

Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Bengt-Ake Gustafsson was a superb skater and puck handler. The lanky Swede had a long, fluid stride combined with great balance, making him surprisingly tough to knock off of the puck. He had breakaway speed, capable of reaching full speed in less than three steps.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
"Gus" had the stick skills to match his skating gifts. He was capable of doing everything within his arsenal of puck tricks while at top speed, making him a natural threat on both specialty teams. He had excellent vision and anticipation, which he combined with his one-step quickness to create passing lanes.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Though not a noted physical player, Gustafsson was definitely not intimidated by the rough going. He was never afraid to do the dirty work in the corners or in the front of the net, though he was smart enough to dart in and out of these work zones. He wasn't afraid to initiate contact either. I remember one devastating hit in particular when "Gus" knocked New York Ranger Rob Ftorek out of a game with a thunderous check in retaliation for an earlier Ftorek spear.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
A conscientious two way player, it there was one true fault to Gustafsson's game was his desire to pass rather than shoot, a trait extremely common of European trained players in the 1980s. Gustafsson had a good shot, particularly his snap shot that he released quickly and accurately. He was deadly within 10 feet of the net, particularly in his favorite power play perch at the base of the left face-off circle.

Additional info:

Edmonton had a plan to take over Gustafsson already in the playoffs.
- Edmonton, who then played in the WHA, knew they would become part of the NHL that fall, and that Washington owned my rights, but wanted me to sign a contract with them before they became an NHL club. I also knew that they would play in the NHL next season, and I signed for them to play with them in the NHL. In Edmonton the same fall entered the NHL was the dispute about where I really belonged - in Edmonton that I had a contract with, or Washington who had figured me and took my rights.
- Each WHA club that went into the NHL had to protect three players, one goalkeeper and two outfield players, as no NHL club could move. That was why they wanted me to come over and play two games in the spring, so I really had played for them so they could protect me when they entered the NHL - so it was me and Wayne Gretzky as the sheltered among outfield players . All other players in the WHA was draftade of an NHL club and not protected, could be picked by their respective NHL club when wha went into the NHL.
I was actually on his way back to the NHL in 1991, to Detroit Red Wings. But then we took the decision in the family, my wife and I, that enough is enough with the postponement because we had just had a baby and had another baby on the way. It felt like we were trying to be complacent.
Landskamper: 117 A – 4 B – 32 J
OG 5th: 1992
WC-gold: 1987, 1991
WC-silver: 1981
WC-bronze: 1979
WC 4th: 1983
Canada Cup-silver: 1984
Canada Cup-bronze: 1987
JWC-silver: 1978
JWC 5th: 1976, 1977
JEC Silver: 1976

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LW/D Reg Fleming

1x NHL All Star Game Participant
1x Stanley Cup Champion
10x Top 10 PIM(1, 2, 2, 5, 7, 7, 8, 9, 10)
2x Top 11 AS Voting LW(10, 11)*

*10th with 3 voting points
*11th with 1 voting point
Reg Fleming was a hard-nosed player for six teams between 1959-60 and 1970-71. He was able to play defence and left-wing while providing grit and a bit of offense in his 749-game career. Although he wasn't the biggest player on the ice, his guile and combative will bettered many an adversary.

Fleming played 66 games as a rookie in 1960-61 and his physical presence played a role in the Hawks' Stanley Cup triumph that spring.

While we don't know if he had a hard nose per se, we can answer the reporter's question for him - yes, Reggie Fleming was a very hard-nosed player.

He was a highly effective utility forward though he originally was a defenseman. Born in Montreal, Fleming spent most of his junior and minor league career playing defense. However due to his small size (5'8" 170lbs) he was converted to a left wing for much of his NHL career. With his decent speed and physical, hustling style he was an extraordinary penalty killer. Another reason for his great penalty killing was he was a superb defensive forward, as many players are once they are converted from the blueline to the forward position. Fleming already had a great understanding of defensive positioning by the time he moved up.

He was also a pesky player. He loved to get under the skin of the opponents, disrupting them from their game, thus giving his team a much better chance of victory. The opposition hated him, but Chicago fans loved him.

In his first year in Chicago teammates nicknamed him "Mr. Clean" because of his bullnecked, crew cut appearance that resembled the mascot for the famous cleaning product. But in actuality Fleming was one of the NHL's dirtier players. He would lead the league in penalty minutes in 1965-66 and had a career total of 1468 PIM in 749 games. In one game in his rookie season, Fleming set an NHL record (since bettered) for most penalty minutes in one game against the New York Rangers. A bru-ha-ha escalated after Ranger goalie Jack McCartan whacked Reg with his goal stick. Every player on the ice got involved but it was Fleming who earned 37 minutes in penalties based upon a two-minute minor penalty, two more five-minute penalties and a ten-minute misconduct penalty, plus a game-misconduct penalty!

Fleming played 4 solid seasons with the Blackhawks "Gashouse Gang." That was the nickname given to the Hawks because of their rough, physical style of play. But in 1964 the Hawks traded Reg with Ab McDonald to Boston in exchange for Dougie Mohns. He responded with his best NHL season in Boston, scoring 18 goals and adding 23 assists. In his previous 4 years in the league, Fleming only scored a combined total of 21 goals and 26 assists, so this was definitely a breakthrough year for the winger. The Bruins at the time were the cellar-dwellars of the league and Reg had a chance to play a more significant role while with the B's.

In the middle of the 65-66 season Reggie was traded to the New York Rangers for John McKenzie. The deal was one of a few significant moves by the Bruins which helped to build up the B's to the Stanley Cup championship calibre teams of 1970 and 1972.

Fleming would enjoy 3 1/2 seasons of solid play on Broadway. In 1969 he was traded to the expansion Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers of course would go on to become hockey's "Broad Street Bullies" just a couple of years after Fleming's departure. Needless to say the Flyers acquired Fleming for his veteran leadership and to lay the seeds of what was to come in Philadelphia.

Fleming's stay in Philly was short as the following season he was selected in the Expansion Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. He played admirably for the Sabres but 1970-71 proved to be Fleming's swan song in the NHL.

Fleming continued to play minor league hockey for parts of 6 years after his NHL days were over. Two of these seasons were spent in Chicago with the WHA's Cougars.

Fleming will forever be remembered as one of hockey's most ferocious competitors.

Reggie Fleming was a tough-as-nails players back in the 1960s. He suffered a stroke a few years ago and his health has been failing ever since.

There was no tougher son of a gun in hockey than Reggie Fleming. He was no goon, just a hard working labourer who brought his lunch pail and work boots to the rink every day.

He was known as an aggressive and combative player who could play both forward and defence, as well as kill penalties.

Fleming's aggressive style of play added an important physical presence to the Blackhawks and helped the team win the Stanley Cup for the 1960–61 season

A popular player with Chicago, he was known for his grit and team spirit. His involvement in a number of notorious incidents gave him a reputation around the league as a tough customer and an intense competitor.

His experience and combativeness helped the small and unaggressive Flyers team

If you are a fan of a certain age, you know well who Reggie Fleming was. You either booed or cheered him, but you always noticed him, his thick body and his brush cut hairstyle.

In an era when guys who were frequent fighters could actually play hockey, Reggie was an effective and enthusiastic pugilist, a very reliable defensive player who — especially during his years with the Rangers — showed he could score a bit as well.

What Reg Fleming did best was fight and agitate. Today, the role of fighting is hotly debated. In Reg Fleming’s day, before the mid-’70s Flyers elevated it to a strategic weapon, that role was never questioned. It was merely integral to the game, an internal mechanism of policing a sport that could veer off into violence.

Fleming was a good, versatile N.H.L.’er who could play defense or wing. On the rugged Blackhawks team that won the Stanley Cup in 1961 — the most physical team in the six-team N.H.L. of the early ’60s — he was the main cop on the beat.

But when the Hawks played the Red Wings, Fleming was assigned to left wing to check Gordie Howe. When they played the Maple Leafs, he shadowed Frank Mahovlich. Against the Rangers, he skated against Andy Bathgate. After he was traded by the Hawks, he lined up against his old teammate Bobby Hull. His coaches knew he could play the game. He was also a good penalty killer.

Regarded as a tough-as-nails defenseman who accrued 1,468 penalty minutes in 749 career games for the Hawks and four other teams, Fleming was particularly valuable as a penalty killer.

"When he was on the ice, he was an unbelievable competitor, a very physical presence. Off the ice, he was a great guy and he would do anything for anybody."

It did not take Reggie long to realize that if he hit people hard enough and often enough they did not move away so quickly. In that first game he accumulated 37 minutes in penalties, and his fate as a hockey player was sealed.

"I fought the biggest and the smallest for 10 years, and I never backed down from a fight," he says, his voice rising. "When I was with the Rangers, I had it all. I could bring them right up, emotionally, by the things I did on the ice. Then, when they traded me away, the writers said I wasn't really that tough after all. I was a cheap-shot artist. But they didn't say that when I was here, only when I was traded away."

Few players embodied the taciturn, two-fisted loner image better than this NHL veteran who learned to take care of himself.
-The Globe and Mail, December 17, 2009

Fleming was also versatile enough to be used as a defenseman and as a forward, shutting down star players on the other teams.
-New York Times, July 17, 2009

“Reggie was a hard-working guy, a great teammate, he was a little shy on talent, but he worked through that, and off the ice he was a true gentleman,”
-Bill Hay

Emile Francis got tired of seeing Reggie Fleming belting his players all over the ice...

"He's got a lot of brawn and makes good use of it." On a team that historically had been pushed around by bigger, tougher opponents, Fleming's willingness to hit anyone and take on all comers quickly made him a crowd favorite at the Garden. But while Fleming was more than willing to take on any and all challengers, he provided the Rangers with an enforcer who, as it turned out, could score a bit too.

As for Reggie, he was an agitator and was a physical player with drive and a fine teammate.

Francis was quoted in The Hockey News as saying, "We need all the size we can get up front. Now that we have Fleming and Vic Hadfield, we got the playeres to keep other teams honest. It took a long time to get Reg. He's the type of player who won't get knocked on his back very often.

The Hockey News reported that Fleming was "the most energetic skater on the Bruins and certainly the heaviest hitter." Schmidt was quoted as saying, "We traded Fleming's muscle for McKenzie's hustle."

He was a tough character. He wasn't all that big but he was very stocky...He wasn't the best skater, kind of cumbersome player but you always had to make sure that you had your head up when he was on the ice because he was just that kind of player that would play the man.

"I played with Reggie Fleming and Ron Stewart on the checking line and killing penalties and regular shift.

Stewie and I and Reggie Fleming were killing penalties, I think, the three of us off and on and so forth.

New York's Reg Fleming is often picked to guard Chicago's mighty Bobby Hull because his similar body helps him to sense and counter Hull's lightning moves.

Reggie Fleming of the Black Hawks would never hesitate to stir the pot.

This player, Reggie Fleming, had made a reputation for himself in the National Hockey League as an aggressive and belligerent player who engaged in many fights on the ice.

Emile Francis, coach and general manager of the Rangers, chose Fleming to shadow Hull for tonight's game.

Francis said he chose the rambunctious Fleming-the reformed bad boy of the NHL-over Bob Nevin, a strong, two-way player because "in 1962, Hull and Andy Bathgate were battling for the scoring championship and the Hawks put Fleming on Andy and he(Fleming) stuck to him like paint. Andy didn't get any points and they tied for first place, but Hull had 50 goals to Andy's 28 so he won the trophy and the $1,000."

Fleming was with the Blackhawks the year he checked Bathgate, who now plays for Detroit.

But anytime New York Rangers play hockey, you can be sure Fleming will be out wielding his hockey stick while patrolling left wing.

In 6 NHL seasons, Fleming has always played the policeman's role with rambunctious style keeps the opposition guessing.

However, Fleming is also becoming known around New York as a pretty good scorer.

With the Chicago Blackhawks in 1960-61, his first full season in the NHL, he scored one of the most important goals in club history. The Blackhawks were leading the Stanley Cup finals against Detroit, three games to two, but trailing in Game 6, 1-0. Mr. Fleming, assigned to check Gordie Howe, stole the puck in the Red Wings’ end and scored. That goal changed the momentum, enabling the Blackhawks to win the game and the series, the third and most recent Stanley Cup title in team history.

Under Rudy Pilous, the Hawks used to give the assignment of checking Howe to Eric Nesterenko and Reggie Fleming.

I check hard and I don't mind getting banged around because that's the only way I can play hockey. I am what you could call a laborer.

The laborer does a great deal with what little he's got, and all of it is rough, crude and sneaky. He admits this cheerfully, and forgives it on purely economic grounds.

"Everyone has a little job to do," says Fleming, "and mine is to stir it up. We're in the middle of the game and the team is dead, dragging along, and the coach says, 'Get in there REggie and wake them up.' And I go out and start bustin'."

So Reggie pushed a little harder and leaned on people, first to make the squad, then to be a penalty killer, then a regular lineman, always fighting for recognition and "ice time". By the time he became a regular major leaguer, in 1960, he had a reputation and he could expect knees and elbows on the boards and quick sticks in the corners.

Reggie Fleming, who combined with Bob Nevin to restrict Hull to two shots on Wednesday, seemed to have a premonition that Hull would score Saturday in Chicago.

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Monsieur Herbert William O'Connor

Name: Buddy
Height: 5'8''
Weight: 142 lbs
Position: Center
Shoots: Right
Date of Birth: June 21, 1916
Place of Birth: Montreal, Canada
Date of Death: August 24, 1977 (Age: 61)

Stanley Cup Champion (1944, 1946)
Stanley Cup Finalist (1947, 1950)
Hart Memorial Trophy (1948)
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1948)
QSHL First All-Star Team (1937, 1941)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1948)
AHL All-Star Team (1952)
Played in NHL All-Star Game (1949)
Team Captain (1949-1950)
Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (1988)

Top-25 Scoring (2nd, 9th, 14th, 15th, 22nd, 25th)
Top-25 Goalscoring (9th, 15th, 27th])
Top-25 Assists (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, 15th, 17th, 26th, 26th)
*0.78 Point per game in the regular season*
Top-10 Playoff Scoring (3rd, 5th, 10th, 10th)
Top-10 Playoff Goalscoring (4th, 6th, 8th)
Top-10 Playoff Assist (5th, 6th, 7th, 8th)
*0.68 Point per game in the playoffs*
Calder Nomination (2nd)
Hart Nomination (1st)
Lady Bing Nomination (1st, 2nd, 4th, 4th)

World War II seasons [1942-to-1945]

- When O'Connor broke into the leage in 1942, he was paired with linemates Pete Morin and Gerry Heffernan to form the famous ''Razzle-Dazzle''
- In 1948, O'Connor missed the scoring title by a single point
- He was the first to receive both the Hart and the Lady Bing trophy the same year
- O'Connor was named Canada's athlete of the year for 1948
- He missed a significant part of the 1948-49 season due to injuries sustained in a car accident
- In 1952, he was named Player/Coach of Cincinnati in the American Hockey League
- O'Connor was the first Hall of Fame inductee into the Veteran category
- O'Connor his 22nd All-Time in term of point per game as a Montreal Canadiens (0.860)

Originally Posted by Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol.3
Buddy was a fast and tricky centre with exceptional ability as a playmaker. He could control the puck and his smooth and accurate passes seemed almost effortless. He had a quiet and unasuming manner that enabled him to keep out of trouble, and in consequence he had an extraordinary penalty record.

He played six years with Canadiens but was always under the shadow of the ''Punch'' Line. Finally, when Elmer Lach was forced out of injuries in 1947, O'Connor took his spot between Blake and Richard and the ''Punch'' Line was just as effective. Towards the end of the season, he was injured himself but was back for the playoffs and was a star in the final series against Toronto.[/B]

In 1950, he was a star in the playoffs when the Rangers eliminated the Canadiens and almost won the Cup in a close seven-game series against Detroit.
Originally Posted by Montreal Canadiens, our history

According to conventional wisdom, 5-foot-7, 142-pound Herbert “Buddy” O’Connor was too small to play in the rough-and-tumble NHL. The Montreal native proved the experts wrong, playing six stellar seasons with the Canadiens to begin his Hall of Fame career.

While Morin and Heffernan’s careers were short, O’Connor established himself as one of the most entertaining and talented players in the game. A masterful stickhandler and powerful skater who could control the puck as well with his skates as with his stick, O’Connor often wove his way through entire opposing teams.

In his first three seasons with the Canadiens, the newcomer accumulated over 100 assists, lifting fans from their seats with his artistry before dishing the puck to teammates who almost invariably redirected it to the back of the net.
Originally Posted by Habs Heroes
Herbert 'Buddy' O'Connor had to leave Montreal to earn star status in the NHL, but that should in no way minimize what he contributed to the Montreal Canadiens. O'Connor was an important piece in the Canadiens' climb back to responsability in the 1940's. [...] A scoring star with the Montreal Royals before joining the Canadiens, O'Connor posted some pretty impressive numbers for the Habs.

O'Connor had consecutive seasons of 58 and 54 points with the Canadiens, largely because of his playmaking skills.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Buddy was a soft-spoken Irishman who was one of the lightest players in NHL history, only weighing 142Ibs. He was a very skilled puck handler with great passing skills. He rarely picked up a penalty and only received 34 PIMs in 509 games.

He enjoyed a very fine career with Montreal and as a sophomore the fine playmaker managed to score 58 points, including 43 assists, in only 50 games which was good enough to make the top ten in league scoring.

He continued to play some very solid hockey with Montreal, including during the 1946 Stanley Cup championship
Originally Posted by Sunlight, les meilleurs joueurs de tous les temps
Très rapide et remarquable instigateur, il se démarquait pratiquement sans effort. À Montréal, il jouait dans l'ombre de la ''Punch Line''. Il fut ensuite capitaine de la formation des Rangers qui acculèrent Detroit au mur lors de la finale de la Coupe en 1950.

- ''He's one of those guys who didn't quite blossom as well as he might have in Montreal becasue they had a lot of stars.'' Eric Zweig, historian

- ''In his first full season, he finished 10th in NHL scoring, which isn't bad. He gave them depth and he was a playmaking, checking centerman who never gave up.'' - Ernie Fitzsimmons, historian


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Bob Davidson

size: 5'11, 185 (a big player in his era)
position: LW
shot: left
jersey number: 4, 18
nickname: "Rugged Robert"
born: February 10, 1912 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
died: September 26, 1996 of cancer in Toronto

Originally Posted by legendsofhockey.net
Bob Davidson played his entire 12-year NHL career in a Toronto Maple Leafs' uniform, from 1934 to 1946. Known as one of the top defensive forwards in the NHL, that moniker was put to the test in the 1944 Stanley Cup semi-finals, when Davidson's assignment was to shadow Montreal's Maurice "The Rocket" Richard in game two of their best-of-seven series.
Ironically, that 1943-44 season was Davidson's finest from an offensive point of view. He tallied 19 goals and 28 assists for 47 points, all career highs. He was a member of two Stanley Cup winning teams in Toronto, in 1941-42 and again in 1944-45 and captained the second championship victory in the absence of Syl Apps, who was off fighting for Canada in the Second World War. Upon Apps' return to the team in 1945, Davidson promptly returned the captaincy to him, noting that Apps who was the true leader of the club. He later served as a scout for the team for more than forty years.
Originally Posted by Shorty Green, in 1-5-1944 Calgary Herald
I always thought Sweeney Schriner, Syl Apps and Davidson were the best of the modern Leafs. Davidson is better than a lot of people think. He's always in there, and goals scored off Davidson's wing in a year are few and far between.
Originally Posted by Milt Schmidt, quoted in Ultimate Hockey
I've known few men who exceeded Woody (Dumart) in his talent, both ways on the ice. The only comparison that comes readily to mind is Bob Davidson.

Although their careers only overlapped for 3 seasons, Bob Davidson was Maurice Richard's first nemesis.
Originally Posted by Calgary Herald: 1-26-1981
You could say that Rocket Richard and Bob Davidson were almost inseparable on the ice.
Up until that time, it had been customary for NHL teams to put a shadow on a high-scoring star in occasional key games. But Hap Day was the pioneering genius who decided to assign one man to check Richard for an entire season.

Richard wasn't much of a talker in first few years in the league. He left the talking to the Montreal coach, Dick Irvin, who was a provocative conversationalist. Irvin publicly deplored Day's campaign to thwart his high-scoring right winger. Said Irvin scornfully: "If I let The Rocket go to the bathroom during a game, I'll bet that Davidson follows him."

The Montreal hockey fanatics were even more indignant than Irvin. In that era, there was no protective glass in front of the rail-seats in the Montreal Forum. One night, when Richard and Davidson were jostling for position on a face-off inside the Montreal blue-line, Day looked out onto the ice and discovered he didn't have a left winger.

A couple of inflamed Montreal fans had grabbed Davidson by the shoulders and pulled him right over the fence into the walkway behind the rail-seats.
Toronto's Bob Davidson was assigned to shadow Richard, and his defense helped the Maple Leafs register an upset in the first game. "He stayed so close to me that I got angry," Richard said. "I remember going up to their goalie, Paul Bibeault, and telling him things would be different in the next game."
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen: 11-15-1945
Hector "Toe" Blake and rugged Elmer Lach played a star role in the Montreal victory. Blake tallied two goals, both on assists by the center ice star who set the plays up perfectly. Their linemate, Maurice Richard, was too closely shadowed by left-winger Bob Davidson of Toronto to have any scoring opportunities.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix: 3-23-1945
The first period mix-up was a regular free-for-all that took 6 or 7 minutes to straighten out. Toe Blake and Wally Stanowski started it, Maurice Richard and Bob Davidson kept things going by slugging at each other 4 or 5 different times.
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette: 12-20-1949
Toronto writers have suddenly discovered Maurice Richard. Maple Leaf Gardens was the Rocket's toughest campaigning spot for several seasons. Largely because Hap Day used to assign rugged Bob Davidson to hound the Montreal speedster, and practically rode around the Rocket's back (sic). Davidson was no puckchasing sensation, but the NHL had few more diligent defensive workmen. Milt Dunnell of the Toronto Star is the latest Queen City chronicler to realize that Dick Irvin's whirling dervish must have something besides a touch of magic to bag all those goals.
That 1949 report is corroborated by Maurice Richard's statistics. Richard's scoring vs TML from '44-'46 was very uneven. Richard tended to explode at home, and scored much much less in Toronto than at home.

Richard vs TML, '44-'46, playoffs included
in Montreal: 26g, 10a, 36p in 20 games --- (1.8p per game)
in Toronto: 8g, 4a, 12p in 19 games ------ (.63p per game)

2 playoff series in '44 and '45 are perfect examples of this uneven scoring. Richard had games of 5g, 2+3, and 4+1 at home, but his highest output on road was 1g.

Newspapers described how Richard dominated when Davidson was on the bench:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette: 3-24-1944
To Bob Davidson, one of the loop's leading back-checkers, was assigned the task of hobbling the rocketing Richard, and he did a good job of it in the first game. Last night, Irvin played 4 defencemen and only 8 forwards and Richard played on all 3 lines. Half the time he was out there, Davidson was sitting on the bench and Richard made a monkey of the younger Leafs who tried to take over the task of shadowing him.
A fan may have aided the Canadiens to score their first goal: that at least is what the Leafs claim. He tore Bob Davidson's stick out of his hands while the Habs were pouring on the power. Then he threw the stick after Davidson and it looked as though the latter was back in plenty of time to resume his position, though the Leafs claim otherwise. But it was right after this that Richard combined with McMahon and Blake to rifle the puck past Paul Bibeault.
Originally Posted by The Maple Leaf: 4-13-1944
Bob Davidson successfully checked Maurice Richard to a standstill in the first game, but coach Irvin out-juggled Hap Day in the second, got Richard on the ice when Davidson was on the bench, and the speedy winger promptly busted a modern Stanley Cup record by scoring all the Canadiens 5 goals in a 5-1 victory.

Although Bob Davidson often played on a scoring line, he was not a very good offensive player, and was used more for his intangibles: defensive play, hard work and physicality. During Davidson's career ('36-'46) he was the 23rd highest scorer, scoring slightly more than half a point per game.

"Rugged Robert" was known for his tenacious and gritty style of play. He often played on a scoring line as a "glue guy," doing dirty work for linemates Syl Apps, Gordie Drillon, Mel Hill, Ted Kennedy and others.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen: 9-24-1986
...one of the finest lines: rugged Bob Davidson at left wing, speedy Syl Apps at centre, and, at right wing, the scoring magician Gordie Drillon.
Originally Posted by Toronto Star: 9-28-1996
He was normally the industrious flanker to the left of the spectacular Syl Apps.
Originally Posted by Calgary Herald: 11-6-1940
Rugged Robert, who has skated miles up and down the left wing patrol during his 7 years with the Leafs, came to an abrupt halt when his knee gave out during last Monday's practice.
Cover Up Guy
Silent partner of the Leafs' famous D-A-D line, Davidson is the cover-up guy for his more famous teammates -- Syl Apps and Gordie Drillon. The goals he has saved by his backchecking equal if not eclipse those scored by his pals.

Always in condition and ever willing, Davidson is the ideal team player that every manager cherishes. Manager Conn Smythe, watching his tireless skating in a recent drill, remarked: "I never have to worry about Bobbie. He's always in there when the going is the toughest."
Originally Posted by Windsor Daily Star: 3-24-1937
Bob Davidson, tough all evening, cross-checked Phil Watson across the mouth to start the outbreak. In a second, players were sprawled all over the ice, some standing upright and swapping punches, others rolling across the ice jabbing each other.
Originally Posted by Windsor Daily Star: 4-13-1942
From that point the Leafs really started to fight. Hard-working Bob Davidson cut the Detroit margin to a single goal on a pass out from Pete Langelle.
an altercation with a fan in Detroit in '42 finals, after another fan grabbed his stick:
Originally Posted by Windsor Daily Star: 4-13-1942
Bob Davidson admitted he brought his stick down on a fan's head. "I was mad," he said. "He grabbed my stick and held it, and I had to tug hard to get it free. When I did, I brought it down on top of his head." Evidently, the gesture was one with intent to frighten rather than injure. The fan wasn't hurt.

Some of the players Bob Davidson fought:
Lionel Conacher, Earl Seibert, Baldy Northcott, Toe Blake, Phil Watson, Bryan Hextall, Jack Stewart, Maurice Richard

This video from 1939 shows why Davidson is a regular of the ATD: tenacity, defensive play, speed, physicality, and the ability to contribute some offense.

at 4:35, Davidson gets a scoring chance on the rush and misses, but quickly steals the puck back on the boards. As the Rangers try to move the puck through the neutral zone, Davidson checks the puck carrier, takes away the puck and passes to linemate Apps, who misses from the left circle.

Davidson later gets into a scrum with high sticks. Near the end of the video, Davidson scores a goal from the slot on a nice pass from Apps.

Post NHL career
Davidson coached the Toronto Marlboros during his last 2 NHL seasons in '45 and '46. After his retirement in 1946, Bob Davidson briefly served as an assistant coach under Hap Day, but quickly became a coach in the minor leagues. Davidson coached the St Louis Flyers and Pittsburgh Hornets of the AHL, and the Syracuse Stars of the IHL. He later worked as a scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs, eventually becoming head scout and gaining a reputation as one of the best scouts in history.
Originally Posted by The Leafs: The First 50 Years
Today (i.e. 1976) Bob is the Maple Leafs' chief scout and director of player personnel. It's probably safe to say that he has discovered more major league hockey players than any other man. During the days when NHL teams sponsored amateur clubs, Bob Davidson had a hand in assembling the great junior teams of the Marlboros and the St. Michael's Majors, perennial prep schools for future Leaf stars, including Mahovlich, Keon and Brewer.
Originally Posted by Lance Hornby
The 1961-62 season was the culmination of work begun in the mid-1950s by head scout Bob Davidson. Toronto had lost ground to Montreal and Detroit in the ‘50s and Davidson set about channelling both local junior hockey stars and young talent from Northern Ontario and the West through the junior Marlboroughs and St. Michael’s College. Those great teams won Memorial Cups and bred a championship feeling that spread to the Gardens. From the Marlies came Baun, Carl Brewer, Bob Pulford and Billy Harris, while St. Mike’s produced Frank Mahovlich, Dave Keon, Dick Duff and Tim Horton.
Bob Davidson may have been Chief Scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and no doubt was responsible for guiding many great players to the Leafs, particularly in the 1960′s when Toronto was winning four Stanley Cups, but he made the odd big error in judgement in his scouting career, and I mean big.

A 1972 Davidson faux pas is well-documented. It occurred when he and John McClellan travelled to Russia prior to the 1972 Summit Series to scout the Soviet squad, and came back with the report that the Soviets weren’t great shooters and their weakest spot was in goal. Of course, the squad turned out to be a powerhouse and the goalie’s name happened to be Vladislav Tretiak, who wasn’t a weak spot by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, he stood on his head in that historical series and continued to stand on his head for the next decade or so.

The other big Davidson boo boo happened much earlier than 1972 and if he’d followed up on a simple letter, the course of Leafs, Bruins, and NHL history as a whole would have been drastically altered.

In 1960, a minor hockey organizer in Parry Sound wrote to Leafs coach and GM Punch Imlach about a 12 year old player named Bobby Orr and how good the little guy was, but Imlach thought little or nothing about it and simply passed the message on to Davidson. But Davidson, without checking the kid out, decided that young Bobby was indeed too young and maybe in a few more years they’d have a look again and see how he was progressing at that time.

The Orr family was disappointed. Bobby’s father Doug and grandpa Robert were both big Leafs fans and loved the idea of Bobby eventually playing in Toronto, but it wasn’t to be because Imlach and Davidson couldn’t be bothered.

Shortly after the Leafs passed on the kid, Boston brass saw the young fellow play in a tournament in Gananogue, Ontario, began making trip after trip to Parry Sound to wine and dine the Orr clan, and the rest goes without saying.

Last edited by nik jr: 03-15-2013 at 12:47 AM.
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Gilbert Perreault C

- 6'1, 180 Ibs- Shoots: Left, Born: 11/13/1950 in Victoriaville, Quebec
- Calder Memorial Trophy (1971)
- Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1972)
- NHL 2nd All-Star Team, 2 Times (1976, 1977)
- Top 10 In Goals 4 Times (6th-1971, 9th-1976, 7th-1977, 7th-1978)
- Top 10 In Assists (5th-1973, 3rd-1976, 9th-1977, 8th-1979, 4th-1980)
- Top 10 In Points, 5 Times (9th-1975, 3rd-1976, 5th-1977, 8th-1978, 4th-1980)
- Top 13 In Hart Trophy Voting, 7 Times (13th-1971, 10th-1972, 5th-1973, 7th-1976, 7th-1977, 13th-1978, 12th-1980)
- Top 7 In All-Star Voting, 3 Times (7th-1974, 3rd-1980, 5th-1984,*8th-1984) *Left Wing Votes
- Top 5 In Game-Winning Goals, 6 Times (3rd-1973, 5th-1975, 1st-1977, 5th-1978, 5th-1984)
- Top 12 In Lady Byng Voting, 6 Times (5th-1971, 11th-1972, 12th-1974, 7th-1976, 6th-1978, 9th-1984)
- NHL All-Star Game, 6 Times (1971, 1972, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1984)
#85 on History of Hockey list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players (2008)
#47 on THN list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players

Originally Posted by Legends Of Hockey
One of the most naturally gifted forwards in NHL history, Gilbert Perreault dazzled fans and the opposition defenses with his famed end-to-end rushes. He was the first building block in place when Punch Imlach began assembling the Buffalo Sabres in 1970. Throughout his nearly 17-year career that was spent entirely with Buffalo, Perreault was consistently one of the game's most entertaining figures. His laid-back and shy personality kept him from gaining the fame of some of the other stars of his era.

The Sabres never attained the playoff success of 1975 again, but Perreault did record a personal high of 113 points in 1975-76. Later that year, he helped his country win the inaugural Canada Cup. He continued to excel through the rest of the decade and enjoyed his finest post-season in 1980 with 21 points in 14 games as Buffalo reached the Stanley Cup semifinals.

Although he was in the latter stages of his career in the 1980s, Perreault turned in four straight 30-goal seasons between 1981 and 1985. He starred as Wayne Gretzky's linemate at the 1981 Canada Cup, and he was playing some of the best hockey of his career with nine points in four games when he was forced out of the tournament with a broken ankle.

Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
For 17 glorious seasons, Gilbert Perreault was the Buffalo Sabres. As he went, so did the Sabres. An absolute magician with a hockey puck, Perreault ranks high on the NHL's all-time scoring list with 512 goals, 814 assists, for 1326 points in 1,191 games

Gilbert was one of the greatest one-on-one players ever. He had more tricks up his sleeve than the rest of his teammates combined. "In my day, offensive players did a lot more skating and stickhandling, changing speed, dekeing two guys and making plays in the offensive zone. I loved the thrill of beating everyone on the ice, dekeing through the opposition. When I got the puck, I'd dare them to try to get it away from me. Its rare to see that today, save for a few players like Mark Messier or Jaromir Jagr," said Perreault, who grew up admiring great stickhandlers Jean Beliveau and Dickie Moore.

Perreault was often compared to Marcel Dionne and Guy Lafleur, as those three were the top offensive players out of Quebec in their day. Perreault never reached the scoring plateaus that those two did, but many considered him to be the most individually talented. And later on in his career he became aware defensively. Lafleur of course was in Montreal and won many Cups with a great team, so he got the nod as the best Quebecer in the NHL. Dionne was way out in the obscurity of Los Angeles, and never got the recognition he deserved, so Perreault was often considered to be ranked in the middle of that French Trio.
Originally Posted by Peter Stastny
The player who stunned me the most and who I previously had never heard about was Buffalo Sabres Gilbert Perreault. Never before in my life had I seen such a dynamic skater. When he took off I got the feeling that a locomotive was making its way down the ice. Perreault was so smooth that he had no trouble going coast to coast, around the defensemen like a knife through butter. He wasn't a typical Canadian player, although a big fellow, he was a fantastically technical player, far superior to any of his Team Canada teammates.
Originally Posted by Jacques Demers
Gilbert Perreault was Jean Beliveau in the more physical way to get to the net than Jean. Smooth, great vision,elecrifying, Gilbert Perreault was the one who wanted to take a charge:"Give me the puck, I'm gonna make something happen", and 90% of time he had the puck, something great happened.
Originally Posted by Bobby Clarke
...For the years that I played, Gilbert was as good as anybody, who played the game.

Last edited by JFA87-66-99: 03-20-2012 at 10:29 PM.
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Coach Lindy Ruff

5x Top 10 Jack Adams Voting (1, 2, 7, 8, 10)
14th all-time in Regular Season coaching wins
14th all-time in Playoff coaching wins
Most wins with coaching one team, all time
.564 career winning percentage in regular season & playoffs
President's Trophy Winner, 2006-07
Assistant Coach of 2010 Canadian Olympic Gold Medal winning team

In only his second season as head coach, Ruff led the 1998-99 Sabres to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 24 years and established himself as one of the league’s top coaches. He also achieved a club record that season for the most wins (14) in one playoff year. In the process, Ruff became only the third head coach under the present Stanley Cup Playoff format to lead his team to the Conference Finals in each of his first two seasons.

During the 2006-07, the Sabres’ had their finest year under Ruff statistically when the team won a franchise-record 53 games and captured the first Presidents’ Trophy in club history, while leading both the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference from wire-to-wire. This was also the first time in franchise history they’ve posted back-to-back 50-win seasons. Buffalo returned to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second consecutive season, and the fourth time under Ruff’s guidance. On April 5, 2007, a 5-4 Buffalo victory over Ottawa made him the 31st coach in NHL history to record 300 career wins, and the 16th in NHL history to reach the milestone with the same team.

Most hockey experts suggest that an NHL coach must be a disciplinarian or a "players' coach". Lindy Ruff was a rare example of a bench boss who mastered both roles.

After Ruff ended his playing career, one of his old coaches called for his help. When former Sabres and Rangers coach Roger Neilson was hired as the first coach of the Florida Panthers, Ruff was asked to join the expansion franchise as an assistant. Ruff played a vital role in instilling an overachieving attitude in Florida that led the Panthers to the Stanley Cup finals in 1996 and led Ruff to a head coaching position in Buffalo.

As a coach, Ruff built an almost impenetrable defensive team, backstopped by all world goaltender Dominik Hasek, with an insatiable work ethic and accountability. With the unique experience of playing both forward and defense at the NHL level, Ruff could relate to all the players on his roster. The Sabres quickly responded to Ruff and he became the second coach ever to lead his team to the Conference finals in each of his first two seasons behind an NHL bench, including a trip to the Stanley Cup finals in 1999 that ended with Brett Hull's controversial overtime goal.

Despite the departure of Hasek and Michael Peca in the summer of 2001, Ruff continued to forge the foundations of a young Buffalo team.

A tough, hard-working defenseman for 12 years in the NHL, Ruff has brought a similar character and determination to his coaching.

Lindy got a chance to run his own bench at the NHL level - despite having no head coaching experience - in 1997. It was a nice homecoming for Lindy, as the Buffalo Sabres offered Lindy their head coaching job. Lindy was the perfect choice in Buffalo - a long time ex Sabre who was so well liked in the community and who could continue to instill the lunch bucket, hard work attitude that so fitted the Sabres team. It was an excellent choice and Lindy, unlike many coaches in the NHL today, should be able to stay with the Sabres for some time with the success he's had.

The NHL's longest serving current head coach, Lindy Ruff of the Buffalo Sabres, edged out Peter Laviolette 155-154 in the closest Jack Adams Award voting since the trophy was first awarded in 1974. Ruff was the first Sabres coach to win the award since Ted Nolan in 1997. He led his club to a 25-point improvement over 2003-04 and set new team records for both victories (52) and points (110). The hard-working Sabres played an exciting, fast-paced brand of hockey, finishing in the top ten in team goals against (2.85) and goals scored (3.37). Buffalo's goal total of 281 was also the most scored by the club since 1994 and was achieved without placing a player among the league's top 60 scorers.

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