Brad Marsh, drafted in the first round, 11th overall, by the Atlanta Flames in 1978. Stay at home defenseman, physical,good passer out of his zone but no shot. Captain material, made teams better. 1 ASG appearance.
Position: mostly Centre, Right Wing HT/WT: 6'4", 199 lbs Handedness: Right Nickname(s): "Cannon", "Cartsy"
- one-time Stanley Cup Champion (2012)
- 2-time Top-10 in C All-Star Voting (6, 10)
- Played in 2009 NHL All-Star Game
- scored 202 goals and 175 assists for 377 points in 516 games played, adding 304 penalty minutes.
- scored 21 goals and 13 assists for 34 points in 67 playoff games played, adding 38 penalty minutes.
Position: Defenseman HT/WT: 6'2", 203 lbs Handedness: Left Nickname(s): "Hoff"
- Stanley Cup Finalist (2011)
- 7th in D All-Star Voting in 2011.
- scored 58 goals and 200 assists for 258 points in 566 games played, adding 385 penalty minutes.
- scored 7 goals and 27 assists for 34 points in 73 playoff games played, adding 64 penalty minutes.
Height/Weight: 5'10", 180 lbs.
Played: 1967-1976 (plus three games in 65-66 and two in 76-77)
2x Stanley Cup Champion
6x Stanley Cup Finalist (6-time finalist in nine seasons)
Just over 17% of his NHL games were playoff games (compared to comparables Kris Draper (16%), Samuel Pahlsson (9.7%), Joel Otto (11.5%), Doug Risebrough (14.4%), Bobby Holik (9.7%), Steve Kasper (10.3%), Bob Gainey (13.6%), Craig Ramsay (7.7%))
Finished 2nd in shorthanded goals in 1972 (6).
Appeared in the Memorial Cup in 1963.
Terrific coaching career, including being an early assistant coach to Fred Shero on the Flyers. Won a Cup as a head coach as well. Also coached an undefeated junior season.
1 of 14 players to have won a Cup as a player and a head coach.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
In the 1974 Stanley Cup finals against Boston, it was Crisp's job to shut down the likes of Ken Hodge and Phil Esposito, which he carried out with amazing success. ||| On a team known for its rough, and, at times, dirty play, Crisp was one of the few players with penalty minutes totalling lower than his weight. ||| In the 1975 finals, Crisp and the other defensive specialists on the Flyers were assigned to shut down the "French Connection" consisting of Gil Perreault, Rick Martin, and Rene Robert. What little got by Crisp and his fellow mates was turned back by goalie Bernie Parent...
Originally Posted by Bobby Orr Hall of Fame
Crisp showed the hockey world he was a natural - a great playmaker who displayed strong work ethic and paid close attention to defense - qualities which helped him become a great all-round player.
Originally Posted by The Telegraph-Herald - May 13, 1974
...Crisp, who was acquired by the Flyers last year for his defensive and penalty kill abilities. ||| What actually happened was that Crisp took a faceoff from Boston's Andre Savard, then chased the puck across the Bruins' blue line, stealing it off the stick of Carol Vadnais and throwing it toward the net...
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - Apr. 24, 1972
The Blues most effective line was their checking unit of Danny O'Shea centering brother Kevin and veteran Terry Crisp. The trio was detailed to hold Boston's No. 1 attack unit in check and did a commendable job in holding them to goals by Esposito and Hodge. But they also turned out to be St. Louis' biggest threat offensively, getting several opportunities...
Originally Posted by The Michigan Daily - May 16, 1974
The checking and scoring of teammates Ross Lonsberry, Rick MacLeish, Terry Crisp, Bill Barber, and Andre "Moose" Dupont as well as the pugnacious play Dave Schultz have been a major factor as well.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - Apr. 23, 1973
Terry Crisp and Ross Lonsberry performed superbly, killing off a couple of Canadiens' power plays in the first period...
Originally Posted by The Michigan Daily - Apr. 9, 1974
The Bruins claim four of the league's top six scorers: Esposito (1st), Orr (2nd), Ken Hodge (3rd), and Wayne Cashman (6th). Esposito and Orr will seem to own the ice as they have all year. Shero will counteract them with Clarke and checking specialist Terry Crisp in hopes of neutralizing Espo.
Originally Posted by New York Times - Oct. 1, 1972
Terry Crisp - Red-haired, jovial, good penalty killer ... a center who checks
Originally Posted by The Phoenix - May 4, 1970
...left wingers Tim Ecclestone and Terry Crisp kept an eye on Orr but stayed closer to the play. ...Bowman said he will continue to send a forward in to watch Orr.
1909 Allan Cup Champion
Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame
23 G in 12 CIHU GP
40 G in 14 OHA GP
Hockey Hall of Fame:
George Richardson was an outstanding amateur hockey player who grew up in the Kingston area at Limestone City. He made his debut with Queen's senior hockey team in 1903 and was known as a clean, gentlemanly player, a fine stickhandler, and prolific scorer. He scored five times against Princeton University in New York and was prominent against Yale University as Queen's won the intercollegiate title of America in 1903. Queen's was also the Intercollegiate Hockey Union champions in 1904 and 1906.
As an example of the character of the man, Richardson, as captain of Queen's 1906 team, in a playoff game against a strong McGill team, requested the referee to call no more penalties against his opponents. Queen's won that game, 13-3, with Richardson scoring five goals. In a tougher test, however, Richardson could manage only three goals versus the Ottawa Silver Seven in the two-game Stanley Cup challenge in February 1906 as Ottawa won the series by scores of 16-7 and 12-7.
Richardson starred at left wing for the 14th Regiment of Kingston hockey team that went on to the Ontario Hockey Association finals three consecutive years from 1907 to '09. He posted a record seven-goal game as Kingston won the OHA Senior crown, 9-7 over Stratford, in 1908. In later years, he served on the executive of the Kingston Frontenacs, junior champions of Canada in 1911.
In a 1921 tribute the Toronto Telegram called him "a hero in sport and war." The British Whig of Kingston described Richardson as "the best amateur in Canada." He was independently wealthy--his family owned the Richardson Grain Company--and he never turned professional.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography
After graduation in 1906 he played with Kingston’s Frontenac Hockey Club, of which he was president for some years, and also appeared with the team of the 14th Regiment (The Princess of Wales’s Own Rifles), which he joined in 1907 as a provisional lieutenant. Originally at left wing, he played later on the right. Richardson was captain of the regimental team of 1908 which won the Ontario Hockey Association’s senior series. The 14th, having taken the first game 4 to 2 on home ice, beat Stratford 9 to 7 in Stratford, with Richardson accounting for 7 goals. He was added to the Queen’s College team which won the Allan Cup, for amateur senior competition in Canada, in 1909. In 1911–12 he played right wing for the Frontenacs in the OHA senior division. The team emerged undefeated from the Group 1 series, but lost the championship and the John Ross Robertson Cup to Eaton’s of Toronto. “Those who recall his play,” a Toronto newspaper columnist later remarked, “will remember how he seemed to start instantaneously at full speed in one stroke.”
New York Times, Feb. 19, 1903 (originally posted by seventieslord)
For the visitors Richardson excelled in dribbling tactics and in general all around play
The Evening Record, Feb. 17, 1916
Richardson was a member of the Queens hockey team when Jack Williams, Marty Walsh and other veterans brought glory to the Limestone City. Richardson was also one of the fastest skaters ever produced by the Queens. He had offers from several professional clubs, but never entertained any.
The Financial Post, Dec. 4, 1976
His athletic prowess bothered him, however. He became, according to one account, "a little sensitive about it and hoped he would not be known only as a hockey player".
Ottawa Citizen, Oct. 11, 1941
George Richardson was an outstanding example of the perfect sportsman.
Height/Weight: 6'3", 203 lbs.
Played in the NHL: 1991-2004
Selke (after the switch to "offensive players that also backcheck"): 7th, 13th, 26th
1997*, 1998 World Championships (Canada)
1998 Olympics (Canada)
* - won gold
Top-5 on team in goals: 3, 4
Top-5 on team in points: 4, 4, 4
Originally Posted by Daily Herald - Dec. 2, 1997
Bobby Clarke: In our opinion, there is no better checker and penalty killer in the league than Rob Zamuner.
Originally Posted by The Hockey News
ASSETS: Big, strong and versatile forward was primarily known for his defensive brilliance but could also help out on offense during his prime years thanks to yeoman's work. Never recorded a 20-goal campaign in the NHL yet came close on a handful of occasions. Signed as a free agent by the expansion Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992, he captained the same club later in 1998-99. A career highlight proved to be his participation as a member of Team Canada in the 1998 Olympics.
Zamuner's unprecedented defensive play, along with his exceptional face-off taking ability led to a surprise selection on Canada's 1998 Olympic men's hockey team
Originally Posted by Brisbane Blue Tongues (AIHL) release - Jun. 6, 2006
Zamuner's decision to play for Brisbane in 2006 is the biggest announcement in the history of the AIHL...
Originally Posted by Rick Peckham
A guy I would consider underrated on the Lightning is Rob Zamuner. You can't overlook the contributions that Zamuner had as a penalty killer.
Originally Posted by Boston Globe - Feb. 12, 1998
Rob Zamuner the pivot on a checking line with Joe Nieuwendyk and Theo Fleury...
Originally Posted by Worcester Telegram Gazette - Apr. 12, 2004
Rob Zamuner, who made Canada's 1998 Olympic team because of his checking skills...
Originally Posted by Associated Press - Jan. 26, 1998
Zaumner's role will include checking, killing penalties and shadowing...
Originally Posted by Beaver County Times - Mar. 13, 1998
Zamuner, one of the top defensive forwards in the NHL and a member of the Canadian Olympic team, has a team-leading 14 goals in 64 games for Tampa Bay this season.
Originally Posted by Detroit News - Oct. 1, 1999
Adding Rob Zamuner and Kevin Dineen should strengthen the character of this team...
5'11, 210 lbs
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
1990 Second Team All-Star
Played in 1984, 1988, 1992 All-Star Game
1993 Stanley Cup Champion
Captain of the Minnesota North Stars - 1984
485 G, 537 A, 1022 Pts in 1118 NHL GP
Montreal Canadiens - Our History
Traded to the Montreal Canadiens just prior to the 1992-93 season, Bellows proved to be the key component the Habs had been looking for. He sparked the team’s offense using size and strength to overcome the clutch and grab tactics used in the NHL of the 1990s. Bellows adapted quickly to his new home, registered the fourth 40-goal campaign of his career in his first season in Montreal.
An exciting and gritty player, Bellows put his speed and puck-carrying ability to good use for the Canadiens, catching passes on the fly and bearing down on his target. He was, as he had been since childhood, always a force to be reckoned with in the offensive zone.
In 1992-93, he finished the regular schedule with 88 points, good enough for third place on the team, and he continued to produce offensively throughout the playoffs. Bellows notched 15 points in the postseason, third best on the team that year, and the Canadiens went all the way, winning Stanley Cup No. 24 that spring.
Bellows played junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League with the Kitchener Rangers. During this time, he was featured in Sports Illustrated, which described him as the hottest prospect since Wayne Gretzky.
Bellows was drafted second overall by the Minnesota North Stars, who had acquired the draft pick in a trade with Detroit with the purpose of having a shot at Bellows. Bellows was often compared to Gretzky, which led to a tough rookie season. The pressure of such comparisons caused criticisms when he did not live up to them. Bellows improved greatly in the second half of the season and finished with 35 goals. In the playoffs that year, Bellows scored 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists) in 9 games.
Bellows played 10 seasons with the North Stars and was popular in Minnesota for his charity work, as well as his goal-scoring. He had a North Star record 342 goals in 753 games, peaking with 55 goals in 1989–90. In 1990–91, Bellows scored 29 points in the post-season to become the North Stars career playoff point leader, and took the North Stars to the Stanley Cup finals where they fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pat "Flats" Flatley, the 6'2, 195 lbs. right winger was a NCAA all-star and NCAA championship tourney all-star before being drafted in the 1st round by the Islanders, going on to be a 13-year NHL pro and 5-season captain of the New York Islanders known for a boatload of intangibles in all game situations.
... a highly effective role player, adding smart positional play, strong defense, and grit ... he rarely failed to dig the puck out in battles in the corners
He could score, he could check, he could track down pucks in a crowd and he could lead his team on and off the ice. Really, there wasn’t much the right-winger couldn’t do... He worked on the power play and killed penalties and emerged as a team leader...
“You have to learn how to be consistent, that’s what keeps you in the game,” offered Flatley. “A coach needs to know they can depend on certain players every night. I think that’s the most important skill a player needs to develop.”
A hard-working right-winger who could score and check.. . He was proficient at driving to the net, winning battles along the boards and in the corners and setting a good example on and off the ice... a tenacious forward... leadership
... excelled doing the dirty work for loose pucks along the boards and in the corners. Such physical play often lead to serious injuries, which somewhat curtailed his promising career.
"Pat is a big, strong boy. He's also a good hockey player. He's a Bobby Nystrom, John Tonelli-type of player. He likes to knock people off of the puck" said Jim Devellano, then a New York Islanders scout who heavily recruited Flatley.
Flatley's old coach Johnson was definitely a fan of his by the time the two departed the college ranks.
"Pat is a winner. When the puck goes into the corner, he's going in to get it. He's not Mike Bossy. He's not lightning coming off his wing, Pat is more like (Bob) Nystrom. He could play in the league tomorrow" said Johnson that summer.
It was during the 1982-1983 season that Flatley first got a taste of international hockey when he was part of the Canadian entry at the World Junior Championships. He scored 4 goals in 7 games and thoroughly enjoyed his time there. He would gladly jump at the opportunity to again represent his country following the conclusion of this school year as he played in the World Championships.
With 1984 being an Olympic year, Flats dropped out of college to join the Canadian National team for the full year to get the chance to play in the Olympic Games. He scored 31 times in 57 games and was perhaps Canada's best player. In the Olympics in Sarajevo, he led the Canadians with 3 goals and 6 points in 7 Olympic games.
"After the World Juniors, I wanted to play in the Olympics. When I got drafted I started to feel that I was good enough to play in the NHL, but I knew I wanted to play in the Olympics first. I managed to make the national team and toured the world for the 1983-84 season before playing in the Olympics," he remembers fondly.
Flatley immediately joined the New York Islanders following his Olympic adventure. Flatley joined American Olympian Pat Lafontaine as late season reinforcements for the Isles. The Isles were at the time 4 time defending Cup champions and were on their "Drive for Five." Despite a good playoff by Flats (9 goals, 15 points in 21 games) the Isles fell just short of a fifth consecutive Cup as they lost the Finals to the Edmonton Oilers. Too bad for Flatley - he would never go on to win the Cup.
Flatley would go on to be a mainstay on Long Island, playing 12 more seasons there, the last 4 of which he served as the team's captain. Despite several seasons shortened by serious injury, Flatley played every game exactly the same - full out, crashing and banging, knocking down anything that is in his way and leading by example.
His contributions weren't as noticeable as say Nystrom's or Tonelli's during the dynasty years, as Flatley didn't have the luxury of playing on such a strong team. Had Flatley been a bit older he would have fit nicely into those championship teams and made similar contributions as did Nystrom. Of course winning allows for recognition.
Flatley retired after the 1996-97 seasons with 170 goals in 780 games. Most of those goals were probably scored in the same, typically-Flatley style - crashing the net looking for loose pucks, rebounds and/or tip-ins. He added 340 assists for 510 points. He scored 18 goals and 15 assists in 70 playoff games.
586 points (246 goals, 340 assists) in 698 regular season games
49 points (24 goals, 25 assists) in 68 playoff games
4th in LW scoring over the course of his career
1 - Bill Barber - 769 Pts (371 G, 398 A) in 774 Games
2 - Steve Shutt - 680 Pts (357 G, 323 A) in 720 Games
3 - Rick Martin - 627 Pts (340 G, 287 A) in 612 Games 4 - Steve Vickers - 586 Pts (246 G, 340 A) in 698 Games
5 - Wayne Cashman - 577 Pts (212 G, 365 A) in 677 Games
6 - Craig Ramsay - 568 Pts (214 G, 354 A) in 794 Games
7 - Clark Gillies - 548 Pts (252 G, 296 A) in 617 Games
8 - Yvon Lambert - 479 Pts (206 G, 273 A) in 683 Games
9 - Eric Vail - 476 Pts (216 G, 260 A) in 591 Games
10 - Don Marcotte - 433 Pts (199 G, 234 A) in 703 Games
he ranks 5th in Goals, and 4th in Assists over that span
1971-72 Calder Trophy (over Bill Barber and Billy Harris)
AS Voting History: 2nd, 8th, 9th, 11th (also occasionally received votes at RW)
10th in 79-80 Selke voting
As a youngster growing up in Toronto, Steve Vickers found left wing to be too crowded for his liking. So he switched to the right side in spite of his left-handed shot. When he got in close to the net, he relied on a backhand shot that eventually became quite formidable in strength and accuracy.
By the time he reached the junior ranks with the Toronto Marlboros in 1969-70, he had become a strong, physical forward who could knock opponents about like ten pins on an alley. He also maintained an impressive scoring touch around the net, which led to his selection as an OHA all-star.
He was selected 10th overall by the New York Rangers in the 1971 Amateur Draft. Upon turning pro in 1971-72, he put a full year with the Omaha Knights of the CHL. The following year, he caught on full time with the Rangers and made a big impression on all allies and foes alike. He skated on a line with Walt Tkaczuk and Bill Fairbairn and established himself as a confident, effective rookie who could fight well and park himself like an immovable object in the opposition's goal crease. Such a vantage point allowed him to pile up 53 points in 63 games. His overall impact brought him a Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie in 1972.
Everything about Vickers` rookie year went like clockwork. He scored in his first NHL game on Oct. 7, 1972, at Detroit, and one month later became the first NHL player (rookie or otherwise) to score back-to-back hat tricks. He did it in home games against Los Angeles and Philadelphia on Nov. 12 and Nov. 15, 1972.
One of the secrets to Vickers` early success was his placement on the Rangers` Bulldog line with center Walt Tkaczuk and right wing Bill Fairbairn. Vickers stepped into the Bulldog Line`s left wing role previously held by Dave Balon and didn`t miss a beat. He scored 30 or more goals in each of his first four NHL seasons and had a career-high 41 goals in 1974-75.
Vickers` 1974-75 season led to NHL Second All-Star Team honors and gained him a berth in the first of two All-Star Games. The following year, he had one of the greatest individual performances in Rangers history, when he set the team record of seven points in one game on Feb. 18, 1976. That effort, which included three goals and four assists, gave him possession of one of the longest-standing Rangers records.
Position: LW ▪ Shoots: Left
Height: 5-10 ▪ Weight: 185 lbs.
Born: July 15, 1963 (Age 49) in Stockport, United Kingdom
Some stats on Thomas:
-421 goals and 512 assists for 933 points in 1235 games
-72nd all time in career goals, 90th all-time in career points, 25th All Time in Career Game Winning Goals
-4 Top 10 Finishes in Game Winning Goals for A Season
-5 30 Goal Seasons
-4 Seasons of 10+ Power Play Goals
The Toronto Star February 13, 1986
When he was on his hot streak, [Steve Thomas] worked the left flank on a line with centre undrafted and rightwinger undrafted
The New York Times, December 19, 1992
Thomas, one of the team's top scoring threats
Associated Press, June 4, 2003
The Ducks tied the series on Steve Thomas' overtime goal on Monday night.
Legends Of Hockey:
A hard-working,winger with good speed and a quick release, Steve Thomas entered the league in 1984-85, he became one the most consistent scorers in the game with nine 20-goal seasons to his credit.
After starting the 1985-86 season in the AHL, Thomas was recalled to the Leafs and scored 57 points in 65 games. That spring, he scored 14 points in the post-season as Toronto came within a game of reaching the semi-finals.
In October 1991, he joined the New York Islanders in a trade and helped the club upset the Pittsburgh Penguins while reaching the semi-finals in 1993. Thomas set a career high with 42 goals in 1993-94.
In July 1998, the veteran winger was lured back to Toronto as a free agent. He scored 73 points under Pat Quinn's free flowing system and helped the Leafs reach the semi-finals.
Upon his arrival with the Ducks, Thomas was a key contributor to the team's late season success and their drive to the Stanley Cup final. Although the Ducks lost in seven games to the New Jersey Devils, Thomas solidified himself as a valuable asset to the team.
Steve Thomas earned a reputation as a clutch goal scorer while a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Time and time again he would score dramatic goals late in games, much to the delight of the Maple Leaf faithful. As a result he is one of the most popular Leafs in the modern era.
The fire-hydrant sized Thomas was a clutch scorer, once standing as the all time leading scorer in regular season overtime with 21 points. He had more than 70 career game winning goals.
Thomas was a high energy player, relying on explosive speed bursts to key a ferocious fore-check. With his low center of gravity and tree trunk legs, he was almost impossible to remove from the puck once he took it from a player. He possessed and absolutely lethal shot, a weapon that allowed him to score 421 times in the NHL.
"Stumpy" as he affectionately is called, apprenticed in the AHL with St. Catherines Maple Leafs in 1984-85. Thomas proved he was a definite NHL prospect in less than a full season there.
Thomas, who essentially was an opportunistic mucker and grinder. His physical game made him popular wherever he played.
A good goal scorer and someone who has a physical edge Thomas is sure to get a lot of limelight on my team. I think he will be a good fit on this team.
205-149-46 record, 2.74GAA, .910sv%, 1 goal and 9 assists in 414 regular season games
23-18 record, 2.38GAA, .917sv% in 41 career playoff games
5 seasons of 30 or more wins and a winning record, all but one season as a starter (2009-10 where he played 47 games due to a freak injury)
13-3 record, 2.55GAA, .907sv% in 16 World Championships games
2006 Conn Smythe
2011 All Star Game
2 time WHL best goalie
1 time WHL MVP
1 time CHL goalie of the year
3 Time World Championships goalie for Canada
World Championships Gold (2007) and Silver (2008)
18th in Hart voting
7th, 7th in Vezina voting
Of course, one of the biggest stories in the ‘Canes’ run has been the regular season goaltending god that allows us to call him “Cam Ward.” Unless you’ve been a little out of it over the past month and a half or put your fingers in your ears and hum at the slightest mention of the Hurricanes (I have a feeling there are fans out there that do that) you must have heard about how well Cam Ward is performing in net for Carolina. He was the NHL’s player of the month for March. Ward posted a 10-1-2 record with a 1.98 goals-against average and .938 save percentage through the month, playing in every game since late February and doing so enthusiastically.
As recently as December, rumors were circulating as to whether Cam Ward was good enough to be an NHL starter. Was the Conn Smyth win a fluke after all? Can he only perform when the spotlight is on and the pressure is mounting? Can he consistently perform every night? Should the Hurricanes go out and get a goaltender that can actually get them to the playoffs? Ward shook off these doubts with a stretch of unprecedented consistency and inspired play.
Ward is third in the league in wins behind Miikka Kiprusoff and Evgeni Nabokov. He’s in the top-10 in every other major category. And yet, more likely than not, he will be shut out of the Vezina nominations. There are several highly deserving candidates this year, no question, but few of them have done for their teams what Ward has – taken their team on their back for half a season without any relief in net. Ward has played more minutes than any other goaltender on the short list for the Vezina. It’s not that Michael Leighton isn’t trustworthy…it’s just…well, actually, I’m not entirely sure why Leighton hasn’t been called upon since February. Perhaps it’s because he’s just that good at modeling hats on the bench? Kidding of course; more likely it’s because each game was so crucial that Mo didn’t want to take a chance on anyone but his red-hot starter, who was healthy and willing to go. Ward started a chain reaction that pushed a 10th place team to fifth, and any player in the locker room will tell you that there have been games that they didn’t deserve to win that he single-handedly won for them. Of course, that’s what a starter is supposed to do, but for the sake of argument, Ward has both quality and quanitity on his side. “Wardo” has shouldered more than his load this season, and that deserves recognition. A pat on the back by the league isn’t necessary, but it sure would be nice.
Brodeur, whose assault on the record book has become one of the feel-good stories of the 2008-09 campaign, needs just three shutouts to tie the late great Terry Sawchuk's career shutout mark of 103. Don't be surprised if he smashes that record, too, by the end of the regular season.
But amidst all this hype, there is one accomplishment Brodeur likely will not achieve this year.
After capturing four of the past ve Vezina Trophies as the league's top goaltender, Brodeur will not win the award this year. After missing 50 games earlier in the season due to arm surgery, he simply has not played enough, leaving the race for the Vezina as wide open as it has been in years.
With less than four weeks remaining in the regular season, Boston's Tim omas, San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov, Minnesota's Nik Backstrom, the New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist, Carolina's Cam Ward and even Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff should leave the voters -- in this case, the 30 GMs -- with a healthy debate.
The battles lines are drawn in goal: The Bruins’ Tim Thomas, the NHL’s regular-season statistical king and likely Vezina Trophy winner, against Carolina’s Cam Ward, who is building an early foundation for another Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Thomas had a 1.50 goals-against average and .946 save percentage in the first-round sweep of Montreal. Ward was 2.11, .938 with a shutout against New Jersey, showing up the great Martin Brodeur. He faced 242 shots, more than any other goalie in the first round.
“You can slip up once in a while, you can take chances, and know that guy will be there for you,” said B’s defenseman Aaron Ward, a former Carolina teammate of Ward’s (but no relation). “Cam Ward’s at his Conn Smythe best right now.”
Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo insists it wasn't just a solid defensive effort that made goaltender Cam Ward airtight in Sunday night's 3-0 shutout victory over the Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden. The defenseman says the 2006 Conn Smythe Trophy winner is making his teammates look better than they are.
"Of course he is," said Corvo. "We didn't have the No. 1 defense in the league this year, but we've got no slouches back there. But he's a huge part of our defense."
The Hurricanes were masterful is discombobulating the Bruins for two periods of Game 2 of their best-of-seven series, but after a delayed no-goal call on what would have been a short-handed tally for Chad Larose with .2 seconds remaining in the second period, Ward picked up his team in the third period with point-blank saves on P.J. Axelsson and Marc Savard.
"I felt like I was seeing it pretty well, and they actually had a lot more shots today (than Friday in Game 1), but I was actually in control of all those rebounds," said Ward. "If you do your best to control them, you're going to limit their second opportunities."
The 25-year-old goaltender finished with 36 saves, 16 of those coming during Boston's third-period onslaught. Ward credited his teammates for not turning the puck over to the Bruins, who punished the Hurricanes for neutral-zone giveaways in Game 1.
"I think it goes both ways," said Corvo. "He's making those saves, he's making every one of them look easy and the way he's seeing them takes a lot of pressure off of us."
But by the postseason, Ward was showing the ability that made him a first-round draft pick in 2002. He came on in relief of Gerber in Carolina's pair of home losses to Montreal to open the playoffs in April, and now it seems like he's been in net all season for Carolina.
He finished the playoffs with a 2.14 goals-against average, including shutouts against New Jersey in the second round and Edmonton in Game 2 of the finals.
"I got to raise the Cup because of that kid," said Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour, a 17-year veteran who won his first title. "He just played awesome. You saw it. He never looked like there was a panic situation."
The Hurricanes said all season they had plenty of guys who could make a game-changing play, from veterans Brind'Amour and Mark Recchi to young talents Eric Staal and Erik Cole. But on this night, it was Ward, who moved smoothly from post to post and rarely seemed fazed.
His biggest save came with less than 4 minutes left. Ward stopped Raffi Torres' shot from the left side but struggled to control the rebound with Fernando Pisani skating in. But Ward managed to get his left skate on the puck just as Pisani's stick arrived, making the stop to preserve a 2-1 lead.
"We played our best period (in the third) and we had some chances," Edmonton goalie Jussi Markkanen said, "and Cam Ward was there for them to make those couple saves that made the difference in the third period."
A statistical argument for Cam Ward:
over the last 4 years these are his regular season numbers:
124-95-33 record, 2.60GAA, .918sv%
Over the past four seasons, Cam Ward has been one of the most under-appreciated goalies in the NHL. The gap between he and the "elite" netminders a la Ryan Miller, *undrafted*, Jonathan Quick, and Henrik Lundqvist has statistically been marginal, and upon closer examination, Ward has not had the advantages in high payrolls, lockdown defensemen, or superstar puck-possessing forwards. The 2002 first round pick has often been out on an island, trying to keep a floundering franchise above water, yet he's posted above-average save percentages for the past four years in a row.
Of course, winning the Vezina can be about politics and reputation. And hockey is a funny sport when it comes to reputation. For some, say Marc-Andre Fleury for example, one Stanley Cup win or good game in the playoffs can make you overrated for years and years. It works that way with offensive defensemen who had one good year after the lockout or low-line forwards who got hot in a short series. For Cam Ward, the 2006 playoffs that put him on the map has worked against him. He's seen as a one-hit wonder who was average thereafter. Not that the '06 playoffs wasn't the real deal; it was. In a year where the league's average save percentage hovered around .900, Ward went 15-8 with a .920 save percentage during the Canes' Cup run.
The odd thing is that his following season in 2006-07 was disappointing with a .897 save percentage, then 07-08 was so-so at .904. It wasn't until two years after his amazing playoff run when Ward started to take off. Look at his save percentages compared to the league since 2008-09:
2008-09 average: .908
2009-10 average: .911
2010-11 average: .913
2011-12 average: .914
Last season was his worst since 2007-08, yet it was still above average. This despite his poorly-constructed team that allowed the most shots per game in the NHL, ranked 20th in Fenwick Close, which owned the league's 22nd ranked penalty kill.
Position: G ▪ Catches: Left
Height: 6-2 ▪ Weight: 175 lbs.
Born: July 17, 1980 (Age 32) in East Lansing, Michigan
Some stats on Miller:
-2010 Vezina Trophy Winner, 2007 All Star Game Participant
-4 Top 10 Finishes in Wins for a season, 252 Career Wins are 42nd All Time
-3 Top 10 Finishes in Shutouts for a Season, 28 Career Shutouts are 54th All Time
-Career Record of 252-147-49
-Starting goalie on Team USA in the 2010 Olympics
NHL.Com, January 2 2009
Ryan Miller helped the Buffalo Sabres finish a gruelling month on a high note. Miller made 28 saves for his fourth shutout of the season.
Miller may not be the best #1 goalie in this draft but he's still a solid goalie that will help the Blaze out a lot, glad to have him on board.
Born October 17, 1950 Citice, Czechoslovakia
Height 196 cm / 6' 5"
Some stats on Kuhnhackl:
Top Scorer Bundesliga 1972/73, 1973/74, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83 and 1983/84
Top-Scorer Bundesliga Play-Offs 1981/82, 1982/83 and 1983/84
Most Goals Bundesliga 1973/74, 1979/80
All-Star Team Bundesliga 1976/77, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83 and 1983/84
Player of the year 1976
Gustav-Jaenicke Cup (Best Scorer) 1973/74, 1976/77, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1982/83 and 1983/84
Fritz-Poitsch-Trophy (Best Goalscorer) 1973/74 and 1979/80
Xaver-Unsinn-Trophy (Most Assists) 1973/74, 1977/78, 1982/83 and 1983/84
Much of Germany's historic hockey success comes from one man: Erich Kühnhackl.
Though Germany is considered in the 2nd tier of all-time hockey nations, Kuhnhackl's being considered their best hockey player ever is nothing to sneeze at. He's a good pick for me and should help my 2nd line a lot.
Position: RW ▪ Shoots: Right
Height: 6-1 ▪ Weight: 195 lbs.
Born: October 1, 1946 (Age 65) in Canora, Saskatchewan
Stats on Koroll:
-5 20 Goal Seasons
-3 Top 10 Finishes in Game Winning Goals for a season, 1 top 10 in short handed goals for a season
-208 Goals and 254 Assists for 462 Points in 810 games played
One of the most consistent wingers during the 1970s. Koroll went about his work much in an unheralded fashion.
"I think I was the type of player that could do a lot of things. I was an offensive player. But I think the strong point was the defensive play which was taught to us by a former coach. I think that really helped me make it in the National Hockey League. I always played the power play and I killed penalties all the time so I was sort of an all-around type player. I wasn't going to be a 50 goal scorer by any means, but I certainly had some great years. Thirty three goals was the highest I had the one year (1972-73). But I had several 20-plus seasons.
Legends Of Hockey:
Right-winger Cliff Koroll was an excellent two-way player who spent all eleven of his NHL seasons with the Chicago Black Hawks. He reached the 50-point mark four times even though he was required to spend much of his time checking and killing penalties.
Really like my pick here of Koroll. The guy reads as a workhorse. I expect him to the defensive consience of my top 6 forwards. Debating putting him on my 1st line but think he'll go on my 2nd line with Stillman and Kuchnachl.
Jonathan Quick, 3rd round pick of the L.A. Kings who worked his way to the NHL via the ECHL and AHL. Last three seasons have shown that he is a workhorse, ^)+ game season and two 70+ game seasons. Led the Kings to a surprise 2012 SC victory with one of the top playoff performances by a goalie in NHL history - 16W/4L, .946 SV%, just short of Jacques Plante's .950 SV% in 1960. Playoff performance surpasses his regular season numbers down the line. 1 ASG appearance.
Position: D ▪ Shoots: Right
Height: 6-0 ▪ Weight: 190 lbs.
Born: November 20, 1952 (Age 59) in Petrolia, Ontario
Stats on Van Boxmeer:
-358 Points in 588 Career Games
-4 50 Point Seasons
-28 Career Power Play Goals
Reading Eagle, May 9 1980
Buffalo (AP) Though it seemed he had played much more than half the game, John Van Boxmeer was chipper and fresh after helping keep the Buffalo Sabres alive in the NHL semifinals.
The New York Times, January 1 1982
The assist gave Van Boxmeer his team-leading 47th point.
The Morning Record and Journal, February 28, 1979
John Van Boxmeer scored 1 goal and added 2 assists Tuesday night.
Legends Of Hockey:
It was from the Rockies that Scotty Bowman acquired Van Boxmeer for the Buffalo Sabres in 1979. Bowman was now with the Sabres and recalled how he had reluctantly moved Van Boxmeer three seasons earlier. The Sabres need the two-way flexibility the defenseman provided. Van Boxmeer responded with a +40 season and help the Sabres climb to first place in their division.
Van Boxmeer played three more seasons with the Sabres. In the 1981-82 season he scored nearly a point-a-game, with a +20 Plus/Minus statistic.
I like this pick, Van Boxmeer will be counted on to provide offense from the back end, something I'm sure he'll do very capably.
458 points (189 G, 269 A) in 831 NHL regular season games
35 points (13 G, 22 A) in 83 NHL playoff games
262 points (106 G, 156 A) in 329 SM-Liiga regular season games
26 points (13 G, 13 A) in 38 SM-Liiga playoff games
5 points (2 G, 3 A) in 18 Olympic games with Team Finland; 3 points (1 G, 2 A) in 4 games in the 2002 Olympics
39 points (22 G, 17 A) in 56 World Championships games
3 time SM-Liiga All Star (93-94, 08-09, 09-10)
2 NHL All Star Games (2000, 2002)
2001 World Championships All Star Team, Best Forward, and Most Goals
1995 World Championships Gold Medal
1994, 1998, 2001 World Championships Silver Medals
1994, 1998 Olympic Bronze Medals
2 time WJC, 3 time Olympian, 7 time World Championship participant with Team Finland
Captained Finland's 2009 and 2010 World Championship teams
2009 SM-Liiga Gentleman of the Year
Fastest Skater in 2000 and 2002 NHL All Star Superskills Challenge
Quotes: (borrowing heavily from vecens bio)
I always enjoyed Sami Kapanen, the speedy little Finnish waterbug of a hockey player. He was constantly in motion. He didn't just keep his feet moving, he kept them motoring. He was one of the fastest players I've seen, and just a fantastic competitor.
His skating skills were deeper than just speed. He had an excellent acceleration, and he knew how to change gears on a defenseman. He had good agility and balance on his feet, with a low center of gravity that he learned to maximize to make him hard to knock off the puck. He was good at reading the play develop and knew when to dart in and out of traffic.
Kapanen, like most Europeans, had a play maker first mentality, but he was not afraid to use his fine wrist shot, especially off of the rush. He used possibly the shortest stick in the league, which made puckhandling a breeze for him.
He was a tiny guy, but played without fear. He played a spunky game and put himself in harm's way knowing his speed would draw penalties.
He was also very intelligent, playing a sound defensive game. In fact, he was so good defensively that in 2004 playoffs the Flyers would drop Kapanen back on defense for two rounds when injuries surprised them. Kapanen played positionally well, and rushed the puck out of the zone nicely.
Carey, Price, 1st round pick, 5th overall by Montreal in 2005. Excellent junior and minor league background, WJC gold medal goalie, led the 2007 Hamilton Bulldogs to the Calder Cup while junior aged. Similar to Patrick Roy. 3 ASG appearances. Led the NHL in wins 2010-11 season.
Eddie Johnston, solid workman like O6 goalie who survived some disappointments - getting cut by the Junior Canadiens to bounce back. Worked his way thru various minor leagues until a break through season with the EPHL, 1960-61 Hull-Ottawa Canadiens. Given an opportunity in the Boston organization he made the HNL in 1962 and became the Bruins regular goalie, eventually dropping to back-up behind Gerry Cheevers. Coached Chicago and Pittsburgh.
Position: LW ▪ Shoots: Left
Height: 6-0 ▪ Weight: 200 lbs.
Born: December 20, 1973 (Age 38) in Peterborough, Ontario
Legends Of Hockey
Following the lockout year of 2004-05, Stillman signed a three-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes in the summer. Coming off a career year in Tampa Bay, Stillman was named the alternate captain of the Carolina Hurricanes prior to the start of the regular season. He continued to produce offensively notching 76 points in his first season as a Hurricane. His leadership and determined play motivated a young Hurricanes squad to finished second in the Eastern Conference.
-4 40 Assist Seasons
-2 Stanley Cup Wins
-4 Seasons of 10 or more Power Play Goals
-278 Goals and 449 Assists for 727 Points in 1025 Career Games
-26 Points in 25 Games in the 2006 Playoffs.
I like Stillman to be a great playmaker for Kuchnachl on my 2nd line, he'll also see time on the power play and while not a captain or alernate, I like him to provide leadership for my team.
Position: G ▪ Catches: Left
Height: 5-7 ▪ Weight: 155 lbs.
Born: April 17, 1926 in Quebec City, Quebec
Died: June 17, 2004 (Aged 78)
- A Career Record of 119-105-52
- 4 20 Win Seasons (Good for his era)
- 3 Earned All Star Game Apperances
McNeil backstopped the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup finals against Toronto in 1951 and Detroit in 1952, but it wasn't until the 1952-53 season that he was able to lead the Canadiens to his own Stanley Cup. That same season, he was selected to the NHL's Second All-Star Team.
(From Legends Of Hockey)
Mcneil should prove to be a very capable backup for the team, glad to have him onboard.
456 points (191 G, 265 A) in 774 regular season games
49 points (19 G, 30 A) in 102 playoff games
7 points (4 G, 3 A) in 10 games with Canada at 1977 World Championships
4 time Stanley Cup Champion
Selke: 17th (81)
scored the cup clinching goal in 1981
Legends of Hockey
As a junior with the Ottawa 67's from 1969 to 1972, Wayne Merrick played hockey in a manner most pleasing to the searching eyes and instincts of NHL scouts. He looked like such a complete package who could perform so effectively at both ends of the rink as well as in the middle.
As a big-league centreman, Merrick simply took his junior game and brought it to the NHL level. The foundation of his balanced game rested on swift skating, determined defense, good playmaking skills, a deft shot, and a slightly conservative streak that had him turn up ice toward his own zone at the appearance of any turnovers.
Merrick lasted through parts of four seasons with the Blues before being dispatched to the California Golden Seals in late 1975. In Oakland, he continued to play his usual game through the end of the campaign and then joined his club as they folded and re-emerged as the Cleveland Barons.
In Cleveland, he performed steadily until early 1978. It was at that time that the rising New York Islanders secured his rights to add some much-needed size up the middle. With the Isles, Merrick stepped into a dream job on a line with John Tonelli on one side and Bob Nystrom on the other. As the club's third contingent, they were charged with shutting down the opposition's top scorers. But in the process, especially during the playoffs, the trio tended to shift their game into overdrive to score key goals.
St Petersburg Independent - Oct 24, 1973
The St Louis Blues turned to defensive specialist Wayne Merrick for a little clutch offense last night just in time to beat the Boston Bruins for the fourth straight time.
The 21 year old Merricak was supposed to shadow Boston superstar Phil Esposito, but Esposito left with an injury mid-way through the last period. That left Merrick free to try his hand at offense and the young center connected on a wrist shot with 4:16 left to give St Louis a 3-2 victory.
wikipedia (yeah, I know)
Wayne Merrick helped provide toughness and grit to the talent-laden New York Islanders of the late seventies and early eighties. He played on the famed "Banana Line" centering John Tonelli and Bob Nystrom. He won four Stanley Cups with the Islanders between 1980 and 1983. He scored the Cup-clinching goal in Game Five of the 1981 Finals.
Pelletier (Tonelli bio)
more often than not he excelled on the third line - the so-called "Banana Line" as they wore yellow jerseys in practice - with Wayne Merrick and Bobby Nystrom. That line has to rank among the greatest third lines in hockey history.