HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > General Hockey Discussion > The History of Hockey
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie Page 2
Notices

The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Garry Unger

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
05-06-2009, 10:48 AM
  #1
Stray Wasp
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Deptford
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,947
vCash: 500
Garry Unger

My introduction to hockey was the old British Hockey League in the mid to late eighties. Back then there were few overseas players (usually three per team). Players with NHL experience- even one game- were rare indeed and automatically created a sense of excitement. Whilst I missed out on seeing Garry Unger play, his presence in the British League was still referred to as a big moment for our hockey for years afterward.

When I first read about Unger's NHL career his Iron Man credentials were emphasised. His goals statistics are impressive too, however. A couple of top ten finishes in goal scoring and a sequence of 30 goal seasons.

I'm interested to learn about Garry Unger's standing in the NHL. Did anyone here see him play? How was he rated at his peak? What type of player was he?

Thanks.

Stray Wasp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-06-2009, 11:07 AM
  #2
Buck Aki Berg
My pockets hurt
 
Buck Aki Berg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
Country: Canada
Posts: 17,219
vCash: 500
Wasn't it Unger that took the infamous high-sticking major in the 'Miracle on Manchester' game that the Kings scored twice on to complete the comeback?

Buck Aki Berg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-06-2009, 03:24 PM
  #3
SealsFan
Registered User
 
SealsFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,114
vCash: 500
The first NHL game I attended was St.Louis at the Islanders in the Isles debut season. You couldn't help but focus attention on him with that big mop of blond hair. He put up consistently good scoring numbers and wasn't afraid to mix it up physically, I'd say he was underrated.

I'll always associate him with the Blues, but looking at his stats I see he had brief stints near the end of his career with Atlanta, LA and Edmonton. I'll have to add his name to the thread on "Dude, what are you doing in that uniform?"

SealsFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-06-2009, 11:54 PM
  #4
MS
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 19,854
vCash: 500
Probably one of the most under-rated players of all time.

I don't think many people would guess that he scored the 3rd-most NHL goals during the 1970s behind only Phil Esposito and Guy Lafleur.

Finished 2nd in the league in goals in 69-70, losing out on the league lead by only one goal to Esposito, 43-42.

Gritty, solid all-around player who never missed a game and was one of the most dangerous snipers of the early-mid 1970s. 30+ goals 9 times in 10 seasons.

MS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-07-2009, 04:06 AM
  #5
Stray Wasp
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Deptford
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,947
vCash: 500
Thanks for your responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by invisiblegerman View Post
Wasn't it Unger that took the infamous high-sticking major in the 'Miracle on Manchester' game that the Kings scored twice on to complete the comeback?
It was. Coincidentally, the scorer of the GWG, Daryl Evans, briefly played in Britain too. He didn't last long, managing a mere 19 points in six games.

Stray Wasp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-07-2009, 04:15 AM
  #6
Stray Wasp
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Deptford
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,947
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post
I don't think many people would guess that he scored the 3rd-most NHL goals during the 1970s behind only Phil Esposito and Guy Lafleur.
If I was asked that as a trivia question I wouldn't have even thought of Unger. A Mike Gartner for the seventies, maybe, in the sense of putting up consistent numbers without getting the publicity of his peers?

Stray Wasp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-07-2009, 04:44 AM
  #7
Howe Elbows 9
Registered User
 
Howe Elbows 9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 2,891
vCash: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post

I don't think many people would guess that he scored the 3rd-most NHL goals during the 1970s behind only Phil Esposito and Guy Lafleur.
That is really surprising to me. He's ahead of Rick Martin, Jean Ratelle, Marcel Dionne and many other really good players.

Looking at single seasons, his '69-'70 season is tied as the 62th best season in goals in the seventies.

Howe Elbows 9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-07-2009, 04:50 AM
  #8
nik jr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Country: Congo-Kinshasa
Posts: 10,798
vCash: 500
goals '70-'80
esposito: 552
lafleur: 405
dionne: 380
martin: 375
unger: 364

goals '69-'79
esposito: 567
unger: 371
ratelle: 362
lafleur: 355
cournoyer: 346


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stray Wasp View Post
If I was asked that as a trivia question I wouldn't have even thought of Unger. A Mike Gartner for the seventies, maybe, in the sense of putting up consistent numbers without getting the publicity of his peers?
more or less

neither were really considered elite players. both played for teams that didn't have much success. both played in 7 all star games.

only about 15 players had scored 400g by the time unger did it. only 6 players have scored 700g.

nik jr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-07-2009, 07:54 AM
  #9
Buck Aki Berg
My pockets hurt
 
Buck Aki Berg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
Country: Canada
Posts: 17,219
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stray Wasp View Post
It was. Coincidentally, the scorer of the GWG, Daryl Evans, briefly played in Britain too. He didn't last long, managing a mere 19 points in six games.
That must be some new meaning of the word 'mere' that I wasn't previously aware of

Buck Aki Berg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-07-2009, 08:17 AM
  #10
Stray Wasp
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Deptford
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,947
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by invisiblegerman View Post
That must be some new meaning of the word 'mere' that I wasn't previously aware of
The joys of the old British League. You could average three points per game and still fail to make the top ten scorers.

To wit: in 85-86 Unger tallied 86+48 in 35 league games- 12th in scoring.

The next year he dropped down to the second tier. 95+143 in thirty games.

He loses credit for his performance drop-off in the promotion play-offs. His PPG average was down to 4.

Stray Wasp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-07-2009, 09:56 AM
  #11
Buck Aki Berg
My pockets hurt
 
Buck Aki Berg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
Country: Canada
Posts: 17,219
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stray Wasp View Post
The joys of the old British League. You could average three points per game and still fail to make the top ten scorers.

To wit: in 85-86 Unger tallied 86+48 in 35 league games- 12th in scoring.

The next year he dropped down to the second tier. 95+143 in thirty games.

He loses credit for his performance drop-off in the promotion play-offs. His PPG average was down to 4.
I'm not familiar with the British league .. how was this possible? Style of play? lack of defensive talent? All of the above?

Buck Aki Berg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-07-2009, 10:40 AM
  #12
Stray Wasp
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Deptford
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,947
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by invisiblegerman View Post
I'm not familiar with the British league .. how was this possible? Style of play? lack of defensive talent? All of the above?
From 83 to 91 most teams used one line for 50 minutes a game. There were 3 imported players per team (almost always Canadians) and the vast majority of clubs iced 1 defenseman and 2 forwards. If a club couldn't develop servicible British players through their youth systems they were compelled to ice cannon fodder that the opposition could isolate and savage. Even the standard of imports varied drastically. Some came from minor pro leagues, some were college players on a glorified holiday.

Because hockey is a minority sport and expensive, the local talent pool was small. Most of the top British players came from families with an established passion for the game where an interest in hockey was passed down generations. For example, the greatest British trained player Tony Hand played alongside his brother and his cousin.

British players held down full time jobs, so practices tended to take place around midnight a couple of times a week. As for goaltenders, they were all Brits. If you consider the criticisms levelled at NHL goalies in that era, you can imagine how standards were in a league of enthusiastic amateurs, more or less making it up as they went along. A goalie with an 85% save percentage was rare.

Stray Wasp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-14-2014, 06:56 PM
  #13
fish7
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: st. louis, mo
Posts: 96
vCash: 5246
In St. Louis, Unger was hockey in the 70s Every kid wanted to wear #7 and grow their hair like him. He was an all around great play er. He was great on face offs, the power play and killing penalties.

Also, he is the only player to be an NHL team mate of Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky and Marcel Dionne

fish7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-14-2014, 08:52 PM
  #14
Killion
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Westcoast
Country: Canada
Posts: 29,760
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by fish7 View Post
In St. Louis, Unger was hockey in the 70s Every kid wanted to wear #7 and grow their hair like him. He was an all around great play er. He was great on face offs, the power play and killing penalties.
Wound up in St.Louis for purely specious, almost insane reasons really. Ned Harkness, nightmare in Detroit, demanded all Red Wing players get brushcuts immediately. Unger of course refused, so he along with Wayne Connelly & Tim Ecclestone were traded to St.Louis for an aged Red Berenson in 1971. Lousy trade for Detroit, great trade for the Blues.

Killion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-22-2014, 06:32 AM
  #15
JustOneB4IDie
Everyone Overpayment
 
JustOneB4IDie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Man Cave
Country: United States
Posts: 3,528
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by fish7 View Post
In St. Louis, Unger was hockey in the 70s Every kid wanted to wear #7 and grow their hair like him. He was an all around great play er. He was great on face offs, the power play and killing penalties.

Also, he is the only player to be an NHL team mate of Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky and Marcel Dionne
Unger was the stability of a very unstable 1970's decade here thru out the 70's of bad trades, Ownership woes for the Solomans, and a three ring circus of firing legendary Coaches and GM's early in the decade.

He even had the NHL's "Ironman" streak of games played until Doug Jarvis broke it.

JustOneB4IDie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-23-2014, 08:30 AM
  #16
IComeInPeace
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LA
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,636
vCash: 500
Super underrated player.
Had no idea he was 3rd in goals in the 70's.

He was a fantastic fighter for a skill guy as well.

From one season to the next, you always knew what you were going to get out of Unger.

Those numbers from the British League are hilarious!

Remiscent of Dale Weise' stay in Europe. What was his nickname? The Dutch Gretzky???

IComeInPeace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-23-2014, 08:36 AM
  #17
IComeInPeace
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LA
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,636
vCash: 500
"Weise leaves the Dutch League with 48 points in 19 games (22 G, 28 A). But beyond the individual success is the team success. During his time with the club, the Trappers went 16-0-1-2, outscoring their opponents 108 – 43."
-From Pass It To Bulis

You have got to love the writers math skills!

IComeInPeace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-23-2014, 04:42 PM
  #18
PeakMcOil
Loyal To The Oil
 
PeakMcOil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,155
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Wound up in St.Louis for purely specious, almost insane reasons really. Ned Harkness, nightmare in Detroit, demanded all Red Wing players get brushcuts immediately. Unger of course refused, so he along with Wayne Connelly & Tim Ecclestone were traded to St.Louis for an aged Red Berenson in 1971. Lousy trade for Detroit, great trade for the Blues.
I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.



Mattingly, I though I told you to trim those sideburns!

PeakMcOil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-24-2014, 12:05 PM
  #19
vadim sharifijanov
thanks chris
 
vadim sharifijanov's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,571
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stray Wasp View Post
If I was asked that as a trivia question I wouldn't have even thought of Unger. A Mike Gartner for the seventies, maybe, in the sense of putting up consistent numbers without getting the publicity of his peers?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
goals '70-'80
esposito: 552
lafleur: 405
dionne: 380
martin: 375
unger: 364

goals '69-'79
esposito: 567
unger: 371
ratelle: 362
lafleur: 355
cournoyer: 346

[for the same of comparison:

goals '79-'89
gretzky 637
bossy 520
dionne 463
kurri 441
goulet 440
gartner 404

goals '80-'90
gretzky 677
kurri 474
goulet 460
bossy 451
gartner 449

the '69-'79 dates flatter unger, as that was his exact prime, shared by no significant players other than esposito; whereas gartner shared his '80-'90 prime with many many significant players]


more or less

neither were really considered elite players. both played for teams that didn't have much success. both played in 7 all star games.

only about 15 players had scored 400g by the time unger did it. only 6 players have scored 700g.
i had three reactions to this. here's how they played out, in ten minute intervals:

I.

i like that. everything fits, right down to missing the cup by a year and the outspoken, later-in-life religiousness.


II.

the comparison is a little flattering to unger, though, as gartner had the greater longevity, both in an absolute sense (327 more games), and in relation to his peers/history.

here are their placements on the all-time GP list, from the year they respectively retired, how much they fell for the first few years of their retirement, where they were by the time most guys from their generation retired, and where they were once most guy from the next generation retired:

gartner: 5th ('98), 8th ('99), 9th ('00), 11th ('01), 13th ('02), 14th ('03), 15th ('04)... 24th ('14)

unger: 29th ('83), 30th ('84), 31st ('85)... 39th ('90)... 75th ('00)

maybe you could say unger is to gartner what lemaire is to francis. the much greater longevity of the latter has to outweigh the extremely close, and maybe even slightly better, peak of the former.


III.

or maybe, as always, the numbers are flattering to gartner.

here's how each guy placed in GP if you took his entire career and added +5 years on each side:

gartner: 10th
unger: 14th

not too far off.

and if we account for era/generation further, one wants to note that most of the guys ahead of unger are freakish 1950s guys (howe, delvecchio, bucyk, prentice, etc.) if we whittle his generation down to guys who started in the league between phil esposito and denis potvin (so, say, keon is at the end of the previous generation, trottier is at the beginning of the next one), unger is 12th.

(or alternately, if we define unger's generation as older than esposito and younger than messier, unger is 11th.)

likewise, if we perform the same operation for gartner, counting guys from his own draft year (bourque, messier, etc.) up to luc robitaille (so bossy is too old, shanahan/wesley are too young), gartner is 12th.

the cut-offs are somewhat arbitrary, but to me they seem to follow clear generational breaks.


my conclusion:

unger:gartner::lemaire:francis isn't a good comparison at all.

now i don't know what to make of the difficulty of gartner being of a generation marked by extreme longevity and unger being of a generation that wasn't. and, of course, the generational lines are not cut and dry: the 1979 one that gartner rides is as close to uncontroversial as it gets. but would you say unger is of esposito's generation? bob gainey's? are those two of the same generation?

but it looks like unger and gartner are extremely comparable as consistent 35 goal guys (very similar adjusted peaks). i think gartner might have been a shade better (he made canada cup teams, though maybe we'd also account for wing vs. center), and kudos to him for actually maintaining his consistency over the longer haul. even if adjust that longevity for era, the fact that gartner managed to keep putting up 35+ goals a year isn't nothing, and there's no guarantee that a hypothetical unger who begins his career in 1980 could do the same. but i guess my first instinct was right. more fodder to knock gartner down a few pegs from his "OMG 700 goals" pedestal.

vadim sharifijanov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-24-2014, 08:54 PM
  #20
jumptheshark
McDavid Headquarters
 
jumptheshark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Lord of HFBOARDS
Country: United Nations
Posts: 68,647
vCash: 927
For me it was how Unger's consecutive game streak ended is what I remember-- forced to sit on the bench because of a jealous coach

__________________
**Avatar approved by the powers that be***
jumptheshark is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
05-25-2014, 02:46 AM
  #21
JustOneB4IDie
Everyone Overpayment
 
JustOneB4IDie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Man Cave
Country: United States
Posts: 3,528
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by bozwell View Post
For me it was how Unger's consecutive game streak ended is what I remember-- forced to sit on the bench because of a jealous coach
That's incorrect - It was a Shoulder injury that ended the streak when Unger was a member of the Atlanta Flames and it's ironic that it ended in St. Louis.

http://onthisdayinsports.blogspot.co...-iron-man.html

JustOneB4IDie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-25-2014, 11:08 AM
  #22
fish7
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: st. louis, mo
Posts: 96
vCash: 5246
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustOneB4IDie View Post
That's incorrect - It was a Shoulder injury that ended the streak when Unger was a member of the Atlanta Flames and it's ironic that it ended in St. Louis.

http://onthisdayinsports.blogspot.co...-iron-man.html
He had a minor shoulder injury but he did not miss another game that entire season. I was at that game it was very sad.
What is ironic is that Doug Jarvis's streak ended about the same way

fish7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-25-2014, 12:37 PM
  #23
vadim sharifijanov
thanks chris
 
vadim sharifijanov's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,571
vCash: 500
^ if i'm not mistaken, didn't bill wirtz lowball steve larmer during contract negotiations in '94 assuming that larmer would cave to preserve the streak?


i don't know the unger or jarvis situations at all. but i'd imagine that as a coach, there might come times when a streak becomes a distraction or its own sideshow, and i can see how a coach might decide to end the streak for the greater good of the team, or to wake up a complacent dressing room, or... who knows? probably would do more harm than good in the long run, maybe even in the short run, in terms of losing the room or the players' good will, but i can understand the temptation.


interesting that the top three streaks all ended inorganically, anyway. anyone know how ramsay's streak ended?

vadim sharifijanov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-25-2014, 03:06 PM
  #24
jumptheshark
McDavid Headquarters
 
jumptheshark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Lord of HFBOARDS
Country: United Nations
Posts: 68,647
vCash: 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustOneB4IDie View Post
That's incorrect - It was a Shoulder injury that ended the streak when Unger was a member of the Atlanta Flames and it's ironic that it ended in St. Louis.

http://onthisdayinsports.blogspot.co...-iron-man.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by fish7 View Post
He had a minor shoulder injury but he did not miss another game that entire season. I was at that game it was very sad.
What is ironic is that Doug Jarvis's streak ended about the same way
He could have played and wanted to take one shift--he was not a healthy scratch--he was on the bench

As most older posters know--that has been a lot made of the coaches decision to bench him that game. The coach felt he was putting the streak in front his play game to game.

the coach had him on the bench to teach him a lesson. If he had been a healthy scratch that would have one thing--the coach ended his streak and not the injury

jumptheshark is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
05-26-2014, 05:59 AM
  #25
JustOneB4IDie
Everyone Overpayment
 
JustOneB4IDie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Man Cave
Country: United States
Posts: 3,528
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by fish7 View Post
He had a minor shoulder injury but he did not miss another game that entire season. I was at that game it was very sad.
What is ironic is that Doug Jarvis's streak ended about the same way
That is ironic. i do remember the Blues great broadcasting tandem of the The Late Dan Kelly and Gus Kyle talking about it. Anyways it was going to end sooner or later with the way Atlanta utilized Unger in a checking role.

JustOneB4IDie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:52 AM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. 2016 All Rights Reserved.