Lars Bjorn was a hulking Swedish defenseman in the 1950s and 1960s. He was nicknamed "Lasse," Swedish for "menace," because he was never afraid to impose his physicality upon his opponent. He was fearless of any opponent, including the aggressive Canadians
Bjorn and defensive partner Roland Stotlz dominated the Swedish Elite League with Djurgarden for the better part of both decades, leading the team to 9 Swedish championships. The duo also formed the foundation of the national team 217 games from 1952 through 1961, winning world championship titles in 1953 and 1957. Additionally, Bjorn was acknowledged as the best defenseman at the 1954 worlds.
But for all his hard work to be known as a gladiator on the ice, he undid it all in a charming display at the 1957 world championships.
Bjorn had just captained the Swedes (the regular captain was unable to play on this night) to an upset victory over the host Russians in front of a record outdoor crowd of 55,000 people. For the gold medal ceremony Bjorn was surprised to be asked to lead the Swedish contingent in singing their national anthem. Under pressure, Bjorn blanked on the words so he began singing the popular Swedish drinking song "Heland Ger," Let's Drink It All!
come on, for a drunk like me how could I pass it up?
and forward Stanislav Konopasek
Originally Posted by pelletier
This is Stanislav Konopasek, the best left winger in all of Europe in the 1940s.
The undersized Czech (5'10" 175lbs) likely made it big in hockey because of his uncanny chemistry with Vladimir Zabrodsky, the Czech's big star back then. The two grew up together and played complimentary styles together from the age of 10, when Zabrodsky's father coached the youths.
Zabrodsky was the goal scoring machine, with Konopasek more than just riding shotgun. Neither showed much interest in the physical or defensive side of the game, leaving that to the variety of right wingers they had, most famously Ladislav Trojak.
Powered by the dynamic duo, the Czechs won the 1947 and 1949 European Championship. There was no championship in 1948 as the Olympic games filled that role. The Czechs finished with the silver medal, despite an equal record with first place Canada.
Konopasek was named top forward in 1947, despite being outscored 29-14 by Zabrodsky. By 1949 he had assumed the scoring championship over Zabrodsky, including scoring the game winning goal in the Czechs' first ever victory over Canada.
As the decade turned into the 1950s, Konopasek, just 26 years old, was set to become possibly the best player in Europe. But political unrest landed him off the ice and into the slammer.
The government was facing civic upheaval and decided to crack down on anyone who was disloyal to the communist ideology. Sports stars, including many of the hockey greats, were targeted, even if they were quiet politically, to be made examples of. Konopasek and many of his teammates were jailed with fabricated charges of attempts to defect.
Declared a state traitor, Konopasek was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, but was set free by 1955, one of the longest internments by a hockey player. He and several old teammates found employment at an automobile factory in Prague, but were kept off the ice except for an intercity league.
Konopasek was slowly allowed to return to elite levels of hockey, but his age and the years off dulled his game. He retired as an active player in 1963 and became a coach in Prague and Poland.
no, ZM was skipped and LF made his first pick 8 minutes into his clock. Regardless, you are free to pick now that they have made their first pick, as per the rules. (if anyone wants to prevent that happening, all they have to do is post both picks together!)
No, he was skipped because he didn't make up his skipped pick from EARLIER, and then ZM was skipped, and so were both of LF's other picks, and then JFA's..
The Philadelphia Blazers select our 7th defenseman, D Al Hamilton
Number retired by Edmonton Oilers
Member of 1974 Team Canada Summit Series Team
1x WHA 2nd-Team All Star
311 points in 455 WHA games
1x WHA 1st-Team All Star
40th All-Time in points in WHA
1x CPHL 2nd-Team All Star
Al Hamilton barely played in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers. Instead, he joined the team in their inaugural WHA season in 1972, back when the team was known as the Alberta Oilers. He stayed with the Oilers throughout the WHA's rocky history, and was part of the inaugural NHL team in 1979-80 before packing it in.
Hamilton put up some decent offensive numbers in his day, scoring 53 goals and 311 points in 455 WHA games. He was solid in his own zone too, blessed with fluid skating and good size, and the knowledge of how to best use both to his advantage. He managed to overcome a serious eye injury to help the Edmonton Oilers reach the 1978 Avco Cup championship finals.
Hamilton was the Oilers undisputed leader back in the WHA, and a true team player. His contributions off the ice were equally valuable as his contributions on the ice. His infectious love of the game made everyone around him better.
Author Ross Brewitt remembers Hamilton well in his book "Into The Empty Net."
"I always remembered Al Hamilton as one of those people who enjoyed hockey more than others because it all seemed so natural. He enjoyed the games, the practices and most of all the heckling and banter, the inside jokes that are a facet of the game that outsiders usually underestimate.
Born in Flin Flon, Manitoba, Hamilton had a taste of his own future when he headed west to play junior hockey with Bill Hunter's legendary Edmonton Oil Kings. Hamilton was a puck rusher sometimes compared to Bobby Orr. The Oil Kings made it to three consecutive Memorial Cup finals in 1964, 1965 and 1966, knocking off Orr's Oshawa Generals in the final year to at long last capture junior hockey's cherished championship.
Hamilton pre-dated the NHL Amateur Draft system. By joining the Oil Kings he became property of the New York Rangers. With the likes of Rod Seiling, Jim Neilson, Arnie Brown, Brad Park and Tim Horton in New York, Hamilton never really got a chance to play in The Big Apple. He spent most of his time playing in the minor leagues with the Buffalo Bisons.
His minor league stop proved to be good foreshadowing of his future yet again. In 1970, the NHL expansion Buffalo Sabres made Hamilton their 2nd pick in the expansion draft. In essence, Al Hamilton was the first Buffalo Sabre selected when they stockpiled their inaugural team back in the 1970 expansion draft. The Sabres actually selected Tom Webster with their first draft selection, but it was part of a pre-orchestrated deal which saw the Sabres flip Webster to Detroit for goaltender Roger Crozier. The Sabres used their second selection to take Al Hamilton.
Hamilton was regarded by the best young defenseman available in the expansion draft. Finally Hamilton was given an opportunity to play lots, often manning the point on the power play. Sabres boss Punch Imlach hoped that this castoff who liked to carry the puck would fulfill his potential if he was given a chance. Ultimately Imlach would be proven right, but it wouldn't happen in a Sabres uniform.
Hamilton put in two good years in Buffalo before he, like so many others, bolted to the World Hockey Association. In 1970-71 Al proved he belonged in the league. Even though the Sabres were weak, especially on the blue line, Al acquitted himself with a 2 goal, 30 point season. Although his +/- rating of -23 is not impressive, it needs to be taken in context. Al was often used against the other team's top players, which is an especially trying task with an expansion team. The fact that his coaches felt he was reliable enough for such situations speaks louder than his poor +/- ranking. Al stepped his play up nicely in 1971-72. His 4 goals and 34 points led all Sabres rearguards, and placed him 4th overall among Sabres scorers. his +/- improved to -12, and, in a usual show of confidence among young defensemen, he played a more physical game, picking up 105 penalty minutes.
In 1972-73 Al jumped to the rebel league. He joined the Alberta Oilers, who were renamed the Edmonton Oilers the following season. The Oilers were owned by a familiar face to Hamilton, Bill Hunter of Oil Kings fame. Though it wasn't the NHL, Hamilton jumped at the chance to return to the west. Of course, the decision was made a lot easier when the WHA was offering three times as much as the Sabres.
Al would remain in Alberta's capital city throughout the entire life of the WHA. He emerged as an all star defenseman, scoring an impressive 53 goals and 311 points in 455 career WHA games.
In 1978 Hamilton's career should have to an end after taking a puck to the eye. The damage was severe, but, perhaps foolishly, Hamilton managed to fudge a mandatory eye exam and play out the 1978-79 campaign. He returned in time for the playoffs, and helped the Oilers go to their only Avco World Trophy Championship series, which they eventually lost in six games to the Winnipeg Jets.
When the WHA folded and the Edmonton Oilers merged with the NHL in 1979, Al accompanied the team to NHL. Injuries limited his play to just 31 games, yet he still contributed 4 goals and 19 points, and helped the Oilers make the playoffs in their first NHL year. He retired at the end of the year. His career NHL totals were 10 goals and 88 points in 257 career games.
When you think of great Edmonton Oiler defensemen you think of Paul Coffey, or maybe Kevin Lowe. But WHA fans are quick to point out Hamilton. His supporters simply have to point out that it was Hamilton who was the first Edmonton Oiler to have his jersey retired.
Not many players have appeared in three consecutive Memorial Cup tournaments, but defenseman Al Hamilton is one. As a member of the Edmonton Oil Kings, Hamilton played in the 1964, 1965 and 1966 tournaments, with the club winning the national title in that final year. Among some of Hamilton's more notable teammates on that championship team included; Ron Anderson, Jim Harrison, Ross Lonsberry, Don McLeod and the late Garnet Bailey.
Hamilton played his first NHL game with the New York Rangers in the 1965-66 season. He continued to be inserted into the Rangers' lineup on occasion, mostly to fill in for injured players but did not get his first prolonged look until 1969-70 when he dressed for 59 games. The expansion Buffalo Sabres liked what they saw in Hamilton, and picked him in the 1970 NHL Expansion Draft and was a member of the franchise during their first two years of existence.
The advent of the WHA meant more jobs, and often better money for players such as Hamilton. He jumped to the rival league for the 1972-73 season, joining the Alberta Oilers, who would become the Edmonton Oilers by the second year. Perhaps the pinnacle of Hamilton's pro career came in 1974 when he appeared in three games for Canada in the 1974 Summit Series against the Soviet Union. He played eight years in Edmonton, finishing his career in Edmonton back in the NHL in 1979-80.
The Philadelphia Blazers are also happy to select C Christian Bordeleau
1x Top 10 Goals in WHA (6th)
3x Top 10 Assists in WHA (9th, 4th, 3rd)
3x Top 10 Points in WHA (7th, 6th, 7th)
8th All-Time Points in WHA
8th All-Time Assists in WHA
14th All-Time Goals in WHA
3x 100 Point Scorer in WHA
504 points in 412 games in WHA
103 points in 205 games in NHL
Playing junior hockey for the powerful Montreal Junior Canadiens was a sure way to get noticed by NHL scouts, but it also meant competition for attention was much stronger, as centre Christian Bordeleau found out. While he had always been gifted with great speed and a knack for goal scoring the team was deep with offensive talent with the likes of Yvan Cournoyer, Andre Boudrias and Jacques Lemaire leading the way. Defensively the club was in good hands led by Serge Savard and goalie Rogatien Vachon.
Bordeleau joined the team as a 16-year-old and played his entire four-year junior career with Montreal. During his last two years he was plagued by several injuries which forced him to miss parts of the 1965-66 and 196-67 seasons.
At 5'8" and just 150 pounds he was deemed too small to handle the rugged style of the NHL and most teams overlooked him. During his first year as a pro he suited up for the Houston Apollos of the CHL where he recorded 57 points in 54 games. He was again having a strong season in Houston when the Canadiens called him up for 13 games in 1968-69. He also played in six playoff games that year as the Habs went on to win the Stanley Cup. Bordeleau was used for another 48 games the following season, but it was evident he was not going to be made part of the team's long-term plans.
In May, 1970 the Canadiens traded Bordeleau to St. Louis for cash. In his one full season in Missouri he tallied 53 points in 78 games. Midway through the 1971-72 season he was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks. He finished the year with Chicago but felt he was not getting the ice-time necessary to develop his skills. In February, 1972 he was selected by the Los Angeles Sharks in the WHA's General Player Draft. The new league offered large salaries and the prospect of more ice time for players like Bordeleau, who jumped at the chance. In the summer of 1972 his WHA rights were traded to the Winnipeg Jets where he played for just over two years. In the league's first year Bordeleau and the Jets advanced to the championship finals, losing to the New England Whalers.
The Quebec Nordiques obtained Bordeleau in a trade with the Jets in December, 1974 and he remained with the club through the 1978-79 season when the WHA folded. He surpassed 100 points in two of those years with Quebec. In 1977 the Nordiques won the Avco Cup, beating the Winnipeg Jets in a close seven-game series.
I don't normally take a spare forward who is "just" a LW, but...
- Three of my current LWs can play other positions easily (Drury and Boudrias can play center, Jirik can go to the right)
- And, it would be a damn shame if this guy wasn't selected.
I give you, hall of famer LW George Richardson.
I'm beginning to question how much of an "unknown" we should really consider guys like Richardson, and for that matter, Frank Rankin. We have their SOHA scoring stats, and other players of "known and accepted" all-time values spent more than a season there sometimes (like Scotty Davidson, Frank Foyston, Alf Skinner and Ken Mallen) so by comparing the scoring averages of the unknowns and the "knowns" should help shed some light on it. I intend to do it along with my bios.
Last edited by seventieslord: 07-05-2010 at 05:24 PM.
1912 1st Team All-Star
1913 1st Team All-Star
1914 1st Team All-Star
1915 2nd Team All-Star
McDonald brings grit and the ability to hold up a ticket booth to the Hammerheads
LW/C Sergei Nemchinov
1994 Stanley Cup Champion
1998 Olympic Silver Medalist
2000 Stanley Cup Champion
Legends of Hockey:
Centre Sergei Nemchinov was an excellent player in his native USSR who became a solid two-way forward in the NHL. Since joining the league with the New York Rangers in 1991-92, he played in all situations and on both specialty units for four different teams.
As the Soviet Union began to disintegrate in the early '90s, Nemchinov became available. He scored 30 goals and helped the Rangers finish with the most points in the NHL during the 1991-92 season. Nemchinov became a multi-purpose forward for the club and helped them break a 54-year Stanley Cup drought in 1994.
By the mid-'90s Nemchinov's role was more defensive and the Rangers' fortunes declined. The skilled centre played for Russia at the 1996 World Cup where he scored three points in five games. He played for Russia at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and the World Championships.
Late in the 1998-99 season, the veteran was traded from the struggling Islanders to the powerful New Jersey Devils. His skill and checking ability were highly valued by Jersey and he scored three goals and won many face-offs when the team captured the Stanley Cup in the spring of 2000.
1. Post on the roster thread that your team has qualified for the playoffs.
2. Make up SKIPPED picks.
3. Update roster post with one captain and two alternate captains.
4. Post the completed 24-man roster with captaincy on the assassination thread.
5. Assassinate a team or two.
6. Wait on all-star voting procedure, which won't come today because many picks need to be made up first.
Last edited by VanIslander: 07-05-2010 at 05:36 PM.
Regina completes the squad by taking 7th defenseman (and yet another potential AAA first pairing guy) Lou Fontinato. Fontinato was known as the NHL's heavyweight champion until he was beaten up by Gordie Howe. He was a thug who roughed up opposition forwards whenever possible, leading to six instances in the top-3 in NHL PIMs.
I don't think our forwards lack battle, but they are smallish. Fontinato will be inserted into the lineup if it appears that they need some extra protection.
Fontinato was not just some goon! He actually finished 7th and 9th in Norris voting in 1959 and 1963, and not just with a couple of votes, either.