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First Season Expansion Heroes

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08-22-2010, 07:09 PM
  #1
Canadiens1958
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First Season Expansion Heroes

Fun thread. Looking back to the various NHL expansions since 1967, one cannot help but notice that there were certain players who became local stars or heroes on the new team and then quickly faded.

One such player was Mike McMahon of the 1967-68 Minnesota North Stars:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...mcmahmi02.html

Mike McMahon lead the NHL defensemen in scoring during the 1967-68 regular season and had a reasonable playoff performance:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points

There was a sense that after a few seasons as a New York Rangers prospect he had broken thru and was on his way to a solid NHL career. Sadly it was not to be. He regressed, was traded a few times before the the WHA was formed then had a few bounce back seasons with the WHA Minnesota Fighting Saints.

Contributions about other players from teams in the various NHL expansions appreciated.

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Old
08-22-2010, 07:34 PM
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Dark Shadows
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The first player I thought of was Red Berenson.

Surprisingly 3rd and 4th in Hart voting in his 2 best years, but really fell off the grid after.

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Old
08-22-2010, 07:50 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Interesting Choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
The first player I thought of was Red Berenson.

Surprisingly 3rd and 4th in Hart voting in his 2 best years, but really fell off the grid after.
Red Berenson was a Scotty Bowman player. One of the first acquisitions - from NYR, when Bowman was named coach in St.Louis 1/3 of the way into the 1967-68 season.

Red Berenson had a great 1/2 season playing for Scotty Bowman with the EPHL Hull-Ottawa Canadiens during the 1962-63 season.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/l...003601963.html

Part of Scotty Bowman's success in St.Louis was due to adding players that had passed thru the Canadiens system and were familiar with what he wanted from a team and certain basics.

Red Berenson left St. Louis soon after Bowman left during the 1970-71 season.

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08-22-2010, 07:53 PM
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Chairman Maouth
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edit: sry. misread the thread.

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08-22-2010, 08:04 PM
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MS
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If we're just looking at guys who had a brilliant season on an expansion team and then disappeared, Chris Kontos is at the head of the class. 27 goals for the 1992-93 Lightning, 27 goals for the rest of his career.

David Bruce (22 goals for SJ in 1991-92) and Sergei Krivokrasov (25 goals, All-Star for Nashville in 1998-99) are two other guys worth noting.

Norm MacIver's 63 points for Ottawa in 1992-93 is remarkable considering the team around him.

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08-23-2010, 05:20 AM
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jkrx
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I can't believe no one has said Briand Bradley. 42 goals and 86 points which is a record for an first year expansion team.

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Old
08-23-2010, 08:24 AM
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tony d
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
I can't believe no one has said Briand Bradley. 42 goals and 86 points which is a record for an first year expansion team.
I was about to say Bradley's name. He was a solid depth guy before but once he went to Tampa he became a pretty good player.

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Old
08-23-2010, 11:01 AM
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From that same North Stars team you have Wayne Connelly and Ray Cullen who finished 1-2 in goal scoring among the six expansion clubs with 35 and 28 respectively. Connelly never got close to that number again until he was in the WHA years later and Cullen didn't last long, finishing his career with the first-year Canucks in 70-71.

And speaking of expansion defensemen from 67-68, several other backliners had career years in goals scored - Bill White of LA with 11, Larry Cahan of Oakland with 9 and Leo Boivin had 9 for Pittsburgh (although he did have 10 for Boston one year).

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08-23-2010, 11:19 AM
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Felonious Python
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Terry Yake w/Anaheim.

The Mighty Ducks didn't do too badly their first year in the league, they still finished above LA, EDM, HAR, WIN and OTT.

35 year-old Andy Bathgate was on the Pittsburgh Penguins their first year in the league (67-68), and actually led all of the expansion team players in points with 59. Still missed the playoffs though.

Andre Boudrias was an expansion star, twice. He goes from basically having played 8 career NHL games, to notching 53 pts. with Minnesota in their first year. Third on the team in points. Struggles over the following seasons, even spending time in the minors, but resurrects his career with expansion Vancouver in 1970, leading the team in individual point totals for 4/5 of the teams first years, including their inaugural season.

Phil Goyette matched his second best offensive output of his career with the expansion Sabres at age 36, leading the team in assists, and coming in on 2nd in points. With only rookie Gilbert Perreault surpassing his total.


Last edited by Felonious Python: 08-23-2010 at 12:00 PM.
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Old
08-23-2010, 12:35 PM
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eastcoaster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
I can't believe no one has said Briand Bradley. 42 goals and 86 points which is a record for an first year expansion team.
Wouldn't Wayne Gretzky's 51-86-137 in 1979/80 be the highest point total for a first year expansion team or is 79/80 not considered an expansion season?

I know that the circumstances were different for the old WHA when they were absorbed by the NHL because they were allowed to retain 2 players and 2 goalies so they had an advantage over other expansion teams but otherwise it was an expansion draft. The NHL/WHA situation was different from the AFL/NFL merger where the AFL teams remained intact when they joined the NFL and it wasn't a typical expansion draft either. So I guess it really comes down to whether or not 79/80 can be considered a true expansion season or something of a merger/expansion hybrid.

If the Oilers are considered an expansion team then B.J. MacDonald would be a player who had a great season 46-48-94 when he played with Gretzky and then faded fast after he was replaced by Jari Kurri.

Orland Kurtenbach, who was pretty much a journeyman player during the 60's, surprised a lot of people when he had a couple of very good years with the expansion Canucks. 53 points in 52 games the first year and 61 the next which were by far his best seasons point wise. I seem to recall that he was even in the top ten in scoring before he suffered a season ending injury during Vancouver's first season and he was injured a lot after the second season.

Another player is Milan Marcetta who had 7 goals and 7 assists in 14 games for Minnesota in the 67/68 playoffs and only played another 18 games in the NHL.

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08-23-2010, 05:09 PM
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Kyle McMahon
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Larry Keenan of the expansion Blues put up some fairly remarkable playoff numbers compared to his regular season numbers. He doesn't even seem to have been a full-time player (or perhaps was very injury prone?), yet was one of the Blues' best producers during their three runs to the final.

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08-23-2010, 05:29 PM
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It's not quite what the original post called for, but Larry Zeidel is a pretty interesting story.

Played just one full NHL season for the Blackhawks in '53-'54 before bouncing around in the minors for more than a decade. Then, in 1967, at the age of 39, he started marketing himself to all the newborn expansion teams. The Flyers eventually signed him and he ended up leading the team in +/- (pretty sure that was also the season he was involved in that stick-swinging incident with Eddie Shack). He retired the next year.

http://www.legendsofhockey.net/Legen...p?player=14747


Last edited by Dissonance: 08-23-2010 at 05:35 PM.
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08-23-2010, 06:16 PM
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jkrx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoaster View Post
Wouldn't Wayne Gretzky's 51-86-137 in 1979/80 be the highest point total for a first year expansion team or is 79/80 not considered an expansion season?

I know that the circumstances were different for the old WHA when they were absorbed by the NHL because they were allowed to retain 2 players and 2 goalies so they had an advantage over other expansion teams but otherwise it was an expansion draft. The NHL/WHA situation was different from the AFL/NFL merger where the AFL teams remained intact when they joined the NFL and it wasn't a typical expansion draft either. So I guess it really comes down to whether or not 79/80 can be considered a true expansion season or something of a merger/expansion hybrid.

If the Oilers are considered an expansion team then B.J. MacDonald would be a player who had a great season 46-48-94 when he played with Gretzky and then faded fast after he was replaced by Jari Kurri.

Orland Kurtenbach, who was pretty much a journeyman player during the 60's, surprised a lot of people when he had a couple of very good years with the expansion Canucks. 53 points in 52 games the first year and 61 the next which were by far his best seasons point wise. I seem to recall that he was even in the top ten in scoring before he suffered a season ending injury during Vancouver's first season and he was injured a lot after the second season.

Another player is Milan Marcetta who had 7 goals and 7 assists in 14 games for Minnesota in the 67/68 playoffs and only played another 18 games in the NHL.
No the WHA teams were not considered as expansion teams. Not in the sense as Blues or Lightning are counted as it anyway. But I do agree that after the NHLs robbery of the teams they might be called expansion teams.

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08-23-2010, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dissonance View Post
It's not quite what the original post called for, but Larry Zeidel is a pretty interesting story.

Played just one full NHL season for the Blackhawks in '53-'54 before bouncing around in the minors for more than a decade. Then, in 1967, at the age of 39, he started marketing himself to all the newborn expansion teams. The Flyers eventually signed him and he ended up leading the team in +/- (pretty sure that was also the season he was involved in that stick-swinging incident with Eddie Shack). He retired the next year.

http://www.legendsofhockey.net/Legen...p?player=14747
yep, Zeidel is an interesting story.

Another one is Ed Hoekstra. Great junior on the St Catherines Teepees. Outpointed both Hull & mikita. Played on a great line with Pie McKenize & matt ravlich. Last year of junior finished second in the scoring race to Mckenize. Knocked around the minor leagues from 58-59 to 66-67. Finally made it with Philly with expansion in 67-68.Had a decent season (15-21-36) but went back to the minors until catching on with the WHA Houston aeros in 73-74.

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08-23-2010, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post
If we're just looking at guys who had a brilliant season on an expansion team and then disappeared, Chris Kontos is at the head of the class. 27 goals for the 1992-93 Lightning, 27 goals for the rest of his career.

David Bruce (22 goals for SJ in 1991-92) and Sergei Krivokrasov (25 goals, All-Star for Nashville in 1998-99) are two other guys worth noting.

Norm MacIver's 63 points for Ottawa in 1992-93 is remarkable considering the team around him.
Interesting note on Kontos, he scored 4 goals in the Lightning's first game. No one has done it again for the franchise.

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08-23-2010, 07:54 PM
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Dennis Bonvie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
No the WHA teams were not considered as expansion teams. Not in the sense as Blues or Lightning are counted as it anyway. But I do agree that after the NHLs robbery of the teams they might be called expansion teams.
Even if they weren't consider expansion teams, I still think Mike Rogers of the Whalers fits this thread. His last 2 seasons in the WHA he scored 71 & 72 points in 80 game seasons. In the Whalers debut season in the NHL, Rogers had 44 goals and 61 assists for 105 points. He followed that up with 2 more 100 point seasons but was all done 4 years after that at age 31.

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Old
08-23-2010, 08:39 PM
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First guy I thought of was Norm McIver.

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Old
08-23-2010, 11:41 PM
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You have to think of John Vanbiesbrouck, yes he was already a borderline star with the Rangers and he played a lot of games before coming to the Panthers. His GAA dropped to the mid 2's and his save PCT when up to .924. For goalies, it's very rare for them to find so much success in the first season being with an expansion club, not to mention having a career season.

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Old
08-24-2010, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
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You have to think of John Vanbiesbrouck, yes he was already a borderline star with the Rangers and he played a lot of games before coming to the Panthers. His GAA dropped to the mid 2's and his save PCT when up to .924. For goalies, it's very rare for them to find so much success in the first season being with an expansion club, not to mention having a career season.
I thought about him, but he WAS the star before his arrival to Panthers. Geez, he won the Vezina and had an All-Star team selection berth...

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