A member of the Rangers for all 16 of his NHL seasons, defenseman Ron Greschner was the heart and soul of the Blueshirts` blueline corps playing with a combination of skill and toughness that would enthrall a generation of ranger fans through that the late 1970s and the entire 1980s.
Opponents feared ron every time he was on the ice because he was intensively competitive utilizing his speed and his creative natural skill set dazzling all those in the hockey world.
At 6'2 200 pounds gresh could use his reach to a great advantage as well he was a great skater who excelled on the powerplay. He was also a great stickhandler who often played center on broadway.
Greschner came to the Rangers in 1974 as a highly-touted second-round draft pick, who was coming off a 103-point season for New Westminster of the Western Canadian Junior Hockey League. As if to signal how much of an impact he would make, he fittingly scored his first NHL goal against Hall of Famer Ken Dryden and went on to set a then Rangers rookie record of 37 assists in 1974-75.
Greschner was so skilled offensively that the Rangers would occasionally play him at forward as well as defense, and in 1977-78, he registered the first of four 20-goal seasons. His third 20-goal campaign in 1980-81 featured a career-high 27 goals and included time at left win on a line with Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg.
In 1982-83 broke Brad Park`s record for career points by a Rangers defenseman — a record he held until passed by Brian Leetch in the late 1990s.
He was named captain for the 1986-86 season after filling in for Barry Beck the previous year.
Greschner retired in 1990 at age 35. Although all of his major team records were later broken by Leetch, Greschner retired from the NHL as the Rangers` all-time leader in points, goals and assists by a defensemen.
Greschner deserves to has his number retired up their in the rafters next to Leetch and Messier- Tom Laidlaw.
http://rangers.nhl.com/club/atrplayer.htm?id=8447409 THE TOP 100 RANGERS OF ALL TIME BookRuss Cohen RANGERS CAPTAIN
Oct. 9, 1986 to Dec. 3, 1987 MAJOR NHL AWARDS/ACHIEVEMENTS WITH RANGERS
NHL All-Star Game — 1980 RANGERS TEAM AWARDS
Players` Player Award — 1977-78 (co-winner)
Rangers Good Guy Award — 1985-86
"Crumb Bum" Award (Community Service) — 1984-85 INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS WHILE WITH RANGERS
1979 Challenge Cup — NHL All-Stars vs. USSR (reserve, did not play) RANGERS TEAM LEADER
Most assists — 1977-78, 1980-81
Most playoff assists — 1980
Era Mid-1970's -early 1990's
RS 982 179 431 610 80 1,226
PO 84 17 32 49
Best Season 1977-78 NYR 78 24 48 72
20 Goal Seasons -4
Stanley Cup Appearances 1
Role: Franchise Defenceman
Ron's skill and all-round game make him a solid anchor for our third pairing. There isn't anything in particular that he excels at from an ATD perspective, but there aren't any holes in his game. He's very effective at advancing the puck, whether it be skating it up ice or passing to a teammate. He's a good quarterback for our second power play unit, and he has a hard, powerful shot. He's a smart defenceman who takes good care of his own zone. We can play him against an opponent's top line, and not have a liability out there. And he plays a good, tough, physical brand of hockey. We feel confident that we can lean on him for 18-20 minutes per game, while playing a secondary role in all situations.
#1 Reggie M. Lemelin
In the late 80's early 90's if one went to the game they would most likely walk into the gardens and here the fans chant “REGGIE---REGGIE---REGGIE”
Reggie was well known for his Aero pads and great glove saves and the helmet pump after a big win.Reggie was a card-carrying stand-up goaltender. He just really had a flare for the dramatic and clutch save. He made saves that you thought had no chance of being saved.He relished beating "the beast" also known as the Montreal Canadians
He had 19-game unbeaten streak for Calgary during 1983-84 season. It was the longest such streak by any goaltender that season and set a Calgary record for longest unbeaten streak. Was runner-up from Masterton and Vezina Trophies in 1983-84. Named NHL Player of the Month for November 1985.Set Boston postseason record (since broken) with 1,027 minutes in goal during 1988 Stanley Cup playoffs William M. Jennings Trophy: 1989-90 (co-winner) All-Star Game: 1989 (Boston)Stanley Cup Finals: 1986 (Calgary), 1988, 1990 (Boston)
Last I heard Reggie is was the goaltender coach for the Flyers
Stand up style goaltender. In 84/85 he had plenty of games where I thought he stood on his head. IIRC he was a candidate for the Vezina that year. Unfortunately he couldn't beat Edmonton, and back in those days losing to Edmonton was the worst thing that could happen to the Flames.
In the 1986 playoffs where Vernon took the team to the Cup finals, Lemelin played in only 3 games. All were losses to Edmonton in the 1st round.
I think his best years were in Boston where he had a goalie to share the duties with him. In Calgary he didn't have another goalie to push him until Vernon came around and Vernon outright stole the job away from Reggie.
While Reggie didn't have the goods to push the Flames to the next level he was still a good netminder for them.
Reggie was an above average goalie who was capable of great performances
Lemelin was an old-school stand up goalie. That style is basically instinct today, but it was still accepted practice back then, and Lemelin excelled at playing his angles and directing pucks into the corners. In many ways he was blocking shots rather than saving them. By virtue of his playing style he often made stops seem easier than they probably were.
Lemelin was asked to play for Team Canada at the 1984 Canada Cup following his 21-12-9 season
History may not be overly kind to Reggie Lemelin as perhaps it should be. He was an above average goalie, and for a couple of seasons he may even have been elite. But success and therefore that magical defining moment was tough to find. Consider this - Lemelin was the back up goalie for 3 Stanley Cup finals. Perhaps that is his defining moment.
legends -Joe Pelletier Seasons 16
Era Late 70'S Mid 90'S
RS 507 236 162 63 .884 3.46 12
PO 59 23 25 .881 3.58 2
Best Season 1984-85 56 30 12 10 .888 3.46 1
All-Star Games 1989
William M. Jennings Trophy 1989-90
Shutouts -5 top 10's
Goals Against Average 4 top 10's
Wins 4 top 10's
Save Percentage 3 top 10's
20 Win Seasons 5
30 Win Seasons 2
Role Back Up Goalie/ Team Glue
When Terrible ted retired he was 3rd all time point getter in the NHL with 851 points behind only Gordie Howe 1361 and Maurice Richard 965.
He was also the third highest goal scorer with 379 behind only The Rocket 544 and Mr Hockey 595.
Lindsay's is the only player to have led the league in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes.
Terrible ted was a leader,swift skater,a good checker, skilled with the puck, very feisty tenacious with a great all round game.
Ultra talented cheap shot artist or old school, hard hockey superstar.
More than just a cheap-shot artist, he was playing in the same league as everybody else in his day. If he was the only one who thought to play dirty, then congratulate him for being a genius in a league of idiots. But we're talking about a guy who won an Art Ross trophy by 10 clear points over his more-famous linemate and finished top 10 a bunch of times. Lindsay used intimidation to great effect, but he fought quite a bit too, and backed it all up with scoring.
Many of us modern hockey fans (who have never seen Lindsay play) will hear his name and imagine a star player who was tough as nails, and maybe threw a few questionable checks in his day, but generally just an old school, hard hockey legend.
The truth is he was a really, really dirty hockey player. He was directly responsible for the NHL's introduction of elbowing and kneeing penalties. Kneeing players. He was kneeing players so often and so maliciously that the league deemed it necessary to create a rule against it. He received over 400 stitches to his face during his career. He earned the nicknames Terrible Ted and Scarface.
He is an all-time great that stopped at nothing to win the game. Kind of like another version of the Rocket. It is no coincidence that the Wings never won another Cup without Terrible Ted. You can't replace his heart. Yes he delivered some cheap shots. I think he would still be loved in todays NHL.
Interesting enough back in 1954 Lindsay started a new tradition as he was the first player to hoist the cup over his head and do a victory lap around the ice.
He was an intelligent player on and off the ice.
Lindsay was definitely an old school, hardboiled hockey superstar. I think of him as a much more talented Bobby Clarke type but who did not need the rest of the roster to finish what he started. His leadership extended beyond the ice too.
Was there a more unlikely fellow to rally the other NHLers in an attempt to get a better deal for all? Ted Lindsay, one of the league's superstars and best-paid players and also a successful businessman in his off-hours, did not stand to gain personally in any way from the proposed association. Many of today's players could use a little of his Lindsay's integrity
Boldly Lindsay tried to start a players union to end the owners dictatorship over the players. To stop the injustice to keep the merely good players from being taken advantage off any longer. However the owners were able to squash the union Lindsay and the other trouble makers were banished to Chicago as punishment.
Seasons 17 Era 1Mid 1940's to mid 1960's RS 1068 379 472 851 1808 PO 133 47 49 96 194 NHL 1st All-Star Team 9 Times All Star Games 10 Top 10 Goals 1946-47 (6)1947-48 (1)1948-49 (2)49-50 (9) 1950-51(6) 1951-52 (3)1952-53 (2)1953-54 (5)55-56 (6) 56-57(6) All Time Goal Leaders NHL Career (97) 379 Top 10 Points 1947-48 NHL (9)1948-49 (3) 1949-50 (1)1950-51 (7)
1951-52 (2)1952-53 (2)1953-54 (3)1956-57 (2) Stanley Cup 4 HOF 1970
Top 100 The hockey News (Late 1990's)21 Role Leader /Stud Forward
#27 Scott Niedermayer, D
He is the only player to have ever won at every level of hockey that he has played in. He is a great skater who moves effortlessly about on the ice. He has remarkable accuracy when making a pass. He has an above avg Hockey IQ and always makes the best offensive play when called upon. He has great offensive instincts within the team first concept. Scott was a great leader on and off the ice. He is a master at eluding the forecheck while launching a counter attack.
Originally Posted by The Sabre View Post
Scott Niedermayer is the only player in hockey history to have won a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal, World Championship, World Cup, Memorial Cup and World Junior title. He's the only player in hockey history to have won four Stanley Cups and two gold medals. He also has a Norris trophy and Conn Smythe trophy. He was a winner.
Niedermayer often looked like a defenseman with unparalleled skating ability, and he made it look effortless. That carried over to the power play, where Niedermayer's command on the point was glorious: That smooth skating and puck control near the blue line; the way he'd sail against the current while the other players prepared for either a pass or a shot. His influence can be seen in the way players like Mike Green(notes) help run the power play. He didn't reinvent the wheel; he just showed how smoothly it could ride.
He's an elite, legend-for-his-era defenseman; what would his stats have looked like in a different era? Could he have reached Coffey-like numbers in a more freewheeling era on a more freewheeling team like the Oilers? The Devils of the Dead Puck era was no place to rack up blueline numbers, not in Lou's house.
Untapped potential aside, Niedermayer was also an essential part of one of the best defensive teams of the last 20 years. And he's most fondly remembered for his goal as a 21-year-old in Game 2 of the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit Red Wings, Niedermayer helped the team on its way to a sweep with a calling-card tally on a brilliant end-to-end rush.
Truly, an all-time great.
Era Early 1990's - till early 2010's
Stanley Cup 4
HOF not yet
22nd all time scoring d-man with 784 pts
All Star Games 1998,2001, 2004, 2008, 2009
All-Rookie Team (1st)1992-93
All-Star Team (2nd)1997-98
1ST All-Star Team 2003-04 2005-06 2006-07
James Norris Memorial Trophy 2003-04
Conn Smythe Trophy 2006-07
RS 1263 172 568 740 245 167 784
PO 202 25 73 98 20 155
Role: All round Franchise dman
#3 Dion Phaneuf, D
Has a quite greatness about him that lets other player know that he is one of the elite d-man playing today.
Phaneuf hits everything that moves. Owns a big shot from the point and isn't shy about unleashing it. Displays all-around ability. Is the total physical package. Owns impressive lateral movement and power-play quarterbacking skills.Can be a little too exuberant player who is one of the best offensive, big-minute defenseman in the NHL. Dion is a leader who plays with a physical edge. Plays like a seasoned veteran. Clears the front of the net well and can fight when needed.
Era-Mid 2000's -Present
RS 466 85 183 268 642 + 15
PO 25 5 7 12 2
Best Season 2007-08 82 17 43 60 182 12
Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs
NHL All-Rookie Team (2006)
NHL First All-Star Team (2008)
Played in NHL All-Star Game (2007, 2008)
Role Franchise defenceman
Joe Primeau Joe Primeau, a playmaking wizard who established the modern passing game.
Placed between Charlie Conacher and Harvey "Busher" Jackson. The Kid Line was born. The three young players - all superstars, Stanley Cup winners and Hall of Famers in the making - complemented each other's style perfectly.
Primeau was the guy who knew how to get them the puck in the kinds of spots that his wingers needed go to score - joe was the guy who knew how to set up a sniper to do what they did best.
Joe was a fantastic passer who could hit you on the tape from pretty much anywhere. It was said that he could put the puck in your pocket if you wanted. With Conacher and Jackson on his wings, Joe led the league in assists three times and set an NHL record with 37 in 1931-32. He was also the defensive conscience of the Kid Line, since it wasn't really a job that appealed to either of those wingers.
The ony real complaint with Joe was that he couldn't play with two pucks simultaneously - something he always had to remind both Conacher and Jackson whenever he'd pass to the other.
Not unlike Doug Gilmour years later, the slippery Primeau masterfully set up his two line mates time and time again, as well as acting as the line’s defensive conscience. He was as good a defensive center and penalty killer as there was in his day.
Primeau led the NHL in assists three times. He was never better than in the 1931-32 season. He not only led the league in assists, but he established a new season record with 37 helpers. That record would stand for 9 seasons.
His game was all about getting the puck to his wingers. He would use his speed to get past physicaly punishing defenseman of the time
Top 100 Leafs-Mike Leonetti
An elite playmaking centre who provides a good two-way presence. Led the league in assists three times, with Frank Boucher and Morenz providing stiff competition. Two-time runner-up for the Art Ross Trophy. A very, very intelligent playmaking forward who sees and thinks the game at another level. A key part of Toronto's first championship victory in 1932, when he and the other Kid Line members spearheaded Toronto's offensive attack. Plays a good two-way game and another centre who can play against the opponent's best players.
Later on in life he began to coach and he remains the only man to coach teams to the Allan, Memorial and Stanley cups.
Era mid 20's mid 30's
Best Season 1931-32 46 13 37 50
Adjusted stats 310 114 498 612
Top 10 Assist- 5 times
Top 10 Assists Per Game 7 times
Top 10 Points
1930-31 (6)1931-32 (2) 1933-34 (2)
Comparable player: Doug Gilmour
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1932)
Second All-Star Team Centre (1934)
RS 310 66 177 243 105
PO 38 5 18 23 12
Stanley Cups 1
Top 100 Leafs of all Time book 19
Top 100 The hockey News (Late 1990's) 92nd
Note: lead the leaf in assist for 5 straight seasons a record that stood till mats sundin did the same thing for the buds for 7 campaigns straight.
Role: Magician 1st line playmaker[B]
While playing midget hockey, young Stephane Richer was a smallish kid who had serious doubts about his ability to progress much farther through the ranks of hockey. He was seriously considering calling it quits when he was offered encouraging words and an invitation from a local police officer and coach to join his club. The man's name was Pat Burns, the future bench boss of the Montreal Canadiens. Richer believed Burns' assessment of his potential and stuck to his path in hockey -Legends of hockey
He had all the offensive tools. He possessed excellent skating ability, Richer refused to be intimidated,utilizing all of his size and strength to find scoring lanes so he could unload his cannon-like shot with the lightning quick release were all harmonized under one helmet. -legends
He was a beautiful player, blessed with lightning speed, good size and a bullet of a shot, Richer had no real weakness in his game. He was a very streaker player and scorer, but he was a conscientious defensive player and refused to be intimidated physically.- Joe Pelletier
Richer was a two time 50 goal scorer who had great size skating ability and a wicked shot. He became a complete player while in nj playing under the guidance of lemaire and robinson.
He had two 50 goal seaons, Five 30+ goal seasons and Twelve 20+ goal seaons
Was once considered the next great hope for les candiens . He was considered the heir to ascend to the throne where all great players in the habs history reigned on and off the ice in Montreal.Ce fut la créme de la culture of French Canadian players such as: Rocket Richard , Jen Belliveau, Boom Boom Geoffrion and Guy LaFleur.
He was the last Canadiens player in franchise history to score 50 goals in one season.
Era: mid 1980's early 2000's
RS:1054 421 398 819 339 76
PO:134 53 45 98 41 2
Best Season: 1989-90 75 51 40 91
All-Star Games 1990
Top 10 in Goals 1987-88 NHL 50 (6)-1989-90 NHL 51 (7)
Career Overall Goals NHL 421 (72 All Time)
Game-Winning Goals 1987-88 11 (1) 1989-90 8 (6) 1993-94 9 (4)
1994-95 5 (7)
Career Game-Winning Goals 72 (35 All Time)
Stanley Cups 2
Role: Sniper/ 2 way forward
-#12 Eric Staal,C
The eldest of the hockey playing Staal brothers.He has a spectacular presence not because of his enormous size 6'4" 220.
He is an intelligent player who plays an aggressive game using his great hands explosive speed and size that he uses to get himself into and out of puck traffic.Eric is a leader in both ends of the ice who can eat a tonne of minutes in all game situations.
Era Early 200's -present
RS 547 222 269 491 14 84
PO 43 19 24 43 -3 10 Top 10 Goals Goals2005-06 45 (8) 2008-09 40 (5
Best Season:2005-06 Carolina 82 45 55 100 All-Star Games-2007 2008 2009& 2011
NHL 2nd All-Star Team 2005-06
Stanley Cup's 1
Captain Carolina Present
Role -2 way power forward
#11 Jordan Staal,C
Jordon is a versatile player who has superior hockey sense and poise on the ice.He moves effortlessly across the ice using his 6'4 driven stride.Agile and skilled puck handler.He has a esp gift when it comes to positional defending.Has been the best defending forward of his generation. Very good in the faceoff circle. Definitely a top 2 centerman in a # 3 role behind malkin and crosby.
Era Mid 2000'S PRESENT
RS 369 95 103 198 42 13
PO 60 16 8 24 -14
2008-09 Stanley Cup
2006-07 NHL - All-Rookie Team
2006-07 Played in the NHL YoungStars Game
Top Defensive player overall for the last few seasons
Last edited by Leaf Lander: 04-17-2011 at 06:32 PM.
Signed as a Free Agent by the leafs in 84 Thomas became a fan favorite because of his skill desire and everyman appeal. Stumpy was one the more consistent clutch scorers in the game during most of his 20 yr career.
Thomas was a high energy player, relying on explosive speed bursts to key a ferocious fore-check.
Thomas is one who immediately comes to mind when the discussion of the most underrated players comes up. He always worked hard and was a great team guy.
Thomas, who essentially was an opportunistic mucker and grinder. His physical game made him popular wherever he played.
Thomas had a very strong desire to succeed.Speedy Steve thrived with a play making forwards.A very quick shooting with great instincts. A tough nosed player who would go anywhere on the ice to get a chance to score. He had a high on ice IQ hockey sense wise. Had a pair of decent hands and he could slam a blast past any goalie from any angle on the ice. He was not afraid to tread into the rough stuff on the ice. Stumpy was competitive and a combative fore checker. Can ride shotgun on any top line because he was always willing to pay the price to get his team ahead.
He had a rep as one of the best big game players during his era.Shown his courage and toughness night in and night out especially when all was on the line.
RS: 1235 421 512 933
PO: 174 54 53 107
Era: Mid 80's Mid 2000's
Best Season 1992–93 New York Islanders 79 37 50 87
Stanley Cup Finals 1
60 Points+ Seasons -8
20 Goal Seasons + 10
30 Goal Seasons+ 5
40 Goal Seasons 2
Game winning Goals 23rd all time with 78
Overtime Goals 12th all time with 10
Playoff Shots on Goal All Time 20th with 444
70 career game winning goals, ranking him among the all time best of ll time
All Time Points - 85th with 933
All Time Goals- 68th with 421
Highest All Time Scoring player from England
Toronto Maple Leafs Top 100 Book Ranked 64th
Role: Sniper/Clutch Player
#7 Gary Unger,C
#7 Gary Unger was a 7 time all star who would play 16 ironman nhl seasons
Gary was a fast skilled player who could dart away with the puck and fulfill a scoring opportunity. He was also great in the faceoff circle in the offensive zone because in all in one motion he could win the faceoff and pin point the puck past the goalie.
During his subsequent eight years with the Blues, Unger would prove to be one of the more resilient players in the history of the National Hockey League. He played 662 games in a row for the Blues, and scored at least thirty goals per season during his time on their roster. Six of those seasons saw him leading his team in the number of goals scored. He remains to this day fourth on the list of Blues scorers. Still, the most memorable record that he set with the team came in the form of breaking Andy Hebenton’s 630-straight game record. By the time Unger’s streak of consecutive games ended, he had pushed that record to an incredible 914 games – it still remains second on the list of consecutive games played, having been surpassed only by the 964 game mark set by Doug Jarvis.
Played in NHL All-Star Game (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978)
Top 10 Goals 1969-70 NHL 42 (2) 1972-73 NHL 41 (6)
Career NHL 413 76 all time highest total
RS 1105 413 391 804 131 1075
PO 52 12 18 30 12
Seasons of 20 or more goals 11
30 goal seasons-7
40 goal seasons-2
Best Season -75-76 80 39 44 83
All time Points 137th -804 points
Alll time Goals -77th 413
Retired as the 31st all tiem points leader with 804 points
Game-Winning Goals -Career NHL 54 (85)
Role: 2 way center /Iron Man
#26 Thomas Vanek RW
Uses his blazing speed to get him into scoring position,Thomas has a natural goal scoring ability using his high end hand -eye coordination to tip in any shots in his vicinity.He is dangerous in all areas of the opposing teams ice.He uses his 6'2 frame to battle through nhl d-men in front of the goalie.He is a sniper with great hands and always seems to be in perfect scoring position when the puck is near.In the last few seasons Vanek has developed a nice 2 way game becoming one of the more dangerous 2 way players in the game today
RS 465 200 180 379 286 +31
PO 29 10 5 15 18
Best Season 2006-07 82 43 41 84 40 47
Goals 2006-07 43 (5) 2008-09 40 (5)
2006-07 NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
NHL All Star 2009
Power Play Goals2007-08 19 (2) 2008-09 20 (1)
Game-Winning Goals2007-08 9 (3) 2009-10 6 (10)
NHL best +47, earning the NHL Plus/Minus Award 05-06
Role 2 way player /sniper /speedster
Ward was drafted 25th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
Ward is a classic butterfly goalie who remains square to the shooter. He is a goalie that enjoys his job, too, and plays better the more fun he is having.Owns a lighting quick glove hand, has excellent rebound control a calm confident nature that allows his team mates to play to there utmost potential. Ward enjoys up-tempo hockey and thrives when he's busy. Prefers to play it safe with the puck.
After posting 15 wins, 2 shutouts and suiting up for 23 of Carolina's 25 playoff games the rookie netminder led his team to its first Stanley Cup. Ward became the fourth rookie goaltender to be named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as most valuable player of the playoffs.(Dryden,Roy, Hextall)
RS 342 173 125 32 .909 2.75 15
PO 41 23 18 4 2.38 .917
Era mid 2000's -Present
Best Season 2008–09 68 39 23 5 6 2.44 .916
Stanley Cups 1
2007 World Championships (gold medal)
2008 World Championships (silver medal)
All-Rookie Team (2005)
Conn Smythe Trophy (2006)
30 win seasons-4
Top 10 Wins 2007-08 37 (4) 08-09 39 (3) 10-11 35 (3)
2011 All Star Team
Role: Relief Starting Franchise Goalie
#8 Cooney Weiland, C
Era lat 20's -late 1930's
RS 509 173 160 333 147
PO 45 12 10 22 12
Adjusted stats 509 288 393 681 264
1934-35 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
Best Seasons 1929–30 44 43 30 73 27
Top 10 points -2 times
Top 10 goals- 2 times
Stanley Cups 2
#1 Gump Worsley, G Seasons:21
Era:Early 50's mid 1970's
RS:861 335 352 150 43 2.88
PO:70 40 26 5 2.78
Career Games 861 (10 All Time)
Career NHL Wins 335 (17th All Time )
Calder Memorial Trophy-1952-53
NHL All-Star Team (2nd)1965-66
NHL All-Star Team (1st)1967-68
Stanley Cups -4
#25 Peter Zezel, C
In Peter Zezel's first NHL season, he established a Flyers rookie record of 46 assists while helping the team to a berth in the Stanley Cup finals. He was quickly regarded as one of the league's premier faceoff men and used his tenacious style to earn himself duty on the penalty-killing unit.
Zezel played a vital role in the resurgence of the Maple Leafs in the early 1990's as a checking centre and faceoff specialist, but he also added his share of timely goals using the soft hands and hard shot developed in his junior days.
Zezel was a face off machine because he studied how an opponent would take their face off and try to exploit their weakness. He would also see the ref's puck dropping mechanics and try and use this to his advantage and if that didn't work he would tie up the opposition players stick and kick the puck with his feet.
The faceoff is perhaps the most under-appreciated element of the game but on closer inspection it plays a critical role. It’s one of those games-within-a-game that coaches and players zero in on.
“People in the stands don’t take much notice of it, but players do,” says Zezel. “We know how important they are. We know how a game can change on who wins a faceoff. I took a lot of pride in taking faceoffs. I never wanted to chase the puck. The idea was to gain possession and have them chase you.”
Part of Zezel’s pre-game preparation was to look at tapes of the opponent’s centermen and study their tendencies when taking a draw. Zezel also kept a mental book on each referee and linesman and he studied their mechanics when they dropped the puck.
Zezel had a routine of his own when he was taking a defensive draw. He would skate small circles before taking the faceoff, studying how the opposition had lined up for the draw. He was trying to get a sense of the play the opponent’s were trying to work off the faceoff.
“I would circle (the faceoff dot) to make sure the goalie was ready. When I saw how they were lining up, I’d tell the goalie what I thought they were trying to do. It was important to see how the other team was lining up. You take a faceoff against a left-handed shot you know he is going to try to backhand it to the defenseman for a shot from the point.” - By Alan Adams
Zezel's skills were not only limited to the ice. He saw action with the Toronto Blizzard of the North American Soccer League and the North York Rockets of the Canadian Soccer League.
Zezel was traded by Van to Anaheim in exchange for future considerations on March 23,99, but the trade was voided on Mar 24,99, because Zezel never reported to Anaheim.
Zezel opted to end his NHL career rather than go to Anaheim because his 3-year-old niece Jilliann, the daughter of his sister, was dying from neuroblastoma cancer back in Scarborough, Ontario, and he wanted to spend more time with his family. Zezel's agent Mike Gillis let the Canucks know that he was considering quitting hockey to be with his niece and would only accept a trade to Toronto or Buffalo. Jilliann died on May 16, 1999, but Zezel opted to remain out of the NHL, retiring for the first time that summer. He never came back to the nhl.
He passed away in 2009 from hemolytic anemia , a rare disorder in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than the body can replace them. Zezel was diagnosed with the condition in the summer of 2001. A side effect of the medication is weight gain.
He has had two bouts of this blood disease one attacked his red blood cells the other attacked his white blood cells.
"I’m just taking it easy now. I can’t get too worked up because that seems to trigger it. I’m really taking it easy."
said Peter a yr before he passed away.
Zezel was anything but laid back during his 15-year NHL career that included two tours with the Blues, 1988-89 and 1989-90, and 1995-96 and 1996-97. In 873 career games, he scored 219 goals and 389 assists for 608 points. He also played for the Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks
Zezel is also working with former NHLers Bill Berg and Mark Osborne on a scouting website for players (www.playerprospect.com). The site allows teams from across North America to discover players who fly under the radar screen and track their progress
Peter played 873 NHL games scored 219 goals and tallied 608 career points
Era Mid 1980's late 1990's
RS 873 219 389 608 39 435
PO 131 25 39 64 4 83
Best Season 1989-90 73 25 47 72
Played in over 1000 NHL games
Holds flyers record for assists by a rookie
Went to the Cup finals with the flyers twice
Five time 20+ goal scorer
On Jan16, 1991 Peter realized a childhood dream and got traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He helped lead the leafs to the conference finals twice
With the 747th pick in ATD 2011, The Regina Pats are pleased to select:
Albert "Dubbie" Kerr, LW
- 5'10", 175 lbs
- Stanley Cup Champion (1909, 1911)
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1914)
- ECHA First All-Star Team (1909)
- PCHA First All-Star Team (1914)
- PCHA Second All-Star Team (1917)
- Top-10 in his league in goals 7 times (2nd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 5th, 8th, 8th)
- Top-10 in his league in assists twice (2nd, 2nd)
- Top-10 in his league in points 7 times (2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 5th, 7th, 8th)
- 3rd in PCHA PIMs 3 times
- Kerr missed much of the 1909-10 season with appendicitis to start the year and a had a skate cut in his right eye on January 11th, 1910
- He scored goals in 12 consecutive games during the 1910-11 season
- Twice in his career did Dubbie Kerr scored 5 goals in a single game: on February 27th 1909 against the Shamrocks and January 1911 against the Wanderers
- Kerr announced his retirement on December 2nd, 1920
- Passed away in Iroquois Falls, ontario at the age of 53
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Albert "Dubbie" Kerr started his pro hockey career as a high scoring left winger with the Toronto Pros of the Ontario Professional Hockey League in 1909. After only three games with Toronto, he jumped to the Ottawa Silver Seven. He promptly led them to a Stanley Cup victory!
Kerr, along with center Marty Walsh and Billy Gilmour became the most prolific scoring line in the ECHA.]
Originally Posted by The Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol.1
With the Senators he played left wing on a line with Billy Gilmour and centred by Marty Walsh. This line was the class of the league and they romped the Stanley Cup.
He played two more years with the Senators being on another Cup Winner in 1911. That year he was the sensation of the league, scoring in twelve consecutive games and finishing second only to Marty Walsh for the scoring leadership. The line of Kerr, Walsh and Ridpath combined for a total of 91 goals.
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe
The following author selected 1st and 2nd Team All Stars for the PCHA, NHA, and WCHL for this timeframe, as well as the first 10 years of the NHL. Dubbie Kerr was selected as the all-time 1st Team All-Star LW for the PCHA. (And quite a few of his accomplishments were before he joined the PCHA).
Kerr is largely forgotten by history, so all we have to go by are his scoring stats, and whatever the newspapers said to describe his play and his reputation.
First, we see that Kerr stole the starting job from Edgar Dey, and Dey apparently was not willing to go without a fight:
Originally Posted by Montréal Gazette, January 27, 1909
at today's practice Dey was on the second team, while Kerr played left wing for the seniors. The two came together often during the workout, and finally Dey drew off and chopped Kerr across the head. Kerr was not badly hurt, but Dey left the ice and may not play with the Ottawas again… Kerr is playing good hockey, being a more aggressive player then Dey.
Originally Posted by Montréal Gazette, January 13, 1909
Dey is traveling well, but Kerr is said to be a better man, and it would not be surprising to see Kerr get the left-wing place.
Originally Posted by Montréal Gazette, March 4, 1909
Kerr improved as the game wore on until at the finish he was the outstanding feature of the Ottawa line. As the youngster of the team, he was dropped whatever Ottawa had to drop a player, but his play was of the class to warrant him being the last chosen for sideline position. In addition to general brilliance of play, he is credited with scoring four goals of the match, a couple of them really brilliant efforts.
Originally Posted by Daily Phoenix, December 30, 1909
it is rumored that Kerr, the fast right wing of the Ottawa hockey team, will also sign that the Renfrew team…
His aggressive nature earned him a short-lived nickname:
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen, February 25, 1910
Albert Kerr being due for a royal reception, as it will be his first appearance here in five or six weeks. Ottawa people have been thirsting for an opportunity of seeing Cannon Ball Kerr back in uniform, and his many friends are planning to show "Dubbie" what a welcome acquisition he is the team.
Kerr came back from his eye injury, seemingly prematurely, and was still effective:
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen, February 28, 1910
in the first half, Ottawa opened up with their usual cyclone rushes. Kerr, making his first appearance in Ottawa in five weeks, signalized his return by scoring the opening goal after Smaill had nursed it down and shot. Just to let the fans know that he had not lost his scoring eye, even if the other is damaged, Kerr also slammed in the second for Ottawa... Vair made it 4 to 3 while Kerr, who tried to drive Reddy McMillan through the boards, was with the timers… Kerr on a brilliant lone rush, made it 10-5.
Originally Posted by Montréal Gazette, January 10, 1911
Renfrew's chances, when Walsh was exiled, looked rosy, but they failed to take advantage of the odd man, Kerr winding his way through the home teams defense and scoring amidst a wild burst of applause from 500 Ottawa supporters, who had accompanied the team. Renfrew went to pieces after Kerr's goal, and only brilliant work by goalkeeper Lindsay kept down the score... On the line Ottawa also excelled the home team, Kerr being the best scoring twice and checking back in such a way to demoralize the attacks of the home team.
Originally Posted by Montréal Gazette, January 30, 1911
… Then the tide of fortune turned against the champions with astonishing suddenness. Kerr, who had been playing brilliantly for his team, went through unassisted and scored Ottawa's first goal of the battle amid a mighty outburst of cheering from the few hundred Ottawa supporters in the rink… Kerr was the star of the Ottawa team… Glass gave Kerr a crack over the head with his stick. The Ottawa man appeared hurt at first, but he quickly came round and traveled as fast as previously.… Kerr is playing the best hockey of his career, and both he and Ridpath are showing up as to the best conditioned forwards in the game. They went around the tired remnants of the wanderer team in the closing minutes at will.
A nice piece demonstrating Kerr's "gameness", something that would follow him through his career: He was a target of both fans and Oatman, who, for at least one night, he made into a Goatman:
Originally Posted by Ottawa citizen, February 20, 1911
the third and last session's repetition in any proceeding "last periods" of the season games. Have you seen the Ottawa line tearing up the ice four abreast? Have you seen coming back with equal speed and purloin the rubber before their opponents secured opening? Have you seen Kerr hurdling sticks as he worked the boards to perfection, dodging here and there with the speed of a cannonball and the gracefulness of an aeronaut?... Well that's what happened on Saturday.... The Québec crowd taunted the Ottawa boys concerning their kicks about the rink, taunts of "shall we get a few candles, Ottawa?" And "look out for the kids, Kerr." breaking forth when the team first appeared. Kerr seems to be a special target for their bombshells of criticism. Albert, nevertheless, played beautiful hockey, outclassing Oatman with ease and frequently leaving the Québec players staring in amazement as he dodged by or sidestepped. He scored three goals and thus maintained his lead in the league.… Jackie McDonald who, next to Kerr, is probably the best wing man in the NHA, was by far the pick of the (Quebec) line… Albert Kerr showed gameness in the third period when someone drove a stake through his right boot, cutting the leather and dashing his instep. Kerr pointed out the injury to Campbell, but Albert, after Québec had given Oatman the signal to drop off, decided to resume, playing faster and stronger despite his injury. Oatman called for "the biggest stick in the bunch" in the last 5 min. of play, evidently determined to carry out his threat to "get" the fair-haired phenom, but Kerr was so fast that Oatman couldn't ever get near him.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen, March 9, 1911
Albert Kerr, whose reputation as one of the league stars suffered in the last two or three games played, came back and played to his greatest form…
Originally Posted by Ottawa citizen, March 17, 1911
Willard McGregor at right wing and Wellington on the starboard side, were both conspicuous, although they lack the speed of Ridpath and Kerr… Kerr and Ridpath played the boards to perfection and although McGregor stuck to the Brockville citizen like a leech, "Dubbie" had the better of the auburn haired cyclone ...
Sounds like Kerr had the ability to "snap" based on this account, which may explain his generally high PIMs.
Originally Posted by Calgary daily Herald, January 15, 1912
a prominent Calgary man has this to say about hockey stars:" if Albert Kerr had the disposition of Bruce Ridpath, you would see the ideal player and the star of any man who ever stepped on ice. He is finished and his capabilities are untold, but his temperament is too highly strung. I believe he will overcome this, and as he is only 22, will be a phenomenal player in two or three seasons."
Kerr's rough play earned him the most majors on the 1912 Ottawa team:
Originally Posted by Toronto world, March 8, 1912
Kerr leads the Ottawa bad men with three majors (this season), while LeSueur, Ronan and Shore also have majors to their discredit.
Originally Posted by Calgary daily Herald, November 20, 1912
Albert "Dubbie" Kerr, the well-known Eastern hockey star…
About his and Walsh's combination play:
Originally Posted by Calgary daily Herald, November 26, 1912
two years ago, when Ottawa boasted of the greatest scoring forward line that had been seen in action for years, Dubbie Kerr and Marty Walsh were part and parcel of the grand hockey machine that won the world honors for Canada's capital… Kerr and Walsh led the NHA in goal getting two years ago and it is doubtful if ever two players worked together as they did. Darting down the ice together, the pair would slap the disk from stick to stick and if Kerr did not have a clear shot from the side, he passed to Walsh in center ice and Marty was usually there to score.
Originally Posted by Montréal Gazette, November 14, 1913
Kerr is regarded as the finest left-wing player in the game.
Originally Posted by Ottawa citizen, November 27, 1913
Kerr, who is married and who has been living at Calgary, signed with the Patricks last year, but failed to report. This fall he decided to get back into the game again and on Thursday last he reported. Kerr has been showing up in grand style and is almost certain to be used at left-wing, replacing Walter Smaill, who will be pressed into service for utility work… Kerr is delighted with his surroundings and hopes to shine just as brilliantly as he did the first two seasons he was a member of the Ottawa team. In fact, Patrick thinks he will be the best forward in the league. Kerr has a bullet like shot and wonderful staying power.
Originally Posted by Spokesman-Review, November 8, 1916
the first player to send in his sign contract is "Dubbie" Kerr, considered by many to be the best wing player in the business. Kerr has been playing on Patrick's Victoria team for the last three years, and at the end of each season his name has figured near the head of the list as a goal getter. He is a brilliant all-around performer and possesses a very wicked shot.
Originally Posted by Spokane daily Chronicle, November 8, 1916
Nichol, like his teammate Kerr, who has already signed the Spokane contract, is considered to be one of the best scorers in the business.
Originally Posted by Spokane daily Chronicle, November 9, 1916
Patrick is well pleased to know that he will have the services of Kerr for the Spokane team, as the player is credited with being one of the best in the Pacific coast Association… Kerr is considered by experts to be one of the headiest players in the game today. Last season he finished second to Taylor of Vancouver in the race for the scoring honors in the league and he reports himself to be in excellent condition for the winter schedule as a result of constant training during the summer months .
More about his gameness:
Originally Posted by Calgary daily Herald, November 28, 1916
the average hockey player is impervious to pain, though hardly immune from injury. Cuts and bruises are a particular daily grind, yet he accepts them uncomplaining and with that stoicism born of a martyr. The football player and ballplayer are inclined to grumble at the most trivial injury. They are forever seeking that adulation which the public is wont to shower on a wounded hero. They make a mountain out of a molehill and, in many instances, use the wound as a subterfuge to shirk work. But in hockey the situation is reversed. A wounded player will remain in the game until he either collapses or is removed by managerial orders. Following is an illustration.
"Dubbie" Kerr, star left-wing of the Spokane team, was the victim of a nasty cut on Wednesday during practice. He was removed to the trainer's room, where, after first aid had been rendered, it was found necessary to secure expert medical attention. A Doctor was hurriedly summoned. After examining the wound the doctor opened his And started to work. "It is a very bad cut. Very bad. I will have to sew it up."
Kerr lighted his pipe and coldly surveyed the physician. After sewing the first stitch the doctor turned to Kerr and asked, "doesn't it pain you?"
"No, you bloody fool", roared Kerr. "Just cut out your bloody talk and get to work. You don't think I'm going to sit here all day, do you? "
When the doctor finished his work and left, Kerr attempted to put on his shoes. Doc Ackerman protested, which drew a roaring fire of comment from Kerr .. "What do you think I am," he belched at Doc, "a blooming fool? Do you think I want to sit in the hospital for a month?"
They tell a story on "Dubbie" which further accentuates his gameness. A few years ago he was a victim of pneumonia... When the crisis passed, curve put on his clothes and telephoned his friends to come get him. The nurse remonstrated. She told him such action would be suicidal. "Well, what of it," replied Kerr. "I'm either going to die or live so what's the use of fretting."
Originally Posted by Spokesman-Review, January 12, 1917
probably the most spectacular play of the game was a goal by Dubbie Kerr in the third, after Portland had pulled up to within one point of Spokane. Taking the puck from almost in front of the Spokane goal tour like a whirlwind down the right side of the ice, shot past Moose Johnson and whizzed the puck like a bullet just under the crossbar so that Murray never had a chance to stop it. It stopped Portland's rally and was largely responsible for Spokane's victory.
Here's a time where someone got Kerr's goat:
Originally Posted by Ottawa citizen, March 1, 1917
harking back to Kerr's blunder : the present hockey situation recalls the fact that Quebec came from behind in 1912 and nosed out Ottawa for the championship after the senators appeared to have had it clinched. Few who saw it will forget the memorable game at the arena in which Québec gained the decision on a disputed goal. Ottawa's chances were practically snuffed out however, in the first period, when Albert Kerr committed a foolish attack on Joe Hall and was banished for the balance of the match. In those days a major file carried a match penalty and though Coach Green had warned Kerr that Hall would try to "get his goat", Dubbie lost his head in the opening session when Hall hurled bitter words in his direction. Kerr rushed at Hall and was promptly chased off for the balance of play. Québec's win that night tied up the championship race, and in the replay of their protested game, wanderers trounced Ottawa and threw the senators into the discard. That was Kerr's last appearance with Ottawa. He never forgave himself.
Just prior to Kerr's last season, an article about him and his "comeback" attempt following influenze and a second bout of pneumonia. He ended up scoring just 8 goals in 19 games and retired for good.
Originally Posted by morning leader, November 29, 1919
Charles Albert Kerr, more familiarly known to hockey fans as "Dubbie", will attempt to come back this season. The veteran, who in 1914, ran cyclone Taylor a close race for individual honors on the coast loop, has his John Hancock down on a Victoria contract, and after several preliminary skirmishes on Victoria ice he pronounces himself a candidate for regular berth on the aristocrat scoring line. Last year, after a double dose of the flu and an attack of pneumonia Kerr made a good attempt, but victims of either complaints will realize that it was only Dubbie's gameness and love of the game that created his ambition. To endeavor to keep pace with the steel blade experts of the Pacific coast league under such a handicap was almost an impossibility, and Dubbie had to admit defeat. At his own request he dropped out of the game for a period, And this year will enter the fray in the best of trim. During the summer he has been keeping in shape by swimming, and although he has to relieve himself of a little surplus weight he is determined to get into condition before the puck is faced for the first game in the triangular battle for the coast pennant. Before coming to the coast Kerr played for Ottawa and was one of the Stanley Cup team winners. Four years in coast hockey showed him an ideal left-wing player and a great goal getter... Possessed of all the speed essential to the wing man, and assure shooting eye, condition is the only thing Dubbie has to consider, and as a young player still well under the 30s the should proved no obstacle in the way of his return to his former pace among the stars of the game. There would be no one more delighted than Lester Patrick if Kerr should be successful in his comeback.
With the 774th pick in ATD2011, The Regina Pats are proud to select:
Cal Gardner, C
- 6'1", 172 lbs.
- Stanley Cup (1949, 1951)
- Scored Stanley Cup Winning Goal (1949)
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1957)
- NHL All-Star Game Participant (1948, 1949)
- 7th in goals (1951)
- Top-16 in assists 4 times (9th, 12th, 12th, 16th)
- Top-20 in points twice (10th, 20th)
- Played in six consecutive complete seasons (at least 420 straight games, 1951-1957)
Originally Posted by Heroes: Stars Of Hockey's Golden Era
A rugged hockey player, Gardner is no stranger to on-ice combat.
Originally Posted by Quest For the Cup
A rangy guy with equal degrees of finesse and toughness
Originally Posted by The Leafs in Autumn
Gardner was the most interesting of the three. He'd kept in the best shape, tall and rangy, and he conducted himself on the ice with perfect confidence. He put on sudden bursts of speed when they were called for. He laid down passes in unstoppable, take-them-by-surprise patterns.
Originally Posted by The Leafs: An Anecdotal History
Nobody could precisely take Apps' place, but Gardner had the tools to keep the old Apps line - Harry Watson on left wing, Bill Ezinicki on right - more than respectable... good at both ends of the ice, a centre who took pleasure in handing out a body check, not a prolific scorer but a sweetheart of a passer. Gardner did the job for the Leafs in 1948-49. He skated miles, laid the body on Milt Schmidt and Elmer Lach and the other big-name opposing centres, and kept feeding passes to Harry Watson.
Originally Posted by Maple Leafs Top-100, describing Gardner's 1949 Cup Winner
The Leafs took the first two games in Detroit and then won the first game in Toronto. The Wings looked like they may be able to prolong the series when they took a 1-0 lead in the first period. The Leafs tied the game and then took the lead on Gardner's goal. The play started when Bill Ezinicki kicked the puck ahead to Jim Thomson, when then hit a streaking Gardner with a pass. Gardner raced down the side that Jack Stewart had vacated and made a shift with his body that threw Harry Lumley out of position. Gardner put the puck where Lumley had left an opening...
Originally Posted by Metro Ice
Gardner emerged as a solid two-way center who never shied away from a tough game.
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHL
Reardon and Gardner, though, saved their worst for a game a short time later when they engaged in one of the most vicious stick fights in NHL history, both ending up bloodied and dazed and forced by Clarence Campbell to post peace bonds for the rest of the season. The two developed a hatred for eachother, and even 50 years later each swore never to so much as say hello to the other.
Originally Posted by Cal Gardner, as told to Jack Batten
It was Ezinicki who hit Reardon first, not me... Reardon swung back at Ezinicki, and his stick landed on me. That's when I took my own stick and hit Reardon on both shoulders... I broke the stick on the right.
Originally Posted by Cal Gardner, as told to Jack Batten, describing the 1951 Cup Winning Goal.
"Cal", Smythe said in the dressing room after the game, "you should've got that goal." Sure, the puck came real close to me. But if you take a look at the famous photograph of the goal, the one that shows Barilko flying through the air, you'll see me skating in the direction of a montreal player. It was The Rocket. I had my attention on him, not on the puck. The thing was, Barilko had left his defense spot open, and if he hadn't scored, the puck could easily have come out to Richard. Without Barilko in position, the Rocket could've been on a breakaway. So I was just doing my job, putting a guard on Rocket Richard.
Gardner was also good at getting the opposition's stars off their game:
Originally Posted by Metro Ice
"The opposition started to pound us," said Doug Bentley. "The Bruins sent big fellows like Eddie Sandford and Cal Gardner after us. They hit us, leaned on us, and fouled us whenever possible."
Aware that Max Bentley was a hypochondriac, Lynn instructed his players to comment casually on how terrible he looked. "Cal Gardner did it best," Lynn recalled. "After a while, Max seemed to get depressed and more depressed and the quality of his play started slipping."
...the Rangers hadn't found a way to cure Max's hypochondria and that's how the rangers became the only team to be talked out of a playoff berth. The culprit was Cal Gardner, an ex-ranger and Leaf. Cal Gardner: "I had been max's teammate on the Maple Leafs when we won the cup in 1949 and 1951 and we had been roommates but this was a game we had to win. As soon as we got on the ice for warmups, I made a beeline for Max and told him straight out that he seemed sick to me and that he should see a doctor. Whenever we'd pass I'd bring it up again. By game time, Max was a wreck and couldn't do a thing for New York that night. Naturally we beat the Rangers."
Originally Posted by Ottawa citizen, January 2, 1946
I newcomer to the New York lineup, center Cal Gardner, showed lack of polish but was effective as a backchecker and on the attack…
Originally Posted by Milwaukee Journal, 1948-10-12
To replace Apps, the Maple Leafs obtained Cal Gardner from the Rangers. Gardner, who was used at LW by the Rangers, most of the season, is an excellent pivot man. The Maple Leafs have three of the league's best centers in Gardner, Ted Kennedy, and Max Bentley. Kennedy is the new captain and centers the first line. Bentley is the ice general for the second line and Gardner for the third.
Originally Posted by Lewiston Daily Sun, 1948-11-18
Only one of the ten penalties handed out was a major. That was imposed on Ed Sandford early in the third session for throwing a punch at Cal Gardner, who had been roughing him.
Originally Posted by Michigan daily, April 17, 1949
fiery Cal Gardner shoved the leafs ahead…
Originally Posted by Saskatoon star Phoenix, February 28, 1950
Reardon was quoted as saying:"I am going to see that Gardner gets 14 stitches in the mouth. I may have to wait a long time, but I'm patient. Even if I have to wait until the last game I ever played, Gardner is going to get it good and plenty."
Originally Posted by Ottawa citizen, March 1, 1950
Cal Gardner, the aggressive center of the Toronto Maple Leafs…
Originally Posted by Toledo Blade, June 29, 1953
Gardner can play either center or left wing… A rugged player, Gardner has missed only four games out of 210 played in the last three years.
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1956-11-19
Cal Gardner, a veteran clutch player...
Originally Posted by Ottawa citizen, March 2, 1957
in a season when mysterious blood diseases and moody goaltenders have caused NHL clubs almost as much trouble as fractures, Cal Gardner must be a refreshing change to the Boston Bruins. When he skates out today in Boston against the New York Rangers, the thick shouldered redhaired center will be beginning his 435th consecutive game, probably a modern record for hardiness. It's difficult to find figures for comparison, but the consensus is that the 32-year-old's only contemporary rival for longevity was Tony Leswick, who had played 420 consecutive games when he bowed out of the league last season.
That leaves Gardner with the all-time record to shoot for and he is still a fair distance away. The mark is 508 regular games, set by Murray Murdoch, who played every New York Rangers game between 1926 and 1937. But Lynn Patrick, Bruins general manager, who says Gartner's 270 games in a Boston uniform is a club record, thinks Cal's achievement is even more remarkable than Murdoch's.
"Remember, when Murdoch was playing with New York the schedules were only 44 to 48 games. A player could be hurt and still not lose any playing time, with as much as five, six or seven days between a game. Today it isn't unusual to play four games in five nights."
In addition, Patrick believe there's more wear and tear on a modern player because the game is faster and the schedule longer. And Gardner didn't set his records by backing away from any fights either. The Transcona, Manitoba native has been a digging, dogged checker ever since he broke in with the Rangers during the 1946 season and since then, with Toronto, Chicago and Boston he has maintained his reputation as an honest, two-way forward. During that time he's absorbed enough broken noses and stitches to give him the look of a veteran light heavyweight boxer, but his 175 pound body still has lots of stamina left. Gardner has never been a high score – but he's always got 10 to 15 goals and 20 to 25 assists and the assurance that Gardner will nearly always be able to lease on his skates is a valuable asset to any team.
LOL - from Popular Mechanics, February 1948:
Last edited by seventieslord: 04-18-2011 at 03:56 PM.
With the 782nd pick in ATD2011, The Regina Pats are pleased to select:
Al MacAdam, RW/LW
- 6'0", 180 lbs
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1981)
- 14th in Goals, 12th in Points (1980)
- Top-15 in Playoff Goals Twice (7th, 14th)
- Top-15 in Playoff Points Twice (10th, 13th)
- Bill Masterton Trophy Winner (1980)
- 5th among RWs and 7th among LWs in all-star voting (1980)
- 14th in Selke voting (1984), also was "among leaders" in 1980, results past 5th unavailable
- Named California Golden Seals MVP (1976)
- Named Minnesota North Stars MVP (1980)
- Played In NHL All-Star Game (1976, 1977)
- Team Canada's Leading Scorer, World Championships, 10th overall behind a bunch of Soviets (1979)
- Points rankings on team: 3rd(1975), 1st(1976), 2nd(1977), 4th(1978), 2nd(1979), 1st(1980), 3rd(1981)
- 51 NHL fights - www.dropyourgloves.com (7-2-4 record in recorded results)
- Cleveland Captain (1978)
Originally Posted by legendsofhockey.net
Although Al MacAdam's name is not engraved on the Cup, he did receive a Stanley Cup ring for contributing to the Flyers' ultimate victory. It was his only Stanley Cup, but MacAdam seldom takes the ring out of the jeweler's box, feeling he really didn't contribute enough to the Flyers' Stanley Cup victory to wear it.
MacAdam's career took him from Philadelphia to the California Golden Seals, to the Cleveland Barons (where he and a teammate initiated a strike threat after not being paid by the bankrupt management), to the Minnesota North Stars and finally, ending in Vancouver with the Canucks. In 1977 and 1979, he represented Canada at the World Championships.
MacAdam's most productive season was 1979-80 when he scored 42 goals and 51 assists for Minnesota. During the playoffs that season, MacAdam had two series winning goals. One knocked the Leafs out of the first round, while the second eliminated the Canadiens from round two. That season, Al MacAdam was awarded the Masterton Trophy, emblematic of perseverance through the course of the season
Originally Posted by PEI Sports Hall of Fame
“"Give me a team of Alan MacAdams," observed one NHL coach, "and I'll give you a championship." Such was the ultimate tribute paid to Kings County's most famous hockey player, a man who has been called the best two-way right-winger in the recent history of Canada's national game.” ...Al MacAdam played for the Team Canada squad at the 1977 World Championships in Vienna. He proved to be Canada's most effective forward, swirling around the Luzhniki Rink with linemates Steve Payne and Bobby Smith… 1979 saw Al MacAdam return as Canada's most outstanding player in the world tournament held at Moscow, playing on a line with North Star Bobby Smith and the explosive Marcel Dionne." ...One of hockey's most respected competitors, Alan MacAdam is a most deserving inductee to the Prince Edward Island Sports Hall of Fame.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
“Affectionately known by teammates as "Big Al" or "Mac," he was an extremely talented skater and two-way player who could always be counted upon to show up to every game (he missed a mere 21 games over the course of 11 seasons) and to produce solid numbers for his teams (many of which, mind you, were not the most competitive in the league). The moustached MacAdam, who donned #25 throughout his NHL career, was adept on both right wing and left, and he could play in virtually all situations... The 3M Line remained intact when the franchise relocated to Cleveland and became the Barons for the 1976-77 campaign. MacAdam continued to be a model of consistency and was selected as an All-Star for the second consecutive year. The following year, he was even made team captain. However, MacAdam was unhappy with the direction in which the Barons were headed, and he would not be afraid to criticize things such as low attendance at home games, poor performance in the standings, and management's inability to meet payroll. In fact, MacAdam and a teammate threatened to go on strike upon hearing that management wanted to defer player salaries. After two seasons in Cleveland, the franchise was absorbed by the Minnesota North Stars... MacAdam earned the reputation as being "Mr. Clutch"... "Smith and Payne wanted to play right away in the NHL and the coach felt I was the guy who could balance them out at both ends of the ice," MacAdam said. "I was the mature guy on the line. We had a big line. They were 6-3 and 6-4 and I was a little over 6 feet. We clicked right away. They came out of a winning environment with the Ottawa 67s. Bobby was a high draft choice and he had that to prove and wanted to prove it. He pushed himself and others rose to a higher level. Then, we got key people like Paul Shmyr and Curt Giles, people who knew how to win and came from winning teams."
Originally Posted by Bobby Smith
“He is one of the people I admire most in the whole world.”
Originally Posted by Jack Hynes
“not the hurrah type, but one who led by example”
Originally Posted by Al MacAdam
“I like to out-think the opposition. What I enjoy most about the game are the big challenges”
Originally Posted by Glenn Sonmor: Old Time Hockey
the finale came down to the wire, with our top scorer that year, Al MacAdam, notching the game-winning goal with just over a minute to go to put us ahead for good, 3-2... I will never forget seeing all of the faces of the stunned Montréal crowd when we won that last game. It was something else… We have a lot of tough guys on our team… Jack Carlson, Brad Maxwell, Dave Richter, Al MacAdam and Gordie Roberts... I remember seeing how MacAdam just beat the crap out of one of Boston's toughest guys, Stan Jonathan. It was a bloodbath.
Originally Posted by shorthanded: The Untold Story of the California Golden Seals
you would be hard-pressed to find a former teammate of Al MacAdam who had anything bad to say about him. MacAdam was an unquestioned leader on the seals despite his relative youth and the fact that he was a fairly quiet man off the ice. MacAdam led by example. Nobody ever questioned his work ethic, his dedication for his desire. "He didn't like to be a leader but he was one," Len Frig said. "He was sort of a quiet leader." Even coach and GM Bill McCreary who was not known as a man to spread complements around lightly, thought very highly of MacAdam. "He was a solid citizen. He was the type you would want for a son. He was tougher than most people thought was."
"The attitude I experienced on the flyers allowed me to survive the next five or six years in California, Cleveland and then my first year in Minnesota when we didn't make the playoffs. I observed what you had to do to win on the next level. I remembered what team was all about and what you had to do to get to the top and how to survive and win in this league. In retrospect, in California and Cleveland, are team was shown disrespect by the other teams in the league. They knew all they had to do to beat us was turn it up a little. Teams were relaxed and jovial when they played us."
One problem MacAdam did have one arriving in California was which position he would play. Although he was a left-handed shot, coach Marshall Johnston started him out as a right-wing. It took some getting used to for MacAdam. "Early in the season, I'll have a lot of good scoring chances that weren't going in. It was hard to see him come up dry all the time. It was as frustrating for me as it was for him."
Because of his hard work ethic, MacAdam earned the respect of veterans and rookies alike. Defenseman Bob Stewart called MacAdam "a tough, no-nonsense player. He took his man and was a scrapper and the fighter. He was a real team player and a committed and hard-working athlete." Rookie center Larry Patey thought MacAdam was "a dedicated hockey player and a tough player. He was a quiet guy and he was businesslike on the ice. He went up and down his wing and did his job. He was a very respected player in the league." "He was always trying to improve," the veteran defenseman Jim Nielsen recalled. "Every game, he tried to do something to improve his game."
Because of his toughness, MacAdam earned the nickname "Spud". While MacAdam never accumulated 100 penalty minutes in a season during his NHL career, he was considered a fearless player who could more than hold his own when it was time to drop the gloves. "How was the kind of guy you'd like more of in the NHL," said rookie winger Freddie Ahearn. "He was hard-nosed but he was never a cheap shot artist. He came to play every night and was one of the most underrated fighters in the league."
Morris Mott said MacAdam was "a very solid hockey player and a faster skater. Just a solid citizen type of person, he was also a good fighter although very quiet about it." "He would stand up for his teammates and was one of the toughest fighters in the league," Charlie simmer said. "It took a lot to get him mad, though. Dave Gardner added, "he was the strongest pound for pound guy I knew. He could do 100 push-ups without trying. He was an all-around guy who worked really hard."
One fight that many teammates recalled was a standoff between MacAdam and Islanders Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin. "One night on Long Island, he put a good lick on Denis Potvin. It was the first time I saw Potvin get hit like that. Goalie Gary Simmons respectfully called MacAdam "a tough little ****. I remember he beat up Potvin on Long Island once. He could really throw them."... "Harold Snepsts went after Al in Vancouver once," Frank Spring said. "That was a big mistake. He was respected by everybody."
In 1975, MacAdam truly began to blossom as a hockey player… In his second season in Oakland, MacAdam was teamed with two rookies, center Dennis Maruk and left wing Bob Murdoch to form the "3-M Line". The trio quickly became the seals most dangerous combination and helped bring some excitement to the Oakland Coliseum for the first time in a long time. "We had some skill and we had some chemistry. Bob Murdoch had good hands and Dennis Maruk was good with the puck and had speed. I played good defense and worked the corners."
The low-key MacAdam continued to earn the praise of his teammates. "He was silent but deadly," recalled rookie center Ralph Klassen. "He was unnoticeable but got the job done. A quiet guy, but don't get him mad." Wayne Merrick said: "I had a lot of respect for him. He was a wonderful man who was dedicated to the game and an excellent example of a person. He was a great example to follow. He was tough, he could fight with anybody I know but he didn't go looking for it."
In his second season in Minnesota, McAdam enjoyed his finest NHL season, scoring 93 points in 80 games. He also got his first extended taste of playoff action that season and responded by scoring seven goals and 16 points in 15 postseason contests. McAdam also scored the game-winning goal in the seventh game of the quarterfinal series against Montréal that ended the have's four-year reign as Stanley Cup champions.… The following season when the North stars marched to the Stanley Cup finals, McAdam again was a key contributor, scoring nine goals and 19 points in 19 games.
All of McAdam's teammates had nothing but nice things to say about him. Mike Christie called MacAdam, "The Silent Assassin". "Guys didn't know how tough he was. He was the classiest guy I played with. You could count on him. He was a legitimate 20 – 30 goal scorer and a good two-way hockey player." Jim Pappin added, "Al MacAdam was a good hockey player with no bad habits. He wanted to win. He was a hard-nosed kid. If we had two or three more Al McAdams, we'd have been a good team."
Originally Posted by hockeyfights.com boards
MacAdam was one of those guys that just didn't take any **** from anyone, and wouldn't let things go on the ice. If you made him mad, than the gloves were coming off and he was trying to kill you. It was a different era and Al was a different type of player. Very nice man - in fact anyone who speaks about Mr MacAdam always remarks that he is a true gentleman - but was a force when he played on the ice. I think he was born in 1952 though Fan (not to nitpick at all) he and my old man were tight growing up.
MacAdam was equal opportunity as he would fight tough guys or superstars, whoever happened to be in his path on any particular time. Some highlites from MacAdam's card include:
1)A very suprising upset over Dave Hutchinson in Maple Leaf Gardens
2)Draw with a very tough Mel Bridgman in Cleveland during a brawl in Cleveland started by Randy Holt.
3)Pounded Dennis Potvin in a very one sided victory.
4)Supposedly had an amazing fight with Curt Fraser during a 6 on 6 brawl between Vancouver and Minnensota.
5)Broke Dale Cook's jaw in training camp with the Flyers
6)Pounded a young Mark Messier. MacAdam nailed him with a clean check, Messier got up and proceded to jump him but when MacAdam righted himself he really took Messier apart and scored a victory.
7)Lost to Hoyda in a spirited bout.
8) Had a really nice fight with Gary Nylund as well
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1976
seals think he will be around a long time… Smooth skater who is not reluctant to cruise near the oppositions net… Doesn't look like a fighter, but can handle himself.
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1977
seals MVP last season… Rarely fights, but has surprised opponents with ability to defend himself.
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1978
has surprised many experts because of consistent performances after low draft selection… In three full pro seasons has yet to miss a game… Does everything well and doesn't go looking for trouble… When baited, usually surprises opponents with ability to defend himself.
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1979
caught up in the disaster scoring slump that hit the barons last season… Has not missed a game in the last four years…
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1980
missed 20 games due to injuries after playing full schedule 4 straight seasons… Still ranked second on club in scoring… Former Cleveland Captain excels as a checker and has good fundamental skills in all areas… Soft-spoken and calm, he is nonetheless an excellent fighter when provoked.
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1981
one of hockey's best two-way players… Excels offensively as well as defensively… "Give me a team of Al McAdams and I'll win a championship," says North stars coach Glenn Sonmor... Dedicated worker who traces his determined style of play to his Scottish heritage… Finished among leaders in voting for Frank Selke Trophy as league's best defensive forward...
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1982
among the NHL's best all-around wingers… Strong skater, good with puck, good checker and tough in corners.
With the 854th pick in ATD2011, The Regina Pats are pleased to select:
Andre Boudrias, LW/C
- 5'8", 165 lbs
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1970)
- Avco Cup (1978)
- Avco Cup Finalist (1977)
- Top-22 in Assists 4 Times (5th, 8th, 20th, 22nd)
- Top-26 in Points 4 Times (19th, 20th, 22nd, 26th)
- Career Adjusted +58
Originally Posted by loh.net
Left-winger Andre Boudrias was only 5'8" but used his speed and accurate passing skills to elude checks and keep the opposition off balance. He played nearly 700 career games with five different teams in a solid career.
The Montreal native starred with the Junior Canadiens and led the OHA in scoring in 1962 and 1964. He spent the majority of his first four pro seasons in the minors since the Canadiens were so deep at forward. Expansion gave Boudrias a chance to shine after he was acquired by the Minnesota North Stars. He scored 53 points in 1967-68 then provided solid defensive play for the Stars, Chicago Black Hawks, and St. Louis Blues over the next two seasons.
The talented winger took on a great deal of offensive responsibility with the expansion Vancouver Canucks in 1970-71. Boudrias topped the 60-point mark in each of his first five years with the club before taking on a more defensive role and serving as the club's captain in 1975-76. He then added offensive savvy and leadership on the WHA's Quebec Nordiques before retiring in 1978.
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHL
Like so many Montrealers growing up, little Andre Boudrias had a dream of playing for the Habs. And, like so many, his dream was clouded by the deep pool of talent available to the team in those days... as a result, he was traded to Minnesota and then Vancouver, where he defined his career as a scorer and leader...
Originally Posted by Canucks Legends
They affectionately labelled him "Super Pest", but Andre Boudrias provided the Canucks with much more than stellar forehecking during his half-dozen years with the fledgling club. Boudrias was the first consistent offensive star for the Canucks, managing five straight seasons of 60 points or better and continually supplying his linemates with quality scoring chances.
The slick centreman was best known for his whirlwind style of play in the opponents' zone, where he moved around like a buzz saw, breaking up plays and turning them into offensive forays for Vancouver. He also managed to work his way effectively under the skin of those he played against. "I guess I got that nickname because I was tenacious checking for the puck," Boudrias says more than 30 years later. "The forechecking part of the game was more important to me. And I always wanted to give a little more on the ice to make sure the paying customers had fun."
The fans appreciated his effort in those early days. A diminutive man by today's hockey standards, Boudrias was one of the most popular canucks. "The fans were in love with me, for some reason," he says. His linemates liked him, too. Whoever skated with Boudias seemed to light it up. ******* ******** scored a career high 34 goals playing with Boudrias in 1970-71, Bobby Schmautz had 38 as his linemate in 1972-73 and Don Lever matched that total in 1974-75.
"Boud was a pest. He was a little ****-disturber," Schmautz recalls, fondly. "All the guys would run after him. I don't know how many times I had to fight that Hextall because he'd drive Hextall crazy, and I'd jump in, and Hextall and I used to go just about every time we played. He'd get on guys' nerves, I guess. I really don't know why, but they'd seem to go after him. When I played with him, I didn't think that was right so I'd step in."
Although he started on the fourth line, Boudrias was eventually teamed with ******** and **** ****** and he finished the year as the team's leading scorer... Boudrias was durable, skilled at finding his linemates at the right time, and a decent skater. He was also an outstanding penalty killer. In fact, he even scored a goal against Chicago's Tony Esposito when the Canucks were two men short.
The pinnacle of his career came in 19740-75, when he piled up 62 assists and 78 points. That winter his linemates were Don Lever and ****** ***********, and they both enjoyed banner seasons. "Boudy was just a really smart player, you know," Lever says. "He didn't have a lot of speed, but he could really pass the puck. He could see the ice, he had good vision." "Boudrias was good in the corners," adds ***********, who would never find another center with whom he worked so well. "He was just a little pest. It was hard to take the puck off him, and he allowed you time to get in position for a good scoring chance."
After a stint as team captain in 1975-76, he opted to leave Vancouver when the WHA's Winnipeg Jets came calling. The move was a good one, as he won the Avco cup with Quebec in 1978.
Originally Posted by The Vancouver Canucks Story
Boudrias scored a beautiful goal in the third period when we were two men short. He skated right through Hull and Mikita to do it, but would you believe that was our only shot on goal in the period?
Originally Posted by the vancouver Canucks Story
Boudrias is short and broad, a deliberate eel-like skater, a bit of an introvert... ******** was the more momentarily spectacular, Boudrias the more consistent.
Primarily, Boudrias was assigned checking duties. When he was checking Phil Esposito in the slot, Boudrias often looked like a small logger trying to topple a douglas fir with an axe. But Boudrias checked so dilligently that Coliseum fans nicknamed him Super Pest... He is a fine passer, who seldom wastes the puck, he doesn't intimidate and he likely would have scored 30 goals each season had it not been for an unfortunate proclivity for shooting high when eyeball to eyeball with opposing goalies... He carries himself like a veteran on the ice and off...
Boudrias wiggled his way into the hearts of vancouver fans like a tongue-wagging puppy in that first season. They liked the way he mixed it with players a neck and head taller.
There is a fine story about the defensive hanuting that the Pest hung on Boston's scoring leader, Esposito. As the story goes, the Bruins remained in town for a couple of days after a game against the Canucks. Some went fisihing in Howe Sound. It is said that, after trolling around without success for two hours, Esposito stared sourly down to the water and said, "I know what's wrong. That little b*st*rd Boudrias is down there, checking my bait."
It is well-known that Jacques Plante stoned the Russians with the Junior Canadiens for a 2-1 win, but did you know who made the play that won the game?
Originally Posted by Jacques Plante: The Man Who changed the face Of Hockey
The conclusion to this anxious drama came with only 20 seconds remaining on the clock. Andre Boudrias checked a Russian defenseman inside his own blueline, jarring the puck loose and onto the stick of **** ******, who quickly laid the puck on the stick of **** ******, who backhanded it into the back of the Russian net. The final score was 2-1.
Originally Posted by 1971 Hockey Annual
Boudrias kept the Canucks respectable last year. He is a tireless skater, and an expert puck ragger and penalty killer.
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1972
Likes to buzz after the puck and is one of the best forecheckers in the business... Not a muscle man, but give him a pair of decent-sized linemates, and he'll score...
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1973
Has a buzz-saw style that led to his being nicknamed "Super Pest"... shortly after that, local radio station came out with "The Super Pest Song" and it became a regular part of warmup music... lack of size has never prevented him from being a good scorer... good forechecker and opportunist around the net.
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1974
Small but elusive center who has tricky moves, a deceptive shot and good checking ability... An opportunist who turns numerous rebounds, steals, and loose pucks into goals at scrambles around the crease
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1975
An effective checker despite his size... Says Phil Esposito: "They always put Super Pest on me and I hate him. He hangs all over me and just plain gets in the way."
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1976
Superb checker for his size, drives Phil Esposito to distraction.
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1977
Durable for his size: Prior to last season, missed two games in five years.
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1978
Signed by Quebec as sound insurance, and wisely so... a good team man, as the Nordiques discovered... centered the #1 line for 9 playoff games when Chris Bordeleau was injured.
Career Assists Per game leaders, LW, minimum 250 assists
3, 11, 15
Last edited by seventieslord: 04-18-2011 at 03:56 PM.
With the 908th pick in ATD2011, The Regina Pats are pleased to select:
Bob MacMillan, F
5'11", 175 lbs
- 13th in Goals Twice (1978, 1979)
- 3rd in Assists (1979)
- 5th in Points (1979)
- 7th in LW All-Star Voting (1978)
- 3rd in RW All-Star Voting (1979)
- Career Adjusted +64
- Played 68+ games in 12 of 13 pro seasons
Originally Posted by loh.net
MacMillan spent his first two years as a professional playing for the Minnesota Fighting Saints but jumped to the NHL in 1974. "Mack the Knife" as he was known, split that campaign between the New York Rangers and their farm team in Providence and it would take a trade to make him a full-time NHL player.
MacMillan was dealt to the St. Louis Blues in September of 1975 and he blossomed with them by scoring 20 goals and 52 points in his first full year in the league. The following year he upped his point total but it wasn't enough to stop his from being traded yet again during his third year with the team. MacMillan was shipped to the Atlanta Flames in a big six-player trade and it was down in Georgia where he enjoyed his greatest success.
With the Flames MacMillan exploded offensively lighting the lamp 31 times in the 52 games he spent with them following the trade. During his first full year in the red and orange, MacMillan scored 37 goals and 71 assists for 108 points. His line mate, Guy Chouinard, managed 50 goals and finished just one point back of MacMillan. Not only was his offensive prowess impressive, but he only received fourteen minutes in penalties during the entire season and was given the Lady Byng Trophy as the league's Most Gentlemanly Player.
When the Flames franchise shifted to Calgary, MacMillan went with them, but he couldn't reproduce his scoring successes, though he was still a productive player. During the 1981-82 season he was on the move again as a part of the package that brought Lanny McDonald to Calgary.
MacMillan spent two and a half seasons with the Colorado/New Jersey franchise before moving on to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1984 to play his final season in the league.
Originally Posted by PEI Sports Hall Of Fame
Bob MacMillan has done himself, his family and his native Prince Edward Island, proud. He accomplished something that only one other Maritimer has been able to do, in being named the N.H.L.'s Lady Byng Trophy winner for the 1978-79 season. Certainly a worthy recipient of the trophy, which is emblematic of the player judged to have displayed the most gentlemanly conduct matched with playing ability, the Charlottetown native, performing with Atlanta Flames, amassed 108 points in 79 games, made up of 37 goals and 71 assists and drew only 14 minutes in penalties.
Robert Lea MacMillan was born in Charlottetown on September 2, 1952. Raised by his mother after his father passed away, Bobby grew up idolizing his hockey playing older brother Billy [inducted 1985], who had played in both the Olympics and the N.H.L. A product of the Charlottetown Minor Hockey System, Bob was one of eight players who graduated from the Charlottetown Junior Islanders of the early 70s and go on to a professional hockey career. After finishing his time in Junior Hockey with St. Catharines’ Black Hawks, Bob was drafted by the New York Rangers in 1972, but chose instead to perform in the W.H.A. with Minnesota for two seasons. He eventually moved to the Rangers in 1974-75 and played 22 games with the Broadway Blue Shirts before being shipped off to Providence of the American Hockey League for the remainder of the season. In September 1975, Bob was traded to St. Louis where he spent almost two seasons. During his first season with the team, Bob equalled one rookie record and broke another two; he scored 20 goals to equal the rookie record of **** ******, established in season 1971-72, picked up 32 assists to break the rookie-record of 30 established by *** **** in the 1974-75 season, and amassed 52 points to beat **** ******'s rookie-record set in 1971-72.
These records are impressive, but it was upon moving to Atlanta in 1977 that Bobby really found his shooting eye. In 52 games with the Flames, he averaged a point a game, potting 31 goals and garnering 21 assists. The following season would be the best of his hockey career: he more than doubled his number of points and was awarded the prestigious Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. In honour of this incredible accomplishment, Bobby was inducted into the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame on July 16, 1979.
In the spring of 1978, Bob MacMillan was chosen as a member of Team Canada when they took part in the World Championships in Prague; the team placed third. Professionally, Bobby continued to play for the Atlanta Flames, which became the Calgary Flames in 1980. He then played for the Colorado Rockies in the 1981-82 season, followed by two seasons with the New Jersey Devils.
Originally Posted by hockeydraftcentral.com
A 1978-79 poll of coaches found him to be the NHL's most underrated player
Originally Posted by Lanny
Both Bob MacMillan and Don Lever were popular players in the dressing room, on the ice and with the fans. They were well-liked among the players, and everyone on the team thought of them as friends.
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHL
Noted for his speed and streaky scoring
Originally Posted by Lakeland Ledger, 1978-11-23
While his career has rocketed, MacMilan remains reserved... "In St. Louis, even though Bobby was greatly competitive and even though he could skate really fast, he had absolutely no one to back him up," said Flames LW ****** **********. "Now he doesn't have to think about his well-being, because he's got us." It must be remembered, though, that Bob MacMillan must be caught before he can he hit, and that's no small order for opposing players. "He's not really a big man, but his strides are deceptively long. His moves come at you so fast. A guy like Gil Perreault, he can do everything well, but if you slow him down by 10 miles an hour, he wouldn't be as exceptional. With Bobby, you make a play on him in a hurry or he'll be around you. There isn't a defenseman in the league that wouldn't like to get him against the boards, but they've been trying since the season started and they haven't done it yet."
Originally Posted by Lewiston Daily Sun, 1979-01-27
Midway through the third period, Bob MacMillan seized control in the corner and passed to ******** in the faceoff circle. the rookie center scored.
Originally Posted by Herald-Journal, 1979-02-26
"We always thought he was the best player on the Blues, but I think it would be ridiculous to say we expected him to score the way he's been scoring," said GM Cliff Fletcher.
MacMillan signed his first pro contract with the WHA's Minnesota Fighting Saints and played two seasons. "It was the worst mistake of my life," said MacMillan. "the players were out of shape and had lousy attitudes. It wasn't what I thought pro hockey would or should be like."
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1981-11-26
Utility forward Bob macMillan...
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Press, 1982-11-05
New Jersey's Bob MacMillan, out of control, plowed into (the goalie) on the play. The goalie suffered a concussion and was held in hospital overnight.
Originally Posted by Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1977
valuable addition to the Blues...concentrated on defense until the Blues encouraged him to open up on offense...
Originally Posted by Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1978
Versatile forward who can play center, LW, or RW. Led Blues in scoring with 58 points... Noted for hustle and reputation as team player... Has not missed a game in two years... Good checker who excels as a penalty killer and in winning faceoffs... Fast, energetic skater.
Originally Posted by Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1979
The Big Mac... Blossomed as a big goal scorer after trade... Tough and versatile... Can play either wing or center... Also durable, having played in all 80 games in each of last three seasons... used on faceoffs and penalty killing... would play goal if you asked him.
Originally Posted by Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1980
Mac the knife... can slice a defense to shreds... Has emerged as a bonafide star... Broke every major offensve club record and won Lady byng trophy... Leader on one of league's most potent offenses... Mostly a RW but can play center too... swift skater with a bullet for a wristshot... voted team's MVP... a hustler.
Originally Posted by Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1981
Teriffic offensive player... also gentlemanly... swift skater with devilish wristshot... always a good interview.
Originally Posted by Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1982
Useful, versatile veteran who can play all forward positions... Regards his 108-point season as "a bit of a fluke". Strong skater, excellent defensive player who is a good penalty killer... He's been a key worker since trade from Blues.. Easy going and gregarious, he's been a favourite interview of many reporters because of his frank, funny views on hockey and other matters.
Originally Posted by Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1983
versatile player with good skill in all areas of the game... Excellent skater.
Originally Posted by Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1984
Mack the knife, slices through defenses with blazing speed... good skater, scorer and defensive player... almost never in penalty box... Was big fan favourite in Atlanta... possesses excellent shot and savvy to go along with it.
Originally Posted by Complete handbook Of Pro Hockey 1985
Was heartthrob of Devils' young female fans... can play any positon... excels as penalty killer...
Last edited by seventieslord: 04-18-2011 at 03:57 PM.
Joel Otto was one of the NHL's best two-way centres during a career that spanned 14 seasons. The 6'4" behemoth was blessed with quick hands as well as strength, which made him a handful on faceoffs, along the boards, and in the slot. Otto was utilized in offensive and checking roles and was a strong leader wherever he played.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
The Flames needed someone to put a blanket over hockey's supreme power forward. Can you imagine a monster big enough and strong enough to quiet Messier? Not only would he have to be strong, but he'd have to be intelligent, defensively sound and a good skater. Could such a player exist?
The answer ultimately is no, but the Flames found as close a fit as possible when they signed the fearsome Joel Otto.
Otto was a 6'4" 220lb face-off specialist who loved to physically punish any opponent at any time. He became the prototypical 3rd line center that everyone wanted. Huge and strong and not afraid to demonstrate that fact, Otto was very good defensively, and excelled at puck drops. A dedicated athlete and tireless worker, he was a quiet leader.
Otto faced off against all the top centers in the league, shutting them down defensively and physically abusing them at the same time. But the Messier-Otto war-like grudge matches were classic.
"Those two had some incredible battles. He was the only guy I saw who could physically dominate Mark," said former Oiler Mike Krushelnyski.
The ultimate team player, Joel sacrificed his own offensive output for the good of the team. His defensive excellence was eventually noticed league wide, as he was twice a finalist for the Selke trophy as the league's best defensive forward, though he never won the award. He had overcome his early label of a monstrous thug to be one of the league's most valuable and sought after players.
Originally Posted by 1992-93 Parkhurst
Regarded as one of the strongest defensive forwards in the NHL, Otto routinely draws checking assignments against the game's star centers.
Originally Posted by 1990-91 Score
Joel, a powerful skater and tireless worker, is the Flames' best faceoff man. "The guy who gives me the most trouble on faceoffs is Joel Otto," said Ranger center Bernie Nicholls. "He's so big and strong, and he's quick, too. He's worked a lot at it."
Originally Posted by 1990-91 Topps
A strong skater with a long reach, Joel is often used to neutralize Oilers' Mark Messier.
He made it to the Bruins in 1966 and finally began to see regular action. In his second season, his union with Fred Stanfield and Johnny Bucyk allowed him to blossom into a valuable part of the club as an agitator and scorer. His scoring totals were also given a lift through his regular spot on the powerplay with Bucyk and Esposito. McKenzie once joked that third-man-in rule killed his career. He specialized in needling his opponents until their blood boiled to throw them off their game. But he didn't fight very often. He'd just get things going and then let the big boys take over. He even managed to complete his career with all of his teeth intact.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
But don't forget John "Pie" McKenzie, the diminutive pest who was a real leader and fan favorite on that team. He was so popular that Boston fans bought 100s of bumper stickers that said "No matter how you slice it, Pie is the greatest."
Bostonians loved his courageous physical presence and dogged defensive attention. General Manager Milt Schmidt best summed up McKenzie as the Bruins' "mood-setter."
Originally Posted by 1960-61 Parkhurst
A fast skating chunky winger who is able to go well both ways. Possessor of plenty of courage and desire he gives everything he has every time he's on the ice.
Originally Posted by 1966-67 Topps
A very fast skater, John is expected to fit into the "New Look" Bruins this season.
Originally Posted by 1969-70 O-Pee-Chee
His lack of size hasn't stilled his aggressive play and the fans love his style. He's one of the league's top skaters.
Originally Posted by 1975-76 O-Pee-Chee
John spent most of his NHL time with the Boston Bruins and although he never weighed more than 175 lbs. he became the symbol of the Bruins' toughness and one of the most feared checkers in pro hockey.
1969-70 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1969-70 NHL 70 (10)
1970-71 NHL 77 (8)
With the 907th pick in ATD2011, The Regina Pats are pleased to select:
Bryan McCabe, D
- 6'2", 220 lbs
- NHL 2nd All-Star Team (2004)
- Placed 4th, 9th in Norris Voting
- Placed 4th, 9th, 14th in All-Star Voting
- Top-15 in Scoring by Defensemen 4 Times (3rd, 4th, 10th, 13th)
- Top-5 in Playoff Scoring by Defensemen 2 Times (4th, 5th)
- Career adjusted +101
- Durable: 69+ games in 13 of 14 seasons, has seven 82 game seasons (tied with Recchi, Iginla, Kariya, H.Sedin for most 82-game seasons since 1996) - Never lower than 3rd in team TOI. Has been 1st or 2nd in 11 of 14 seasons.
Originally Posted by loh.net
McCabe played just two-and-a-half years with New York, but did serve as the team's captain for a season. He, Todd Bertuzzi and a third-round pick in 1998 were sent to Vancouver for Trevor Linden in February, 1998. McCabe's stay on the Canadian west coast was short-lived as he was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks which in turn was even shorter. After just one year in the Windy City, McCabe was sent to the Maple Leafs in October, 2000.
In the 2001 playoffs McCabe played the finest hockey of his young NHL career. "It was a lot of fun," said McCabe who was making his first appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs. "I'm not satisfied though. It was tough losing in the second round." After a disappointing second round loss in the 2001 playoffs, McCabe and the Leafs looked to rebound in 2001-02. Having posted a career high in points with 29 the previous year, McCabe broke out offensively in 2001-02 scoring 17 goals and 43 points and was instrumental in Toronto's run to the Eastern Conference Final against the Carolina Hurricanes. Although Toronto lost the series in six games to the upstart Hurricanes, the team fought to the bitter end, tying the game in the dying seconds before losing in overtime.
McCabe's totals dipped in 2002-03 and the St. Catherines native missed his first games since the 2000-01 season. Coming off a sub-par year offensively, McCabe rebounded in 2003-04, registering a career high 53 points (16-37-53). He bettered those totals over the next two seasons with the Leafs, registering 68 points in 2005-06 and 57 in 2006-07.
Originally Posted by canoe.ca
A hard-nosed defender... Prior to his third NHL campaign, the Islanders surprisingly named the 22-year-old the sixth captain in team history... Over his five-year stint with the Maple Leafs, McCabe has blossomed into the team's No. 1 defenseman. In 2003-04, he finished fourth in the Norris Trophy voting and was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team. In 2005-06, he has picked up where he left off before the lockout and has been at or near the top of the points-list for NHL defensemen throughout the season.
Originally Posted by Hockey Almanac 1996-97
An offensive defenseman, McCabe has a mean streak and doesn't mind throwing his weight around. He has good speed up and down the ice (but he isn't as quick side to side). He has a good shot, which he leans into hard, using his size and weight to increase the shot's velocity. As a rookie, he spent most of his concentration on playing a solid brand of defense, which the team desperately needed. He's a big talker on the ice - not baiting opponents, necessarily - but keeping his head in the game by constantly chattering with his partner and other teammates. the Islanders love McCabe's toughness and his offensive promise. They're also impressed with how he made the transition from juniors, where he was more of a freewheeling player, to the NHL, where he played a more low-risk style. Not many rookies would have been able to demonstrate that poise and maturity.
Originally Posted by Sports Forecaster 1996-97
Has made a successful transition to the NHL... a vocal guy who annoys opponents, which keeps him in the game, He isn't easily intimidated. Has a sixth sense for offensive opportunities and a booming slapshot. not a great skater... For a rookie, McCabe was a consistent performer. Although results will show that he did put his tremendous offensive instincts on hold to better concentrate on his defensive duties, the kid still has a lot to learn in his own end... he'll be a good one.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1996-97
McCabe's offensive game was supposed to be ahead of his defensive aspects, but he sat back and studied the game a bit in his rookie season. He is still hesitant in his own zone and will get caught, but he is willing to work to improve. McCabe has tremendous offensive instincts. He knows when to jump up into the attacking zone. He has a heavy, major-league slapshot. McCabe moves the puck well and it won't be long before he s running the team's power play. McCabe's skating style is unorthodox. It's not fluid, and there appears to be a hitch in his stride. When he has the puck or is jumping into the play, he has decent speed, but his lack of mobility defensively is one of his few flaws. McCabe loves to play and loves to compete.
McCabe is not afraid to drop the gloves, and can handle himself in a bout. He is a sturdy bodychecker... he is big and strong and shows leadership... his performance exceeded even some of the more optimistic expectations... he proceeded cautiously, but improved throughout the season... McCabe has a wonderful attitude and is a possible future team captain.
WILL - Move the puck
WON'T - Carry Isles alone EXPECT - Strength on puck
DON'T EXPECT - To push him around
Originally Posted by McKeen's Hockey Pool Yearbook 1996-97
gradually improved throughout the season and was a bright spot in an otherwise bleak year... strong, mobile and physical when required... showed remarkable poise and maturity... considering he didn't have the benefit of a Bourque to guide the way, his performance is even more impressive.
Originally Posted by Sports Forecaster 1997-98
the least talked-about up-and-coming blueliner on Long Island, he quietly passed his sophomore test with honours... McCabe's defensive style and gritty play will earn him rave reviews, but his offensive style will be limited by his skating ability. Some say he'll grow into a Scott Stevens-type blueliner... feisty, tough defenseman. Makeup of a true leader. never-quit attitude. Makes a good first pass and can support the offense. Booming shot.... awkward skater. Growing pains in his zone as he's sometimes caught out of position, but that improved a lot in the second half.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1997-98
He was asked to be one of the Islanders' top cops last season, which is a waste of his abilities. He is not tough, but he is very competitive... He handled a lot of tough checking assignments against other team's top physical lines... He moves the puck well and can run an NHL powerplay... He is maturing into a reliable, all-around defender.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1998-99
Defensively, McCabe plays well positionally and doesn't get mesmerized by the puck. He kills penalties well and blocks shots... pushes himself and competes hard.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 2000
He doesn't have a classic, fluid stride, but he can get to where he's going...has strong leadership qualities.
Originally Posted by McKeen's Hockey Pool Yearbook 1999-2000
briefly impressed with the Canucks but fell into a lengthy mid-season slump before recovering late in the year... gritty rearguard is coveted for his competitiveness, leadership and steady defense but has also displayed the mobility and skills to be a bigger offensive contributor in time... logged over 30 minutes a game down the stretch as Marc Crawford's most reliable blueliner.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 2001
A team player who will go to war...
Originally Posted by McKeen's Hockey Pool Yearbook 2000-01
Former Islanders' captain was thrust into a major role during Boris Mironov's holdout last fall and stumbled to a -21 before settling down in the second half... Feisty, aggressive blueliner was guilty of trying to do too much early on, but after midseason, began to display the steady, two-way defense that had prompted management to cough up the 4th overall pick at the '99 draft.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 2002
In good physical condition...
Originally Posted by Sports Forecaster 2001-02
a pretty good acquisition for Toronto... may have finally found a home after being bounced around the league. He still baffles people at times with some of the decisions he makes, but overall, he was probably the Leafs' best defenseman last year. he's physical and has quite a bit of offensive skill. Furthermore, he's good at making the first pass out of the zone and blessed with above-average wheels. McCabe, a good team player, became the triggerman of the PP last year and tied for the team lead in +/-... will probably face more pressure in 2002 to continue as the Leafs' best all-around blueliner...
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 2003
McCabe's offensive upside gave the Maple Leafs the confidence to trade ***** ******... took full advantage of the extra PP time... McCabe understands that the physical part of the game is a major element of his success... the trade for McCabe from Chicago was daytime robbery. He played well after the deal and topped himself last season. McCabe is not an elite defenseman but he is not far below that. McCabe had a big playoffs going up against other teams' top lines.
Originally Posted by McKeen's Hockey Pool Yearbook 2002-03
building on a breakthrough performance in the 2001 playoffs, continued to grow exponentially... scored 17 goals, 2nd among NHL blueliners, and even managed to take it to another level in the playoffs... A spirited and mobile all-around workhorse, McCabe has matured into a tough, low-risk defender while steadily gaining confidence in his puckcarrying abilities and power play skills, including an uncanny ability to get shots through traffic (led the team in icetime, hits and blocked shots in the playoffs)... a Norris trophy nomination can't be far away based on his development since arriving in Toronto...
Originally Posted by Sports Forecaster 2002-03
Everything finally clicked for McCabe last season as he displayed toughness, offensive production and the ability to lead a blueline. He dwarved his previous highs in goals and points, while becoming a team leader on the Leafs. McCabe plays in all situations but is most dangerous on the PP, having perfected the one-time slapshot from the top of the slot. His reckless style makes it seem as if he's out of control at times, but he's quickly losing his bad habits... he's now the unquestioned leader of the Toronto blueline.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 2004
Routinely handles checking assignments against other teams' top lines.
Originally Posted by Sports Forecaster 2003-04
The most noteworthy aspect of McCabe's 2002-03 season may have been his Mohawk-style haircut, which earned him derision from teammates and opponents alike. Certainly, his performance was less than hair-raising as much was expected following his great 2002 playoff showing. Instead, he returned to his inconsistent ways. When on, he is a physical force and an uncomfortable foe to line up against. However, he lacks hockey sense and doesn't always make the best decision with the puck.
Originally Posted by McKeen's Hockey Pool Yearbook 2005-06
looked out of shape and lethargic during a late-season stay with HV-71 which promptly earned him a ticket home... finished among the top blueliners in 2003-04 in both goals and points, to become the first Maple leaf defenseman in 23 years to earn a berth on a postseason NHL all-star team. Tough, mobile workhorse plays a spirited physical game and bolsters the PP due to a gift for getting his high-powered shot on target... however, his game can suddenly unravel at inopportune times...
Originally Posted by Slam! Sports Blog, 2005-12-11
Teams have watched video and realize the key to stopping the Leafs with the man advantage is nullifying the terrifying shot of point man Bryan McCabe
Originally Posted by Panthers GM
Bryan is a big, strong, hard-hitting defenceman who also possesses the ability to be a goal-scorer and play on special teams. He will be counted on to play an integral role on our defence and to help bring future success to our franchise.
Originally Posted by Panthers teammate, 2010
"He's done a great job as captain... He leads by example everyday. I've been really impressed with Bryan, the way he's carried himself. He probably learned a lot from playing with guys like Mats (Sundin)."
Originally Posted by McKeen's Hockey Pool Yearbook 2010-11
Helped absorb the loss of Jay Bouwmeester while delivering a work ethic and consistency unmatched by many of his teammates... stepped up to lead the club in scoring over the final quarter, propelling him over 40 points for a fifth time... tough, hard-shooting workhorse plays a spirited physical game most nights.. awkwardly mobile... top speed is solid but can be sluggish in turns and pivots... a powerplay weapon thanks to good hands and a high-powered shot... varies up delivery speeds and methods... namely moving laterally to create open lanes... accountable player who shows up to do battle... can get burned 1-on-1 due to poor reads and positioning, yet has managed to simplify his game and focus on reducing braincramp errors... focused on making smarter puckmoving decisions last season... albeit still gives up possession too hastily at times, especially under intense pressure.
Originally Posted by Hockey Prospectus 2010-11
Playing in Florida must be quite a culture shock after spending much of your time in Toronto. the fans turned on McCabe during the end of his tenure in Leafland - wrongfully so - and the move to Florida has allowed him to be the defenseman he is without constantly being criticized for it. the fact is, McCabe's not the best defender, but he can move the puck and has an absolute cannon from the point on the power play. Coach DeBoer has correctly utilized McCabe in an offensive role, over 4 minutes per game on the PP, and has played him against fair, but not overly difficult competition. Within that role, McCabe has produced solid offensive numbers at even strength and on the man advantage.
With the 934th pick in ATD2011, The Regina Pats are pleased to select:
Lou Fontinato, D
- 6'1", 195 lbs.
- 7th in Norris voting (1959)
- 9th in Norris voting (1963)
- Placed 10th, 13th among NHL defensemen in points
- NHL PIM leader (1956, 1958, 1962)
- NHL PIM runner-up (1957, 1959, 1960)
- Memorial Cup (1952)
Originally Posted by loh.net
Lou Fontinato was a rugged defenceman who played 535 NHL games with the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens in the 1950s and '60s. Considering his physical style, he was a durable player who missed relatively few games until, ironically, suffering a career-ending injury late in the 1962-63 season.
During his first full year in the NHL, "Leapin' Louie" made his presence felt and led the league with 202 penalty minutes. He spent five more years in New York where he roughed up opposing forwards and jumped into the rush on occasion. On June 13, 1961 he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in a much-publicized deal for Doug Harvey.
Originally Posted by Heroes: Stars of Hockey's Golden Era
Fontinato staked his spot as a policing defenseman for the NY Rangers in 1954. " We just practised what we were told to do from junior on. They always want a guy out there hitting, being a policeman", Leapin' Louie comments. "there are no regrets. What the hell. You're in the big top and you play the only way you know how. Mind you, on the way up, you had people encouraging it."
Originally Posted by Blueline Magazine, December 1957
Lou Fontinato was considered by most hockey experts as a clown when he first broke into the National Hockey League because of his antics on the ice... however since that time he has grown so much in stature that at the end of last season he was considered one of the top defensemen in the NHL. The controversial Louie is one of the hardest-hitting rearguards to appear in the NHL in some years. He has knocked many an incoming forward silly by his jarring bodychecks.
Originally Posted by Gordie, by Roy MacSkimming
Fontinato, the defenseman who had built a reputation as the premier battler of the NY Rangers, and perhaps the league... Fontinato had taken on many of the other NHL heavyweights, such as Fern Flaman, at one time or another. The Rangers' coach used to send Fontinato out to run at stars like Howe and Beliveau to throw them off their game.
Of course, we know Gordie beat up Fontinato, but there's no shame in that!
Originally Posted by Red's Story
Fontinato was brought up by the Rangers in 1954 to give the team some backbone. One night I said to him, "Lou, what is the matter with you? Every damn game I have with you, you're in a brawl. We can never have a pleasant evening with you on the ice." He told me he knew why the Rangers had hired him, which was to fight. "But I'm gonna tell you something," he added. "Everyday I'm learnin' a little more how to play hockey." He was the only man I ever saw in the NHL who would be out on the ice between periods trying to perfect his skating and working on other little things. When he was traded to the Canadiens in the 1960s, he didn't fight as much and had developed into a pretty darn good defenseman before he suffered a serious neck injury and retired.
Originally Posted by Red's Story
The Rocket finished almost every fight he was in. One exception was a night in January, 1956, when the Canadiens were in New York and he clashed with Lou Fontinato at the blueline. The Rocket very seldom lost a fight, but this time Fontinato really connected on his jaw. His arms went limp and his legs buckled, although he didn't go down. Fontinato, seeing he was out on his feet and defenseless, backed off and ended the fight after just the one punch.
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played In the NHL
He set records for penalties and fought bravely. He was a fan favourite and a solid defenseman...
Originally Posted by Hockey Chronicle
One of the game's roughest competitors was Leapin' Louie Fontinato...a fearless fighter and a friendly, colorful character.
Originally Posted by Hockey's Glory Days
Lou Fontinato added much-needed toughness to the New York Rangers... Fontinato consistently ranked among the league leaders in PIM, but he was more than just a tough guy; Leapin' Louie was also an effective defenseman.
Originally Posted by Doug: The Doug Harvey Story
"You know a defense guy I'd like to see on our team?," Reardon said to Elmer Ferguson in 1957. "I'd like to see that Leapin' Lou Fontinato in a Canadien uniform. What a pair he'd make with Harvey. There'd be Doug doing the smooth work, hooking the puck away from invaders, breaking out with those quick starts. And there would be Fontinato bouncing around, battering into everybody, knocking them down. An ideal combination."... He was called Leapin' Lou for the way he would leave his feet to pile into an opposing player.
Originally Posted by The Game We Knew: Hockey In the Fifties
...mostly known for his toughness... Fontinato caught Richard with a punch over the eye that quickly ended a fight... The one-punck knockout gave Fontinato the reputation he was looking for - heavyweight champion of the NHL. Gordie Howe, however, terminated that title in a much-celebrated 1959 fight.
Originally Posted by Dick Beddoes' Greatest Hockey Stories
Newsy Lalonde, before he died in 1970, picked an All-Mean-Team, capable of spilling enough corpuscles to gratify any blood bank in North America. He said he'd have been delighted to coach these "very perfect gentle knights":
Joe Hall, Sprague Cleghorn, Eddie Shore, Lou Fontinato
Leo Labine, Bill Ezinicki, Ted Lindsay, Cully Wilson, Bill Cook, Ken Randall
Originally Posted by The Thinking Man's Guide To Hockey
Fontinato was the sort who banged everyone in an enemy uniform.
Originally Posted by Years Of Glory
a heavy bodychecker and brawler...
Originally Posted by 100 Ranger Greats
Fontinato was a one-of-a-kind rearguard. His rhinoceros-like rushes up the ice made him a fan favourite, the "people's choice", in fact, in an era that was as colorful as any in Rangers' history... his nickname, Leapin' Lou, came from two sources: His crisp, clean bodychecks were often preceded by a leap from his skates. Another leap, this one straight up in the air, often followed to protest the many penalties he drew.
make no mistake - Fontinato was a solid defenseman, a fearsome bodychecker, and well skilled at getting the puck out of the Rangers' zone. But it was his fighting, brawling, really, that brought him fame. He took on all comers, big and small alike, won most all of his bouts and seemed to enjoy it heartily, smiling widely before and after many of his altercations.
Originally Posted by Boom Boom: The Life and Times of Bernie Geoffrion
Fontinato wasn't very smooth, but he could hit and he could fight. Like myself he was very emotional and every once in a while he would leap at a player... In a sense Fontinato was a bully and in another sense he wasn't. A bully is a big, tough guy who picks on someone he knows doesn't fight. Fontinato liked to do that. He would constantly run Big Jean although well aware that Beliveau was not a fighter. He did that with some of our smaller players as well. But to give Fontinato credit he'd fight with tough guys too...
(after being acquired in exchange for Harvey) no one was on the spot more than Fontinato, who had replaced Harvey. The Forum fans, who were quite capable of running a guy right out of the NHL, watched Leapin' Louie closely in the first few games. He didn't let them down. When we went to New York and beat the rangers 5-2 Fontinato was the best player on the ice. As much as I missed Harvey, I had to admit that Louie was doing the job for us... Selke was pleased as well. His acquisition of Fontinato turned out to be a very wise one. Leapin' Louie reminded me of myself in some ways. He was high-spirited and it was catching. It rubbed off early on the young fellows like Rousseau and Gilles Tremblay and some of us veterans couldn't help but be affected by it...
In the first half all-star balloting not one Canadien made it to the first team. Even though he was a bit on the crude side, Lou Fontinato would have gotten a vote from me. It was interesting to see how Louie would have been welcomed into our dressing room after being so hated when he played for the Rangers. The thing was, whoever came into the dressing room became a Montreal Canadien and we didn't hold a grudge. We welcomed Louie and we liked him because he was funny... but nobody on the opposition laughed at him. Louie was tough. He wasn't afraid of anybody.
Originally Posted by NY Times,10-26-1959
Lou Fontinato was again a standout on defense.
Originally Posted by NY Times, 01/07/1960
Lou Fontinato and Bobby Hull, the Hawks' leading scorer, began slashing eachother with their sticks...Hull began to swing his stick at Fontinato and Lou accepted the challengeb... Fontinato and the 6'3", 210 pound Elmer Vasko, tangled in the first period. they also sought to high-stick eachother.
Originally Posted by NY Times, 04/04/1962
Mikita, skating into Montral ice in the opening minute, was flattened by Lou Fontinato. The Hawk slid 20 feet into the boards.
An interesting piece that illustrates how Fontinato's toughness was regarded:
Originally Posted by Blood On the Ice
In 1958, in an informal poll, the six NHL general managers were asked to name the toughest player they ever saw and the toughest men playing at that time...
Lynn Patrick (Boston): Flaman, Harvey, Howe, Armstrong, Lindsay, Fontinato
Frank Selke (Montreal): Howe, Flaman, Armstrong, Labine, Fontinato, Evans
Tommy Ivan (Chicago): Howe, Lindsay, M.Richard, Flaman, Labine, Fontinato
Muzz Patrick (New York): Howe, Labine, M.Richard, Flaman, Fontinato, Lindsay
Jack Adams (Detroit): Howe, Flaman, Fontinato, M. Richard, Labine
Stafford Smythe (Toronto): Lindsay, Gadsby, Labine, Evans, T.Johnson, Flaman
-only goaltender to captain his team to a Cup win
-charter member of the Hall of Fame in 1945
-Ranked 76 on the THN Top 100 list
-Ranked 91 on the History of Hockey Top 100 list
End of the year all-star teams only existed for his final 4 seasons
-First Team All-Star 3 times (1931, 1932, 1934)
-Second Team All-Star 1 time (1933)
-Vezina winner (= modern Jennings) in 1932, 1934
-Stanley Cup in 1934 (backstopping a fairly weak team to the Cup)
-Regular season career GAA: 2.02
-Playoff career GAA: 1.43 (a drop of 30%)
-Twice led the league in shutouts
-Durability: He only missed 4 games in his 7 year career
Nicknamed "The Roving Scotsman" because:
-he was born in Scotland - making him the first European-born captain to win the Stanley Cup
-he would leave his net to break up plays
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Charlie Gardiner was Chicago's first hockey superstar. He led them to the top of the league and eventually their first Stanley Cup in 1934 and put hockey on the map in the Windy City.
As a sophomore Gardiner lost a league high 29 games despite a 1.93 GAA. The Hawks won only 7 games. But Gardiner continued to play with unbreakable spirit, and earning high praise despite the statistics. The great Howie Morenz once claimed "Bonnie Prince Charlie" was the toughest goalie to score upon.
The Hawks continued to struggle as the 1930s progressed, but Gardiner emerged to become what many people feel was the best goalie of his day. He posted 42 shutouts and 2.02 GAA in 7 seasons. He won the Vezina Trophy in 1932 and 1934 and was named to 4 All Star Teams. He played with a team that offered very little offensive support (the whole team scored only 33 goals in 44 games in 1928-29). But Gardiner's play, much like that of Dominik Hasek years later with Buffalo, made the team a contender to reckon with.
HIGH PRAISE FOR THE YEARS BEFORE THE FIRST OFFICIAL ALL STAR TEAMS
Originally Posted by One writer picks his all-star teams for the first half of the 1928-29 season
It would be perhaps be advisable in the first place to point out that such a choice is after all merely the opinion of one man."
... Goal: Roy Worters, backed up by Charlie Gardiner
About Worters: "he makes the hardest chances look easy"
About Gardiner: "with the team he has in front of him, we have every reason to suspect that Gardiner has very little time to collect his wits."
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette, Feb 1, 1929
But Gardiner played a great game, the sort of display local fans are beginning to expect from this sensational youngster, who seems to combine the best tricks of the late Houdini in keeping a storm of rubber out of his net. Gardiner gave another demonstration of black magic last night, and the only "curtains" he used were a puck, a goaler's stick and a keen eye and brain...
Originally Posted by Grueling Battle Lasts Almost Two Hours, Breaks League Record; Howie Morenz Scores Final Winning Goal, Marvelous Net Minding of Gardiner Saves Hawks from Overwhelming Defeat
The miraculous goaltending of Chuck Gardiner in the Hawks nets, was all that kept the Canucks* from scoring time after time, but after being injured twice, the Chicago marvel at last succumbed to a shot from Morenz after 51 minutes and 53 seconds of overtime play.
... Abel on the Hawks defense was, outside of Gardiner, the greatest player on the ice.
George Mantha rushed Gardiner and knocked him down while trying to score. The game was held up for a minute while he recovered from a blow to the stomach. Chuck continued to perform brilliantly however, stopping seemingly impossible shots time after time .
Originally Posted by Wes Champ, President of the Regina vics after returning from watching 2 games of the Stanley Cup playoff series
Charlie Gardiner is the greatest goalkeeper hockey fans ever saw. Saskatchewan hockey supporters cannot imagine what a team of superstars the Montreal Canadiens are - Johnny Gottselig and Harold March are the best two forwards on the Black Hawks roster.
... Gardiner is even better than Hughie Lehman, known as "Eagle Eye' was in his prime, and the way he comes out of his goal - sometimes as much as 15 feet - just breaks the hearts of opposing sharpshooters.
Heroic performance in his final playoffs (Read the whole thing):
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Gardiner's finest moment came in the 1934 playoffs, as "Smiling Charlie" advanced the Hawks to the Stanley Cup Finals against Detroit. This despite the fact that Gardiner was feeling quite ill at the time. Unbeknownst to him or his doctors, Gardiner had long suffered from a chronic tonsil infection. The disease had spread and had begun to cause uremia convulsions. Undaunted, Gardiner pressed on as winning the Stanley Cup had become an obsession with him. Though playing in body-numbing pain, the Hawks prevailed over the Wings. He permitted only 12 goals in 8 playoff games - a 1.50 GAA.
A well liked and jovial fellow, Gardiner served as the Blackhawks captain, a rarity for a goalie even when it was allowed. Before the decisive 4th game, the "Roving Scotsman" showed his leadership and reportedly told his teammates that they would only need to score one goal that night. Sure enough, the game had gone into double overtime at a 0-0 tie. Suffering from growing fatigue, Gardiner was weakening considerably as the game went on. But he managed to hold the Red Wings scoreless until Chicago's XXX finally scored.
The Hawks hoisted their first Stanley Cup, but Gardiner, the only goalie to captain a Cup champion, was just as happy he could escape the ice and collapse in the dressing room. A few weeks later Gardiner underwent brain surgery after suffering a massive brain hemorrhage. Unfortunately complications from the surgery would cost him his life on June 13, 1934.
"BEST GOALIE EVER" AT HIS TIME OF DEATH?*
*I think the evidence still leans towards Benedict, if for no other reason than longevity, but I don't think peak is nearly so clearcut over Gardiner (and perception of Benedict over Vezina apparently wasn't universal during their overlapping peaks)
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette: 2-13-1954
He (Joliat) picked an all star team (at the request of W.A. Howard, a writer for Canadian National Magazine) confined to players who played against him during his 16 years as a professional. He puts [B]Benedict or Gardiner in goal; Shore and Noble on defense; Nighbor at centre; with Cook and Jackson on the wings. It's a well balanced unit. -
Originally Posted by Wes Champ, President of the Regina vics after returning from watching 2 games of the Stanley Cup playoff series
Charlie Gardiner is the greatest goalkeeper hockey fans ever saw.
Gardiner is even better than Hughie Lehman, known as "Eagle Eye' was in his prime, and the way he comes out of his goal - sometimes as much as 15 feet - just breaks the hearts of opposing sharpshooters.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette, June 14, 1934
When Howie Morenz, speed artist of the Montreal Canadiens, was at his best four years ago, he said the Winnipeg kid was the hardest netman he had ever tried to outguess.
(Frank) Boucher tapped for his all-time team goalie Chuck Gardiner of the Chicago Black Hawks, defense men Eddie Shore of the Boston Bruins and Ching Johnson of the Rangers, Center Frank Nighbor of Ottawa, left winger Aurel Joliat of the Montreal Canadians and right winger Bill Cook.
I always thought of him as far superior to any other goaltender in the National League
-The Montreal Gazette, June 14, 1934 (right after Gardiner died - take the quote with a grain of salt, but it's quite strongly worded).
OTHER GOALIE IS THE BEST SINCE CHUCK GARDINER
Originally Posted by Lewiston Evening Journal, April 1, 1940
Of the big Rangers squad, only Davey Kerr, the little goalie, has been recognized as a star. There's no forward on the squad with a reputation such as Howie Morenz, Bill Cook, Nels Stewart, Chuck Conacher, and even older and more famous stars of the past. The defensemen haven't had the publicity granted Ching Johnson, Eddie Shore, or Lionel Conacher. And Kerr isn't being classed with Chuck Conacher or Georges Vezina.
With the 827th pick in ATD2011, The Regina Pats are pleased to select:
Roger Crozier, G
- 5'8", 165 lbs
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1966, 1975)
- Conn Smythe Trophy (1966)
- NHL 1st All-Star Team (1965)
- Also 3rd, 5th, 6th in All-Star Voting
- 4th in Hart Voting (1965)
- Top-10 in post-expansion sv% twice (4th-1970, 10th-1973)
Originally Posted by legendsofhockey.net
Born in Bracebridge, Ontario on March 16 1942 goaltender Roger Crozier made his NHL debut when Detroit Red Wings star netminder Terry Sawchuk was felled by injury. Crozier played the last 15 games of the season for Detroit and impressed the brass enough that exposed Sawchuk in the waiver draft. When Sawchuk was claimed by the Maple Leafs, Crozier was handed the starting job.
Crozier put together an incredible rookie season, playing 70 games while winning a league-leading 40 of them as well as leading the NHL in shutouts with six. Crozier was named to the First All-Star Team as well as being anointed the leagues top rookie. Crozier, who suffered from pancreaitis missed the beginning of the 1965-66 season, but when he returned he was able to deliver a worthy encore to his solid rookie campaign. Again Crozier led the league in games played and shutouts and his solid play led the Wings to the 1966 Stanley Cup Finals. Though they fell to the Montreal Canadiens, Crozier was named the playoff MVP in defeat.
Injuries and illness kept Crozier from building on his early success and in 1970 he was traded to the expansion Buffalo Sabres. With Buffalo Crozier platooned with Dave Dryden and later Gerry Desjardins. His most successful year with Buffalo came in 1974-75 when he recorded a 17-2 record then teamed with Desjardins to backstop the Sabres to the Stanley Cup Finals in just their fifth season.
In 1976-77 Crozier hadn't played at all when the Buffalo Sabres traded his rights to the Washington Capitals on March 3rd, 1977. He played three contests for the Capitals, the last three games of his career.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
The game of hockey was more torture than joy Bracebridge, Ontario native Roger Crozier.
Crozier developed his first ulcer playing junior for the St. Catharines Teepees from 1959-62, winning the Memorial Cup in 1960. He would be hospitalized with pancreatitis more than 30 times during his NHL career. An early infection nearly killed him.
He made his big-league debut in 1963 as a 21-year-old call-up from the AHL Pittsburgh Hornets. Maskless, he had his cheekbone fractured by a Frank Mahovlich slapshot early in his first game, yet toughed it out to finish with a 1-1 tie before being sidelined for two weeks.
Unlike a lot of goaltenders Crozier never had great self esteem., especially after Detroit waived the great Terry Sawchuk. "Detroit have had such great goalies - Sawchuk, Glenn Hall and Harry Lumley. Now they're stuck with a little runt like me,'' he said.
But the runt earned the Calder Trophy as the NHL's best rookie in 1964-65, playing all 70 games, winning 40, earning six shutouts and losing the Vezina as the league's top goaltender to Bower and Sawchuk by two goals in the season's final game, a 4-0 Toronto victory over Detroit.
An acrobat on skates, he took Detroit to the 1966 Stanley Cup final against the Canadiens, a six-game loss, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy and its $1,000 bonus and gold Mustang convertible as the playoffs' most valuable player. He starred in every match, despite an ankle badly sprained in Game 4.
Crozier's frayed nerves were legendary. Having lost three straight games at age 25, he quit hockey and returned home to Bracebridge to work as a carpenter. He had a change of heart four months later, and in June 1970 was traded to the expansion Buffalo Sabres for Tom Webster.
In Buffalo he again led a team to the Stanley Cup finals, this time losing a six-game Stanley Cup final to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1974-75. Crozier retired in 1977 after three games, having being dealt to Washington Capitals.
The reluctant Crozier endured a 518-game NHL career that included 206 victories and 30 shutouts.
Originally Posted by sabreslegends.com
In their first year in the National Hockey League, Roger Crozier, perhaps more than any other player, gave the Buffalo Sabres instant credibility. An aging veteran with a laundry list of injuries and ailments, Crozier was often out of the lineup, unable to play during his tenure in Buffalo. When he was healthy, Crozier was a force to be reconed with. An acrobatic goalie who challenged shooters with reckless abandon, Crozier's experience and veteran poise gave the Sabres a chance to win any time he was between the pipes. That's saying a lot when you consider the lackluster Sabres defense in the first couple of years of the team's existence. Crozier often faced between 40 and 50 shots against a game during the team's first two years in the NHL. Still, despite all the illness and adversity he faced while with the Sabres, the young team was competitive from the start, thanks in large part to the contributions of Roger Crozier.
...Crozier turned pro full-time in 1962, spending the 1962-63 season with the St. Louis Braves of the EPHL and the Bisons. In 1963, the Black Hawks traded Crozier to the Detroit Red Wings.
Crozier made his NHL debut during the 1963-64 season, playing 15 games as a backup to the legendary Red Wings goaltender Terry Sawchuk. The Red Wings organization was so impressed with Crozier's play that during the off-season, Sawchuk was traded and Crozier was given the starting nod.
As a rookie, Crozier started all 70 of Detroit's games during the 1964-65 season. His backup, Carl Wetzel, saw only 33 minutes of action during the entire season. Crozier was the last goaltender in NHL history to play in all of his team's games. Crozier turned in an impressive rookie campaign.
Crozier was returned to the Teepees for the 1961-62 season. He spent the majority of the season there. He was called up for one game with the Bisons, and spent three games with the Sault Ste. Marie Thunderbirds of the Eastern Professional Hockey League during the season.
In 1965-66, Crozier led the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup Finals. Detroit won the first two games of the series, benefiting from a solid performance by Crozier. When a Montreal player slammed into Crozier during Game 3, Crozier was knocked out with a leg injury, and the Red Wings lost the game. Crozier returned for Game 4, and while playing on the injured leg, held the mighty Canadiens to just 2 goals. Despite his fine play, the Red Wings lost again. Montreal would take Game 5 as well. In Game 6, still suffering from the leg injury, Crozier held the Canadiens to a tie in regulation time. Montreal would go on to win the game and the series in overtime. Despite losing the Cup, at the end of the series Crozier's heroic effort earned his the Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoff M.V.P. Crozier was the first goaltender, as well as the first player from a non-championship team to win the award. To date, only three other players have won the Conn Smythe Trophy without also winning the Stanley Cup.
In 1967, Crozier would have his first prolonged bout with pancreatitis, the ailment that would hamper him throughout the remainder of his career. After missing a stretch at the beginning of the 1967-68 season, Crozier announced his retirement. After six weeks, Crozier decided he had recovered enough to return to action, and he rejoined the Red Wings after a brief conditioning stint in the AHL. Crozier would miss portions of the next two seasons with pancreatitis and related illnesses.
At the 1970 Expansion Draft, Sabres General Manager Punch Imlach went about the business of building an NHL team from scratch. Imlach knew that solid goaltending would be the cornerstone around which a competitive team must be built. To that end, Imlach picked up goaltender Joe Daley, whom the Pittsburgh Penguins were trying to sneak through the Waiver Draft. Daley was an experienced NHL goalie, but not one who Imlach thought could carry the load throughout the season. Imlach was on the lookout for a deal which would bring him another veteran to share the goaltending duties with Daley.
As the teams gathered for the Expansion Draft on June 10, 1970,
Imlach was approached by Detroit Red Wings GM Sid Abel. Abel told Imlach that he was going to trade Roger Crozier to Boston for right wing Tom Webster, who happened to be on Boston's list of players available in the Expansion Draft. If Imlach picked Webster in the draft, Abel would trade Crozier to him, cutting the Bruins out of the deal. Later, Boston GM Milt Schmidt pulled Imlach aside, and not knowing about the conversation between Imalch and Abel, and asked him to take forward Garnet "Ace" Bailey with the first pick in the draft, because he had planned on trading Webster to Detroit for Crozier. Schmidt walked back to Boston's table thinking he had a deal with Imlach, while Imlach preferred to deal with Detroit. Imlach came to the podium to make his first pick in the Expansion Draft and picked Webster, much to the displeasure of Schmidt. Webster was quickly shipped off to the Red Wings, and Roger Crozier was a Sabre.
With Crozier, Daley and Dave Dryden, who was also acquired in the spring of 1970, Imlach had a solid goaltending corps around which to build his team.
Crozier was the starting goaltender for the Sabres' first ever NHL game on October 10, 1970 in Pittsburgh against the Penguins. Crozier turned aside 35 of Pittsburgh's 36 shots as the Sabres earned their first NHL win by a score of 2-1. The 35 save effort was actually an easy night for Crozier during that first season. Four nights later, Crozier would face 53 shots on net as the Sabres were shut out by the powerful Montreal Canadiens 3-0 in their home opener. 21 of those shots came in the second period alone. On November 18, 1970, Crozier made 40 saves on 42 shots as the Sabres invaded the Maple Leaf Gardens, beating Imlach's former club by a score of 7-2.
Despite the constant pressure of facing so many shots a night, Crozier played extremely well, keeping the Sabres close in most of their games. He registered the first shut out in Sabres history on December 6, 1970 as the Sabres blanked the Minnesota North Stars 1-0 at the Aud in Buffalo.
By late December, 1970, the pressure of being the Sabres' number one goaltender took it's toll, and Crozier was out of the lineup, suffering from sheer exhaustion. Daley and Dryden carried the load for much of the rest of the season, with Crozier playing only sparingly. He finished the season with a 3.69 GAA in 44 games played, winning 9, losing 20 with 7 ties.
Crozier fared a little better health-wise during the 1971-72 season. He competed in 63 of Buffalo's 78 games, posting a 3.51 GAA and 2 shutouts. Though the Sabres finished the year with the worst win-loss record in the league, Crozier's play couldn't be faulted for it. Crozier faced 2,190 shots against during the 1971-72 season, which is still the team's record for shots faced by a goaltender in a single season. At the end of the season, his teammates voted Crozier their Most Valuable Player, and he was presented with the Wayne Larkin Memorial Trophy. He also won the team's "Star of Stars" Trophy, for the most three stars selections during the season.
1971-72 would be Crozier's last full season as a starting goaltender in the NHL. Illnesses and injuries limited Crozier's playing time for the rest of his career. In addition to the pancreatitis he had been suffering from since the late 60's, ulcers and gall bladder problems conspired to keep Crozier in almost constant pain. Often, Sabres coach Joe Crozier (no relation to Roger) wouldn't know until game time who his starting goaltender would be. As the goaltenders would take pre-game warmup, Joe Crozier would wait and watch to see if Roger would nod to him or not. If he did, that meant he was feeling well enough to play. If not, backup Dave Dryden would be pressed into action.
Crozier nodded 46 times during the 1972-73 season. With an improved Sabres defense playing in front of him, Crozier turned in a 23-13-7 record with a 2.76 GAA and 3 shutouts. Dryden benefitted from the extra help on defense as well, and the Sabres had their best season since coming into the league, making the Playoffs for the first time in club history. In the Playoffs, Crozier played in 4 of the team's 6 games in a first round loss to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Montreal Canadiens. Crozier won two of those games, including one in Montreal.
The 1973-74 season was a disappointing one for the Sabres all around. Injuries took some of the team's most talented players from the lineup. Crozier's ailments limited him to only 12 games, and Dryden took over as the team's starter. In February, veteran defenseman Tim Horton, one of the biggest contributors for the Sabres' improved defensive play, was killed in a car accident on his way home from a game in Toronto, sending the young team into a tailspin. The season ended with the Sabres missing the Playoffs by 10 points.
Under new coach Floyd Smith, who was the Sabres' Captain during their first year in the league, the 1974-75 Sabres were one of the best teams in the NHL. They won the Adams Division for the first time in history, finishing the season with 49 wins, 16 losses and 15 ties, still the best record in franchise history. Crozier contributed 17 wins to the effort in 23 games played. He finished the season with a 2.62 GAA and three shutouts.
In the Playoffs, the Sabres tore through the Chicago Black Hawks and Montreal Canadiens en route to the Prince of Wales Conference Championship and the team's first ever Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Crozier played in 3 games for the Sabres during the 1975 Playoffs, including two games in the Finals against the Philadelphia Flyers. One of those games that Crozier appeared in was Game 3, the infamous "fog game". A rare May heat wave hit Buffalo, causing the temperatures inside the Aud to jump into the 90's. With no air conditioning inside the building, an eerie fog rose from the ice to enshroud the players. The thick fog made it hard for the goalies to see, and stop, the puck, and the teams skated to a 4-4 tie in regulation. In overtime, Crozier held the Flyers off, and Sabres right winger Rene Robert put one past Philadelphia goalie Bernie Parent to seal it for the home team. Crozier was also in net for Game 6 of the series. He held the Flyers scoreless through two periods, but gave up 2 third period goals as the Flyers clinched the Stanley Cup in Buffalo.
Originally Posted by Phil Ranallo article, February 23, 1973
AT LAST, LIFE IS beautiful for Roger Crozier or almost as beautiful as life can get for a fellow who holds down one of the most terrifying and dangerous jobs in the world of fun and games.
For the first two years of the existence of the Buffalo Sabres, Crozier stood smack-dab in the center of the bull’s-eye. The cat-quick goaltender was the Sabres’ first line of defense.
Pucks, pucks, pucks, pucks, an endless barrage of rock-hard pucks was fired at him. Tending goal for the Sabres was like being positioned at the wrong end of things in a shooting gallery.
Roger survived those two frightening years; but ended up with more lumps and bruises than a guy who had picked an argument with a cement mixer – while inside the cement mixer. It was enough to give a fellow a nervous twitch.
THIS SEASON, THOUGH–heaven, at last! Players still swarm in on Crozier with sticks in their hands and knives on their feet. But the Sabres have taken some of the pressure off “No. 1,” the gutsy guy who resides in “No-Man’s Land”, the crease, that oblong area in front of the net.
“Yes, Life is a lot easier on me now,” says Crozier, who in his 13-year career has collected numerous badges of his trade-three broken jaws, one broken nose, one broken cheekbone and facial crocheting that adds up to “maybe 300 stitches.”
“It’s easier because we’re a good hockey team now. We’ve come ‘quite far quite fast because of the great job management has done-Punch Imlach and Joe Crozier.
“At the beginning of the season, when we went through 10, games unbeaten, we didn’t really know how good we were, and wondered whether we were just lucky.
“NOW THAT WE’VE GONE through 60 games, it’s different. We know we’re not a flash-in-the-pan team, We think we’re as good a hockey club as there is in the league-with the exception of Montreal, maybe.”
Then Crozier spoke of the Sabre defense and paid special tribute to Buffalo’s geriatric marvel Tim Horton, the 43·year-old Sabre who is making his mark as hockey’s George Blanda.
“I’d watched Horton play for years, but never realized how good a defenseman he is. I didn’t appreciate him (until I played behind him.
“Nobody takes the puck away from Tim in the corners and nobody can check him in front of the net, He’s unbelievably strong, He’s great at getting the puck out of ‘our end of the rink,”
THE CONVERSATION SWUNG back to goaltending and Crozier confessed that he does not regard it as the greatest job in the world-or in hockey. He mentioned the pressure of being the last line of defense pressure that gnaws at a goalie’s stomach-literally in Crozier’s case, since he is prone to attacks of pancreatitis.
“If a forward or a defenseman is playing badly,” Crozier said, “he gets a chance to go to the bench and get re-organized. But a goalie has to stay out there-and it’s murder on him when he’s having a bad night.”
Crozier said he has one fear-the fear that he will play a bad game, “It’s the same-fear every goalie has when he first hits the ice-because he can’t be sure if he’s going to be good or bad.”
SO WHY DID CROZIER become a goalie? “When I was a kid, goaltending seemed like a pretty good idea,” he explained, “I worked at it hard and the first thing I knew it was the only position I could play with ability.”
“If I had my choice over again, though, if I could go back and start all over again, I’d be a forward or a defenseman-for sure,”
Sabre fans are happy that Roger Crozier, the great goaltender with the marvelous moves, does not have that choice. Tonight, when the Sabres meet the Vancouver Canucks in Memorial Auditorium, could be a special night in the life of Roger Crozier. Roger could reach a milestone, if he makes 26 saves, he’ll reach the 4,000 save plateau as a Sabre goaltender. That’s more than half-ton of vulcanized rubber he has kept out of the net in less than three years.
Originally Posted by Players: the Ultimate A-Z Guide of Everyone Who Has Ever Played in the NHL
… Crozier's brilliant play earned him the Conn Smythe trophy, and after two full seasons nobody in the league looked more certain of a Hall of Fame career. But all his life he had been plagued by stomach troubles, his body's way of making it clear the stress it felt from being an original six goalie...
Originally Posted by Fischler's Hockey Encyclopedia
coaxing Roger Crozier out of retirement is never an easy thing, although it has been accomplished more than once, the latest convincing being done by Punch Imlach in 1974. When Roger is sharp, he is among the best in hockey, but stomach and pancreas problems have hindered "the dodger" since he captured the Calder trophy in 1965 and the conn Smythe the following season.
Originally Posted by The All-New Hockey's 100
#85 – Roger Crozier - one of the great stylists of goaltending. Small for a goalie, he nevertheless played 14 seasons in the NHL. Unfortunately for Roger, he played most of his career on mediocre teams, playing for the Detroit Red Wings, the Buffalo Sabres, and later the Washington Capitals. Equally unfortunate were the stomach and pancreas problems that plagued Roger throughout his career. A compulsive worrier, Crozier developed an ulcer at age 17. Many times he could not eat before a game, or afterwards. Despite the many troubles that faced Roger – the illness, the nerves, or the mediocre clubs that he played on – he was an outstanding goaltender during his long career.
Crozier was the goalie for the first All-Star team in 1965, an honor he richly deserved. In 1966 Stanley Cup finals, Roger won the conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player for his team in the playoffs, even though Detroit lost the final to the Montréal Canadiens, after a two games to zero Redwing in the series.
Hockey critics weren't fans of Crozier, who was small at 5'8" and 155 pounds, and they doubted that his sprawling style would succeed in the NHL…
During the 1966 playoffs, Roger virtually single-handedly defeated the powerful Montrealers in the first two games. His play inspired even his rivals to toast Rogers excellence. Jacques Laperriere, the fine defenseman, remembered it like this. "We were just as good, may be better. What one those first two games for them was their goalie, Roger Crozier. He was making all the saves and it looked like we could never get the puck past him."
Traded to Buffalo in 1970, Roger played several seasons, but missed many games due to his illness. He had five pancreas attacks that put him in the hospital for over nine months. When Crozier came back to Buffalo after almost a year of illness, he was scheduled to start against Toronto. During the warm-ups, he was hit on the right side of his neck, just above the collarbone by a drive off the stick of defenseman Jerry Korab. That area is just about the only spot on a goaltenders body that is not protected by a pad or a mask. Roger was knocked unconscious by the powerful shot. Because of his constant illness, even when Roger returned to action, he was still not in the best of health… "I never feel 100%, and I never will again. I just have to accept it."
Roger was one of the first modern goalies – he perfected the butterfly style. He was a great stylist and was an interesting goalie to watch. To think that his minor-league coaches had tried to "cure him" of his habit of sprawling! Had they been successful, it surely would have been hockey's loss.
Originally Posted by without Fear
Johnny Bower's commentary on Crozier: "Roger was an average size goalie but he was all heart. He would've had a Hall of Fame career had illness not cut it short. He would come way out of the crease to take away the net. He was so quick that he'd move right back in and then if need be back out again to take away the corners. I think that Rogers record speaks for itself, in that he won the Hap Holmes, Calder, and conn Smythe trophies in three consecutive years.
Jim Rutherford on Crozier: "he is very similar to Jose Theodore: quick, small goaltenders with a great glove hand. Roger was a lot more spectacular than Theodore. There was a lot of talk in those days about Roger's nervousness and what he went through before and after again, but he was a great goaltender. And he was a great guy. I remember I spent one training camp with him and he was great to me. Just a first-class man.
. He spent his entire NHL career trying to stop pucks while dealing with serious health issues that included an ulcer and pancreatitis… Like Glenn Hall he could look like an octopus in the net, with his arms and legs flailing about. The great Maurice "rocket" Richard once said that Crozier "probably has the best reflexes in hockey". says former Detroit defenseman Bill Gadsby: "he would have one arm on the crossbar and his leg sticking way out over there and the other hand would be stretched out. I used to sit on the bench and think, how in the heck did he get that one? His glove would never be really thought it should be. I've seen him with his elbow on the crossbar, and he would just be hanging there. But he always managed to stop the puck." With his catching glove on his right hand, Crozier always appeared to be even more unorthodox than he was. He would show open net and then take it away with the quickness and magic of his glove hand.
When Crozier won the conn Smythe trophy while playing for the losing team in the 1966 Stanley Cup final, it seemed as if he was on the road to greatness. But analysis of Crozier's career today now centers on the hypothetical question of what he might have been able to accomplish had he been blessed with good health. "His stomach problems were far more serious than any of us knew in Detroit," Gadsby says.
While many players struggled to keep weight off, Crozier always fought to keep weight on his frame in his early days with the Red Wings. Because illness would limit what he could eat, his weight would sometimes get below 160. It also didn't help that he was a fretter and prone to self-doubt.… Crozier was never able to achieve the superstardom that was expected of him. Dave Dryden, Crozier's goaltending partner in Buffalo, said "I did get a kick out of his philosophy. He was always saying when he was up in Bracebridge, on the roof of a cottage and hammering a nail, that there aren't 15,000 people booing if he bends one. If you bend the nail, you bend the nail. He would hint that he couldn't take the pressure."
Despite the torturous ordeal Crozier went through while playing, teammates remember that he was a fun-loving guy who enjoyed teen pranks and jokes. Crozier, who died in 1996, could laugh in the face of constant pain. Even though his achievements pale in comparison to some of the legends of the game, hockey aficionados still view him as a true goaltending great.
Originally Posted by heroes of Hockeytown
like most goaltenders, Roger Crozier had idiosyncrasies for which netminders are known… A small goaltender, Crozier was one of the pioneers of the sprawling, scrambling butterfly style. But it was very popular with hockey observers in those dates. "He was acrobatic and really, he was probably the Hasek of the 60s," said hockey historian Bob Duff. "People always criticized the way he played, but he was successful." In fact, the scout who spotted & Crozier thought he was too small to ever make it to the NHL… "Roger was a short little goaltender who had amazing agility and, basically, used to chin himself on the crossbar, they said, because he was so short."
"I remember in Buffalo, towards the end of his career, he was just in agony," said Duff. "I still think if Buffalo would've played him earlier in the 1975 finals, they might have beaten the flyers."… If not for his poor health his numbers surely would have been more impressive, but Crozier still had an outstanding career and made his mark in Detroit and on the entire NHL.
Originally Posted by The Men in the Nets
goaltenders, by the very nature of their job, are loners who seem to feel the whole world is against them. And if you or I dressed up in 40 pounds of having two or three times a week and we had people firing hard pieces of rubber at us, we too might develop a persecution complex. But even among the goaltenders, as neurotic a group of men as will be found in professional sport, Roger Crozier of the Buffalo Sabres is the champion freestyle worrier... Over the season he frets and worries away 10 pounds he can ill afford to lose… Crozier is as nervous and fidgety as any goalie in hockey. Yet, except for his habit of twitching his neck like a duck, he appears to be the most relaxed man on the ice, almost bored by what is going on. This is one of the things that makes him a great goalkeeper – his ability to keep his wits when the going is toughest. It takes a special person to be a goalie and Roger Crozier is a special person. Though he is obsessed with worries, one thing that never seems to concern him is the fear of injury…
But if he is unconcerned about being injured, Crozier has other things on his mind. "I worry about pucks going past me into the net. I worry about having a bad game, but most of all I worry about my job. If I have a couple of bad games in a row I know someone else will be playing goal for the Red Wings." Crozier did have a few bad games during the 1967 season and just as he feared he lost his job. Said Detroit coach Sid Abel: "I don't know what's happened to him, but he just is playing like he did." What evil and the Red Wings refused to admit was that the entire team was not playing as of half the year before. But when things are going badly the oldest ploy in hockey is to blame the goalie. And that's exactly what the Red Wings did… It was only six months before that the same Sid Abel was hailing Crozier as the finest goalie in hockey. He played so well during the 1966 Stanley Cup playoffs that even though his team lost he was awarded the conn Smythe trophy as the outstanding player in the series.… But a goalie is only as good as his last game so Roger Crozier lost his job. To a man torn by self-doubts, as he is, it was a shattering blow. One night, soon after Crozier was benched, Jack Barry, the hockey writer for the Detroit Free Press, sat on the plane with Crozier. "I'm embarrassed by what has happened. And I still can't understand. My health has never been better. For the first time since I came into the league I really felt like playing. I just wish I knew what went wrong." Crozier did get his job back eventually, once the Red Wings realized they were winning with Hank Bassen, his replacement, either. And once he did, Roger kept it for the balance of the season, for the little guy is a fighter as well as a worrier.
But the way it is for goaltenders. One moment you are being hailed as the best in the business, the next you're on the bench. No wonder goalies are a little odd. You have to be to take the physical beating from the flying pucks, but also the mental whipping of knowing one bad game can mean their jobs.
One unusual thing about Crozier is that he usually plays better when he isn't feeling well. He had a fine season in 1966, and in the playoffs Crozier was better than any goalie had a right to be as the Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks in the semifinals. In the first two games of the finals against Montréal, Crozier, if anything, was even more spectacular. But he was injured in the fourth game, and though he came back to play despite the painful pulled muscle in his groin, he just wasn't as effective.
… Abel knew that a man plagued by self-doubts would never develop into a top-flight goalie if he had Sawchuk to battle for the job. But given the job on his own – and at the time Detroit had no choice since he was the only NHL caliber goalie they had – Abel was sure Crozier would come through. Not many people agreed with him. Even Crozier sounded dubious. "Detroit has had such great goalies as saw Chuck, Glenn Hall, and Harry Lumley, and now they're stuck with the little runt like me." Seldom has any player come into the NHL and had so many slings and arrows tossed his way.
His critics felt Crozier had another problem besides his lack of stature. His minor-league coaches had tried in vain to cure him of his habit of sprawling, like a circus acrobat, to stop shots, many of which wouldn't have been on the net anyway. "Sure he goes down a lot," Abel said. "But he also gets up faster than any goalie in the league. I'm not even going to try to change his style. Roger is so quick he can scroll around and stop shots and be back on his feet for the rebound. He also has the best hands of any goalie of ever seen. I think he'll be one of the great ones."
One reason he had so much trouble convincing anyone but Abel that he was a big leaguer is that Roger Crozier doesn't look much like a goalie or act like one either. You see him out of his uniform and he is so small and wispy did you get the feeling that a hard shot puck would go right through him. And almost always he has that hangdog expression on his face. "The only time I really forget about my problems is after a game when we won. But by the next morning I'll be worrying again."
Many of us, in more mundane occupations, undoubtedly envy Roger Crozier and his life as a hockey player. He earns $35,000 a year, has a house without a mortgage, drives a car he won playing hockey and is the best-known man in his hometown. Roger Crozier would gladly swap places with you or me any day. "I like everything about hockey, the traveling, the friends I've met, the interviews. Everything but the games. They're pure torture. A few summers ago I worked for a warehousing company in Bracebridge and found it so relaxing to do an honest days work and then go home and forget about it. When I'm playing hockey emirate all the time that someone is going to get my job. But every time I get discouraged I think of how well the man with my education could earn this much money. Of course, I couldn't."
Buffalo Sabres traded their first draft choice, Tom Webster, to the Red Wings for Crozier in June of 1970. And Punch Imlach, the general manager of the Sabres, has never regretted making the deal. He rates Crozier as one of the best goalies in the NHL. He has to be to allow as few goals as he does behind the inexperienced Buffalo defense.
Originally Posted by Shooting Stars
all these years later, Crozier's crease mandate is upsetting to read: "the only way a goaltender can look good is to get a shutout. It's impossible to look good when a goal is scored against you, even if you didn't have a chance… The pressures on you all the time."
Originally Posted by Hockey All-Stars
"I still do not believe it," said Jean Beliveau after game two. "I don't think I ever shot a puck harder. I put everything into it. It was streaking for the upper right-hand corner, but Crozier throughout his hand, made a perfect catch and tossed the puck away. How did he stop it?"
Originally Posted by Years of Glory – the National Hockey League's Official Book of the Six Team Era
Detroit's Roger Crozier proved himself to be the league's finest young goaltenders, and his acrobatic style won praise throughout the NHL.
Originally Posted by History of Hockeytown
so certain was Detroit coach-GM Sid Abel that Roger Crozier was a budding NHL superstar, he didn't protect veteran Terry Sawchuk for the 1964 NHL intra-league draft, losing his three time Vezina Trophy winner to Toronto. "If he doesn't do the job, I'll be sitting out there in the stands like everyone else, wondering what the devil went wrong. But I have the utmost confidence in him. He's going to be a star. His quick and he's got fast hands." Abel's faith was rewarded.
Originally Posted by Detroit Red Wings Greatest Moments and Players
if Glenn Hall was the first goaltender to popularize the butterfly style of puck stopping, Roger Crozier was the first puck stopper to take that form to the next level. He is never mentioned in the same breath as Glenn Hall when it comes to the all-time top goaltenders. But had constant ill health not bedeviled Crozier, there is every possibility he would have been ranked with the likes of Hall, Terry Sawchuk, and Jacques Plante of the pre-expansion era.
Originally Posted by Wings of Fire
an acrobatic, fall down goalie… Crozier was quite the worrior when it came to his performance, and in 1967, lost confidence in his ability to tended goal, and temporarily retired for 2 1/2 months… "It's the fear of playing bad that worries a goalie most. You can't afford to go out and feel shaky. There are 18 guys on your bench looking, 15,000 fans. The pressure is on you. Every team in this league needs great goaltending, so it's up to you – the guy in the net."
Surprisingly, he enjoyed playing for the expansion Buffalo Sabres the most. In an article of the hockey news, he explained: "there were a lot of games I played with those early Sabres teams that I could walk out of the locker room, win or lose, and feel satisfied that I had done the best I could."
Originally Posted by The History of the Buffalo Sabres
the deepest part of the new team figured to be in goal. Roger Crozier gave the team instant credibility at the position.
... Those young players also knew that no matter what happened, goalie Roger Crozier probably would keep the Sabres at least close. He stayed healthy enough that season to play 63 games. Crozier was named the team's MVP at the end of the season.
Game six of the 1975 Stanley Cup finals featured a superb display of goaltending by both Crozier and parent. The contest was scoreless after 40 minutes. 11 seconds into the third period, Bob Kelly picked up the puck and found himself all alone in front the net. "I was covering the short side, but he threw it to the long side. I got a piece of it, but it wasn't enough." Parent came up with several great saves in the third stanza, including a brilliant stop on Luce. The flyers ran out the clock to win 2-0 and clinch their second straight Stanley Cup.
Gump Worsley thought Crozier didn't deserve the Conn Smythe - he used GAA as his argument, but he might have actually been right. Worsley faced 29.0 shots per game to Crozier's 27.5, and saved 93.1% of them; Crozier stopped 91.5%:
Originally Posted by Without Fear
Worsley: "I had played all 10 playoff games and have allowed only 20 goals. Roger had given up 26 and 12 games and wound up on the losing team."
A quick recap of Crozier's stealing of Terry Sawchuk's job:
Originally Posted by Shutout: the Legend of Terry Sawchuk
" he could be the find of the century. He could be great," Abel raved of Roger Crozier, 21, who had been acquired from Chicago the previous June. "It looks like he will be in the Detroit hockey picture for years and years." ... Abel made a point of stressing that "regardless of how well Terry is playing," Crozier would take over upon his return (from having his cheekbone shattered by Frank Mahovlich drive ). "I think he's the only one who can lead us out of this slump. They played better with Roger in goal than anyone else we've had. We've been getting a lot of goals scored against us, so that's an obvious change. It's not because of Terry's sore back, either, because I would make the switch even if both he and Crozier were healthy."
Not everyone felt as certain as able the new kid had a future in the big league. "Crozier sprawls and goes down too much," pronounced King Clancy, Toronto's assistant general manager. One writer compared Crozier's playing style to "a frenzied acrobat playing with the pitch. He bends low in the Crouch of the catcher. He falls to his knees. Sometimes, swift and agile, he doubles over in the fashion of an inverted U." The most popular criticism was that Crozier, at 5 foot seven and 145 pounds, was too small to long withstand the rigors of NHL play. "He's nothing but a singer midget," sniffed Clancy. Jacques Plante, who by now tended goal for the New York Rangers, agreed with the others about Crozier's lack of size, and had trouble understanding why the players felt they needed to change. "No matter how good he plays, he won't be as good as Sawchuk."
Possibly no goalie before or since has been as good as Sawchuk at his best. But Crozier more than justified Abel's confidence when he returned to the lineup two weeks later. The wings won twice and played three times in his first five games. Abel planned to keep on giving Crozier the majority of starts… That didn't mean that Terry had conceded the number one ranking to Crozier. Or that he felt the end of his career was necessarily at hand.
"I think my daughter thought somebody had hit me on the head with a hammer because I let Terry go," Abel said. "We hated to lose Terry, especially in view of all that he has done for the Red Wings. But Terry is 34 and he only played a little more than half the season for us each of the last two years and we had to make the move. Roger Crozier is our goalie and he certainly proved he belongs in the NHL... It may have solved the problem for us because we may have had to ask Terry to play at Pittsburgh next year and this is something we would not have wanted to do."
Dire predictions to the contrary, the wings managed quite nicely with the diminutive Crozier guarding the cage. Crozier withstood the daily grind to become the league's only goalie to play all 70 games and was named the league's outstanding rookie.
(when traded back to Detroit in 1968) Gadsby and general manager Sid Abel saw Terry as the backup and mentor to Roger Crozier and Roy Edwards… Crozier was to be Terry's personal project. The year before, when the wings had finished out of the playoffs for the second year running, the high strung little netminder had quit the team and hockey for three months, returning to his home in Bracebridge, Ontario to work as a carpenter. It would be the job of Sawchuk, the moodiest and most volatile goaltender of his era, to help Crozier keep his emotions in check... Gadsby soon lauded the impact that Terry had made on Crozier. "You know how jittery Roger can get. Well, since Terry has been working with him he has really calmed down. I think, for probably the first time in a long time, Roger's really enjoying playing goal."
Originally Posted by Punch Imlach: Heaven & Hell In the NHL
Whatever else we got in the expansion draft, we just had to come up with an NHL goalkeeper. But Crozier was just beyond my wildest dreams. He had won the rookie award in his first full year, the Conn Smythe as the MVP of the playoffs a year later, and he had a low 2.65 GAA in the season just ended. But he wasn't happy in Detroit and they thought he was sick too much. That's when you can get a guy.
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1972
small but acrobatic... high-strung and nervous
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1973
sabres argue that he's the best goalies in the NHL... certainly, he's one of the most underrated... performed heroically for Buffalo last year, playing all but 15 games... a real acrobat in the nets...
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1974
he's been an all-star only once, but many players in the NHL consider him to be among the best and most courageous goaltenders... an acrobat who specializes in diving, spectacular point-blank saves few goalies can make... once was spectacular but lost, 9-5, to Rangers in 65-shot bombardment... an unheralded star in Detroit before joining Sabres.
Johnny Sorrell was a lanky left winger with the Detroit Falcons/Red Wings and New York Americans during the 1930s and early 1940s. Standing nearly 6 feet tall but weighing just 155 lbs, John was instantly nicknamed Long John.
Born in Chesterville Ontario on January 16, 1906, Sorrell's hockey career began in the Can-pro league in 1927 with the Quebec Beavers. In 1928 he moved on to play with the Windsor Bulldogs. He was technically the property of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. The Habs moved Sorrell to the London Panthers of the IAHL for the 1929-30 season.
The mild mannered Sorrell exploded with the Panthers, leading the entire IAHL with 31 goals in just 42 games. Instantly, every NHL team was interested in Sorrell's services.
It was the Detroit Falcons (later renamed Red Wings) who won the Sorrell sweepstakes when they traded Herbie Stuart to London on February 8, 1930. For the next 7 1/2 seasons Sorrell was a key contributor to the Detroit franchises' success. Part of that success included back to back Stanley Cup championships in 1936 & 1937. That first Stanley Cup championship was Sorrell's career highlite. He scored 7 points in as many games to help his team realize the dream of hoisting the Stanley Cup.
A skilled player with good skating ability, Sorrell twice led the Wings in goal scoring. This was quite an accomplishment considering his teammates included the great Ebbie Goodfellow, Syd Howe and Mud Bruneteau.
As his production hinted of slowing down, Sorrell was traded to the NY Americans in 1938 in exchange for Hap Emms. Sorrell played 3 1/2 seasons in New york and a couple more in the minor leagues before turning to the world of coaching in Indianapolis.
John was also a heck of a baseball player. In the hockey off season he played semi-professional baseball.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
John Sorrell played for three different teams as a junior and was signed as a Montreal Canadiens, though never played a game for the fabled team. In 1929, he was traded to the Detroit Falcons where he became a steady scorer and helped the team win consecutive Stanley Cups in 1936 and 1937.
After nine years in Detroit, Sorrell was traded to the New York Americans where he spent the rest of his NHL career. He retired from the league in the 1940-41 season and spent his remaining playing days in the AHL with both the Hershey Bears and Indianapolis Capitols, turning to coaching in the 1945-46 season.
Regular Season: 868GP – 403W – 295L – 114T/OT – 3.38GAA – .887SV% (exluding first 2 seasons)
Playoffs: 150GP – 92W – 50L – 2.92GAA – .900SV% (exluding first 2 seasons)
Hart Voting Record: 2nd (to Lemieux in 1987-88) and 6th (1st among goaltenders 1995-96)
Vezina Voting Record: 1, 2, 3, 3, 5, 6, 6, 6
All Star Team Voting Record: 1, 2, 3, 3, 6, 8, 8, 9, 9
NHL Awards and Records
Vezina Trophy: 1987-88
1st Team All Star: 1987-88
2nd Team All Star: 1981-82
Stanley Cup: 1984, 85, 87, 88, 90 (did not play in playoffs this year)
Most games played in a season by a goaltender (79 in 1995-96)
Most consecutive games in one season played by a goaltender (76 in 1995-96)
Most points by a goaltender in one season (14pts in 1983-84)
9th All Time in Regular Season Wins
3rd All Time in Playoff Wins
Penalty Shots: 2 GA in 9 attempts
International (Team Canada)
1984 Canada Cup: Gold Medal; 2GP – 1W – 0L – 1T
1987 Canada Cup: Gold Medal; 9GP – 6W – 1L – 2T
1987 Canada Cup Tournament All Star Team
Rendez-vous '87 NHL All Stars vs. Soviet Union
2GP – 1W – 1L
Inducted Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003
Grant Fuhr was the best goalie in the world in the second half of the 1980's. He struggled once departing from Edmonton, but late in his career resurrected his profile to elite status once again with St. Louis.
The playoffs was when Fuhr was at his best.
Fuhr's GAA ranged from a low of 3.43 to 3.91, which is extremely high for someone who is supposed to be the "best goalie in the world." But considering the Oilers' run and gun style and Fuhr's lack of support on many nights, those numbers are very respectable.
The season started with the 1987 Canada Cup. Many believe that that was the strongest Soviet national team ever assembled. Many agree that it was the greatest hockey Wayne Gretzky ever played. It also marked the emergence of Mario Lemieux as a superstar like no one before him. It was a new generation's 1972 Summit Series. It might have been the greatest hockey ever played.
And Grant Fuhr stood on his head! The Russians swarmed and swarmed but Fuhr continued to turn away shot after shot after shot. Remember right before Mario Lemieux's famous goal on a drop pass from Wayne Gretzky? There was mad scramble in front of the Canadian net, Fuhr kept the puck out. The results of the 1987 Canada Cup could very easily have been reversed had it not been for Grant Fuhr.
While Fuhr received little respect for his regular season play, he became recognized as the world's greatest goaltender because of his international play and the Stanley Cup playoffs. Spectacular sprawling saves were the norm in Edmonton during their Cup years. While most people give Gretzky and Messier the credit, it is highly unlikely the Oiler's would have been as successful as they were without the caliber of play Grant Fuhr supplied them.
Fuhr fell on hard times towards the turn of the decade…Fuhr, an excellent golfer, returned to form once he landed in St. Louis. He looked like he was 23 again, thrilling fans with his acrobatic style and is stealing games for the Blues which they have no business winning. It was great to see the living legend between the pipes back on top after most people had written him off.
Though it is now overly celebrated, Fuhr was the first true black superstar in the NHL. Adopted by white parents when he was just two weeks old, Fuhr generally refused to talk about race, saying colour was not an issue for him nor would he let it be for anyone else.
Grant Fuhr is one of the best clutch goaltenders in the history of the game.
Wayne Gretzky would tell the media that if there was a game that his team needed to win, his first-choice goaltender would be Fuhr.
Due to an injury, Fuhr could not play in the 1990 Stanley Cup final.
Playing in St. Louis in the modern era of tight defence, Fuhr put up microscopic goals against averages, but he admitted that he would trade it in for 7-4 shootouts if it would have made the Blues a contender.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – June 2, 1987
Grant Fuhr, the stellar Edmonton goalie who fashioned a 2.45 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage merited Conn Smythe consideration
Brendan Shanahan, The Sporting News, May 18, 1998
Shooters spend their whole life shooting against goalies, and 99 percent of them catch lefthanded. A lot of our favourite shots or go-to moves are not there with a goalie that catches the other way. It's like if 99 percent of the pitchers in the majors were righties and maybe five teams had lefties. It's a big difference. It can throw a whole team out of whack.
The Sports Forecaster Hockey '97-'98
The Blues made the playoffs thanks to that Energizer bunny of a goalie, Grant Fuhr..."
Mark Messier, ESPN Sportszone, April 1998
The classic stand-up goalie. Plays his angles well, challenges and he has that unbelievable athleticism. Just look at his record. He's made more big saves than any goalie over the last 15 years. He really has no weakness.
Soviet League 1980-1990
430GP – 195G – 170A – 365Pts
League Champion: 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89
Soviet League MVP Voting Top 5
Swiss Nationaliga A 1991-1998
263GP – 200G – 330A – 530Pts
Soviet/Russian National Team 1983-1995 (did not play 84, 92, 94)
100 GP – 43G – 43A – 86 Pts
Olympics: 2 Gold (88, 92)
World Championships: 5 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze
European Cup Champion: 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89
1987 Canada Cup
9GP – 2G – 7A – 9 Pts
(5th Overall in Tournament behind Gretzky, Lemieux, Makarov, Krutov)
Rendez-vous '87 NHL All Stars vs. Soviet Union
2GP – 1G 1A – 2Pts
1989 World Championship All Star Team
MVP Izvestia Tournament: 1989
1990 Soviet League All Star Team
Swiss Nationaliga All Star Team: 92-93 and 93-94
Swiss Nationaliga Playoff All Star Team: 92-93
Top Scorer Swiss Championship: 92, 93, 94
On the ice, Slava Bykov compensates his small size, inherited from his father, with his agility. Accustomed to being the smallest, he learned avoidance, speed and passing, and develops in him the qualities that make the glory of the Soviet hockey, focusing on building the game on skates, it feels lighter. His speed and ice cover makes him a natural center player.
Some people find a vocation by reading Pushkin or Tolstoy. More maths in respect of his studies, Bykov was educated with Tarasov on his bedside table ... Anatoli Tarasov, the founding father of Soviet hockey, the creator of the system of CSKA, which he bought the book during a trip to Ekaterinburg.
He had never been considered among the best players in the country or even city opens its doors to twenty years of senior team of Traktor Chelyabinsk, then the seventh best team in the USSR.
When he got his first shirt, the young Slava was frightened by a conversation about a possible robbery, "regardless of the furniture, he exclaims to his parents, provided it does not override my jersey. " And to better illustrate his point, he places it under his pillow while he slept.
Small and without complex
Bykov does not occupy any place in Traktor. For this new season 1979/80, the coach Gennady Tsygurov aligns the center of the first block with his right Valeri Belousov, one of the fastest players in the championship, which will become a great coach, and left the worker Pavel Ezovskikh. The rear Nikolai Makarov and Gennady Ikonnikov complete the "five" memorable, based on the intelligence game starting center. Everyone comes up with the obvious, a new hockey genius appeared in Chelyabinsk. What did she then, this dreary industrial town, to give birth to many famous hockey players? Not that here is born a race of giants. Makarov as before him, Bykov is only 1m72 and has no obvious genetic predisposition for ice hockey, just a great temperament. His talent is not explained, as his opponents are not explained how he was able to steal the puck or rout so so unpredictable. Bykov is that is no complex, even against the big stars of Soviet hockey. Gay and friendly, he emerged as the leader of Traktor, as well as outside on the ice as soon as the worst of times.
From his first full season, Slava is the best scorer of Traktor and is convened by Viktor Tikhonov to CSKA Moscow, a gateway to the national team. But it does not feel ready and decided to stay another year in Chelyabinsk,
The integration in the national team is a new success. From his first cap against Czechoslovakia in Prague, Slava Bykov, put in trust by the former Shalimov, scored a goal and an assist.Yet, when he played his first world championship in 1983, knows his international career to a halt due to non-sports business. When traveling abroad, it was customary to give pocket money to players so they can buy their friends and relatives that the goods do not generally found in the Soviet Union. During an hour of shopping for such a tour in Sweden in December 1983, Bykov triggers the ringing of a porch and was immediately accused of trying to steal clothing. It tries to stammer a few words in English explaining that he intended to pay, but he did not know that the box was on the floor and not the exit, obviously having little experience department stores.
Nevertheless, the damage is done. The time it takes place understand, he missed the plane and created a scandal. The Western press pounces on the case and denounced the evil of Soviet astounded by the wealth of the west and forced to fly to dress his son. Because of this story that takes a political turn, poor Bykov suffers even a KGB interrogation on his return to Moscow because he was suspected of being a spy for the West. Tikhonov is the influential that the fate of the nest, thereby ensuring that the player himself is still more indebted and devoted. Bykov is still suspended by his federation and spleen and the 1984 Olympics. Viktor Tikhonov even decides not to select either the Canada Cup for a few months later, without providing any explanation.
In the shadow of the KLM
The absence of Bykov went relatively unnoticed because the hockey world has eyes only for KLM, the magic line of 80's. Bykov is viewed abroad as a player as another one of those Russians supposedly interchangeable and without personality. Yet his playing is really worthy of attention. The striking detail in Slava is his butt bigger than himself. Choose a stick as long is atypical, but it gives him a mastery of space. His knowledge of the investment is supplemented by a phenomenal slide, to which he adds the creative improvisation that unseats the defenses. His only relative weakness is to be found in gambling bets.
Fortunately, it is still possible to shine in his shadow. We did not come to grips twice daily for daily training without progress. In the Soviet championship, the opponent often deploys all his energy to muzzle the KLM line Bykov and then performs the work to affirm the relentless domination of CSKA. Internationally, revenue Anti-KLM are less advanced, but the world championships 1989, Vyacheslav Bykov must break the deadlock in a decisive 1-0 victory against Czechoslovakia.
Slava is elected as the new captain unanimously by his teammates, both at club level in selection, but the burden of succeeding Fetisov is a heavy responsibility
Two stars in Switzerland
Indeed, Bykov and Khomutov abandoning contracts offered by the Quebec Nordiques, who have drafted a year earlier. After life in the barracks at CSKA, Slava wants to discover the world, not again become a hostage - even highly paid - an alternative system, one of the NHL. It is seeking the closeness and human contact. Khomutov with his accomplice, they set their sights on Switzerland, this small neutral country they still have a picture postcard. Thus two of the best players on the surprise the hockey world by landing in Freiburg Gottéron.
This choice is not understood in Canada where it is inconceivable that one might prefer a club Swiss NHL, Russia where they feared losing their standard of play in a league too low, and even in Switzerland where everyone heard the news clip. 1990, is historic, and Bykov will now No. 90, instead of No. 27 which was hers to CSKA and the national team.
Bykov learns, and he also teaches. Upon contact, it is not only his teammates, the entire hockey Swiss progresses.
The duo then catch up with the national team, which they are now the backbone. They meet in fact always present at the call of the selection, Bykov explains: "It's a patriotic feeling. Or rather, it is not only the love of my homeland, is the love of hockey. Love is selfless. Today, the relationship to the national team goes into a more financial sense. "
Olympics Albertville 1992, vying for the NHL season, Bykov oversees the new wave with Khomutov. He scored the last goal in the final, one that cuts the legs of Canadians, and gets his second Olympic gold medal on behalf of the ephemeral team CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). New Jersey change in 1993, Bykov don for the first time the colors of Russia. In the semifinals, he faced Eric Lindros, the multi-millionaire rookie in the NHL, and won the duel so brilliant, decisive step towards a final championship of the world.
That may be imposed on this man slap that French Canadians hate (Lindros had despised and refused to go to Quebec who had selected the No. 1 draft pick) who explains that the Nordiques back to the load. Even if he has grown older, Bykov is now interested in this new experience, but he does not want to go not without Khomutov. However, his colleague is more reticent. Moreover, Quebec does not offer Slava salary equal to that of his ex-partner Kamensky, while it is well placed to know that he has at least the same level. And most importantly, the Nordiques made the mistake of not talking just about money. Bykov, who feel we do not sincerely interested in him as a man, never will play in the NHL.
This is the first step in a second career. While we expected to take place in the comfort of Switzerland, in 2004 he surprised when he moves his family to accept work at CSKA Moscow, where he succeeded Tikhonov himself. The former club of the army has changed since then. He has no leverage to attract players, and especially it has even less afford to retain them. It is with a very young team, and with a style offensively enthusiastic detonates in Superliga, Bykov that quickly becomes the incarnation of the new generation of Russian coaches. In 2006, he entrusts the keys to the national selection, which, from failure to failure, has spent all coaches of the old guard. The director of the sports committee Fetisov explains why he believes his former teammate capable of being up to standard: "When someone weighs 70 kg and is one of the best centers in the world by playing physical hockey, it is not difficult to understand that all is well in his head."
He languished with unknown teams in Chelyabinsk as he focussed on his studies. He was never even persued for the Soviet youth or junior programs simply because he was undiscovered.
But Cheyabinsk Traktor, the local entry in the top Russian league, invited him to play in 1980. Soon Red Army and national team coach Viktor Tikhonov discovered him and moved him to the Red Army team by 1982. Later that season he played his first games with the national team, winning gold at the 1983 World Championships.
The traditional Soviet centerman is big and strong, focussing on defensive first, always remaining high and with an offensive mandate to headman the puck to his breaking wingers. Tikhonov had great success employing the tiny Larionov as the engine on the top line, he did not fear to put the even smaller Bykov in control of line two.
Even then Bykov was nearly exiled to Siberia after just one season with the national team. While at the 1983 World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden. He made international headlines when he was caught shoplifting clothing for his child. Bykov was banned from the national team for over a year, costing him at shot at the 1984 Olympic games in Sarajevo.
Bykov's talent allowed him to return to national team scene and go onto a career highlighted with 5 world championships, 2 Olympic Golds, and 7 Russian league titles. Two of the WCs and the last Olympic gold came with Bykov as team captain, putting him in a group of esteemed Soviet hockey captains such as Mikhailov and Fetisov.
Bykov and Khomutov in particular had incredible chemistry together. They played a smooth, uninterrupted style of game. Their hockey truly was beautiful hockey, an absolute joy to watch. Their criss-crossing skating with dazzling passing displays dizzied the best of defenses and wore down the opponents. The only thing more nimble than their feet was their hands.
When the bigger and more physical Kamensky joined the two tiny puck wizards in about 1986, the Bykov line was considered by many to be the equal of the KLM Line.That was part of the reason why the Soviet Union began allowing veterans to freely play in the NHL. Remember, before the gates were kicked wide open by politics, the first wave of Soviet greats needed permission to come. The authorities allowed the likes of Fetisov, Larionov, Makarov and Krutov to come because a) they were the most vocal and b) they had the Bykov troika ready in line to keep the national team running smoothly while waiting for their young trio of Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Mogilny and Pavel Bure to emerge.
The hockey was good, too. Bykov and Khomutov dominated the Swiss league, playing with Fribourg until late in the century.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Jan. 4, 1989
Other Soviet players to watch are forwards Valeri Kamensky and Vyachaeslav Bykov
Since making his NHL debut in 1990-91, defenceman Alexei Gusarov has been a fine positional player with an ability to make useful passes on offense. A veteran of several years in the Soviet League, he adapted quickly to the rigours of the NHL season and accepted a variety of roles to keep himself in the line up.
Born in Leningrad, Gusarov played with the local SKA club before joining the powerful Central Red Army of Moscow. He was a top player on the club for seven years and helped the USSR win the gold medal at the Calgary Olympics in 1988. The talented blueliner was selected 213th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1988 and looked solid in 36 games as a rookie in 1990-91.
The steady rearguard provided stability on the Nords' blueline and was part of the club's resurgence from the league's doormat to a first place finish in the Lockout-shortened regular season in 1995. The next year Gusarov remained with the franchise when it relocated to Colorado. During the 1996 post-season he provided savvy and nine assists while helping the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup. He took a regular shift on the powerful club until the early stages of the 2000-01 season.
Globe and Mail, Nov 22, 1990:
Soviet defenceman Alexei Gusarov will join the lowly Quebec Nordiques within two weeks, the National Hockey League club announced yesterday.
Quebec general manager Pierre Page said Gusarov has signed a four-year contract. He will be in Quebec once he is relieved of his duties as an officer in the Soviet army, probably in about a week.
"Gusarov has played in many world championships and won several Olympic gold medals," Page said. "In addition to being a talented player, he is a winner."
Gusarov, 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, was picked 213th over all by Quebec in the 1988 entry draft.
"We got him for his mobility and his defensive play," Page said. "We needed someone who doesn't get beat one-on-one and he's good at that."
He said Gusarov was more defence-oriented than Viacheslav Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov, former Red Army defencemen who joined the New Jersey Devils last season.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Feb 3, 1994: [/URL]
Butcher, a rugged Canadian and proud of it, always has a biting word or two for European opponents - or "immigrants," as he put it.
His defensive partner is Alexei Gusarov, a Russian puck-mover whose subtle skills couldn't be more different than Butcher's creative thuggery.
Butcher also had to wear No. 55 instead of his preferred No. 5, which Gusarov already inhabited.
Yet Butcher has been a willing mentor, jabbering nonstop to his partner after every shift.
It's not clear how much of Butcher's crusty banter is lost in translation, but the Russian - and Page - apparently feel that the thought counts for a lot.
Denver Post, April 20, 1997:
On the Colorado Avalanche, there are the talkative ones (Mike Ricci, Mike Keane), the quiet, shy ones (Joe Sakic, Valeri Kamensky) and the charismatic ones (Patrick Roy, Claude Lemieux).
Alexei Gusarov is the enigmatic one.
One day, "The Goose" will be the dressing-room cutup. "Hey, thRrricci," Gusarov will yell in a thick Russian accent, "Cut your hair! Too shaggy."
The next day, the Goose is the quietiest player in the room.
Although the latter Goose is more typical, there is one constant: The zone around his locker is reporter-free.
Scoring a sit-down interview with the Goose is quite a coup. Trouble is, it never has happened. Not since he arrived in Denver, at least.
Oh, sure, Gusarov will smile pleasantly at reporters and always offer a cheerful "Good Morrrning."
But try for an in-depth, expansive interview with the Goose? Forget about it. The Cubs stand a better chance of winning the World Series.
The Russian defenseman is not mean about it. He just doesn't want to do interviews, thank you very much. His English is bare bones, but just how poor it really is remains a mystery.
Then there's his age.
It is listed as 32, but some swear, if you look close enough, that's the Goose hanging his head in the background of the famous photo of Canada's Paul Henderson beating Russia in the teams' epic series in 1972.
The joke about the Goose's age is that when 39-year-old Detroit defenseman Viacheslav Fetisov was a kid, the crafty veteran Gusarov was his hero.
All jokes aside, the Goose is a valuable member of the Avalanche. He was the team's plus-minus leader in the playoffs last year (plus-13). He must have played about 40 minutes in the Avs' triple-overtime win that gave Colorado the Stanley Cup against Florida.
After a concussion earlier this season knocked him out of the lineup for a month, he slowly got his game back on track by playoff time. And, in Game 2 of Colorado's first-round series against Chicago, Gusarov was one of the best players on the ice.
But for those wanting some insight into the wiry veteran, listen to some of his teammates:
"He's one of the smartest players on the ice," said his roommate on the road, Sandis Ozolinsh. "When I was in Latvia, I knew he played for the Red Army team. He was well-known. He is one of our most reliable defensemen on the team. There's no question he doesn't get enough credit."
Ozolinsh wishes the Goose would get more recognition for his play, but knows he doesn't make it easy with his reclusive nature.
"Even with the Russian media, he doesn't like to talk with them," Ozolinsh said. "He's just a very quiet guy, but a nice guy. He just does his job at the rink and goes home."
The person who knows him best on the Avs is Kamensky. The two have played together for the last 12 years, about half of them with the Russian Red Army.
"He's a quiet guy, good guy. Good skater. Very smart. We used to hang out a lot together, but we both have families now," Kamensky said. "But, every day, there is something new with Goose. He always has a funny story for me."
Another player who knows the Goose well is Sakic. The two have played together seven years.
"He's a real great guy, and he's so talented as a defenseman," Sakic said. "He makes everything look so easy. He never panics with the puck."
Denver Post, July 16, 1999:
Gusarov likely will be paired again with Adam Foote in the Avs' defensive rotation. They have played together almost exclusively the past five seasons. Gusarov does not play a physical game the way Foote does, but he complements Foote because of his stickhandling and passing ability. He allows Foote to bang opponents in the corners and in front of the net, without having to worry about skating the puck out of the zone or making outlet passes.
Denver Post, Dec 22, 2000:
For most of the Colorado Avalanche's first five seasons in town, Alexei Gusarov was the steady defensive partner for Adam Foote.
Foote was aggressive and angry, while Gusarov relied on surreptitiousness and right-place, right-time soundness. He seemed to sneak into position, and then derail a scoring chance with a pokecheck or a tip of a pass. At times, Gusarov's passive approach could be a problem, but Foote's mean streak usually compensated.
"It's so hard, because you like everybody," said Foote, a Gusarov teammate since the 1991-92 season in Quebec. "Sometimes it ends up a numbers game. "Goosie' really carried me the first few years of my career and taught me a lot. I'm real fortunate I had him to get where I'm at. He keeps it simple and I think sometimes he doesn't get enough praise. He's had some terrible injuries the past few years, and it's been tough on him. It's hard to get back at it, especially when you're getting up there."
Denver Post, Dec 29, 2000:
Foote has the most cause to miss the enigmatic Gusarov.
In 1991, Foote joined the horrible Quebec Nordiques as a 20-year-old rookie and was paired for the first time in a defensive tandem with Gusarov. According to official NHL records - ahem - the former Soviet Red Army and USSR national team player then was 26.
"I don't think there's another Goose out there," Foote said. "I think he was really undervalued. You go back to the one championship this team has, and he was a big part of it. I think even then, he didn't get enough credit.
"That's another part of Goose's character, though. He kept things quiet. He stayed out of everything and just showed up to play. I don't think Colorado fans saw him in his true prime, and I owe a lot to him."
Although he played here over five years, Colorado didn't get to know him. If it seems that we in the media sometimes seem fixated on Gusarov, this is a confession: The cloak of mystery he always wore was intriguing.
Not once in the Denver tenure of the franchise did Gusarov ever consent to be interviewed on the team's radio and television broadcasts. As time went on, it became obvious that Gusarov understood and could speak English far better than he let on. I'll never forget walking by him one time, when he was on the phone. We waved hello, and then I heard the Russian defenseman - who professed being unable to speak more than a few words in English - say on the phone that life was great because he got to talk with reporters.
About 20 seconds later, it hit me: Gusarov said it in English.
Denver Post, May 14, 2001:
"We felt when we acquired Goose, he has the ability and he always has played against the other team's top line," Quenneville said. "We figure matching him with Pronger against the opposition's best could work. I think when you put the two of them together, they both are pretty smart mentally and positionally and can be effective."
That was no mis-statement. With the Blues back in town to play the team that first rejected him, Gusarov finds himself paired with Pronger, the reigning Hart and Norris Trophy winner as the league's most valuable player and best defenseman. That means his main assignment is to cover the Avs' top line, centered by this year's Hart favorite, Joe Sakic.
According to MacInnis, Gusarov's ability to make a strong outlet pass keeps forecheckers from focusing solely on Pronger as the Blues move out of their own zone.
Dunderdale was noted as a deft stickhandler and fast skater.
Originally Posted by Ultimate Hockey
Thomas Dunderdale was a natural rover, a player with enough speed to attack and to get back in time to defend. He was a right-handed shot who was famous for his deft stickhandling. Dunderdale played very well over the next four seasons, leading his team in scoring three times and taking home league honors in 1912-13. Victoria won the league title in 1912-13 and defeated the Stanley Cup champion Bulldogs in an exhibition series. Dunderdale scored three times in three games. In 1913-14, he scored in every one of Victoria's 15 matches and was named to the PCHA First All-Star team as a center. He held out for more money in 1915 but was brought to terms by league president XXXXX XXXXXXX. He retired as the PCHA's top career goal-scorer.
In 290 games, the speedy, highly skilled Dunderdale scored 225 goals. He is a worthy member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Dunderdale was good at it (hockey), very good. Starting in 1906 he went on to play pro hockey in Manitoba before briefly joining the NHA's Montreal Shamrocks. By 1911 he moved out west and would become one of the greatest stars ever known on the coast.
Tommy Dunderdale !!!
Awards and Achievements:
3 x PCHA League Champion (1913, 1914, 1916)
6 x PCHA All-Star Team (1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1920, 1922)
PHCA’s all time leading goal scorer.
PCHA’s single season game-winning goal record.
PCHA’s single season penalty minute record.
These percentages are vs. the PCHA leader. During his career there were 3 seasons with outlying offensive seasons, so they have been considered. Those seasons were 1914, 1915, and 1918, and they have been noted with a (*).
The NY Rangers select HHOFer 4-time Stanley Cup champion Frank McGee as its third line pivot.
... superior puckhandling skills and gifted scoring touch made him one of the most feared offensive threats of his day....
Frank Patrick said: "He was even better than they say he was. He had everything - speed, stickhandling, scoring ability and was a punishing checker. He was strongly built but beautifully proportioned and he had an almost animal rhythm."
He seized the puck at center ice, skated in with the speed of a prairie cyclone and shot. I saw him backcheck furiously, dodge here and there, flash from side to side, stickhandle his way through a knot of struggling players, slap the puck into the open net and go down in a heap as he did so. Then I ceased to wonder why this boyish, doll-like hockey star was the idol of the crowd. I too joined in the hysterical shouting for Frank McGee, the world’s greatest hockey player.
...one of the most brilliant and effective players who ever filled that position.
When Frank checks he checks to win. McGee is certainly a wonder and the way be rushes in to block the point or cover point's lift is beautiful. Three times out of four he succeeded in keeping the puck from passing centre, and often caught it before the lift was made.
He could carry the puck on a straight line to the goal like a quarterback bucks the line... He played hockey in the days when a crack over the head was about as serious as a minor warning in the laudy daudy rules in the NHA, and when a player with ability was a marked man. Bowie never had a thing on him when a goal was needed. He eclipsed every center man playing, had a snap shot that was positively wicked, and always aimed for the corners. Incidentally, he gave as much punishment as he received.