Thursday, November 27, 2014

1970-71 Detroit Red Wings Gordie Howe Jersey

On this date in 1960, Gordie Howe became the first player in NHL history to score 1,000 career points. Five years to the day later, Howe scored his 600th NHL goal on this day in 1965.

Mr. Hockey® made his NHL debut in 1946, wearing #17 and changed to his iconic #9 at the start of the following season for the purpose of a more preferable sleeping berth on the train while the team was traveling, as the accommodations were more spacious in the lower berths and were allocated based on each players sweater number.

One of the most dominate players in NHL history, Howe would finish in the top five in league scoring for twenty straight seasons.

Teamed with linemates Sid Abel and Ted Lindsay, "The Production Line" would dominate the NHL and lead Detroit to first place in the regular season standings for each of the four seasons they played together from 1948-49 to 1951-52, a span that would include a pair Stanley Cup Championships in 1950 and 1952. So dominant was the line that they finished first, second and third in league scoring in 1949-50, led by Lindsay's 78 points in 69 games.

Howe would not be around to lift the Stanley Cup in 1950, having suffered a fractured skull earlier in the playoffs, which required emergency surgery to relieve the pressure.


Howe would return to form the following season of 1950-51, scoring 86 points to win the scoring title by 20 points over his nearest competition, the first of seven times he would win the Art Ross Trophy.

Howe would continue throughout the 1950's to accumulate championships and awards, winning the Stanley Cup in 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1955, the Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion from 1951-1954 and 1957, and the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league MVP in 1952, 1953, 1957, 1958 and 1960.


It was on this date in 1960 that Howe registered an assist in a 2-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs to score his 1,000th NHL point, the first player in the 44 year history of the league to reach that milestone and he did it in his 938th game. It would be another eight years before Jean Beliveau would become the second and another 20 years before Howe would score his final point! Remember, Howe already had 14 years in the league behind him at this point.


1963 would see Howe capture both the Art Ross and Hart Trophies once more and on this date in 1965 Howe would score his 600th NHL goal in a game versus the Montreal Canadiens, becoming the first player in NHL history to record 600 goals. It would be until 1972 until Bobby Hull would become the second to 600.


For comparison, Maurice Richard's final career totals when he retired in 1960 were 544 goals and 965 career points and he surprisingly never led the league in point scoring.

In 1968-69, aided by the recent NHL expansion to 12 teams which created a longer schedule of games against some admittedly weaker opponents, Howe achieved his one and only 100 point NHL season with 44 goals and 58 assists for 103 points.

Today's featured jersey is a 1970-71 Detroit Red Wings Gordie Howe jersey. 1970-71 would be Howe's final season with the Red Wings. This classic style has been used by the Red Wings essentially unchanged since 1932 when the Detroit franchise first adopted the name "Red Wings" after previously being known as the Falcons and the Cougars.

Only detail changes have occurred over the years as this sweater has endured to become a timeless classic.


photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1965-66 Detroit Red Wings Gordie Howe jersey from the season Howe scored his 600th NHL goal. When the NHL expanded from six teams to 12, Howe enjoyed an offensive renaissance given the chance to play against the weaker expansion clubs. After four seasons of scoring less than 30 goals, 1967-68 saw him leap up to 39 goals followed by 44 more in 1968-69, tied for his third best season of his professional career, which began in 1946 and lasted all the way to 1980.

While Detroit's red sweater dates back to 1932, the Red Wings did not wear a white sweater until 1934 to wear in games against the Montreal Canadiens. The white sweaters were originally simply a reverse of the red sweaters - all white including white sleeves with red bands around the arms and waist - and did not get its contrasting red sleeves until 1961, making the Red Wings white jerseys, now unchanged for over 50 years old, the "new" one.


 photo DetroitRedWings1968-69jersey.jpg
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's video is the "Legends of Hockey" profile of Howe.


Here is an unusual find, Howe on the TV game show, "What's My Line?" being questioned by Hogan's Heroes' Colonel Klink Werner Klemperer and Soupy Sales. Howe's legendary toughness is apparent, as he is unfazed at being interrogated by a Nazi prison camp commandant.


Gordie tells Keith Olberman how hockey used to be and to respect your elders.



Dasherboard: From the "I Didn't Know That Department", on this date in 1941, the Boston Bruins tied an NHL record by scoring four goals in the 10-minute overtime period to beat the New York Americans 6-2. Overtime was a mandatory full 10 minute period before it was discontinued in November 1942 in favor of the now familiar "sudden death" format.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

1925-26 Pittsburgh Pirates Lionel Conacher Jersey

In 1925, the NHL Board of Governors announced a salary cap of $35,000 per team for the upcoming season, with the exception of the two new expansion clubs, the New York Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were allowed to spend $45,000 for their first two seasons.

In 1925, with noted NHL adversary Eddie Livingstone attempting to form a rival league and looking to put a franchise in Pittsburgh, Frank Calder moved to put an NHL club in the Steel City to thwart Livingstone's plan. The new franchise was named the Pirates, taking their name directly from the city's major league baseball club.

The nucleus of the Pirates came from the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets, the previous team in Pittsburgh which had just folded due to financial difficulties as well as the collapse of it's amateur league. Joining the Pirates from the Yellow Jackets would be future Hockey Hall of Famers Lionel Conacher and goaltender Roy Worters, who was noteworthy for standing but 5' 3".

Pittsburgh Pirates 1925-26
The 1925-26 Pittsburgh Pirates with the easy to spot Roy Worters

The Pirates played their first game on this date in 1925 on Thanksgiving night when they defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 in Boston. With defenseman and team captain Conacher scoring the first Pirates goal. Winger Harold Darragh added the game winning goal with Worters getting the win in goal.

Their first home game came on December 2nd in front of 8,200 fans in their sold out arena, the aging Duquesne Gardens. The Pirates would play a 36 game schedule and finish with a 19-16-1 record, which was surprisingly good for the first year club and placed them third out of the seven teams. The Pirates qualified for the playoffs and were defeated by the Montreal Maroons in a two-game, total-goals series 6-4. Hib Milks, a former Yellow Jacket, led the club in scoring with 14 goals and 5 assists for 19 points.

1925-26 Pittsburgh Pirates
The 1925-26 Pittsburgh Pirates

For the 1926-27 season, the NHL expanded to ten clubs and the Pirates were placed in the American Division and embarked on a now 44 game schedule. They did not fare as well this time, missing out on the playoffs after finishing with a 15-26-3 record. Milks again led the club in points with 22 coming from 16 goals and 6 assists.

The team qualified for the postseason in 1927-28 after going 19-17-8 but were eliminated in the first round by the New York Rangers 6 goals to 4. Milks again took home the scoring honors with 18 goals and 3 assists for 21 points. This was to be Worters final season with the Pirates, having played in 123 of the Pirates 124 games to date.

Worters Pirates
Roy Worters

The club's original owner James F. Callahan was forced to sell the club due to financial problema and the other noteworthy change for Pittsburgh was after three seasons in the same sweaters, the Pirates debuted a new multi-striped style for 1928-29, but suffered a poor season on the ice, finishing with just 9 wins to go with 27 losses and 8 ties to miss out on the playoffs. Darragh and Milks tied for the team scoring lead, but with only 12 points apiece, both scoring 9 times with 3 assists.

1928-29 Pittsburgh Pirates
The 1928-29 Pittsburgh Pirates

Player coach Odie Cleghorn left the team after the previous season and their sweaters underwent a radical change for 1929-30, changing from gold and black to orange and black in an unconventional diagonally divided design.

Pittsburgh Pirates 29-30
The new Pirates sweaters for 1929-30

The stock market crash and Great Depression put the new owners in financial difficulties, which forced them to sell off their best players to try to make ends meet, which had the expected results on the ice for an already poor team. Darragh led the team in scoring that season with 32 points from 15 goals and 17 assists, with the rise in scoring coming from a new rule change which allowed forward passing in the offensive zone for the first time. The Pirates struggled through the season with a dismal 5 wins, 36 losses and 3 ties t finish a distant last in the league, $400,000 in debt and playing in a too small and too old arena.

1929-30 Pittsburgh Pirates
The 1929-30 Pittsburgh Pirates

The plan for 1930-31 was to relocate the team across Pennsylvania to Philadelphia while a replacement arena was constructed in Pittsburgh and move the team back when it was completed. That plan never came to fruition, and after a dismal season in Philadelphia as the Quakers, (an even worse 4-36-4 record) the team ceased operations while it sought a solution to it's arena issues. When no new arena was made to happen, the Pittsburgh franchise was surrendered in 1936, formally bringing to an end the the club which had not seen the ice in five years.

Today's featured jersey is a 1925-26 Pittsburgh Pirates Lionel Conacher jersey. The Pirates chose black and gold based on the colors of the City of Pittsburgh flag, and were the first team from the city to adopt those colors, as the Pirates baseball club was still wearing red, white and blue and would not change to black and gold until 1948 and the Pittsburgh entry of the National Football League would not arrive on the scene until 1933.

Conacher was an incredible multi-sport athlete who not only competed, but won championships in football, baseball, wrestling, boxing and lacrosse as well as hockey, where he won both the Memorial Cup and Stanley Cup. He retired from sport in 1937 to enter the world of politics and was inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the Hockey Hall of Fame!

He played for and captained the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets following his time in Canadian senior hockey where he won back to back USAHA championships. He turned professional with the arrival of the Pirates and their entry into the NHL. He was later traded to the New York Americans. He then moved to the Montreal Maroons and later the Chicago Black Hawks, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 1934 before rejoining the Maroons and winning a second cup in 1935 before his retirement in 1937.

Pittsburgh Pirates 25-26 jersey, Pittsburgh Pirates 25-26 jersey
Pittsburgh Pirates 25-26 jersey, Pittsburgh Pirates 25-26 jersey

Today's video selection is a look at early hockey history in Pittsburgh, which includes the transformation of the Yellow Jackets into the Pirates of the NHL.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Viktor Tikhonov

One of hockey history's most successful, respected and feared coaches, Viktor Tikhonov, passed away yesterday at the age of 84.

Tikhonov's own playing career began in 1949 with VVS Moscow, the hockey club of the Soviet Air Force, under the guidance of Soviet hockey innovator Anatoli Tarasov. He later moved to Dynamo Moscow in 1953-54, where he played for ten seasons, eventually finishing his career with 35 goals in 296 games played, four consecutive Soviet League championships (3 with VVS 1951-1953 and 1 with Dynamo in 1954) and a USSR Cup in 1952 with VVS.

After the end of his playing days, he became an assistant coach with Dynamo Moscow in 1964 and later became a head coach with Dynamo Riga. He was later named head coach of the powerful CSKA Moscow (Central Red Army) in 1977. Along with those duties also came the position as head coach of the Soviet National Team, as the vast majority of the national team was made up of players from CSKA.

Tikhonov Dynamo Riga, Tikhonov Dynamo Riga
Dynamo Riga and young head coach Viktor Tikhonov

His success was immediate, as he led CSKA to a Soviet Championship League title in his first season. Following the domestic championship, Tikhonov guided the Soviet Union to the 1978 World Championship, setting the tone for what would become a historical run of success unequalled by any coach in hockey history.

With CSKA's unparalleled ability to choose nearly at will any player it desired from other clubs, by "drafting" them into military service and then assigning them to report to duty with the army' s hockey club, CSKA was essentially a perpetual Soviet National All-Star Team competing in a domestic league. This obvious advantage led to CSKA winning 12 consecutive Soviet Championship League titles under Tikhonov's reign. Additionally, CSKA would win the Soviet Cup in 1977, 1979 and 1988, the European Cup 14 times in 1976 and 1978-1990 and the Spengler Cup in 1991.

Tikhonov, Tikhonov

Additionally, the World Championship gold medal was nearly an annual right, as the Soviets were successful in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989 and 1990 - 8 out of a possible 10 times, with a silver medal in 1987 and a bronze in 1985, making for 12 out of 12 placings in the medals.

During that period of time, the World Championships were not held during Olympic years, and the Soviet Union came home with a sliver medal in 1980, followed by gold medals in both 1984 and 1988. In 1984, the Soviet Union went undefeated in seven games with 48 goals for an 5 against, while 1988 saw them finish 7-1 with 45 goals for and 13 against.

Soviet Union 1984 Olympics, Soviet Union 1984 Olympics
The undefeated 1984 Olympic gold medal winning Soviet National Team

Other international success included soundly defeating the NHL All-Stars in the 1979 Challenge Cup and capturing the 1981 Canada Cup tournament, the only nation to defeat the Canadians in five tries.

CCCP 1981 Canada Cup, CCCP 1981 Canada Cup
Viktor Zhluktov celebrates after the Soviet Union’s
shocking 8-1 win in the 1981 Canada Cup final

Despite the success of his teams, he was an unpopular figure with his players, as he was an absolute iron-fisted dictator, controlling not only the player's on the ice, but their personal lives as well, confining them to barracks away from their wives and families for intensive training 10 or 11 months out of the year.

This eventually led to friction followed by an open revolt by stars Igor Larionov and Viacheslav Fetisov in 1991, as they desired more personal freedom and the opportunity to sign a contract to play in the NHL in particular. Eventually the political and economic changes in the Soviet Union resulted in the national federation allowing players to leave for the NHL, with their incentive being a portion of the proceeds from the player's contracts proving too lucrative to pass up, despite Tikhonov's desire to keep the national team intact.

Tikhonov, Tikhonov

"In the past, players stuck it out with the national team for 10 years," Tikhonov told the Toronto Sun in September 1991. "I will have to replace the departed players with juniors and they'll stay with me until they are 23 or 24, before they leave. I'm trying my best to keep the 18- and 19-year-olds from jumping to Scandinavia, Central Europe, or North America. I don't want the drain on our talent to continue, because we won't have a national team at all."

Once players began to receive permission to leave for North America, Tikhonov's obvious advantage in compiling the CSKA roster deteriorated and no more domestic titles would be forthcoming in his remaining years as CSKA coach through 1996. The strength of the National Team had also diminished, as players such as Alexander Mogilny had been lost to defection and Tikhonov did not allow players drafted by NHL clubs, such as Pavel Bure, Valeri Zelepukin, Evgeny Davydov and Vladimir Konstantinov to compete in the 1991 Canada Cup for fear of them defecting to the west as well, which led to a dismal 1-3-1 record to close out the history of the Soviet Union National Team on a down note.

Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in December of 1991, Tikhonov guided the Unified Team to gold at the 1992 Olympics, the final great triumph of his long and successful career.

Unified Team celebrates, Unified Team celebrates

"This is the kind of joy I haven't experienced in a long time." He explained that he had mellowed, recognizing the need for a new approach to lure NHL and European stars to play for the Unified Team. "We had a lot of new players and we didn't know them very well," Tikhonov said after the Games. "We lost a lot of good players. In order to get fresh players, the coaches had to review our approach."

Tikhonov would return for the 1994 Olympics after relinquishing his duties as coach at the World Championships, guiding Russia to the Final Round playoffs and an eventual 4th place finish.

In addition to the many, many honors and awards he would receive in the Soviet Union and later Russia, including the prestigious Order of Lenin, Tikhonov would be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998. Later, when the IIHF named it's Centennial All-Star Team, four the six players named, Vladislav Tretiak, Fetisov, Valeri Kharlamov and Makarov, all had played for CSKA and the Soviet Union under Tikhonov during their careers.

Tikhonov, Tikhonov
Tikhonov receiving the Order of Friendship in 2010

Today's featured jersey is a 1981 Soviet Union National Team Sergei Makarov jersey as worn during the 1981 Canada Cup. While the Soviet Union was used to having it's way at the World Championships and the Olympics, the Canada Cup was the one time where each country could send it's best players regardless of their amateur or professional status, which benefitted Canada more than any other country.

The Soviet Union had opened it's tournament with a 1-1 tie against their rivals from Czechoslovakia and received a sound 7-3 thumping at the hands of Canada in the Round Robin portion of the tournament, knowing that both countries had already qualified for the playoffs. The Soviets then downed the Czechs 4-1 in the Semifinals and stunned Canada 8-1 in the finals, scoring the last seven goals of the contest after the game was tied at 1-1 eight minutes into the second period.

This style of Soviet jersey with the diamond shapes around the waist was used from 1977 until 1983, including gold medals at the World Championships in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1983, the 1981 Canada Cup, the 1979 Challenge Cup vs. the NHL All-Stars and most famously, a silver medal at the 1980 Olympics.

Soviet Union 1981 jersey, Soviet Union 1981 jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1992 Unified Team Andrei Kovalenko jersey as used in the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, Tikhonov's final great success of his coaching career.

With the upheaval of the political situation in the Soviet Union in 1991, there was little time to sort out what kind of identity the brand new team made up of six of the 15 former Soviet republics would compete with. Mind you, the Unified Team was not the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Team, which was comprised 12 of the 15 Soviet republics and acted more like an association similar to the European Union, rather than a country, such as the Soviet Union had.

The Unified Team competed under the Olympic flag, and with just five weeks before the games were to commence, the jersey supplier to all the Olympic teams, Tackla of Finland, made up a set of the usual Soviet Union jerseys, only without the "CCCP" lettering across the chest. Note they did not even continue or even alter the chest stripes, which were still notched on the left hand side for the curvature of the "P"!

This was the one and only appearance for these stop-gap jerseys, as Russia competed in a new set of jerseys in time for the 1992 World Championships two months later in April with"Россия" now across the front in rushed, simple one color block letters rather than the fancier two color, drop shadowed letters used during the 1991 season prior to the fall of the Soviet Union.

Russia 1992 Olympics Unified Team
Photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1988-89 CSKA Moscow Alexander Mogilny jersey from Red Army's 13th consecutive Soviet Championship League title under Tikhonov just weeks prior to Mogilny defecting to the west. Mogilny's departure in early May after that year's World Championships in Sweden, effectively marked the end of an era for Tikhnov and the supremacy of CSKA, as prior to the following season Fetisov, Larionov and Vladimir Krutov left the Soviet Union with permission of the authorities to play in the NHL, brining to a close their unparalleled streak of championship dominance.

CSKA Red Army 88-89 jersey, CSKA Red Army 88-89 jersey
CSKA Red Army 88-89 jersey, CSKA Red Army 88-89 jersey

Today's video section begins with highlights of the final game of the 1981 Canada Cup tournament.



Our next video selection is the gold medal game from the 1992 Olympics, as the Unified Team, wearing their jerseys without any national identity, captures the gold medal against Canada, followed by a brief clip of the medal ceremony.



For those of you with the time, here is a half hour interview with Tikhonov on the occasion of the Russian's first World Championship victory in 15 years in 2008, which features his long standing view on team play over individual talent and his thoughts on many other topics.

It requires some concentration to listen to the translator over the original Russian language in the background, but is a rare chance for North Americans to hear his experience come through in his own words.


  

  

Monday, November 24, 2014

1963-64 Boston Bruins Eddie Johnston Jersey

After playing junior hockey for the Montreal Jr. Royals, Trois-Rivieres Reds and Montreal Jr. Canadiens from 1953-54 to 1955-56, goaltender Eddie Johnston spent the next few seasons honing his craft as he worked his way up the ladder with stops with the Winnipeg Warriors of the WHL in 1956-57, the Shawinigan Cataracts of the QHL in 1957-58, the Edmonton Flyers back in the WHL in 1958-59, the Johnstown Jets of the EHL in 1959-60, the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens of the EPHL in 1960-61 where he posted a 41-20-9 record and finally the Spokane Comets again in the WHL in 1961-62 where Johnston racked up another 37 wins to show he was now ready for the NHL.

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Eddie Johnston of the Johnstown Jets in 1959-60

That move came for the 1962-63 season when Johnston, born on this date in 1935, claimed one of the rare and coveted spots as a goaltender in the six team NHL. Unfortunately, the Bruins were in the throws of a down period. Starting in 1960-61, Boston would win just 15 games out of a 70 game schedule the two seasons prior to Johnston's arrival. The low point proved to be his rookie season with just 14 wins (11 of those for Johnston) followed by a mere 18 as a team in 1963-64 with Johnston getting all 18 as he played every one of the 70 games for the Bruins, the last goalie to play in every one of his team's games, as was the norm at one time.

Johnston Bruins photo JohnstonBruins3.jpg
Eddie Johnston, the last goalie to play every one of his team's games

After splitting time with Jack Norris in 1964-65, rookie Bernie Parent arrived in Boston for 1965-66 and took the majority of the games with 39, as well as the arrival of another NHL debutant, Gerry Cheevers, who was in the nets for 7 games. Johnston was in goal for 10 of the Bruins 21 wins in 33 appearances.

Johnston Bruins photo JohnstonBruins2.jpg

Johnston once more was the lead goaltender in 1966-67 with 34 games played, ahead of Cheevers  22 and Parent's 16, but the Bruins were once again the league's doormats with just 17 wins from 70 games, missing out on the playoffs for the eighth straight season, a dismal effort considering four of the league's six teams made the playoffs each year. But signs of change were in the air in Boston, as 1966-67 saw the arrival of game changer Bobby Orr, who caused Johnston to become one of the last goalies to wear a facemask after hitting him in the face with a shot during warmups.

Orr Johnston photo OrrJohnston.jpg
The arrival of Bobby Orr started a new era for Johnston and the Bruins

In a blockbuster trade prior to the 1967-68 season, the Bruins dealt Gilles Marotte, Pit Martin, and Norris to the Chicago Black Hawks for Fred Stanfield, Ken Hodge and Phil Esposito, whom immediately led the team in scoring six of the next seven seasons, finishing second to Orr in 1970 and 1975. Armed with this revamped lineup, Johnston's 11 wins in 28 games surpassed his 8 wins in 43 starts from the year before. The Bruins jumped up from 17 wins to 37 and a 40 point rise in the standings, no doubt aided by not only the new additions to the lineup, but also the expansion of the NHL from just six clubs to now 12, which allowed Boston to add to their win totals against the newcomers who were still finding their sea legs in the rocky waters of their first seasons in the NHL.

Johnston raised his win total to 14 but in four less games in 1968-69 as the Bruins continued their ascent up the standings. He also made his long awaited first playoff appearance of his career that season as well.

With the NHL season now up to 76 games, Johnston saw action in 37 games, nearly splitting time evenly with Cheevers, who appeared in 41. Johnston finished the year with a 16-9-11 mark and added another playoff win in two postseason games as the Bruins long march from the depths of the standings was completed with the team's first Stanley Cup championship since 1941.

Bucyk 300 goals photo Bucyk300JohnstonOrr1969.jpg
In a hilarious photo from 1970, Johnny Bucyk poses with goaltender Eddie Johnston and Bobby Orr as they pose with pucks indicating their career goal totals, Bucyk having just reached 300, Johnston still stuck at zero and Orr at 78!

1970-71 saw Johnston set an NHL career high with 30 wins, more than twice the number of wins the Bruins managed as at team in his early years with the club! His final record of 30-6-2 helped Boston to the best overall record in the league that season, but a hard fought first round, 7 game playoff loss to the rival Montreal Canadiens ended the Bruins season early.

Johnston Bruins photo JohnstonBruins4.jpg
Johnston during his mask wearing era

In 1971-72, he again split time almost evenly with Cheevers, and in 38 games finished with a 27-8-3 mark as the Bruins once again finished with the league's best record. Unlike in previous seasons however, Johnston and Cheevers split the starts in the playoffs, with Johnston going 6-1 with a shutout in 7 appearances as Boston claimed it's second Stanley Cup in three years.

While he did not see any action in the eight games of the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union, Johnston was a part of the roster and did appear in some of the team's exhibition games.

Johnston Canada photo JohnstonCanada2.jpg
Johnston wearing the maple leaf of Canada in 1972

Even greater changes to the world of hockey were in store for 1972-73, as Cheevers bolted for the upstart World Hockey Association, leaving the veteran Johnston the clear number one in net for the Bruins. He played in 45 games, going 24-17-1 as three others shared the 38 appearances.

One of the goaltenders who shared those 38 games for the Bruins was the legendary Jacques Plante, whom Boston acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs for future considerations in 1973, which turned out to be Johnston, who was sent to Toronto after the conclusion of the season, ending his 11 year run in Boston.

After one 12-9-4 season with the Maple Leafs, Johnston was again on the move, this time to the St. Louis Blues in time for the 1974-75 season. There, he capably backed up John Davidson for one season until becoming the Blues primary goaltender for 1975-76, tying for he Blues lead in wins with Yves Belanger with 11. 1976-77 again saw Johnston as the number one, with his 38 starts leading Ed Staniowsk's 29.

Johnston Blues photo JohnstonBlues.jpg
Johnston spent several seasons with the Blues

Johnston's carer began to wind down at this point, as five goalies shared time in the crease for St. Louis,  with Johnston limited to just 12 games, but a respectable 5-6-1 mark considering the Blues 20-47-13 record. In January of that year, Johnston was sold by the Blues to the Black Hawks, with whom he would play the final four games of his career before retiring at the conclusion of the season at the age of 42.

Johnston would finish his career with 592 games played, 234 wins and 257 losses and 80 ties with a career 3.24 goals against average, a nice recovery when you take into account the first five seasons he spent with the then-lowly Bruins had him at 58-139-11 - a full 81 games under .500, more than a full season's worth of games at the time!

Following his playing days, Johnston became a head coach, first for the New Brunswick Hawks of the AHL in 1978 before returning to the NHL behind the bench of first the Chicago Blackhawks in 1979 before taking over as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1980-81 to 1982-83. He was then the General Manager of the Penguins from 1983 to 1988, which included drafting Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux.

Johnston Lemieux photo JohnstonLemieux.jpeg
Johnston with his draft pick Mario Lemieux

He then became the GM of the Hartford Whalers from 1989 to 1992. He then returned to Pittsburgh as their head coach from 1993 through the 1996-97 season. He would then remain with the Penguins as an assistant GM and then a senior advisor before retiring in 2009 after the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in his 26th year with the Pittsburgh organization.

Johnston Cup photo eddie_johnston2009cup.jpg
Johnston reunited with an old friend in 2009

Today's featured jersey is a 1963-64 Boston Bruins Eddie Johnston jersey as worn the season Johnston was the last goaltender to play every one of his team's games that season, with 70. This style of Bruins sweater was first introduced back in 1949 with less sleeve stripes and two color numbers. This sweater evolved in 1951 with the addition of an additional sleeve stripe and black cuffs.

That style remained in use through 1957-58 when the design again evolved to reach today's featured style, which had narrower sleeve stripes to accommodate numbers on the arms for the first time. The numbers on the back also now became three colors with the addition of white trim around the black numeral, which was then outlined in gold. This jersey configuration lasted through the down period of the 1960's which ended with the arrival of Orr. It was replaced by a similar, but modernized for the time jersey in time for the team's return to prominence which began in 1967-68.

Boston Bruins 1963-64 jersey photo BostonBruins1967-68Fjersey.jpg
Boston Bruins 1963-64 jersey photo BostonBruins1967-68Bjersey.jpg

Today's bonus jersey is a 1971-72 Boston Bruins Eddie Johnston jersey as worn the season the Bruins would capture the second Stanley Cup of Johnston's career. This classic Bruins jersey was worn for both Stanley Cup championships. When first introduced in 1967-68 there was no white space in between the black cuffs and gold arm stripes, which was added the following season. This style remained unchanged until 1973-74 when the laces were eliminated followed by a redesign the following year, which eliminated the gold shoulder yoke and it's black trim.

A modernized version of this style, complete with laces, was introduced in 2008 and remains the Bruins primary road jersey to this day. It also managed to duplicate the success of the original jerseys, as the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, their first since wearing today's bonus jersey in 1972.

Boston Bruins 1971-72 jersey photo BostonBruins1971-72Fjersey.jpg
Boston Bruins 1971-72 jersey photo BostonBruins1971-72Bjersey.jpg

Here is a tribute to Johnston from the Penguins that looks back on his entire eareer as well as his management career afterward.


  

  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

1974-75 Kansas City Scouts SImon Nolet Jersey

Born on this date in 1941, Simon Nolet played his junior hockey with the Quebec Citadelles of the QJHL. In 1961-62 he scored 52 points in 39 games and another 8 in 10 playoff games as the Citadelles qualified for the 1962 Memorial Cup, where Nolet added another 6 points in 9 games.

From there he moved to the Windsor Maple Leafs of the Nova Scotia Senior Hockey League for two seasons where he was a dominant force, averaging 120 points a year at a two point per game average including scoring 68 goals in 68 games in 1963-64. He sat out the following regular season, but joined the Sherbrooke Beavers for the playoffs and scored 21 goals and 35 points in 15 games to lead Sherbrooke to the 1965 Allan Cup championship.

He turned professional with the Quebec Aces of the American Hockey League the following season. After two seasons with the Aces, he made his NHL debut with the expansion Philadelphia Flyers for four games in the 1967-68 season, but played the majority of his games with the Aces for a third year.

Nolet Aces
Simon Nolet as a member of the Quebec Aces

Nolet spilt time with the Flyers and Aces in 1968-69, which included scoring his first NHL points with 4 goals and 10 assists in 35 games for the Flyers. He increased his games played the following season to 56 and topped the 20 goal mark for the first time with 22. He also played his final 22 games with the Aces, the fifth season as an Aces regular.

Starting with the 1970-71 season, Nolet played exclusively in the NHL, suiting up for 74 games, a career high. The next season Nolet pushed his high in goals up one to 23 and appeared in his first NHL All-Star Game. After two more seasons with the Flyers, which included winning a Stanley Cup in 1974.

1973-74 Philadelphia Flyers
1973-74 Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers

With the NHL expanding for the 1974-75 season, Nolet was left unprotected in the 1974 NHL Expansion Draft, and was claimed by the Kansas City Scouts. The change from Stanley Cup champions to expansion doormats was a mixed blessing for Nolet. While another championship was out of the question, the seven-year NHL veteran was named as the first ever team captain for the Scouts and was heavily relied upon by Kansas City. He did not disappoint, setting a career high in goals with 26, which included the first goal in Scouts history, assists with 32 and points with 58 to lead the team in scoring as well as being the Scouts representative at the NHL All-Star Game.

Simon Nolet Scouts
The first captain of the Scouts, Simon Nolet

He played the first half of the 1975-76 season with the Scouts prior to being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he would play the second half of the season. He was then transferred to the Colorado Rockies for the 1976-77 season as compensation for the Penguins signing goaltender Denis Herron. In actuality, the Rockies were the same Scouts franchise he had previously played for, only freshly relocated to Denver. Nolet was again named as team captain and retired at the conclusion of the season with 150 goals and 332 points in 10 seasons.

Today's featured jersey is a 1974-75 Kansas City Scouts Simon Nolet jersey as worn during the season in which Nolet made his second NHL All-Star Game appearance after being named the first captain in franchise history.

While the club retained the same color pattern after moving to Denver, the jerseys were thankfully simplified, as the Scouts striping pattern was far busier than needed thanks to the red pinstripes running inside the yellow stripes, making for a pattern which included nine different stripes, making for a quite complex pattern which was not easy on the eyes.

Kansas City Scouts 74-75 jersey
Kansas City Scouts 74-75 jersey

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1975 NHL All-Star Game Simon Nolet jersey as worn in the second NHL All-Star Game of Nolet's career which was held in Montreal. This style of All-Star jersey was first used in 1973 and lasted until 1981, a very long run by today's standards.

1975 NHL-All Star jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

In this video clip, the Flyers and Nolet win the 1974 Stanley Cup and hold one heck of a parade.



  

  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

2006-07 Anaheim Ducks Teemu Selanne Jersey

Teemu Selanne was originally drafted by the Winnipeg Jets 10th overall in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. He played his first professional hockey for Jokerit Helsinki of the Finnish SM-liiga. where he would lead the team in scoring in both 1990-91 and then again in 1991-92, a season in which he lead the league in goal scoring by a full ten goals more than the next closest player.

A move to the NHL followed for 1992-93, and in spectacular fashion, as Selanne set the hockey world on it's ear with an astounding 76 goals in his rookie season, the all-time NHL rookie record and a mark that still ranks as tied for fifth for Most Goals in a Season for all players. Selanne's 56 assists gave him 132 points for fifth place in the overall league scoring race and a natural choice for the Calder Trophy.

 photo SelanneJetsrookie.jpg
Selanne during his memorable rookie season

Selanne had originally requested to wear #8, but with that being taken by Randy Carlyle, he opted for the #13 as a rookie, changing to #8 when it became available after Carlyle's retirement at the end of the season.

A torn Achillies tendon limited him to 51 games in his second season which contributed to the Jets failing to make the playoffs. He would finish with 25 goals and 54 points in the 51 games.

During the NHL lockout of 1994, Selanne would return to Jokerit Helsinki, along with Jari Kurri, and help Jokerit win the 1995 European Cup.

Selanne, lower right, celebrates Jokerit's Euopean Cup title

Upon his return to the NHL he would collect 48 points in 45 games.

The 1995-96 season would be one of change for Selanne. After playing 51 games in Winnipeg, scoring 72 points, he would be traded to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in a salary dump by the financially struggling Jets during their final season in Winnipeg. The trade had little affect on Selanne's scoring, as he immediately clicked with new teammate Paul Kariya, scoring 36 points in the final 28 games of the season in Anaheim, giving him a total of 108 for the season.

Kariya Selanne Ducks photo KariyaSelanneDucks.jpg
The mighty duo of Kariya and Selanne

1996-97 would see Selanne reach the 50 goal mark for the second time, pumping in 51 goals and 109 points in 78 games, good for second in league scoring. The following season would see another 52 goals, tied for first in the NHL.

47 goals in 1998-99 gave Selanne the outright goal scoring title and his 107 points were good for second overall in points once more.

After another season with the Mighty Ducks in 1999-00, Selanne would be again traded, this time 366 miles down Interstate 5 to the San Jose Sharks. His next two seasons with the Sharks would see his offensive production decline, with point totals of 54 and then 64 points.


Selanne Sharks photo SelanneSharks.jpg

Now a free agent, Selanne and former teammate Kariya packaged themselves together in a cut-rate deal in an effort to win a Stanley Cup. The pair joined the Colorado Avalanche, a perennial cup contender at the time. Unfortunately, a rather dismal season instead followed, with Selanne managing just 32 points in 78 games, 22 points lower than his lowest previous season total.

Plans to compete once again for Jokerit Helsinki during the lockout season of 2004-05 were scuttled by knee surgery and Selanne then signed to return to the Mighty Ducks for 2005-06. A rejuvenated Selanne surprised his critics by scoring 40 goals and 50 assists for a 90 point season, his highest total since 1999. He was also awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy in 2006.


Selanne 05-06 photo SelanneDucks05-06.jpg
Selanne had a fine season on his return to Anaheim in 2005-06

Proving the previous year was no fluke, another even stronger season would follow as Selanne scored 48 goals, third most in the NHL, and 94 points. It was during that 2006-07 season that Selanne would hit the 500 goal mark on this date by scoring on Jose Theodore of the Colorado Avalanche with a wrist shot at 14:54 of the second period.


Selanne 500 goals photo 500goal.jpg
Selanne scoring his 500th goal on this date in 2006

Interestingly, Selanne's coach at the time was Carlyle, the player who had already taken Selanne's preferred #8 on his arrival in Winnipeg 14 years earlier. Selanne was the second Finnish-born NHL player to reach 500 goals after his former Jokerit teammate Kurri.


Selanne and the Ducks would cap off the 2006-07 by winning their first Stanley Cup by defeating the Ottawa Senators in five games. It was during that season's playoffs that Selanne would score his 30th playoff point and set a new franchise record.


Selanne Cup photo SelanneCup.jpg
Selanne reaches the pinnacle and gets to raise the Stanley Cup


He would skip the first half of the following season and return to the Ducks in late January to compete in the final 26 games of the Ducks schedule followed by an early playoff exit. 2008-09 saw Selanne continue to be a productive player, with 54 points in 65 games after missing time due to an injury, with 2009-10 being a virtual repeat, as Selanne was again limited to 48 points in just 54 games, causing some to suggest his career was in decline.

Selanne, however, had other ideas and a 31 goal, 80 point season in 2010-11 was his best since 2007. He backed that up with a full 82 games in 2011-12 which saw him score 26 goals and 66 points.

He would play two additional seasons in Anaheim before retiring from the NHL with his final career totals being 1,451 games played with 684 goals and 1,457 points for greater than a point per game average for his entire NHL career.

He currently holds the NHL records for single season goals and points by a rookie, goals by a Finnish born player and is the Anaheim Ducks career leader in games played, goals, assists and points and club single season records for goals (52) and points (109) as well as the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes franchise leader in single season goals (76) and points (132). He scored an additional 44 goals and 88 playoff points and won the Calder, Richard and Masterton trophies during his career in addition to the Stanley Cup during his 21 year career.

Today's featured jersey is a 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks Teemu Selanne jersey as worn when Selanne scored his 500th career goal.

After starting life in 1993-94 as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim under the ownership of the Disney Corporation, the franchise was sold and renamed to the more conventional Anaheim Ducks for 2006-07. Along with the name change, the team used the opportunity to move away from the eggplant and jade colors of the past and adopt a new scheme of black, gold, orange and white.

Today's featured jersey was worn for only one season until the change to the Reebok Edge jerseys, but the same design carried over and remained in use through the 2013-14 season until being replaced by the team's alternate jersey which was introduced back in 2010-11.


Anaheim Ducks 2006-07 jersey photo AnaheimDucks2006-07Fjersey.jpg
Anaheim Ducks 2006-07 jersey photo AnaheimDucks2006-07Bjersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1992-93 Winnipeg Jets Teemu Selanne jersey from his record setting rookie season.

This jersey features the Stanley Cup Centennial patch worn by all the players during the season, only with the unique borderless version worn only by Winnipeg, as all the other teams had a bold, white outline around their patches. The borderless version is presumably from the latter part of the 1992-93 season, as in photos of Selanne with the borderless patch, he is now wearing the assistant captains' "A", while photos of Selanne with the bordered variation of the patch are without the "A".

Additionally, this jersey has the "Goals for Kids" patch worn on the left shoulder of the Jets jerseys in recognition of the teams charity program.

Winnipeg Jets 92-93 jersey photo WinnipegJets92-93F.jpg
Winnipeg Jets 92-93 jersey photo WinnipegJets92-93B.jpg
Winnipeg Jets 92-93 jersey photo WinnipegJets92-93P2.jpgaaaWinnipeg Jets 92-93 jersey photo WinnipegJets92-93P1.jpg

Here is video of Selanne breaking the rookie goal scoring record, followed by his assault on the rookie point record.


Here, Jets fans angrily react to Selanne's trade to the Mighty Ducks, already knowing they are going to lose their club at the end of the season.


Next, Selanne takes the Stanley Cup to Helsinki and shares it with 40,000 of his closest friends.


Next is a touching story about Selanne scoring a hat trick for a terminally ill friend.


For further viewing, we recommend Teemu Selanne - The New Boss Parts 1, 2 and 3 about his arrival on the NHL scene, essentially the long version of the first entry in today's video section.

 

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