Tuesday, July 7, 2009
July by the Numbers reaches the 7th giving me the chance to showcase the first of my #7 Neal Broten jerseys.
Broten's career got off to a flying start as he, already the winner of an NCAA Championship and an Olympic Gold Medal before he even started playing for the Minnesota North Stars late in the 1981 season, immediately found himself in the Stanley Cup Finals facing the mighty New York Islanders in only his 19th professional game. He signed with the North Stars at the conclusion of the Minnesota Gophers 1980-81 season in time to play just the final three regular season games before being thrown headfirst into the NHL playoffs, where the North Stars made their run to the finals.
In his first full regular season with the North Stars, Broten would score 38 goals and 98 points while finishing as runner up for the Calder Memorial Trophy. The following year he would play in his first NHL All-Star Game and would then go on to lead the North Stars in scoring in three if his first five seasons, including the 1985-86 season, when he would total a career high 105 points while becoming the first American-born player to reach 100 points in a season and once more play in the NHL All-Star Game.
In 1991, the North Stars would once again go on a run through the playoffs, with Neal scoring 22 points in 23 games, only to fall short against Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Broten would eventually move with the franchise to Dallas for the 1993-94 season. During the following season he would be traded to the New Jersey Devils and finish the season by scoring the game winning goal in the cup clinching Game 4 to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in his career, giving him the trifecta of the capturing the NCAA Championship, an Olympic Gold Medal and the Stanley Cup.
He would eventually return to the Stars to close out his career, finishing with 289 goals, 634 assists and 923 points. He would also retire with several team records for the Stars franchise, including the most assists (593), most games played (992), most points (867), most seasons (16), most assists in a single season (76) and most points by a rookie (98) as well as retiring as second all-time in points by an American (923) and with the most games played by an American (1099).
His #7 would be retired by the Stars in 1998 and he would later be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
Today's featured jersey is a 1992-93 Minnesota North Stars Neal Broten jersey as worn in the North Stars final season in Minnesota. To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Stanley Cup, all jerseys that season carried the Stanley Cup Centennial patch.
Having dropped the familiar green and gold color scheme under new ownership, this style jersey was worn in Minnesota for two seasons and then retained after the move to Dallas. The Dallas Stars version can be differentiated by the addition of stylized state of Texas patches on the shoulders.
Aside from the well known 1980 Olympics and being a part of The Miracle on Ice, Broten would later go on to be a member of Team USA in the 1981 and 1984 Canada Cup as well as the 1990 World Championships.