Thursday, July 16, 2009
July by the Numbers visits the AHL for jersey #16 today.
The Hartford Wolf Pack, previously known as the Binghamton Rangers (from 1990-1997) and Binghamton Whalers (1980-1990), the were originally founded as the Providence Reds way back in 1926, where they played until 1977, were founded in 1997 after the NHL Hartford Whalers relocated to Carolina.
The always competitive Wolf Pack, the top minor league affiliate of the New York Rangers, have made the playoffs every season since moving to Hartford, never finishing lower than second place in their division, save for but one season in third.
The Wolf Pack have won one regular season title in the AHL, three division championships and one conference championship, which led to their AHL Championship in 1999-00, earning them the Calder Cup, the world's second oldest continuously awarded hockey trophy.
It's hard to think of the Wolf Pack and not think of Ken Gernander. Gernander played 11 seasons with the franchise, beginning in Binghamton, and was team captain for 10 years, including the Calder Cup winning team in 2000. He is the all-time franchise record holder in games played with 599 and the AHL's all-time leading American-born scorer with 624 points. He is now the head coach of the club and the only player to have his number retired by the Wolf Pack.
Today's featured jersey is a 2003-04 Hartford Wolf Pack alternate Paul Healey jersey.
We really like this jersey, as it is one of those minor league jerseys done so close in style to the parent club, in this case the New York Rangers, that at first glance you may not realize it is not actually a Rangers jersey. Careful examination of this jersey will be rewarded with various details, such as the name "Wolf Pack" on the front, the Wolf Pack secondary shoulder logo on one side and the stylish Rangers alternate logo on the other.
Paul Healey, a winger originally from Edmonton has had a well travelled career, having played for 18 teams in 7 leagues in 5 countries! He does have 77 NHL games to his credit, divided between the Philadelphia Flyers (6), the Toronto Maple Leafs (65), the New York Rangers (4) and the Colorado Avalanche (2), with 6 goals and 14 assists for 20 points.
He has also played in the Western Hockey League in Canadian Juniors, the American Hockey League, the International Hockey League and the Swedish, Finnish and Austrian leagues.
During his one season in Hartford wearing today's featured jersey, Healey played 50 games with 11 goals and 10 assists, while his best pro season was in 2001-02 for the Hamilton Bulldogs, when he had 39 goals and 71 points.
Here is a nice video of Healey scoring his first NHL goal on a fantastic setup by Mats Sundin.