Friday, March 5, 2010
The Quebec Nordiques opened the 1991-92 season without their first overall draft pick from the summer of 1991, Eric Lindros, but with a win at home versus the Hartford Whalers on October 5th by a score of 4-1.
It would be the last time all season they would have a winning record.
Today's video highlight are the Quebec Nordiques selecting Mats Sundin first overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, the first European ever drafted first overall. Unfortunately for Sundin, they apparently didn't have baseball caps in Sweden at that time, resulting in the world's first stovepipe ballcap.
Two losses on the road followed at New Jersey and Minnesota. They returned home on October 12th and lost to the Buffalo Sabres before a tie against the Islanders.
Five more losses piled up between the 17th and 26th, two of those coming on the road at Philadelphia and Montreal, before a 7-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets at home on the 29th.
October closed with a road loss to the Rangers in New York, leaving them with a 2-9-1 record for the season's opening month and winless on the road.
November was more of the same. A win at home was followed by six consecutive losses, with three being road games. A win at home against Montreal on November 21st was followed by a loss to the Canadiens in Montreal on the 23rd.
Perhaps the bright spot of the season was the stretch from November 25th to December 10th, as the Nordiques won at home again over the Whalers and then earned their first point on the road with a 4-4 tie in Buffalo. A loss to St. Louis on the road was followed by a five game unbeaten streak, two wins at home, a tie in Boston and another pair of wins at home.
Unfortunately, that was quickly followed by a seven game winless streak that saw the team travel to Detroit (loss), return home and lose to the Blues, a loss in Washington D. C., a trip over to Calgary (tie), down to San Jose (loss), across the Canadian border again up to Vancouver (tie) and then back across the continent for a home game against Montreal (loss) to complete the journey.
They would finish out 1991 with a pair of wins at home, once again over Hartford followed by Toronto but still without a win away from Le Colisee.
January was very unkind to the Nordiques, with four losses on the road to start the year, followed by three losses at home and another on the road for an eight game losing streak.
A win over the Jets at home broke the losing streak but the Nordiques would go winless over their next ten, losing four on the road, four at home and a pair of ties on the road before a win at home over Minnesota ended that winless skid.
A five game road trip again found the Nordiques go winless after a tie in Pittsburgh, a loss in Harford, a tie in Montreal and a pair of losses in California to San Jose and Los Angeles left the Nordiques at 13-41-9 overall and a road record of 0-25-8 at the end of February.
Their winless streak on the road would finally come to an end on this date in 1992, with the Nordiques 10-4 shellacking of the Hartford Whalers, highlighted by Mats Sundin's five goals and two assists for seven points, which included his third career hat trick.
The Nordiques would go 6-7-2 the rest of the way, winning both ends of a home and home against Buffalo to end the season 20-48-12 with a road record of 2-30-9.
Joe Sakic would lead the club in scoring with 94 points, followed by Sundin's 76. Owen Nolan led the team in goals with 42 on his way to third in scoring with 73 to distance the top three from the rest of the squad, with no one else scoring more than 45.
The Nordiques fortunes would begin to turn around in the off-season when Lindros was finally traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for six players, a pair of first round draft picks and $15 million, which led to the Nordiques making the playoffs in 1992-93 and beginning the franchise's rise to prominence, albeit in Denver, Colorado as the Avalanche.
Sundin would play one more season for the Nordiques, his fourth, before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs during the summer of 1994.
Today's featured jersey is a CCM 1991-92 Quebec Nordiques Mats Sundin jersey. This jersey features the NHL 75th Anniversary patch worn by all players in the NHL to commemorate the league's anniversary.
This was the first season that the Nordiques added the red trim around their previously single color numbers.