Monday, November 15, 2010
Left winger Steve Vickers was drafted 10th overall by the New York Rangers in the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft following his two seasons with the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey Association. In his last season with the Marlboros, Vickers was named a First Team All-Star following his 43 goal, 107 point season.
Prior to playing with the Rangers, Vickers spent a year in the minors with the Omaha Knights of the Central Hockey League where he scored 59 points in 70 games in his first season as a professional.
Vickers made his NHL debut during the 1972-73 season and wasted little time making a name for himself. In just the Rangers 16th game of his rookie season, Vickers got a hat trick in a 5-1 win on November 12, 1972 versus the Los Angeles Kings.
What Vickers did next, not only helped make a name for himself, it got his name into the NHL record book, when during his very next game on this date in 1972, Vickers became the first rookie in the 56 year history of the NHL to score hat tricks in consecutive games, but also the first Ranger to ever do so, as part of a 7-2 Rangers win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Vickers, playing on a line with Walt Tkaczuk and Bill Fairbairn, finished the 1972-73 season with 61 games played (out of a possible 78) and scored 30 goals and 53 points. He also contributed five goals and nine points in ten playoff games for the Rangers during his rookie season, which was capped off in fine style when he was named the recipient of the NHL's 1973 Calder Trophy.
Steve Vickers 1973-74 OPC rookie card
His 30 goal season was the first of four to open his career. Vickers would spend his entire 10 year NHL career with the Rangers with his best season being 1974-75 when he would post career highs in goals, with 31, and points, with 89. He would reach the Stanley Cup Finals once, that being the 1979 edition and played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1975 and 1976.
While he would not reach 30 goals during his final six seasons of play, he, Tkaczuk and Fairbairn were regarded as one of the best two-way forward lines in the games.
At the conclusion of his career, Vickers competed in 698 games, scoring 246 goals and 340 assists for 586 points and earned himself a permanent place in the NHL record book with his consecutive hat tricks during the first five weeks of his career.
Today's featured jersey is a 1972-73 New York Rangers Steve Vickers jersey. Names had yet to appear full time on the Rangers jerseys at the time of Vickers rookie season. In fact, the Rangers changed to their short-lived shield logo modern jerseys in 1976 before reverting to their classic, diagonally crested jerseys in 1978, only now with "New York" on the front, meaning Vickers never wore his name on the back of a blue jersey with "Rangers" on the front, as that style did not reappear until 1987, five years after Vickers retirement.
Our video selection today is an interview with Vickers from January of 2010.
Here is the fight Vickers refers to against Don Marcotte of the Boston Bruins during Vickers rookie season in which he scores a clear decision.