Saturday, March 20, 2010

1972-73 Montreal Canadiens Ken Dryden Jersey

History was made on this date in 1971 when the Montreal Canadiens Ken Dryden faced his brother Dave Dryden of the Buffalo Sabres in the first ever matchup of brothers in goal during an NHL game, won 5-2 by Montreal.

Dave, six years older than Ken, actually made his NHL debut with a single appearance back in February of 1962 season for the New York Rangers. Since NHL teams did not dress backup goaltenders at the time, Dave was actually sitting in the stands when Rangers starter Gump Worsley needed to be replaced after the first period. It would take him several years to see action in the NHL again, this time with the Chicago Black Hawks, where he would play parts of three seasons until establishing himself as an NHL regular with the expansion Sabres in 1970-71.

Dave would play four seasons with Buffalo before jumping to the World Hockey Association, first with the Chicago Cougars, of whom he was a part owner, before finding a home with the Edmonton Oilers for the final four seasons of the WHA and one back in the NHL.

Ken, always one to march to the beat of his own drummer, was originally drafted in 1964, but chose to instead pursue a college degree while continuing to play hockey at Cornell, where he would win an NCAA championship in 1967. After playing for the Canadian National Team in 1969-70, he would play the vast majority of the 1970-71 season with the Montreal Voyageurs of the American Hockey League while pursing his law degree at McGill University before being called up to finally make his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadiens, seven years after being drafted, in time for the final six games of the season.

Ken Dryden's NHL debut came on March 14, 1971 in a 5-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins and it was four days later on this date in 1971 that Ken's Canadiens squared off against Dave's Sabres, becoming the first and only pair of brothers to oppose each other in goal during an NHL game.

Although it wasn't supposed to happen.

The Sabres general manager Punch Imlach, who understood the publicity the brother versus brother would bring and how it would simply be fun to be a part of, planned all along to start Dave in goal for the Sabres, but Canadiens coach Al MacNeil had already picked Rogie Vachon to start against Buffalo rather than the untested rookie Ken.

Imlach, being the visiting team, was required to submit his lineup first and stuck to his guns with Dave, but so did MacNeil, who went with Vachon. With that, Imlach decided to immediately replace Dave in the Sabres goal once the game got underway, and once the first whistle blew, Joe Daley came on for the Sabres.

Fate intervened however, when a few minutes into the second period Vachon was felled by an injury, which pressed Ken into service. "As soon as Ken went in, Punch said "In you go, too," Dave said. "To him, the score would have meant nothing, it was just the fact that he had set out to have both of us play against each other."

The final score of the game was 5-2 in favor of the Canadiens, who were on their way to a Stanley Cup championship, over the first year expansion Sabres. When the game ended, the two brothers skated to center ice and shook hands, something normally reserved for playoff games.

"We knew, I think, that no brothers had played against each other, but the crowd didn't know it at all," said Dave.

"It's interesting, we have a picture of Ken and I at the end of the game shaking hand and you can see the crowd in the background, and obviously the crowd wasn't watching. There isn't anyone's face looking at us."


"The best part was here was our Dad, who took a chance and came down, and he saw it," said Ken about his father, whom he had told in advance that he was not going to be starting the game.

Following that first game, they ended up playing each other about four or five times over the course of their careers during the two additional seasons their NHL careers overlapped, and they had agreed that they would always shake hands at center ice after the game. We don't believe the photo above is from their first encounter, as Ken would have been wearing his "pretzel" mask on the occasion of his nhl debut, but it is an early enough photo that his mask has yet to acquire his iconic concentric "C" design that many interpreted as a bullseye target.

"I was so distracted knowing he was at the other end," Ken said. "I didn't enjoy those games against Buffalo."

Even though Ken only appeared in six regular season games for Montreal, he won all of them, only giving up nine goals, which lead to him quickly taking over the starting job for the Canadiens in the playoffs. Miraculously, he started all 20 of Montreal's playoff games, leading them to the Stanley Cup and being named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy. Oddly, since he did not play enough regular season games, Ken entered the following season with his rookie status still intact and would go on to be named the winner of the Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year, having already been named the MVP of the playoffs the prior season, a feat no one else in league history has ever accomplished.

Dave Dryden would also be credited with an influential accomplishment of his own, as he was the innovator of the modern goalie mask, which combined the protection of a fiberglass mask with the vision of a cage mask for the first time ever.


Dave is also the answer to a trivia question, having surrendered the first professional goal scored by Wayne Gretzky.

Today's featured jersey is a 1972-73 Montreal Canadiens Ken Dryden jersey from a season in which the Canadiens would capture another Stanley Cup championship.

This style jersey dates back to 1941 and, aside from a version with a blue stripe around the chest for three years in the late 40's, has remained essentially unchanged ever since.


Here is a profile of Dave Dryden's career on the occasion of his being inducted into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame.


Next we have footage of Gretzky's first professional goal, scored against Dave Dryden.


Here's a fun one, home movies originally shot on Super 8 of Dave Dryden playing goal for the Sabres against the Minnesota North Stars in 1974.


In an attempt to give some equal time, we close out today with a look back at the career of Ken Dryden, hosted by former goaltender John Davidson.


Friday, March 19, 2010

1991-92 Detroit Red Wings Vladimir Konstantinov Jersey

Vladimir Konstantinov, born on this date in 1967, first caught the attention of North American scouts during the famous brawl during the 1987 World Junior Championships. "He was the only one of the Russians who fought back," recalled scout Neil Smith.

Konstantinov, a defenseman, specialized in getting opponents off their game. "I don't need to score the goal. I need someone to start thinking about me and forgetting about scoring goals."

His career begain with the Central Sports Club of the Army (CSKA), or "Soviet Red Army", in 1984-85 as a 17 year old, playing in 40 games that season, which concluded with the usual championship for Red Army. Success continued for Konstantinov the following season with another Soviet League Championship as well as gold medals in both the 1986 World Junior Championships and the World Championship. Not a bad way to start one's career by going four for four with two national championships and a pair of gold medals.

1986-87 saw another championship with Red Army and the attention getting participation in the massive brawl at the 1987 World Juniors. The 1987-88 season ended with the expected fourth Soviet League championship, followed by his fifth consecutive Soviet championship and his second gold medal at the World Championships in 1988-89. There was one other event that would change the course of Konstantinov's career, being selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the twelfth round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft 221st overall. Keep in mind that this was still the time of the Soviet Union, and it was never certain that any player from a communist country would ever be allowed to come to North America and play, but with the older Sergei Pryakhin being allowed to play in the NHL just prior to that year's draft, it was worth the risk with a late pick to select a Soviet player just in case.

While the run of Soviet Championships came to an end in 1990, Konstantinov scored 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points, by far his highest offensive output while with Red Army, and he collected his third World Championship gold medal. One final season in the Soviet Union concluded with a bronze medal at the World Championships.

With the break up of the Soviet Union and players now being allowed to choose to play in the NHL, Konstantinov now came to North America to join the Red Wings where is physical nature fit in well with the North American style of play. Eventually, his frequent use of his stick on opposing forwards would earn him the intimidating nickname of "Vlad the Impaler". It must have been an adjustment for the former Soviet League players to now participate in a regular season over 30 games longer before even facing a potential 28 additional playoff games.

Fortunately for Konstantinov, Sergei Fedorov had been playing in Detroit for a year already to help guide him through the adjustment to life in the Motor City. Konstantinov made a good account of himself though, with 33 points in 79 games played, plus an additional 11 playoff games.

Two more seasons with 22 points in 82 games in 1993 and another 33 points in 80 games in 1994 saw seven more additional playoff games each season helped establish Konstantinov as an NHL regular and a reliable and rugged force on defense.

The Red Wings made a deep playoff run in 1995, making it all the way to the finals, which helped prepare the Red Wings for what was to come.

With the arrival of Vyacheslav Fetisov in the summer of 1995 and Igor Larionov just before the start of the 1995-96 season, the Red Wings unleashed something new on the rest of the NHL, The Russian Five.


Capturing the President's Trophy with the best regular season record during the regular season, the Red Wings made it as far as the Western Conference finals, adding to their playoff experience and hunger for a championship. Konstantinov's 14 goals that season were his highest NHL total and his four goals and five assists for nine points in 19 playoff games were more than double his playoff scoring for any other season of his career.

Konstantinov set a career high during the 1996-97 season with 38 points as the Red Wings finished third in the Western Conference. They blitzed the competition during the playoffs, wining the Stanley Cup with a record of 16-4 during four rounds to capture the first Stanley Cup for the Red Wings since 1955 and adding even more hardware to Konstantinov's trophy case, which already included five Soviet Championships, three gold medals and one bronze medal at the World Championships and a gold at from the World Juniors.

Tragically, on Friday, June 13th, 1997 the Detroit Red Wings held a golf tournament and dinner for many of their players and staff six days after sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers to win the Stanley Cup. Afterwards, Konstantinov, Fetisov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov were riding in a limousine when the driver, whose license has already been revoked, fell asleep while driving. With the car now out of control, it crossed three lanes of traffic and struck a tree. The accident left Konstantinov and Mnatsakanov each with serious head injuries. Fetisov was also hurt, but his life was not in danger.

It would take five weeks for Konstantinov to emerge from his coma, barely aware of what was going on around him. He faced a long road ahead of him, over the next year relearning basic skills such as recognizing friends and family, eating and operating a wheelchair.

The following season the Red Wings wore a "VK & SM" patch with the word "Believe" in both English and Russian to honor Konstantinov and Mnastsakanov as they emotionally captured their second consecutive Stanley Cup.

To this day Konstantinov still needs a walker to assist him in getting around, but has made remarkable progress from where he once was. His number 16, while not officially retired by the Red Wings, has not been worn since.

Today's featured jersey is a CCM 1991-92 Detroit Red Wings Valdimir Konstantinov Turn Back the Clock Jersey. As part of the celebrations of the NHL's 75th anniversary in the 1991-92 season, the Original Six teams, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Montreal and Toronto, all wore a Turn Back the Clock jersey from their past at various times throughout the season.

The success of the Turn Back the Clock jerseys would inspire both the NFL and NBA, with teams in those leagues also wearing throwbacks to celebrate their 75th and 50th anniversary seasons, but credit must be given to the Chicago White Sox, who wore the first throwback jerseys during the 1990 MLB season.

konstantinov 91-92 F
konstantinov 91-92 B

Here, Konstantinov delivers a thunderous hit in the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals.


Next, Konstantinov sends Claude Lemeiux flying with a hip check.


Here is a brief profile of "The Russian Five" from early 1996.


In one of the most memorable moments in NHL, if not all of sports, history, Steve Yzerman presents the recovering Konstantinov with the Stanley Cup in 1998.


Here is an update from ESPN on the remarkable, but decidedly incomplete, recovery Konstantinov has made that was originally aired in April of 2009. For more on the story, click here.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

1958-59 Montreal Canadiens Maurice Richard Jersey

In the 1942-43 season, the NHL consisted of seven teams playing a 48 game schedule. The Brooklyn Americans would cease operations following that season, leaving the NHL with just six teams, who would now play a 50 game schedule starting with the 1943-44 campaign. Doug Bentley would lead the NHL in goals that season with 38, six shy of the current NHL record of 44, held by Joe Malone since way back in 1918.

The 1944-45 season was only the third season in the NHL for Maurice Richard. He had broken in with Montreal in 1942-43 with just five goals in only 16 games played due to a leg injury which ended his rookie season on December 27th. He established himself as an NHL regular in 1943-44 with 32 goals in 46 games as the Canadiens would go on to capture the Stanley Cup that season, but Richard had more memorable moments in store for the Montreal faithful the following season.

He started out slowly with just nine goals in the first 28 games, but came on strong with 23 goals in his last 18 games. It came down to the final day of the season on this date in 1945, as Richard's total stood at 49. He had already surpassed Malone's 27-year-old single season record with his 45th goal, but now had his sights set on a record many thought unattainable - 50 in 50.

In fact, the night before referee King Clancy had disallowed a Richard goal, preventing him from reaching the magic 50 goal mark.

During the first two periods, the Canadiens opponents that night, the Boston Bruins, kept a close watch on Richard, keeping him off the scoreboard for both the first and second periods, leaving the score tied at 1-1.

The Bruins gained the lead with a goal in the third, but with 2:15 to play in the final game of the season, Richard broke through and fired the puck past Bruins goaltender Harvey Bennett to become the first 50 goal scorer in National Hockey League history. Despite his record setting goal total, Richard would come second in the NHL scoring race, as Canadiens teammate Elmer Lach would beat Richard to the scoring title by seven points, 80-73.

Fellow "Punch Line" member Toe Blake's 67 points meant for only the second time ever, an entire line finished 1-2-3 in scoring, first accomplished in 1940 by Boston Bruins trio of Milt Schmidt (52 points), Bobby Bauer (43) and Woody Dumart (43) who were known as the "Kraut Line".

The Punch Line Pictures, Images and Photos
The "Punch Line" - Richard, Lach & Blake

In addition to scoring 50 goals in 50 games, another notable highlight of Richard's season would come on December 28, 1944, with five goals and three assists to set a new NHL record with an eight point night at home against the Detroit Red Wings - this on a day he missed the morning skate after moving furniture into his new home and had to convince coach Dick Irvin to put him into the lineup!

Richard would never duplicate 50 goals in the remaining 15 seasons of his career. The closest he would come would be 45 goals in 1947, a season expanded to a now 60 game schedule. Not even the 70 games played in 1949-50 would allow Richard to attain more than the 43 he scored that season for the third best of his career.

Richard would become the first to reach 500 goals in league history on October 19, 1957, aided in part by his leading the league in goal scoring on five separate occasions. Curiously, he never led the league in overall scoring, coming in second five times.

Even though Richard would bring the Stanley Cup to Montreal eight times, including a remarkable five in a row to finish out his career, Richard's status as a legend was cemented early on when he became the first to reach 50 goals in 50 games in just his third season.

It would take another 16 years for any other player to duplicate Richard's 50 goals, when Bernie Geoffrion did it in 64 games in 1960-61, and not until Mike Bossy dramatically scored twice in the final five minutes of his 50th game of the 1980-81 season did anyone match Richard's feat of 50 in 50 some 35 years later.

Since that time, Wayne Gretzky achieved it three times, the first of which was accomplished in an amazing 39 games, as Gretzky scored nine times in two games to vault from 41 goals to the 50 mark. Additionally, Mario Lemeiux did it once and Brett Hull twice to join one of hockey's most exclusive clubs, which remains just five in number since 1992.

Today's featured jersey is a 1958-59 Montreal Canadiens Maurice Richard jersey. Richard was made captain of the Canadiens in 1956 and remained so until his retirement following the 1959-60 season, making him a perfect four-for-four, as the Canadiens would capture the Stanley Cup each of Richard's four seasons as captain to close out his remarkable career.


Here is a look back at Richard's 1944-45 season in which he became the first to score 50 goals in 50 games.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

1934 Toronto Maple Leafs St. Patrick's Day King Clancy Jersey

Francis Michael "King" Clancy was born in 1903 and played 16 seasons in the NHL from 1921 to 1937.

Clancy entered the NHL in 1921 playing for his hometown Ottawa Senators. His rugged style would earn him a reputation for heart and effort despite his small stature, as he was five feet seven inches and just 155 pounds. His outgoing personality off the ice combined to make him a fan favorite.


In only his second season, the Senators would win the NHL championship and face off against first the Pacific Coast Hockey Association champions the Vancouver Maroons, who they defeated 3 games to 1 to advance to face the Edmonton Eskimos, champions of the West Coast Hockey League. Game 1 would go to Ottawa 2-1 before the teams would meet again on March 31, 1923. Clancy, normally a defenseman, would set a record by by playing each position on the ice, including two minutes in goal when the regular Senators goaltender Clint Benedict served a penalty! It remains the only time that a player has played in all six positions in a Stanley Cup Final game. The Senators would go on to win the game 1-0 and capture the cup that day.

Four years later the Senators would capture the second cup of Clancy's career when they defeated the Boston Bruins 2 games to none, although there were a pair of ties between the clubs as well.

For the first eight seasons of Clancy's career, he would average 14 points a season with a high of 21, but in 1929-30, Clancy would rack up 17 goals and 23 assists for 40 points in 44 games, by far the most productive offensive season of his career, as he would never even reach 30 in any other season.

Before the following season, Clancy was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs for $35,000 and two players. Once in Toronto, Clancy would endear himself to the fans in Toronto with his enthusiasm, effort and out going personality.


He would capture the third and final Stanley Cup of his playing career when the Maple Leafs defeated the New York Rangers 3 games to none, with Game 1 in New York and Game 2 moved to Boston due to the circus being in town! Game 3 was played in Toronto where the Maple Leafs wrapped up the series at home.

Clancy's playing career would last five more seasons before he retired just six games into the start of a sixth. His final NHL totals would be 136 goals and 147 assists for 283 points and 914 penalty minutes.

After his second career as a referee, he began the third phase of his hockey life, moving into coaching in 1949 until 1956, including winning the Calder Cup when with the Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League. After moving into the front office following his coaching career, Clancy would eventually be named vice-president of the Maple Leafs.

Clancy was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958 and the King Clancy Memorial Trophy was named in his honor in 1987 to award the player who demonstrates leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made exceptional humanitarian contributions in the community.

Today's featured jersey is perhaps the most unique one ever on Third String Goalie, a 1934 Toronto Maple Leafs St. Patrick's Day King Clancy jersey. Clancy was given this unique jersey to wear on "Clancy Night" on this day, St. Patrick's Day, in 1934 to celebrate his contributions to the Maple Leafs.


Uniquely, Clancy was the only player to wear this style jersey in the game while the rest of the Maple Leafs wore their traditional blue jerseys!

Clancy himself recalls the game and his unique sweater, "It was March 17, 1934, and it was King Clancy Night in Maple Leaf Gardens and they had me all dressed in green. Stockings, boots, uniform, stick, everything. It was Conn Smythe's idea, and I was a real sickly sight. We were playing the Rangers, and the first time he saw me when I came past the New York bench,Lester Patrick said, "My God, Clancy, what's this?" I think it was the only time I'd ever heard Lester utter a profanity. The effect of my outfit on the Rangers was amazing. They just sort looked at me and gagged, and for the entire first period not one of them came near me.

"I was having a field day on defense, and when the period was over Lester came to me and whispered, "King, what are you doing to me? My boys won't go anywhere near you, and you've got the whole building upset. You look awful. Come on now, King, how about taking that ridiculous uniform of so we can play hockey?"

"I just grinned and nodded, but to tell you the truth I did feel a little embarrassed, so I changed between periods. But really I changed out of respect for Lester. We won the game anyway."

This special green jersey features a shamrock on the back in place of Clancy's usual #7 and was worn during the first period of the game that night before protests by the New York Rangers apparently humorless Lester Patrick forced Clancy back into his more familiar blue and white Maple Leafs jersey for the remainder of the game, which was won by Toronto 3-2 in front of 11,000 adoring Clancy fans.


There is sadly little video online about King Clancy, but here is a look at the 1931-32 Stanley Cup Champion Toronto Maple Leafs that Clancy was a member of. Notice the diminutive size of the cup at the time.


Dasherboard: Speaking of special green jerseys on St. Patrick's Day, the New Jersey Devils will be wearing their original red and green jerseys in a special one time only event tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Martin Brodeur will even be wearing a throwback mask painted like the one he wore when he first broke in to the NHL, while wearing sweater #29.

The red and green jerseys were originally worn from 1982-83 through the 1991-92 season. The jerseys worn on the ice will be Reebok Edge jerseys, while the ones being made available for retail are CCM 550 style jerseys.

In addition to wearing Reebok Edge jerseys, the Devils will be wearing their current name and number fonts which technically have only been worn on their jerseys since the change to the red and black jerseys in 1992-93, instead of the number fonts originally worn on the red and green ones.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1976-77 Cleveland Barons Al MacAdam Jersey

Al MacAdam, one of the few players to ever come out of Prince Edward Island, was born on this date in 1952 and was drafted 55th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1972 NHL Entry Draft.

After playing two seasons with the Richmond Robins of the American Hockey League, MacAdam made his NHL debut with the Flyers in 1973-74, but would only see action in five regular season games with Philadelphia before being dealt to the California Seals in a deal that brought Reggie Leach to the Flyers.

MacAdam became an immediate regular with the Seals, playing all 80 games in 1974-75, scoring 43 points during his first season in California. His point totals increased to 32 goals and 31 assists for 63 points the following season to lead the Seals in scoring, but as usual, the moribund Seals once again failed to make the playoffs for the sixth season in a row.

With the franchise now relocated to Cleveland and renamed the Barons, MacAdam continued his iron man service, playing in every game in Barons history over the course of the next two seasons. He matched his previous season's point total in 1976-77, again scoring 63 points.

The Barons would play one more season in Cleveland before an unusual business deal saw the Barons franchise merge with the Minnesota North Stars and MacAdam once again changing sweaters without ever being traded, along with teammates Dennis Maruk, Greg Smith and Gilles Meloche who also made the trek from California to Cleveland to Minnesota.

Life with the new look North Stars agreed with MacAdam and he finished second in team scoring with 58 points to rookie and first overall draft pick Bobby Smith.

After some growing pains the first year, the team really came together in 1979-80 and MacAdam, teamed with Smith and his junior teammate Steve Payne, had by far the best season of his NHL career, scoring 42 goals and 51 assists for 93 points to lead the North Stars, 30 more points that he would score in any other NHL season.

Even better, the team qualified for the playoffs in 1979-80 for the first time in MacAdam's career and he responded with seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 15 games as the upstart North Stars would eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs in three straight and oust the defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens on a game winning goal by MacAdam in Game 7.

1980-81 was a return to Earth of MacAdam offensively, but still a good season with 21 goals and 39 assists for 60 points and third on the club. The playoffs again saw MacAdam shine with 19 points in 19 games as the North Stars used their previous seasons playoff experience to make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

MacAdam notched another 60 point season in 1981-82 with 61, but his offensive production dropped off after that as his role changed with age. His final two seasons with the North Stars saw him score 33 points and then 35 in 1983-84, a season in which the North Stars would go on another long playoff run, reaching the conference finals after eliminating the Chicago Black Hawks and the St. Louis Blues.

He was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in the summer of 1984, ending a ten year run with the Seals/Barons/North Stars in which he played in a remarkable 779 of 800 possible games.

His final NHL season with the Canucks saw him contribute 34 points and play in all 80 games for the seventh time in 11 seasons. His final NHL totals were 864 games played, 240 goals and 351 assists for 591 points. He also racked up 509 penalty minutes, as he was not afraid to play a rugged style and drop the gloves when needed.

He also was a fine playoff performer, scoring 44 points in 64 games.

MacAdam would appear in two NHL All-Star Games in 1976 and 1977, was named the Seals MVP in 1976, the North Stars MVP in 1980 and was named the recipient of the prestigious Bill Masterton Trophy in 1980.

Today's featured jersey is a 1976-77 Cleveland Barons Al MacAdam jersey as worn during the Barons first season in Cleveland, as signified by the State of Ohio patches on the sleeves, which were worn only the first year. Names were worn on the backs of the Barons jerseys at home that year, but it was removed from this jersey following the season.


Evidence of MacAdam's toughness can be seen in the following videos, as MacAdam stand in against Flyers tough guy Dave Hoyda and a real scrap with the Maple Leafs Gary Nylund.


One more just for fun, MacAdam in a scrap wearing the lovely teal colors of the California Seals, a jersey that would test the toughness of any player.


Dasherboard: Regular readers of Third String Goalie might recall that we featured the 1995-96 Los Angeles alternate "Burger King" jersey as part of our Curious, Weird and Ugly Collection, and rated it #3 in our rankings for our article in The Hockey News Greatest Jerseys of All-Time article about the most Curious, Weird and Ugly jerseys ever.

Well, some genius fans of the Los Angeles Kings recently declared last Sunday's game as "Burger King Jersey Appreciation Day". For a recap of the event and some scary, yet brilliant photos of the assembled gathering, we recommend this report on TheRoyalHalf.com and this one on LifeInHockeywood.com. Well done everyone!




Monday, March 15, 2010

1968-69 New York Rangers Ed Giacomin Jersey

On this date in 1989, the New York Rangers retired sweater #1 in honor of goaltender Ed Giacomin.

Giacomin, overcoming serious burns suffered in a kitchen accident as a teenager when a stove exploded, played five seasons for the Providence Reds of the American Hockey League to start his professional career.


Giacomin Providence Reds photo GiacominProvidenceReds.jpg

He then made his NHL debut with the New York Rangers in 1965-66 and led the NHL in shutouts with nine during his second season, helping the Rangers make the playoffs for only the second time in nine seasons.


Giacomin Rangers photo GiacominRangersnomask.jpg

Once established as the Rangers starting goaltender, Giacomin would lead the league in games played for the next four seasons, seeing action in between 66 and 70 games while winning 30 games or more each of those four seasons with a high of 37 in 1968-69 and leading the NHL in shutouts again in 1967 with nine and 1968 with eight.

With the acceptance of goalies in the NHL sharing the duty now becoming the norm, Giacomin's games played would shrink to the mid 40's starting in 1970, but he would still lead the league in shutouts in 1971 with eight on his way to winning the Vezina Trophy along with partner Gilles Villemure.

The following season the Rangers would enjoy their greatest playoff success of Giacomin's career, making it to the Stanley Cup Finals.


Giacomin Rangers photo GiacominRangers.jpg

Giacomin was limited by injuries in 1974-75, limiting him to just 37 games and 13 wins, his first time under 24 wins since becoming the starter in 1966-67. As a result, the Rangers, off to a bad start, began dumping their high priced veterans, which included waiving Giacomin, who was claimed by the Detroit Red Wings.


 photo GiacominRedWings.jpg

Giacomin's return to New York was an emotional one, as the Rangers fans chanted "Ed-die! Ed-die!", drowning out even the national anthem, a game that was voted one of the Top 50 moments in Madison Square Garden history, not just Rangers history, but all events at MSG, which include Elvis Presley and other concerts, legendary boxing matches, NBA and college basketball, political conventions and an appearance by the Pope.

He would finish his career by playing two seasons plus an additional nine games in 1977-78 with the Red Wings before retiring in January of 1978 with 609 games and a record of 289-209-96 and 54 shutouts and a goals against average of 2.82.

Giacomin played in the NHL All-Star Game six times, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987 and his sweater #1, retired on this date in 1989, was only the second number retired by the Rangers in their 64 year history.

Today's featured jersey is a 1968-69 New York Rangers Ed Giacomin jersey as worn during the season he recorded his highest NHL win total of 37 games.

The Rangers diagonal crest dates back to their first season in the NHL in 1926-27 and changed to the current font in 1941 with the drop shadow first being added the following season. This particular style with the lace-up collar was first used in 1951 with sleeve numbers arriving in 1963.

After a radical change in style in 1976 and a return to a more traditional style which read "New York" on the front in 1978, the Rangers name returned to the blue jerseys in 1987 and this style with the lace up collar was reinstated in 1997 and remains in use today.

photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's video segment begins with the excellent Legends of Hockey profile on Eddie Giacomin which includes footage of his jersey retirement ceremony.


Here's evidence of the combative nature Giacomin possessed referred to by Stan Fischler in the previous video, as he goes after Garry Howatt of the Islanders. It's also an example of the "Ed-die! Ed-die!" chant that used to fill Madsion Square Garden.


 

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