Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Calgary, Alberta's Pat Hughes was originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens 52nd overall in the 1975 Amateur Draft after his second season with the University of Michigan during which he scored 24 goals and 43 points in 38 games. He would return to Michigan for a third season in 1975-76.
He turned pro with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs of the American Hockey League the following year and played 77 games, scoring 68 points, as well as 144 penalty minutes. In 12 playoff games Hughes scored two goals and two assists a the Voyageurs won their second consecutive Calder Cup as AHL champions.
Hughes played a second season with Nova Scotia in 1977-78, raising his goal total to an even 40, good for fourth overall in the AHL. He would also make his NHL debut on December 14, 1977 with Montreal, one of three games he would play in that season.
He spent the entire 1978-79 season in the NHL with Montreal, seeing action in 41 games, in which he scored his first NHL goal, one of nine he would score that season. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in time for the next season, a move which proved beneficial for Hughes, as it allowed him to establish himself as an NHL regular. He would play in 76 games for the Penguins and score 18 goals.
After 58 games with the Penguins in 1980-81, his career would take another turn for the better when the Penguins sent Hughes to the Edmonton Oilers in March of 1981. Joining the offensive juggernaut in Edmonton allowed Hughes to set new personal highs in goals (24) and points (46) in 1981-82.
He raised his personal best in goals to 25 in 1982-83, which included setting an NHL record for the fastest two shorthanded goals in league history on this date in 1983 when he score at 15:18 of the second period and then struck again just 25 seconds later in a 7-5 Oilers win over the St. Louis Blues. His two shorthanded goals in 25 seconds broke the record of 27 seconds set on March 25, 1982 by his Oiler teammate Wayne Gretzky, and in doing so, Hughes gained the unique distinction of becoming the first player to ever break a record held by Gretzky.
The next season Hughes again raised offensive numbers, setting career highs in goals, with 27, including the most spectacular game of his career, when he scored five goals on February 3, 1984 against his hometown Calgary Flames. He also set highs for both assists (28) and points, with 55. Hughes would also contribute 13 points in 19 games as the Oilers won the Stanley Cup for the first time in club history.
After winning another Stanley Cup the following season with the Oilers, Hughes was traded twice in the same day, ending up with the Buffalo Sabres for 1985-86. The checking forward's numbers took an understandable drop away from the high flying Oilers. He played 50 games with the Sabres, scoring 13 points, and another 10 games with their AHL affiliate in Rochester, New York.
He was claimed in the waiver draft in 1986 by St. Louis and was with the Blues for 43 games before St. Louis traded him to the Hartford Whalers. His stay with Hartford was brief, consisting of two regular season games and three playoff games to close out his career.
Hughes played 10 NHL seasons and totaled 130 goals and 128 assists for 258 points as well as having his name engraved on the Stanley Cup twice and earning the distinction of becoming the first person to break an offensive record held by Gretzky.
Today's featured jersey is a 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers Pat Hughes jersey as worn during the second championship season of Hughes career. When Hughes arrived in Edmonton, the Oilers were outfitted with jerseys produced by Sandow SK for two seasons before being replaced by Nike's entry into the manufacturing of hockey jerseys.
In today's video segment, Hughes and the Edmonton Oilers win their first Stanley Cup in 1984.