Monday, March 28, 2011
Following a stellar season with the Brandon Wheat Kings in which he scored 66 goals and 149 points as well as 215 penalty minutes, center Laurie Boschman was drafted 9th overall in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Boschman's first season in Toronto went well enough for an NHL rookie, as he played 80 games and scored 48 points, but year two was derailed by a bought of mononucleosis, from which he returned too quickly and lacked the necessary energy to compete at the NHL level as a result. Worse, he was criticized by the notoriously cantankerous Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard for being too soft as a result of a religious conversion. Despite the "soft" accusations, Boschman racked up 178 penalty minutes in just 53 games that season.
A third abbreviated season in Toronto was cut short by a stomach ulcer before Boschman requested a trade and was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers in time for the final 11 games of the 1981-82 season, freeing him from Ballard's criticisms. After playing the majority of the 1982-83 season with the Oilers, Boschman was once again on the trading block due to the depth of the Oilers roster. He landed in Winnipeg with the Jets, a move which would fit him like a glove.
After playing four NHL seasons with a high of 48 points, his first full season with the Jets would see his production immediately increase to 74 points despite playing in just 61 games due to time missed with a separated shoulder. He would also total 234 penalty minutes, making him a true power forward.
The following season Boschman set a career high with 76 points, which included another career best of 32 goals, one of a record six Jets to score 30 or more goals. After scoring 69 points, along with a career high of 241 penalty minutes, Boschman's offensive production would decline somewhat as his season totals were in the 40's in 1987 and 1988 before 36 in 1989 and 27 in his final season in Winnipeg in 1989-90.
After eight stable years in Winnipeg, Boschman was sent to the New Jersey Devils where he would play for two seasons.
He was then left unprotected in the 1992 NHL Expansion Draft by the Devils, and was subsequently selected by the Ottawa Senators, who named him their first captain in team history. Boschman would play 70 games for the Senators that season, which would include his 1,000th NHL game on this date in 1993.
While the Senators would rarely win a game during their first season, going 10-70-4 for a meager 24 points, Boschman would appear in 70 games, his 12th consecutive season with 61 games or more. He would retire following his only season with the Senators, but would return for seven games, in which he scored 18 points, with the Fife Flyers of the British Hockey League in 1994-95 before retiring for good.
Today's featured jersey is a 1989-90 Winnipeg Jets Laurie Boschman jersey as worn during his final season in Winnipeg. This jersey has the Goals for Kids patch worn for the first time in 1988-89, although with the different design which incorporated the Jets logo.
This was the only season during which this style jersey, first introduced back in 1979 when the Jets entered the NHL after the demise of the WHA, with this style of Goals for Kids patch, as the following season would see an all new Jets jersey style that had not only a new Goals for Kids patch, but stripes around the arms rather than down the length of the arms.
Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1992-93 Ottawa Senators Laurie Boschman jersey as worn during the Senators inaugural season in which they wore the Stanley Cup Centennial patch. Boschman was named the Senators original captain that season, one in which he played in his 1,000th NHL game.
Today's video segment begins with Boschman having a good scrap with the Rangers Doug Weight.
Here is the most famous goal Boschman didn't score - a disallowed goal in the 1991 playoffs which would have completed a Devils comeback from three goals down while leading 3 games to 2. Pittsburgh went on to win the game and eventually the Stanley Cup.