Wednesday, March 2, 2011
During the fledgling Buffalo Sabres inaugural season of 1970-71, their first ever draft pick Gilbert Perreault scored a goal during the Sabres first ever game on October 10, 1970. He went on to lead the club in scoring that season with 38 goals and 34 assists for 72 points. Perreault's 38 goals established a new NHL rookie scoring record and earned him the 1971 Calder Trophy.
Today's video section recalls the night Selanne broke Mike Bossy's 15 year old record in front of the rabid Jets fans in Winnipeg, including his memorable celebration following the record setting goal.
Perreault would not hold the record long, as it would be broken the very next season by the Sabres next first round draft pick, Rick Martin. Teamed with Perreault and Rene Robert, the trio formed the explosive "French Connection" line. While Robert would not arrive until later in the season via a trade, Martin and Perreault found instant chemistry which carried throughout the entire season. With Perreault's playmaking abilities paired with a good finisher in Martin, their sats for the season were a virtual mirror image of each other, as Perreault scored 26 goals and 48 assists while Martin had an identical 74 points, but with 44 goals and 30 assists. Martin's 39th goal on February 19, 1972 broke Perreault's rookie scoring record and during the remaining 19 games, Martin raised the record to 44.
Martin's record fell on February 25, 1978 when the New York Islanders first round pick in the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft, Mike Bossy, scored the 45th goal of his rookie campaign. Playing on a line with center Bryan Trottier and rugged left winger Clark Gilles, the trio finished 1-3-4 in team scoring. While Trottier led the team with 123 points, it was Bossy who benefited from Trottier's playmaking to break the rookie goal scoring record. Similar to Martin, Bossy still had 20 games remaining after breaking the record and proceeded to elevate the record up to 53, which was second in the NHL that season. Like, Perreault, Bossy was also the winner of the Calder Trophy.
Bossy's record would endure for 15 seasons, including surviving Joe Neiuwendyk's rookie total of 51 in 1987-88, until it was broken on this date in 1993 by Finnish sensation Teemu Selanne, who scored a hat trick for his his 52nd, record tying 53rd and record breaking 54th goal of the year at home against the Quebec Nordiques.
Like those before him, Selanne was not content to simply eclipse the record, as he simply destroyed Bossy's mark of 53 as he pushed the mark into the stratosphere with a final total of 76, which tied for the league lead in goals with fourth year player Alexander Mogilny, earning Selanne a Calder Trophy like Perreault and Bossy before him.
In addition to his 76 goals, Selanne totaled 132 points to set a rookie point scoring record as well. He and Mogilny became only the second and third European players to lead the league in goals as the became members of an exclusive club of only eight men to have ever scored 70 or more goals.
Today's featured jersey is a 1992-93 Winnipeg Jets Teemu Selanne jersey. While Selanne had hoped to wear #8, it was already in use by Randy Carlyle, who would later coach Selanne in Anaheim, necessitating Selanne to wear his second choice of #13 during his rookie season. Following Carlyle's departure from Winnipeg, Selanne would switch to #8.
During the 1992-93 season, all players would wear the Stanley Cup Centennial patch on the right chest of their jerseys. Exceptions were the New York Rangers, who wore the patch on their right shoulders, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, who did not wear the patch on their new black road jerseys, both due to their diagonal cresting.
The only other oddity was that of the Winnipeg Jets. While they did wear the patch all season in the expected location, during the latter half of the season the patches worn by the Jets did not have the same bold white outline as all the other clubs.
This determination of the borderless patch being worn in the latter half of the season is corroborated by all pictures of Selanne with the assistant captain's "A", earned later in the season, being paired with the borderless patch, while early photos without the "A" have the bordered version of the patch.
The Jets would adopt a new jersey style upon entering the NHL in 1979 and wear it through 1989-90 until changing to today's featured style, which was worn through the remainder of their time in Winnipeg.