Friday, April 15, 2011
Born on this date in 1969, Jimmy Waite played his junior hockey with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 1986-87 and 1987-88. He played 50 games his first season and posted a record of 23-17-3.
During this time he also competed for Team Canada in the World Junior Championships, which included winning a gold medal in 1988 over the Soviet Union in Moscow. At the conclusion of the 1986-87 season he was drafted in the first round, eighth overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.
With the goaltending situation in Chicago being a crowded one, Alain Chevrier, Ed Belfour and Darren Pang all played 23 games or more, Waite was limited to just 11 games in 1988-89 with the Blackhawks after breaking his collarbone, and played five with Saginaw of the IHL after healing.
Waite needed more playing time, which he received in 1989-90 with the Indianapolis Ice of the IHL, where, after going 34-14-5 during the regular season, Waite led the Ice to the Turner Cup championship with a 9-1 mark during the playoffs. Waite also suited up for four games with Chicago during the season, who still had an abundance of goalies with Jacques Cloutier, Greg Millen and Chevrier dividing up the bulk of the work.
1990-91 saw Belfour return from his season with the Canadian National Team to dominate the NHL, relegating Waite to the IHL for a second season, where he retained his #1 status, going 26-18-4 in 49 games. Waite managed a single game with Chicago that season, winning in his only start.
As if being behind Belfour on the depth chart was not enough, Domink Hasek had arrived on the scene in Chicago. Still, Waite was called upon to play 17 games with the Blackhawks and divided the rest of his season with Indianapolis and the Hershey Bears of the AHL.
Waite spent the entire 1992-93 season in the NHL as Belfour's backup, seeing time in 20 games prior to being traded to the San Jose Sharks during the off-season. Once more, Waite was the understudy, this time to workhorse Arturs Irbe.
When the 1994-95 season delayed until January due to labor issues, Waite had yet to see any playing time with the Sharks before being dealt back to Chicago in February. It ended up essentially being a lost season for Waite, who played two games with Chicago and four back with Indianapolis.
The same pattern continued for two more seasons with Waite playing the vast majority of his season with the Ice and a few token games with Chicago until being claimed in the waiver draft by the Phoenix Coyotes after eight seasons with Chicago, never playing more than 20 games.
While in Phoenix, Waite was again the number two, and played 17 games in 1997-98 and 16 in 1998-99, a season which also saw him compete for both the Utah Grizzlies and Springfield Falcons in the AHL.
Prior to the 1999-00 season Waite was signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs, but spent the next two seasons with their AHL affiliate in St. John's, where he was the number one, seeing action in 105 games over the next two seasons.
With the NHL portion of his career now at an end, Waite moved to Germany for the 2001-02 season to play for the Essen Mosquitos. After spending the 2002-03 season with the Iserlohn Roosters, Waite found a home with the Ingolstadt Panthers, where he would play for the next six seasons and become a fan favorite, earning the nickname "The Wall".
While with Ingolstadt, Waite would be named to the DEL All-Star Game in 2004 and 2007. Additionally, he would earn the DEL Outstanding Goalkeeper Award for three consecutive seasons, from 2003-04 to 2005-06.
His career concluded with a single appearance for the Nuermberg Ice Tigers in the 2009-10 season with a victory.
Today's featured jersey is a 2004-05 Ingolstadt Panthers Jimmy Waite jersey. This jersey is typical of European league jerseys in that it is dye-sublimated and covered with multiple sponsorship ads which relegate the club identity to a mere afterthought.
Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1994-95 Indianapolis Ice Jimmy Waite jersey. Waite spent six seasons with the Ice which included an IHL championship in 1990.
Today's video selection is a brief but telling one, showing the fans love of Waite in Ingolstadt.