Thursday, May 26, 2011
Born on this date in 1959, Pat Riggin played his junior hockey with the London Knights from 1975-76 to 1977-78. He was then signed by the Birmingham Bulls of the WHA as one of six underage players in an attempt to gain the upper hand on the NHL, who did not allow players still in their teens to play in the league. Birmingham's strategy earned them the nickname of the "Baby Bulls". The 19-year-old Riggin shared goaltending duties with the oldest player on the club, 38-year-old Ernie Wakely, who was twice Riggin's age.
Following the season the WHA ceased to exist and Riggin was drafted by the Atlanta Flames of the NHL. Riggin split his time in the following 1979-80 season between the Flames and the Birmingham Bulls franchise which became a member of the minor league Central Hockey League.
It would be Riggin's only season in Atlanta, as the franchise relocated to Calgary for the 1980-81 season. He also took over as the number one goaltender, playing in 42 games and going 21-16-4 as well as posting a winning record in the playoffs with a 6-4 mark in 11 games played. He would play one more season with the Flames as his workload increased to 52 games.
Following the 1981-82 season Riggin was traded to the Washington Capitals where he registered three consecutive winning seasons while his workload increased from 38 games to 41 in 1983-84 when he won the Jennings Trophy with Al Jensen, to 57 in 1984-85 which included a career high of 28 wins.
That seasons performance earned Riggin his first opportunity to play in the 1985 World Championships for his native Canada where he earned a silver medal.
He began the 1985-86 season with Washington, but was involved in a swap of goaltenders with the Boston Bruins, who sent Pete Peeters to the Capitals early in the season. Riggin led the Bruins with games played that season with 39, as five different players saw time in the Bruins net that season.
He fell out of favor with the Bruins in 1986-87 and was eventually assigned to the Moncton Golden Flames of the AHL for a time before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in February of 1987. Following the regular season, Canada called once more for the 1987 World Championships, where they finished just out of the medals in fourth.
Riggin began the 1987-88 season with the Penguins, but after 22 games and a 7-8-4 record, was sent to the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the IHL where he played quite well in 18 games, compiling a 13-2-0 record with a goals against average of 2.70 before retiring at the end of the season with a career NHL record of 350 games played and a record of 153-120-52 and a career goals against average of 3.43 and 11 shutouts.
Today's featured jersey is a 1984-85 Washington Capitals Pat Riggin jersey as worn the season Riggin had the best season of his career with 28 wins in 57 games played.
While many may assume the Capitals jerseys remained the same during the early days of the franchise, there were subtle detail changes, which included adding names to the back of the red road jerseys in 1977, changing to single color names beginning in 1979-80, dropping the number of stars on the arms to just four for 1983-84 and 1984-85, adding the fifth star on the arms back in 1985-86 and making the names two colors again in 1987-88 through the end of the lifespan of this classic jersey style until it was replaced with an entirely new set of jerseys, which sported an entirely new identity package consisting of a new logo and all new team colors in 1995-96.
Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1985 Team Canada Pat Riggin jersey as worn in the 1985 World Championships. This jersey is made by Adidas as evidenced by their iconic three stripe motif which runs down the length of the sleeves in addition to the adidas logo on the upper right chest.
We believe Adidas was the first jersey manufacturer to adorn the jerseys at the World Championships with their brand logo, as well as taking it a step farther by incorporating their identity into the design of the jersey itself when they arrived on the scene in 1982.
Tackla of Finland continued that plan in 1988 to 1994, with the final year being with Reebok logos. Nike then entered into a partnership with the IIHF in 1995, which remains in effect to this day.
In today's video section the feisty Riggin gives Swede Pelle Lindbergh of the Philadelphia Flyers the business, but it does not escalate.
Next, Riggin, now with the Penguins, faces a penalty shot by Alan Kerr of the Islanders.