Wednesday, July 6, 2011

1970-71 Providence Reds Garry MacMillan Jersey

July by the Numbers returns once again to Rhode Island for jersey #6.

The Providence Reds were formed in 1926 and were member of the Canadian-American Hockey League. The Can-Am League lasted ten seasons with the Reds winning championships in 1930, 1932 and 1934.

1929-30 Providence Reds
The 1929-30 Providence Reds, the Reds first championship season

When the league shrank to just four teams, it merged with the International Hockey League to form the International-American Hockey League in 1936 and shortened it's name to the American Hockey League in 1940.

The Reds won it's first Calder Cup as champions of the AHL in 1938 and repeated the feat two seasons later in 1940. A third title arrived in 1949 following a stellar 44-18-6 regular season before the Reds won their fourth and final championship in 1956 in a terrific turn of fortune, coming after three losing seasons during which they failed to even qualify for the playoffs.

1948-49 Providence Reds
The 1948-49 Calder Cup champion Providence Reds

After winning four Calder Cups in the space of 19 seasons, the Reds next 11 seasons saw them either eliminated in the first round of the playoffs six time or completely out of the postseason five times.

Despite a losing record in 1970-71, when they posted a 28-31-13 record, the Reds made their first return to the finals since 1956. The Reds Best season since their 1956 title winning season came in 1973-74 when they went 38-26-12 and made another trip to the finals. They not only improved on their record again the very next season, but established a club record with 98 points following a 43-21-12 march through their schedule, only to go down to defeat in Round 1 of the playoffs in six games to the Springfield Indians.

1970-71 Providence Reds
The 1970-71 Providence Reds

Following the 1977-78 season, the franchise would relocate to Binghamton, New York, where it would play under a series of names for 20 years until relocating once again to Hartford, Connecticut where it was known as the Hartford Wolf Pack for 13 seasons before a change in ownership resulted in yet another name change, this time to it's current name, the Connecticut Whale. It would not be until 1992 that hockey would return to Providence in the form of the Providence Bruins.

Zellio Toppazzini
Zellio Toppazzini

Notable players over the long history of the Reds include Johnny Bower, Ed Giacomin, Ed Johnstone, Rick Middleton, Bill Mosienko, Ron Stackhouse and franchise all-time leading scorer Zellio Toppazzini who played for the Reds from 1951 to 1964.

Today's featured jersey is a 1970-71 Providence Reds Garry MacMillan jersey which features vertical striping where the arms meet the body, which is a style more closely associated with football jerseys.

The crest of the jersey is a cartoon of a rooster (since a "Rhode Island Red" is a breed of chicken) in full windup for a slapshot.

Providence Reds 70-71 jersey
Providence Reds 70-71 jersey

Today's video highlight is Zellio Tooazzini receiving an award from the owner of the Reds back in the early 1960's, followed by some action highlights.

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