Friday, December 28, 2012

1988-89 Edmonton Oilers Grant Fuhr Jersey

On this date in 1918, Georges Vezina of the Montreal Canadiens became the first goalie in NHL history to be awarded an assist when Newsy Lalonde gathered up the puck after a save by Vezina, skated the length of the ice and scored a goal during a 6-3 Canadiens win over the Toronto Arenas.

Georges Vezina
Georges Vezina

It would take 61 years before a goaltender would be credited with scoring a goal, and he never actually shot the puck. That occurred on November 28, 1979 when Rob Ramage of the hapless Colorado Rockies gathered up the puck after a save by the New York Islanders Billy Smith during a delayed penalty call and passed the puck back out of the corner, which unfortunately for the Rockies sailed by his intended teammates and had enough force to continue all the way down the length of the ice and into the Rockies unmanned goal.


It would take eight more years for an NHL goalie to genuinely shoot the puck into the opposing net when Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers score against the Boston Bruins on December 8, 1987. Hextall later scored again during the playoffs against the Washington Capitals on April 11, 1989.

Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils is the only other goalie to date to have scored twice with a playoff goal in 1997 and a regular season goal in 2000.

Jeff Reese holds the record for most points by a goaltender in a game with three, which he scored on February 10, 1983 while playing for the Calgary Flames.

It should come as little surprise to find out that an Edmonton Oiler holds the record for most points by a goaltender in a season, as well as the career record for most points by a goalie. Those honors belong to Grant Fuhr of the high powered Oilers. His record of 14 points in 1983-84 set the standard which still remains the one to beat more than 25 years later.

Fuhr Oilers, Fuhr Oilers
Grant Fuhr

While Fuhr certainly earned a number of assists by simply going behind the net and teeing up a dump-in for Paul Coffey to carry up the ice and set up a Wayne Gretzky goal, Fuhr also earned a number of assists by firing the puck up the ice to an open teammate to initiate a rush.

Fuhr's total of 60 points (which includes regular season and playoffs combined) leads all goalies in career scoring, followed by Patrick Roy's 56, who just barely tops the 55 scored by Tom Barrasso and Brodeur's 54 points, two of which were goals. Mike Vernon's 41 leads both Hextall and John Vanbiesbrouck at 38, with two of Hextall's points coming from his goals.

The rest of the top ten consist of Ed Belfour at 35, Curtis Joseph's 33 and the tenth spot is occupied by both Sean Burke and Dan Bouchard, who are tied at 30. Honorable mention goes to Kirk McLean (29), Andy Moog (28), Bill Ranford (26) and the duo of Mike Palmateer and Tony Esposito with 25 each. Of the 16 goalies listed, only Broduer remains active and it must be noted that Barrasso's 48 assists are the most by a player counting only the regular season, two more than Fuhr's 46.

Today's featured jersey is a 1988-89 Edmonton Oilers Grant Fuhr jersey. Fuhr remains the all-time point scoring leader among NHL goalies with 60, four more than the next closest pursuer, and holder of the most points in a season by a goaltender for over 25 years.

Fuhr played 19 NHL seasons and won 403 games with the Oilers, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames as well as being the Oilers starting goaltender for Stanley Cup championships with the Oilers in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988. He also won the Canada Cup in both 1984 and 1987. He also won the Vezina Trophy in 1988 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003. Just to be clear, the Vezina Trophy is awarded for puck stopping ability, not goalie scoring exploits!

Oilers 88-89 jersey Pictures, Images and Photos
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Here is footage of Broduer's first goal, which came in the 1997 playoffs.


Our final video today is a tribute to Grant Fuhr and a collection of some of his flashiest saves.


Dasherboard: The World Junior Championships had a light schedule yesterday. In Group A, Switzerland thrashed Latvia 7-2 to keep pace with Finland and Sweden, while the United States rebounded from their last tune-up game by hammering Germany 8-0 to get their tournament off to a strong start, now even with Canada at 3 points and one ahead of Russia at 2 in Group B.

Today's schedule is a full four games, with Finland taking on the Czech Republic in the day's first game, followed by Canada looking to defeat Slovakia, who gave Russia all they could handle in their first game.

The second game in Group A at the Sports Palace following Finland and the Czech Republic will be Sweden facing off against Switzerland, who are surely in for a much tougher game than provided by Latvia.

The day concludes with a  prime matchup, as host Russia takes on the United States, with neither team hoping to have to share the three points at stake. Surely the loser of this game will lose out on getting the bye into the semifinals, so there is plenty to play for in one of the best match ups of the Preliminary Round.

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