Friday, October 25, 2013
Doug Bodger played his junior hockey with the Kamloops Junior Oilers in the Western Hockey League. There, the defenseman caught the eye of the Pittsburgh Penguins after scoring 21 goals and 98 points from the blueline in 1983-84, prompting the Penguins to draft him 9th overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.
He joined the Penguins later that year and played for Pittsburgh four seasons in which he averaged 40 points per season including a career high 14 goals in 1987-88. Early in the 1988-89 season, Bodger was traded to the Buffalo Sabres as part of a deal which brought goaltender Tom Barasso to the Penguins.
While with Pittsburgh, Bodger was chosen to play for Canada at the 1987 World Championships, the first time he would play for his country.
While the Penguins were in a down period while Bodger was with Pittsburgh, never qualifying for the playoffs, the season he joined the Sabres they made the playoffs for the first of seven consecutive seasons, including the 1992-93 season in which he set a career high with 54 points. Bodger proved to be a very reliable player while in Buffalo, regularly playing 70 games or more.
Bodger was then traded to the San Jose Sharks early in the 1995-96 campaign for two players and a pair of draft picks. While in San Jose, he added a veteran presence to the young Sharks blueline.
Following the season, Bodger completed for Canada at the World Championships once more, this time earning a silver medal.
He would again rack up the games the following season with the Sharks, appearing in 81 contests. After 28 games of the 1997-98 season, Bodger was dealt across the continent to the New Jersey Devils for the last 49 games of the schedule, followed by his first playoff appearance since 1995 with Buffalo.
The Devils then traded Bodger, sending him all the way back to California, this time with the Los Angeles Kings for the 1998-99 season, which would include his 1,000th NHL game on this date in 1998, a 3-2 win for the Kings over the Carolina Hurricanes. He would complete his season by making his third appearance for Canada at the World Championships in 1999.
For the 1999-00 season, Bodger signed with the Vancouver Canucks as a free agent, but would play just 13 games for the Canucks prior to retiring on December 14th of that season.
His final NHL stats are 1,071 games played, 106 goals and 422 assists for 528 points. He would also play in 47 playoff games, scoring 6 goals and 24 points.
In 2006, he was inducted into the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame after being the highest scoring defenseman from British Columbia.
Today's featured jersey is a 1998-99 Los Angeles Kings Doug Bodger jersey. This was the first year for this style Kings jersey and the only season it was made by Starter. This style replaced the black and silver "Gretzky era" jerseys.
One issue we had with this style jersey was the small details of the main coat of arms crest being too fine when viewed at any sort of a distance. Someone apparently agreed with us, as the Kings flipped the coat of arms crest on their home and road jersey with the bolder crown logo used on their purple alternate jersey for the 2002-03 season.
For collectors, this relatively unique situation means you must pay attention to details, as all three colors of Kings jerseys, the black, white and purple, have all been made in both the coat of arms and crown logo versions at different times.
Here's an easy way to get an assist, pass the puck to Mario Lemieux and let him do the rest.
Hallelujah, Hollywood, Bodger scores for the Penguins in 1986, with an assist to the flashy Ron Duguay.
Here is Bodger's second goal of the same game as above.