Friday, November 15, 2013
Greg Adams began his road to the NHL with the Kelowna Buckaroos of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League during the 1980-81 season. The left winger got off to a great start, scoring 40 goals and 90 points in 48 games at the age of 17. After a second season with Kelowna, Adams definitely took the road less traveled when he joined the little known, little regarded, little remembered hockey program at Northern Arizona University.
Northern Arizona fielded a Division 1 team from 1980-81 to 1985-86, the first five as an independent club. During his first season with the Lumberjacks, Adams scored at more than a point per game with 35 points in 29 games, but erupted in 1983-84 with 44 goals and 73 points to lead not only Northern Arizona, but the entire nation in scoring.
Still, after that performance, Adams went undrafted by the NHL and signed as a free agent with the New Jersey Devils. He spilt his first professional season between the Maine Mariners of the AHL (41 games and 11 playoff games) and the Devils (36 games). During only his second NHL season, and his first full season, Adams set a career best with 77 points in 78 games. His point total sank in year three to 47 in 1986-87.
That drop in points made Adams expendable and he was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks along with goaltender Kirk McLean. The change in scenery worked well for Adams who went on to play eight seasons in Vancouver, including four goals in his first game as a Canuck. His first season with the Canucks saw him set a career high with 36 goals while coming within one of his career best with 76 points, just one off the team lead.
While with Vancouver he would post three more 50 point seasons as well as scoring one of the greatest goals in team history with his overtime goal in Game 5 of the 1994 Western Conference Finals to propel the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals after they had trailed by three goals at one point. During that season's playoffs, Adams would score 14 points in 23 games, including the game winning goal in overtime of Game 1 of the finals.
After 31 games of the 1994-95 season, he would be traded to the Dallas Stars. Three seasons with Dallas saw Adams have two 20 goal seasons, the 8th and 9th of his career. Still, he never played more than 66 games for Dallas due to a series of injuries which limited his playing time.
For the 1998-99 season Adams moved to the Phoenix Coyotes as a free agent, where he once again had a good first season with his new team, seeing action in 75 games. He played a second season with Phoenix where his 46 points were the most he had scored since 1993 with Vancouver.
For the 2000-01 season, Adams joined the Florida Panthers as a free agent. He would play in 60 games that year, which included his 1,000th career game on this date in 2000. He would celebrate the occasion by scoring the Panthers first goal of the game in a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes as he became the only player from Northern Arizona University to ever play 1,000 games in the NHL, as he was actually one of only two players from NAU to even make it to the NHL, the other being Bob Beers.
After sitting out the 2001-02 season, Adams tried his hand at hockey in Europe, signing with the Frankfurt Lions of the German DEL where he would score 42 points in 50 games to close out his career once and for all.
His final NHL totals are 1,056 games played, 355 goals and 388 assists for 743 points.
Today's featured jersey is a 2000-01 Florida Panthers Greg Adams jersey. This is from the second era of the Panthers jerseys, as their original jerseys worn from 1993-1998 had one color red names before changing to three color vertically arched names on the back in time for the 1998-99 season. This style would remain in use through the 2005-06 season before the arching was removed and the three color names became straight once again in 2006-07 for a single season prior to the change to new jerseys with the arrival of the Reebok Edge jerseys the following season.
Today's video segment begins with Adams overtime goal against the Maple Leafs to send Vancouver to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994.
Here, Adams scores the game winning goal in overtime of Game 1 of the finals just after the Rangers hit the crossbar at the other end.