Friday, May 31, 2013

1980 Team USA Jim Craig Jersey

Born on this date in 1957, Jim Craig played college hockey at Boston University for three seasons which included winning a National Championship in 1978 and being named an NCAA All-Star in 1979.

Jim Craig Boston University

Following his college career, Craig gained valuable international experience as goaltender for the United States in the 1979 World Championships, posting a 2-1-2 record.

Craig gained his greatest fame as the starting goaltender for the United States at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

Jim Craig

The young Americans opened their tournament with a come from behind tie against Sweden followed by a confidence building 7-3 hammering of traditional international hockey power Czechoslovakia.

They took care of business with wins against Norway 5-1, Romania 7-2 and West Germany 4-2 to finish the First Round undefeated at 4-0-1, earning a place in the four team Final Round.

"My goal in every game was to keep my team in a position to win," Craig recalled.

It was there that Craig cemented his legacy in hockey history, holding off the heavily favored Soviet Union, winners of five of the last six Olympic gold medals, in what would become known as "The Miracle on Ice". In all, Craig made 36 saves as the US was outshot 39 to 16 and won 4-3.

1980 Miracle on Ice

Despite the euphoria of that victory, the United States still had to come from behind to defeat Finland two days later 4-2 to clinch the gold medal.

Jim Craig

"We were just a bunch of talented, dedicated, wonderful guys who believed in one goal, and stuck all of their own personal ambition away to achieve it. If that's a miracle, I believe in that," said Craig.

Craig had little time to savor the victory, as less than a week later he made his NHL debut for the Atlanta Flames and stopped 24 shots in a 4-1 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Jim Craig

He would see action in just three more games, going 0-2-1 before being traded to his hometown Boston Bruins for a pair of draft picks at the 1981 NHL Entry Draft.

He would struggle for playing time in Boston, but see action in 23 games and finishing the season with a 9-7-6 record.

Jim Craig

The 1981-82 season was a litany of medical problems for Craig, including a broken finger which caused him to miss the 1981 Canada Cup, surgery to remove a benign lump in his shoulder, a fall off a ladder which broke his ankle and finally back spasms which ended his season after only 13 games for the Bruins minor league affiliate in Erie, Pennsylvania.

He spent the next season of 1982-83 with the United States National Team, and in 26 games, he played well enough to earn another shot at professional hockey, thanks in part due to being named the Best Goaltender at the 1983 IIHF Pool B  World Championships as the Americans went 6-0-1 to win gold medals and gain an immediate promotion back to the top level of Group A for 1984 following their dismal 1982 tournament, which saw them relegated down to the B Pool for 1983.

That final shot at pro hockey for Craig came in 1983-84 with the Salt Lake Golden Eagles of the CHL and three games with their parent club the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL before he retired as an active player following the season.

Jim Craig

Craig was inducted into the Boston University Hall of Fame in 1989 and the International Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999.

Today's featured jersey is a 1980 United States National Team Jim Craig jersey. This jersey is a true icon of hockey and is notable for it's contrasting blue nameplates with white lettering.

While many manufacturers have produced replicas of the jerseys worn in Lake Placid by the United States "Miracle on Ice" squad, the original jersey manufacturers were Norcon of Forest Lake, Minnesota.

1980 United States jersey

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1982-83 United States National Team Jim Craig jersey as worn by Craig as he successfully attempted to keep his career moving forward and return to the NHL by leading the United States to a dominating run through the 1983 IIHF B Pool World Championships.

This seldom seen USA style was made by Cooper and came in between the famous 1980 Olympics and the 1984 Games, where they wore Reebok branded jerseys produced by Tackla. The highest profile outing for this style jersey would have been the 1981 Canada Cup tournament.

 photo USA1983jersey.jpg
photos courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's video section highlights Jim Craig's performance in the 1980 Olympics.



This look at Craig's career includes footage from his NHL debut with the Flames vs. the Rockies.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

2000-01 Pittsburgh Penguins Jiří Šlégr Jersey

Defenseman Jiří Šlégr, born on this date in 1971 began his career with CHZ Litvinov in 1987-88 and eventually played five seasons with the club before coming to North America to play in 1991-92 in the wake of the fall of Communism across Europe, which gave players the freedom to leave for the first time.

Prior to coming to the NHL, Šlégr had played for Czechoslovakia on five occasions, including the European Junior Championships in 1989, winning bronze medals at the World Junior Championships in both 1990 and 1991, which would prove to be a busy year for the young Šlégr, as he would also play in the 1991 World Championships as well as the 1991 Canada Cup. During his final Czechoslovak domestic season, Šlégr would also make his Olympic debut in his final appearance for Czechoslovakia in the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France where he earned a bronze medal.

Slegr Czechoslovakia, Slegr Czechoslovakia

Šlégr joined the Vancouver Canucks organization, who had selected him with the second pick of the second round of the 1990 NHL Draft. His first season saw him divide his time between the Hamilton Canucks of the AHL (21 games) and make his NHL debut with Vancouver, playing in 41 games, scoring an impressive 26 points in exactly half a season of play while posting a +16 rating. He would also get his first taste of the NHL playoffs, seeing action in 5 games.

Given more important minutes based on his successful rookie season, Šlégr set a career high with 38 points from 5 goals and 33 assists in 78 games.

Slegr Canucks, Slegr Canucks

He would spend the early part of the 1994-95 season back with Litvinov, in what was by now the Czech Republic, due to the labor stoppage delaying the start of the NHL season until January. Once the NHL resumed, play, Šlégr would play 19 games with the Canucks before being traded in early April to the Edmonton Oilers.

He was limited to 57 games with the Oilers in 1995-96 and went on to make his debut for the Czech Republic at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey prior to the start of the 1996-97 season, which Šlégr spent back in Europe, appearing in one game with Litvinov, but primarily with Sodertalje SK in Sweden. He also played for the Czech Republic at the 1997 World Championships in the spring, earning another bronze medal.

In August of that year, Šlégr was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom he spent the next four seasons, including setting an NHL career best 11 goals in 1999-00.

Slegr Penguins, Slegr Penguins

During his first season with the Penguins, the NHL would take a break from it's schedule to allow players to compete in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, which Šlégr and his Czech teammates would take full advantage of, winning the gold medal in unexpected fashion. He was back on the international scene once again, earning another bronze at the 1998 World Championships.

Half way through the 2000-01 season, Šlégr was sent by the Penguins to the Atlanta Thrashers, where he would play 33 games to end the season.

Slegr Thrashers, Slegr Thrashers

He was with the Thrasher for 38 more games in the first half of the 2001-02 season before another trade, which sent him to the Detroit Red Wings. While he would only play 8 regular season games and 1 playoff game with Detroit, the Red Wings would go on to capture the Stanley Cup at the conclusion of the playoffs.

Slegr Stanley Cup, Slegr Stanley Cup

2002-03 was a lost season for Šlégr, as he would only play 10 games for Litvinov in the Czech Republic and 6 regular season and 9 playoff games for Avangard Omsk in the Russian Super League.

He returned to the NHL by signing a free agent contract with the Vancouver Canucks for 2003-04, but would end up spending the majority of his season with the Boston Bruins following a trade in January.

Following the season, Šlégr would return to the World Championships for the first time in six years. His second World Cup of Hockey came in September of that year. With the NHL season cancelled due to a lockout, Šlégr once again returned to where it began, suiting up for a full season with HC Litvinov, with whom he had his best offensive season in five years with 29 points.

With the Czech domestic season now over, Šlégr joined the national team for his fourth World Championshps for the Czech Republic, which they won with an 8-1 overall record, which included shutting out Canada 3-0 in the final, earning Šlégr a World Championship gold to go with his Olympic gold in 1998 and his Stanley Cup in 2002, making him a member of the prestigious Triple Gold Club, one of only 16 men at the time to have done so, and to date one of only two Czechs to have earned the honor, along with Jaromir Jagr.

Slegr World Champion, Slegr World Champion
Šlégr with the World Championship trophy,
which completed his membership in the Triple Gold Club

When the NHL resumed play in 2005-06, Šlégr was back with the Bruins, for whom he played 32 games.

Slegr Bruins, Slegr Bruins

Following that season, he returned to Litvinov for the sixth time! He would play four seasons there, retiring from hockey in 2010 before beginning his second career in politics, having been elected to Chamber of Deputies.

Slegr Litvinov, Slegr Litvinov
Šlégr with HC Litvinov

Šlégr's final NHL career totals are 622 games, 56 goals and 193 assists for 249 points.

Today's featured jersey is a 2000-01 Pittsburgh Penguins Jiří Šlégr jersey as worn during one of the Penguins opening pair of games in Japan against the Nashville Predators to open the NHL season. This was the third and final time the NHL season would get under way in Tokyo.

This style Penguins jersey was introduced in 1992-93 following their second Stanley Cup championship. The modernized Penguins logo was dubbed the "robo-Penguin" and remained in use through the 2001-02 season before a full-time return of the original skating penguin logo.

Pittsburgh Penguins 00-01 jersey, Pittsburgh Penguins 00-01 jersey
Pittsburgh Penguins 00-01 jersey, Pittsburgh Penguins 00-01 jersey
Pittsburgh Penguins 00-01 jersey, Pittsburgh Penguins 00-01 jersey

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1996 Czech Republic Jiří Šlégr jersey as worn the first time Šlégr played for the Czech Republic following the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

This jersey was made by Bauer, and as such, the Czechs wore the larger 4" World Cup patch on the shoulder. Sweden and Canada also wore Bauer jerseys paired with the larger version of the patch, unlike the Nike teams, which wore the smaller 3" version of the tournament patch.

Czech Republic 1996 jersey, Czech Republic 1996 jersey
Czech Republic 1996 jersey, Czech Republic 1996 jersey
Czech Republic 1996 jersey, Czech Republic 1996 jersey

In today's video segment, Šlégr scores against Canada in the 1998 Olympics, much to the delight of the announcer.



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

1998 Team Canada Patrick Roy Jersey

It was on this date in 2003 that Patrick Roy announced his retirement from the NHL after 19 seasons, four Stanley Cups and three Conn Smythe Trophies, the only player to have ever won more than two.

In addition, he was named winner of the Vezina Trophy three times, in 1989, 1990 and 1992, and played in eleven NHL All-Star Games. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006 and his #33 has been retired by both the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche, the team which recently hired him as their new head coach.

Roy retired as the all-time leader in wins with 551, games played by a goaltender with 1,029 and playoff shutouts at 23 and currently holds the record for most playoff games by a goaltender (247) and most playoff wins (151).

Before joining the Canadiens, he also led his team to the Calder Cup as champions of the American Hockey League in 1985. He was ranked as #35 on The Hockey News list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.

After winning two Stanley Cups in Montreal, he had a very public falling out with coach Mario Tremblay and was traded to the Colorado Avalanche, leading them to the Stanley Cup in the Avalanche's first season in Colorado, a trade which would have never happened had the franchise remained in Quebec as the Nordiques, the Canadiens greatest rival at the time.

Today's featured jersey is a 1998 Team Canada Patrick Roy jersey as worn in the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, an unusual jersey for Roy. Never having played in the World Junior Championships and rarely, if ever, eligible for the World Championships in the spring due to his annual appearances in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Roy made the only Team Canada appearance of his entire career in 1998 with the first inclusion of NHL professionals in the Olympics.

During the Olympics Roy went 4-2, with the two losses coming in a semi-final shootout loss to eventual Gold Medal winners The Czech Republic and the Bronze Medal Game to Finland.

When Roy announced that he would not be part of Canada's Olympic Team at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, it left his time in Nagano as the only international appearance on his long resume.

This jersey's most unique feature has to be the font "Copperplate Gothic" chosen for the numbers, a font only used by Team Canada at the 1998 Olympics, despite many countries using the same striping template for their Nike jerseys in the 1998 and 2002 Olympics.

Canada 1998 Olympic jersey photo Canada1998OLYRF.jpg
Canada 1998 Olympic jersey photo Canada1998OLYRB.jpg

Today's first video is a look at the career of Roy, which has to of course include his memorable fights with Detroit during the playoffs.



Next is Roy getting the better of Jeremy Roenick while sparing through the media.


Monday, May 27, 2013

1980-81 Colorado Rockies Lanny McDonald Jersey

The NHL had planned to expand in 1976-77 and had awarded "conditional" franchises to both Denver and Seattle. However, several franchises were having financial difficulties at the time, the California Golden Seals, Kansas City Scouts and Pittsburgh Penguins in particular. Due to the number of existing clubs having enough troubles of their own, the proposed expansion was called off and the Seals relocated to Cleveland to become the Barons while the Scouts moved to Denver after selling only 2,000 season tickets while finding themselves nearly $1 million in debt after playing just two seasons in Kansas City.

While in Denver, the Colorado Rockies continued the Scouts tradition of struggling to make the playoffs. Their first season record in Denver of 20-46-14 was a 13 point improvement over anything achieved in Kansas City, but they still failed to qualify for the playoffs. The club was led in scoring by Wilf Paiement, who set a franchise record that would never be topped with 41 goals with 41 and totaled 81 points.

Paiement Rockies
Wilf Paiement

Thanks to an increase of ties from 14 to 21, over 25% of the team's games and more ties than wins, they set a Rockies record with 59 points after going 19-40-21 and actually finished second in the horrid Smythe Division, which also had league doormats Vancouver (57 points), St. Louis (53) and Minnesota (45). Luckily for the Rockies, they resided in the Campbell Conference, as the Penguins failed to make the top six in the Wales Conference despite having 68 points in the standings! Paiement again led the team in scoring with 87 points, establishing the club record.

The one and only Rockies playoff experience was desperately brief, as the format of the opening round of the playoffs were then a best-of-three format and Colorado lost 3-2 at Philadelphia in Game 1 and followed that with a 3-1 loss in the only home playoff game in Rockies history as the Flyers swept them out of the playoffs two games to none.

The Rockies actually requested to relocate the team to New Jersey in 1978, but were turned down as their proposed home, the Byrne Arena had yet to be completed and no suitable temporary rink was available at the time. The Rockies point total dropped to 42 after a 15 win season in 1978-79 under two head coaches, Pat Kelly and Bep Guidolin. Paiement once more led the team in scoring, although his totals shrank to just 60 points.

Several new arrivals in 1979-80 attempted to infuse some hope in the fans, as Rene Robert came from the Buffalo Sabres to lead the team in scoring with 63 points and be named team captain. Additionally, the club traded for veteran Lanny McDonald and Don Cherry took over behind the bench as head coach. At one point the outspoken Cherry nicknamed his own goalie Hardy Astrom "The Swedish Sieve"!

Still, the league did the Rockies no favors by expanding in 1979-80 by allowing four WHA teams to join the NHL, with the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets being added to the Smythe Division, putting two more obstacles between the Rockies and the playoffs despite the increase in playoff teams from 12 to 16. Even with having their rosters purged by the terms of the expansion, Edmonton would qualify for the playoffs with 18 more points than Colorado and Winnipeg was able to tie the Rockies in points with 51.

McDonald took over the scoring lead with 81 points in 1980-81 and Rob Ramage on defense made his presence known with 62 points. Goaltender Chico Resch also arrived from the New York Islanders. The team scored a franchise high of 258 goals and improved to 57 points, but well short of the 74 needed to make the playoffs.

Resch Rockies
Chico Resch

Their final season of 1981-82 in Denver was more of the same, with an 18-49-13 record for 49 points and the Rockies gave up 121 more goals than they scored, an average deficit of 1.5 per game. Brent Ashton edged Steve Tambellini 60 to 59 for the club scoring lead and Resch anchored the goaltending seeing action in 61 games and setting the franchise high with 16 wins.

The Rockies were not helped by having major stability issues during their time in Colorado. In six seasons they had three owners, seven head coaches and seven different team captains.

Finally on this date in 1982, the Colorado Rockies franchise was sold to Dr. John McMullen, who relocated the franchise to New Jersey and renaming the club the Devils, ending the Rockies six year run in Denver.

Today's featured jersey is a 1980-81 Colorado Rockies Lanny McDonald jersey. McDonald played seven seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs before being traded to the Rockies along with Joel Quenneville for Pat Hickey and Paiement. He was later traded to the Calgary Flames where he would play for eight seasons and retire after winning the Stanley Cup. His final regular season goal was his 500th.

When the team moved to Colorado from Kansas City, they retained the team's blue, red and gold jerseys, which conveniently matched those of the Colorado state flag, and developed a striking logo which borrowed heavily from the state flag while incorporating the imagery of the Rocky Mountains. The Rockies blue road jerseys were particularly attractive when compared to the home whites.

Aside from the addition of the player's names on the back in 1977, the Rockies jerseys remained unchanged during their time in Denver.

Colorado Rockies Jersey

Today's video segment begins the Legends of Hockey profile on Lanny McDonald and discusses his departure from Toronto to Colorado and what he meant to the Maple Leafs before moving to to focus on his time in Calgary.


You knew it had to happen sooner or later, the video for "Rock and Roll, Part 2", first used as an arena anthem by the Colorado Rockies and then adopted by nearly every other professional sports team for over twenty years.


Just in case you were ever curious, here's the nearly forgotten "Rock and Roll, Part 1".




Sunday, May 26, 2013

The History of Hockey in Indianapolis

With today being the annual running of the Indianapolis 500, we thought it would be an appropriate day to take a look at the history of hockey in Indianapolis.

The oldest team we could find information about is the Indianapolis Capitals of the American Hockey League who began play in the 1939-40 season. The Capitals, who were a farm team for the Detroit Red Wings, started out strong, winning their division in their very first season and two seasons later, after posting a 34-15-7 regular season record went on to capture the Calder Cup as league playoff champions in 1942.

Indianapolis Capitals
A look at the uniforms of the Indianapolis Captials

They would return to the finals in 1943 but it would take eight years for the Capitals to again win the Calder Cup following a sweep of the Cleveland Barons in 1950. The club, which played it's games at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum, lasted through the 1951-52 season. Les Douglas was the franchise's leading scorer, with 302 points in six seasons in Indianapolis. The most well known player for the Capitals was Terry Sawchuk, who spent two seasons tending goal before joining the Red Wings for a Hall of Fame career.

The next team to call Indianapolis home was the Indianapolis Chiefs of the International Hockey League from 1955-56 to 1961-62. They also called the coliseum home and started out poorly with an 11-48-1 record. They improved quite a bit in year two, but still finished under .500 at 26-29-5. The next season they again had a losing record (28-30-6), but came to life during the playoffs, eventually becoming the 1958 Turner Cup champions by outlasting the Louisville Rebels 4-3 in the finals. The club would last four more seasons and never manage a single winning record during their eight seasons of existence.

1956-57 Indianapolis Chiefs
The 1956-57 Indianapolis Chiefs

The next attempt at a hockey team in Indianapolis was extraordinarily brief, as the team, also named the Indianapolis Capitals but playing in the Central Hockey League this time around, had played nine games of their inaugural season when a gas explosion during an ice show killed 74 people and heavily damaged the coliseum, causing their parent club, again the Red Wings, to move the franchise to Cincinnati for the remainder of the season.

Indianapolis went without a team for the next nine years until the arrival of the first major league team in the city's history in the form of the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association in 1974-75. The Racers, the first team to embrace the racing heritage of the city, played their games in the brand new 16,000 seat Market Square Arena.

The Racers had a rough start as well, winning 18 and losing 57 with 3 ties their first season in the then 14 team WHA. They bounced back nicely in year two, winning their division, although with a 35-39-6 mark. The following year they won their first playoff series but found the going much tougher in 1977-78, falling to last place in the now 8 team league and missing the playoffs.

Desperately trying to survive, owner Nelson Skalbania signed the then 17-year-old Wayne Gretzky to play for the Racers. The arrangement would only last eight games before Skalbania sold Gretzky to the Edmonton Oilers. It was a death blow for the Racers, who lasted just 15 more games before folding after just 25 games and a dismal 5-18-2 record on December 15, 1978. Like the Chiefs, the Racers never posted a winning record in their four plus seasons.

Gretzky THN Racers, Gretzky THN Racers
Wayne Gretzky during his time with the Racers

Other than Gretzky, Mark Messier had a five game cameo with the Racers and Dave Keon played 12 games in Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Checkers, which suggested both "a check" in hockey as well as "a checkered flag" in racing, arrived the following season of 1979-80 as members of the Central Hockey League and played out of the coliseum. They provided the city with their first winning record since the 1950-51 Capitals when they began life with a 40-32-7 mark in their debut season. Two seasons later they improved upon that feat by winning the Adams Cup as champions of the CHL. They brought the fifth championship to Indianapolis when they went back-to-back by winning the title again in 1983 after a league best 50-28-2 record. After one more season in the CHL, down to just five clubs, folded. Long time Vancouver Canucks Goaltender Richard Brodeur and future New York Islander and Los Angeles Kings netminder Kelly Hrudey were the best known of the CHL era Checkers.

Indianapolis Checkers Adams Cup
The Checkers receiving the 1982 Adams Cup

The Checkers lived on however, as they joined the same IHL the Chiefs once belonged to for the 1984-85 season. The IHL was a step up from the CHL and the Checkers lasted three more seasons before relocating to Denver after the 1986-87 season.

indianapolis_checkers_logo

After one season without professional hockey in the city, the Indianapolis Ice arrived in the 1988-89 season and began life at the coliseum, but had enough success to move to the larger Market Square Arena. Typically, the expansion club began slowly with a 26-54-2 record but immediately turned things around in their second season, going 53-21-8 to win the Western Division before storming through the playoffs with a 12-2 record to return the Turner Cup to Indianapolis for the first time since the Chiefs won it back in 1958, a gap of 32 years.

Steve Dubinsky Ice 94-95
Steve Dubinksy of the Indianapolis Ice in the 1994-95 season

They were never able to repeat their championship success over the next nine seasons, but did have five winning seasons and two division titles in their 11 year run in the IHL. The Ice were affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks, and therefore had the services of none other than Dominik Hasek for parts of two seasons upon his arrival in North America.

Dominik Hasek Ice
Dominik Hasek while a member of the Ice

After the 1998-99 season, the Ice left the struggling IHL, which lasted only two more seasons, and gained membership in the Central Hockey League, only a different CHL than the one the ill-fated 1963-64 Capitals were members of. The Ice won the Miron Cup as champions of the CHL the first time out. They continued to play for four more seasons before folding after the 2003-04 season, bringing to and end professional hockey in Indianapolis for the time being.

1999-00 Indianapolis Ice
The 2000 Miron Cup champion Indianapolis Ice

While the IHL Ice were active, there was also an Indianapolis Junior Ice that played Junior A hockey in the North American Hockey League from 1989-90 to 1994-95.

Another Junior A club named the Indiana Ice began play in the United States Hockey League in 2004 following the demise of the Ice of the CHL. They too, play at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in the now renamed Pepsi Coliseum, which has been home to nearly every major hockey team in Indianapolis hockey history, dating all the way back to the original Capitals in 1939.

Following their first three sub .500 seasons, the Ice won the Eastern Division of the USHL in 2007-08 and became the Clark Cup champions in 2008-09, the fifth team from Indianapolis to win one of the now eight championships for the city represented by five different trophies - the Calder, Turner, Adams, Miron and Clark!

Indiana Ice Clark Cup
The Indiana Ice pose with the Clark Cup in 2008

One virtual constant throughout the history of hockey in the city of Indianapolis has been the Indiana State Fair Coliseum, now known as the Pepsi Coliseum, which opened in 1939, which also saw the arrival of the Indianapolis Capitals. It seats 8,200 fans. In addition to all the various hockey teams who have called the Coliseum home, it has also hosted the Indiana Pacers basketball team while they were members of the ABA from 1967 to 1974, which included league titles in 1970, 1972 and 1973.

It has also hosted boxing cards, boat and sports shows, horse shows, graduation ceremonies and concerts, which include such acts as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and The Who.

Indiana State Fair Coliseum
The Indiana State Fair Coliseum

Today's race will be paced by fastest qualifier and Indianapolis native Ed Carpenter, who flew around the track for an average of 228.762 mph.

 photo Ed-Carpenter.jpg

Today's featured jersey is a 1977-78 Indianapolis Racers Michel Parizeau jersey from the first Indianapolis team to embrace the heritage of the Indianapolis 500 in their identity package.

The Racers wore the same jerseys for each of their five seasons, the last two changing from two color names to one color names on the back and this jersey has the distinction of being Wayne Gretzky's first professional jersey.

Parizeau never led the club in scoring, but through his longevity of the ever-evolving roster was the Racers all-time leader in points, with 136 during his four seasons with the Racers. Parizeau played with both the St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers in 1971-72, scoring 3 goals in 58 total games. He then joined the Quebec Nordiques of the brand new WHA in 1972 and reeled off four seasons of 25 goals or more, including a change from the Nordiques to the Racers in 1975-76. In 509 WHA games, Parizeau scored 142 goals and 394 points.

Indianapolis Racers 77-78 jersey

Today's video section begins with highlights of the Indianapolis Racers from 1974 to 1979.


Perhaps the most significant moment in Indianapolis hockey history, Wayne Gretzky's first professional goal as a member of the Racers.


Up next is the opening video for the Indiana Ice, the most recent team to call Indianapolis home.


 

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