Monday, June 16, 2014

1986-87 Quebec Nordiques Mario Gosselin Jersey

Mario Gosselin, born on this date in 1963, played junior hockey for the Shawnigan Cataractes of the QMJHL from 1980-81 to 1982-83, including going 32-9-1 in his final season.

He was drafted 55th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft but spent the 1983-84 season playing with the Canadian National Team program prior to playing in the 1984 Olympics for Canada in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. On his return from Europe, he made a memorable NHL debut with the Nordiques on February 26, 1984, shutting out the St. Louis Blues 5-0.

Mario Gosselin

The next season he would see action in 35 games while splitting playing time with Richard Sevigny (20 games) and Dan Bouchard (29). His 19-11-3 record gave him the most wins on the team. He would also see action in 17 playoff games, going 9-8 as the Nordiques would make it all the way to the Eastern Conference finals. Their legendary seven game series against their hated rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, would prove to be the high point of the Nordiques franchise in the NHL.

Gosselin again split time in goal in 1985-86, only this time with the newly arrived Clint Malarchuk. Gosselin's 31 appearances saw him post a 14-14-1 mark.

Malarchuk again got the bulk of the playing time in 1986-87, but the Nordiques fell down the standings, finishing 20 points lower that the year before. Gosselin's 13-11-1 mark gave him he only winning record among the Nordiques goaltenders that season. He also made 11 playoff starts, going 7-4.

With Malarchuk no longer in the picture, Gosselin played in 54 games in 1987-88, winning 20 of them, both career highs. The following season Gosselin led the Nordiques in appearances with 39, once more sharing time in the nets, but now with Ron Tugnutt (26 games) and Bob Mason (22). Gosselin led the last place club with 11 wins.

He signed with the Los Angeles Kings as a free agent for the 1989-90 season and posted a 7-11-1 mark in 26 appearances while backing up Kelly Hrudey.

Following his one season in Los Angeles, he signed a free agent contract with the Hartford Whalers, who assigned him to their minor league affiliate, the Phoenix Roadrunners of the IHL. In 46 games he posted a strong 24-15-4 record and went 7-4 in 11 playoff games.

He spent the entire 1991-92 season in the AHL, leading the Springfield Indians with a 28-11-5 record. He split time with Springfield and Hartford in 1992-93. In 16 games with Hartford, he went 5-9-1.

The 1993-94 season saw Gosselin play two games with Springfield before being recalled by Hartford for seven games, but would suffer a career-ending knee injury in November.

His final NHL totals show 241 games played and a 91-107-14 record.

In 1984, the ice arena in Thetford Mines, Quebec was renamed the Centre Mario Gosselin after the Thetford Mines native.

Today's jersey is a 1986-87 Quebec Nordiques Mario Gosselin jersey which features the Rendes-vouz '87 patch on the right sleeve.

Rendez-vous 87 was a two game series held in Quebec City that pitted a team of NHL All-Stars against the Soviet National Team rather than the traditional NHL All-Star Game that season.

This jersey is customized with the bold, single color white numbers used by the Nordiques from the time they adopted this jersey style in 1975, while then members of the World Hockey Association, until the conclusion of the 1990-91 season before going to two color numbers, white trimmed in red, for the 1991-92 season.

86-87 Quebec Nordiques
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's first video is a tribute to the career of Mario Gosselin and features excellent quality video from throughout his entire NHL career.

Here is footage from the 1984 Olympics, where Gosselin makes a great save in goal for Canada against Sweden.

Our final video today is a look at the renovations at the Centre Mario Gosselin in his hometown of Thetford Mines.

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