Friday, October 24, 2014

1977-78 Edmonton Oilers Joe Micheletti Jersey

Joe Micheletti, born on this date in 1954, won a Minnesota state high school championship in 1973 while playing for the Hibbing Blue Jackets. Micheletti had a dominating tournament, scoring 7 goals and 11 points in just three games, which included a pair of hat tricks, with one coming in the championship final.

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Joe Micheletti celebrates a victory for the Hibbing Blue Jackets

Following his high school career, Micheletti moved down to the Twin Cities to join the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers under their legendary Herb Brooks. His freshman season of 1973-74 ended with the Gophers winning the NCAA national championship over the Michigan Tech Huskies.

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The NCAA champion 1973-74 Minnesota Golden Gophers

After scoring 20 points in 1974-75, Micheletti's game to a step forward with 31 points in 33 games during the 1975-76 season, which concluded with the Gophers winning a second national championship, again defeating Michigan Tech on a roster than included future "Miracle on Ice" Olympians Bill Baker, Steve Janaszak, Phil Verchota and future NHLer Reed Larson.

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The 1975-76 Gophers won Minnesota's second title in three years

For his final college season of 1976-77, Micheletti was named the Gophers team captain and continued to increase his offensive production with  9 goals and 39 assists for 48 points in 39 games.

Although he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft, Micheletti chose to join the Calgary Cowboys of the WHA for the latter part of the 1976-77 season once his final college season ended. During 14 games with the Cowboys, he scored 3 goals and 6 points.

Following the conclusion of the WHA season, Micheletti was selected to play for the United States at the 1977 World Championships, where he had 5 assists in ten games.

He was then traded just days before the Cowboys franchise folded to the Winnipeg Jets, but prior to the start of the regular season he was again traded, this time to the Edmonton Oilers. He would play two seasons in Edmonton, first scoring a career best 48 points after being limited to 56 games by a knee injury, followed by 47 in 72 games of the 1978-79 season. The Oilers would make it to the Avco Cup Finals with Micheletti contributing 9 assists in 13 games.

Another trade would send Micheletti to the St. Louis Blues of the NHL for the 1979-80 season. He would play two and a half seasons in St. Louis, with his best campaign for the Blues coming in 1980-81 with 4 goals and 27 assists in 63 regular season games and a fine playoff performance with 12 points in 11 playoff games.

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Micheletti while with the Blues in the NHL

His time in St. Louis would come to a close with a trade that sent him to the Colorado Rockies in a deal which sent former Gophers teammate Baker to the Blues. He would play in 21 games for tColorado, scoring 8 points for the offensively challenged Rockies, the lowest scoring team in the NHL.

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Micheletti during his final season with Colorado

That season would also see Micheletti play 17 games for the Fort Worth Texans of the Central Hockey League, scoring 17 points in 17 games, as well as making his second appearance for the United States at the 1982 World Championships, which would prove to be the end of his playing days.

His final combined WHA and NHL totals were 300 games played with 42 goals (31 in the WHA), 130 assists and 172 points.

After two seasons of work on the Blues radio broadcasts, from 1987-88 to 1990-91 Micheletti was an assistant coach for St. Louis and then returned to broadcasting where he has established himself as a recognizable and knowledgeable figure, often appearing on national NHL telecasts as well as the Olympics on four occasions.

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Micheletti has gone on to a successful broadcasting career

Today's featured jersey is a 1977-78 Edmonton Oilers Joe Micheletti jersey as worn during his career best season of 48 points, scored in just 56 games. The Oilers began life during the inaugural WHA season of 1972-73 as the Alberta Oilers using orange as their predominate color, as the white jerseys had an orange shoulder yoke and orange arm and waist striping while the road jerseys were primarilty orange.

It was during their third season that the change was made to make blue the primary color while orange was reduced to the trim color as shown in today's featured jersey. This style jersey would remain in use for the remainder of the Oilers days in the WHA and it most easily identified by the low contrast blue letters against the orange background of the main crest on the home white jerseys and orange letters on a white background of the road jerseys, which also was not as visible as it could have been.

With their entry into the NHL for the 1979-80 season, the Oilers would finally make a change for the better by adopting a much higher contrast main crest with blue letters and an orange oil drop against a white background for both their home and road jerseys.

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Edmonton Oilers 1977-78 jersey photo EdmontonOilers1977-78Bjersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1981-82 Colorado Rockies Joe Micheletti jersey as worn during Micheletti's final NHL season. The Rockies wore the same jerseys as they did during their brief stay in Kansas City as the Scouts, only with the new mountain crest of the Rockies, whose team colors inherited from the Scouts conveniently matched the Colorado state flag, making it easy to incorporate its main elements into the main crest.

The only change the jerseys underwent was the addition of the players names onto the road blue jerseys for their second and final season of 1981-82.

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Colorado Rockies 1981-82 jersey photo ColoradoRockies1981-82B-1.jpg

In today's video section, Micheletti and Sam Rosen react to Sean Avery's unorthodox tactics against Martin Brodeur.

Here is a look at the 1974 Minnesota Gophers national championship team.

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