Saturday, December 27, 2014

1897 Montreal Victorias Ernie McLea Jersey

After winning back the Stanley Cup from the Winnipeg Victorias by a score of 6-5 in a single game challenge in December of 1896, the Montreal Victorias began their second reign as holders of the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup as it was originally known.

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The Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup

Their first order of business was to compete in the 1897 Amateur Hockey Association of Canada season, which began on January 9, 1897. The Victorias first game came on January 12th and resulted in a 5-4 win over their Montreal rivals, the Montreal Hockey Club, also known as Montreal AAA, who were the first team awarded the cup in 1893.

The Victorias next game was against yet another Montreal based club, the Montreal Shamrocks, who they defeated 6-4. A week later they travelled to Quebec where they defeated the Bulldogs 9-4.

Another road game followed, this time to Ottawa to face the club known as the Generals, which would later evolve to the Silver Seven and later the Senators. The Victorias would prevail 4-2 on February 6th, but a week later Ottawa would return the favor and hand the Victorias their first defeat, which came back in Montreal by a score of 3-1.

The Victorias put themselves in a strong position to retain the cup with a 8-2 win over Quebec at home and clinched the AHAC championship, and rights to the Stanley Cup, when they defeated the Montreal Hockey Club 7-3 on February 27, 1897. Their final record was 7 win against 1 defeat, while Ottawa and Montreal finished back at 5-3.

Gordon Lewis was the goaltender for the Victorias, playing in all 8 games with a 3.3 goals against average, good for second in the league. Ernie McLea led the team in scoring with 8 goals in 8 games, coming in fourth in league scoring. Cam Davidson was second on the Victorias with 5 goals in 8 games played.

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The Stanley Cup champion 1897 Montreal Victorias

Meanwhile, the Ottawa Capitals were formed in 1896 when the Victorias were battling Winnipeg for the rights to the cup. The Capitals helped form a new league, the Central Canada Hockey Association, and won the league title on their second try in the spring of 1897, which gave them the courage to challenge the Victorias for the Stanley Cup.

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The 1897 Ottawa Capitals, champions of the CCHA

The first game of the best-of-three series was played on this date in 1897 at the Victoria Rink in Montreal.

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The Victoria Rink, home of the Montreal Victorias

The game was all Montreal, as the Victorias trounced the Capitals so soundly by a score of 14-2 (some reports have it listed as 15-2), that no reports of the game included any statistical information regarding the goal scorers. One could assume that  no one stood out with five or more, which one would think would have been worthy of a mention.

Such was the dominance of the Victorias that the remainder of the series was abandoned when Ottawa withdrew it's challenge.

Entering the season on a high from their successful defense of the cup, the Victorias rolled through the 1898 AHAC season with a perfect 8-0 record to once again continue as holders of the Stanley Cup, their fourth consecutive league championship.

The AHAC would dissolve following the 1898 season and be reborn as the Canadian Amateur Hockey League for 1899. While the CAHL season would start on January 7th and run through March 4th, it was determined that the Victorias would have to face a challenge for the cup midseason, rather than prior to the start of their league schedule as had been the standard previously.

That challenge came from their old foes, the Winnipeg Victorias, who Montreal had already faced twice before, with each club winning once. This challenge saw a new format for the series, a two games, total goals series and was played in Montreal at the Montreal Arena. Montreal eked out a 2-1 win in Game 1 on February 15th and secured the series with a 3-2 win in Game 2 three nights later on the 18th.

The Victorias did not seem distressed by the two close, hard fought games coming during the middle of their regular season schedule, as they won their game on February 11th 16-0 over Ottawa and their next scheduled game on February 25th 10-6 over the Montreal Hockey Club. They did however lose 1-0 on March 1st to the Montreal Shamrocks, who had defeated the Victorias 4-3 on February 8th.

Those two losses were the difference in the standings, as the Shamrocks finished first at 7-1, with the Victorias second at 6-2, which gave the Shamrocks the league title and the rights to the Stanley Cup, ending the Victorias second reign at 2 years, 2 months and 4 days, which included two challenge defenses and two league championships.

The Victorias would never again hold the cup, but they did face their old rivals the Ottawa Hockey Club in 1903 in a post season playoff, as the Victorias had finished second to Ottawa during the regular season. Ottawa would win easily by a two game, total goal final of 9-1 as Ottawa began their own three year run as holders of the cup.

The club won the 1905 CAHL championship, but could not agree with the trustees of the cup on a format for a challenge to Ottawa for the cup, insisting on either a single game winner take all or two game total goals series, while the trustees held to a best-of-three format. The impasse resulted in no challenge ever taking place.

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The 1905 CAHL champion Montreal Victorias

The Victorias held fast to the tenants of amateurism as more and more teams began paying their players. They eventually left the increasing professional leagues in 1908 and were no longer eligible to compete for the Stanley Cup.

In 1927, the Victorias became the first club team to tour Europe, playing games in Sweden, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and England, going 14-0.

The Victorias won the Allan Cup in 1928 as the Canada's top amateur club and continued to play until ceasing operations in 1939.

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The Allan Cup champion Montreal Victorias

Today's featured jersey is a 1897 Montreal Victorias Ernie McLea jersey. McLea became the first man to ever score a hat trick in a Stanley Cup game in 1896. He joined the Victorias for two games, scoring one goal and then appeared in two more Stanley Cup games, which included his noteworthy hat trick, the first ever in a Stanley Cup game.

Over the next three seasons, McLea scored eight in eight games in 1897, four more in seven games in 1898 and four goals in four games in 1899. He played one final game for the Victorias in 1900 and finished his five year career with 17 goals in 22 games played.

The Victorias represented the Scottish population of Montreal and wore burgundy sweaters with a "V" logo in various fonts during their early days. Like many clubs in the late 1800's the Victorias were named after Queen Victoria of England.

Montreal Victorias sweater

  

  

Friday, December 26, 2014

The 2015 World Junior Championships

Today is Boxing Day, which signals the beginning of the annual festival of hockey known as the World Junior Championship held for players under the age of 20. The tournament is followed with varying degrees of interest in the participating countries, but in Canada, it's practically a 12 day holiday. The success the Canadians have had hosting the tournament has resulted in Canada hosting the tournament nearly 50% of the time since 2003. Such is the passion for the World Juniors, in 2010 Switzerland was chosen as the original host, but when they withdrew, three separate Canadian bids were submitted to have the honor of hosting the event.

2015 World Juniors logo photo 2015WorldJuniorslogo.jpg

Even when the United States has been chosen to  host the World Juniors, proximity to the Canadian border has been a major factor in choosing a host site, as evidenced by Grand Forks, North Dakota (2 1/2 hours from Winnipeg) and Buffalo, New York, on the border with Canada, were chosen.

This year's tournament will be held in Montreal at the Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens and in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Montreal will host Group A (Canada, Finland, Germany, Slovakia and the United States) and two Quarterfinal playoff games, while Toronto will host Group B (Denmark, the Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland and Sweden), the Relegation Round, the other two Quarterfinals, both Semifinals and the Bronze and Gold Medal Games. Toronto has not hosted any games since two were held there in 1986 when Hamilton was the host city and Montreal has not seen the World Juniors since way back in 1978.

The 2016 edition will be held in Helsinki, Finland before the 2017 World Juniors return to Montreal and Toronto, with Montreal taking center stage with the Gold Medal Game and the majority of the playoffs.

The World Juniors returns to the United States in 2018, with the host sites to be determined, but one can wager it will be no farther from the Canadian border than Boston, Massachusetts or St. Paul, Minnesota, if not closer. The tournament again returns to Canada in 2019 before a return to Europe for the first time in four years in 2020 to the Czech Republic before heading right back to Canada in 2021, which will be the seventh time the Canadians will have hosted the event in the 13 events from 2009 and 2021.

Canadian Fans photo CanadianFans.jpg
The response of the Canadian fans to the World Juniors
has altered the tournament forever

After dominating the tournament with five consecutive gold medals from 2005 to 2009, Canada has not won gold since. They were defeated at home in the 2010 Gold Medal Final by the United States, took home a second consecutive sliver in 2011 and finished third for bronze at home in 2012. The last two years have seen Canada fall to Russia in the bronze medal game, the first time they have not won a medal since 1998 and the first time they have gone two consecutive years without a medal since 1980 and 1981!

Today's schedule kicks off with Denmark facing Russia in Toronto at 1 PM followed by Finland taking on the United States at 3 PM in Montreal. At 5 PM Sweden faces off against the Czech Republic in Toronto before Canada gets the Bell Centre rocking against Slovakia at 8 PM (all times Eastern).

The Preliminary Round continues with four games on Saturday the 27th, two on the 28th, four on the 29th featuring Sweden vs. Russia and Finland against Canada, two on the 30th and four games to wrap up the Preliminary Round Wednesday, December 31st, highlighted by Canada vs. the United States at 4 PM and Russia vs. the Czech Republic at 5 PM.

The tournament traditionally takes New Year's Day off before the Quarterfinals kick things into a high gear with four knockout elimination games on Friday, January 2nd. The Semifinals are on Sunday, January 4th followed by the Bronze Medal and Gold Medal Games on Monday, January 5th.

The best-of-three Relegation Round also starts on the 2nd and 3rd, with the third and deciding game if necessary on Monday the 5th, should anyone outside of Germany or Denmark care.

Two players to keep an eye on during this year's tournament are draft eligible players Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters and Canada and Jack Eichel of Boston University and the United States, who are expected to be the top two picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

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Connor McDavid, who is expected to go #1
in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft

McDavid played in last year's World Juniors, scoring a goal and 4 points in 7 games, while Eichel had a busy year, playing in both the World U18 and World Juniors last year.

Eichel USA photo EichelUSA.jpg
Jack Eichel of the USA will also go high in the 2015 draft

Other players to pay attention to are Noah Hanifin of the USA and Boston College, Pavel Zacha of the Czech Republic and the Sarnia Sting, Lawson Crouse of Canada and the Kingston Frontenacs and Zach Werenski of the USA and the University of Michigan, all projected to be Top Ten picks in the up coming draft.

Teams favored this year include the host Canadians, the United States, Sweden, who have made three straight Gold Medal Games, the always tough Russia and the defending champions from Finland. The Czech Republic will be looking to improve upon their recent performances, while Switzerland and Slovakia hope to rise up and win an unexpected medal. Meanwhile, newly promoted Germany and Denmark will simply be hoping to avoid the Relegation Round for a successful tournament.

In the United States, the NHL Network will have their most extensive coverage ever, with live and delayed broadcasts of 28 games - 15 Preliminary Round and all eight playoff games - not just games involving the United States as it once was, as 11 of the 28 do not involve the US and 8 of those do not even feature Canada.

In Canada, TSN will broadcast 28 games on TSN, TSN2 or on one of its regional TSN3, TSN4 or TSN5 channels, as can be found here.

For jersey fans, here is the full lineup of jersey for the 2015 World Juniors, which has four brand new designs for this tournament. Canada is debuting two new home and road jerseys with a throwback feel in honor of the 100th anniversary of Hockey Canada. The Czechs have a new red road jersey, replacing the full bleed Czech flag style worn at the 2014 Olympics and World Championships.

Switzerland's white jersey carries over from 2014, but the red jerseys have undergone a change, with white bands on the arms to mirror the red ones on the home jersey. Additionally, the white cross changes from being a small logo on the upper left chest, as on the white jerseys, to a large central cross on the red road jerseys.

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Today's featured jersey is a 2014 United States National Team Jack Eichel jersey as worn during the 2014 World Junior Championship. One unusual aspect of this jersey is the sponsorship on the shoulders, as sponsor patches in recent history have been exclusive to the senior level, with only rare and sporadic appearances at the junior level.

This jersey is an alternate jersey for the Americans, done in the style of those worn when the US won gold at the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, California. This jersey made it's first appearance as a throwback jersey for the 2008 World Championships when each country wore a retro jersey in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the IIHF. The jersey proved to be so popular that it was brought back for the 2010 Olympics and has been a part of the American lineup since.

USA 2014 WJC  jersey photo USA2014WJCFjersey.jpg
USA 2014 WJC  jersey photo USA2014WJCBjersey.jpg

In today's video section, first up are highlights of last year's Gold Medal Game, when Finland won their first World Juniors since 1998.


Next, a promo video of the 2015 World Juniors to get you excited for today's games.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

1953-54 Chicago Black Hawks Fred Sasakamoose Jersey

Born on this date, Christmas Day, in 1934, one of nine kids in his family, Fred Sasakamoose began playing in the Saskatoon Amateur Hockey Association for the cleverly named Duck Lake Ducks in 1948. He then graduated to the Moose Jaw Canucks of the Western Canadian Junior Hockey League in 1950. Playing center, Sasakamoose acquitted himself quite well in his three seasons with Moose Jaw, averaging more than a point per game. He scored 41 points in 42 games in his first season of junior hockey and maintained his average with 35 points from 36 games in 1953 before cutting loose with 31 goals and 57 points in just 34 games in 1953-54.

His dominance earned him the WCJHL Most Valuable Player award and a contract with the Chicago Black Hawks of the NHL. He made his debut on February 27, 1954 at the age of 20 in a game at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens, which made him the first full-blooded native North American player in NHL history. In all, Sasakamoose played 11 games with the Black Hawks through the remainder of the 1953-54 season, registering six penalty minutes but no points.

Fred Saskamoose Blackhawks, Fred Saskamoose Blackhawks

It must have been quite a culture shock for Sasakamoose playing in front of 13,500 people, for when the season concluded, he returned home to Sandy Lake reserve, Saskatchewan, population 200, and his parents 24 by 20 foot cabin.

He was unable to crack the Black Hawks lineup the following season, ending up being the final cut from the roster. He then spent with both the New Westminster Royals (21 games) and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens (22 games).

It was back west in 1955-56 with just a pair of games with the Calgary Stampeders before he quit to return home to be with his wife, taking a taxi 600 miles to do so!

He was back on the ice again for the 1956-57 season, this time finding a home with the Kamloops Chiefs of the Ontario Senior Hockey League, proving a popular attraction as a former NHLer and aboriginal player as well. His second season with the Chiefs would be particularly successful, as he would score 26 goals and 53 points in 51 games.

He sat out the following season only to return to the ice once more for the 1959-60 season, again with Kamloops, scoring 30 points in 20 games to end his professional playing days.

Sasakamoose has overcome his issues with alcohol, which certainly cut short is time in the NHL and has been dry since 1980, the same year he became chief if his band. He has also been involved in sports programs for Indian youth and was invited by the Blackhawks in 2002 to return to Chicago to honor is becoming the first Indian to play in the NHL, fittingly for a team with an Indian logo.

He declined their offer to wear a Blackhawks jersey, choosing his own wardrobe.

"I said I came here 50 years ago as an Indian, and I'm going to leave this building as an Indian. I want to wear my buckskin jacket," Sasakamoose recalls. "They respected that. I walked in that stadium, and what a moment. I wanted it recognized, publicly, that I am an Indian as I walked to the middle of that ice."

Leach, Neilson & Sasakamoose, Leach, Neilson & Sasakamoose
Reggie Leach, Jim Neilson and Fred Sasakamoose pose with the Stanley Cup at the BHP Hilton Family Hockey Fest in conjunction with the 2010 World Junior Tournament

Sasakamoose was later inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Today's featured jersey is a 1953-54 Chicago Black Hawks Fred Sasakamoose jersey from his groundbreaking and only NHL season. The Black Hawks adopted the barberpole style in 1937-38 and remained in use through the 1954-55 season, although with some changes to the crest and adjustments to the striping pattern along the way.

The Blackhawks chose this style jersey as their turn back the clock jersey for the NHL's 75th Anniversary season in 1991-92, reviving a truly distinctive style that many fans were not even aware of, as throwback styles were uncommon, if not unheard of in the NHL at the time.

Fortunately for the seamstresses of the day, player names were still a long way off, as "Sasakamoose" certainly would have required a fair amount of sewing!

Chicago Blackhawks 53-54 jersey, Chicago Blackhawks 53-54 jersey

Today's video is a feature on Sasakamoose as part of a film entitled "Chiefs and Champions".

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

1940-41 Boston Bruins Herb Cain Jersey

After beginning his path to the NHL with the Newmarket Redmen of the junior Ontario Hockey Association and then the Hamilton Tigers of the OHA senior level, Herb Cain made his NHL debut during the 1933-34 season with the Montreal Maroons. He appeared in 31 games that season, scoring 4 goals and 9 total points.

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Cain made his NHL debut with the Maroons

His first full NHL season in 1934-35 saw him play 44 of the Maroons 48 games, scoring an impressive 20 goals to lead the club in goals while finishing second in scoring with 27 points. The Maroons then won a spectacular two-game total-goals series against the Chicago Black Hawks 1-0, with the first game ending in a 0-0 tie and Game 2 going to overtime after regulation again finished scoreless! Baldy Northcott finally won the series with a goal at 4:02 of overtime following 120 scoreless minutes over two games. The Maroons then defeated the New York Rangers 2-1 before a 3-3 tie gave them a 5-4 series win to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals where they swept the Toronto Maple Leafs in three straight to win the Stanley Cup, the last team for 17 years to go through the playoffs undefeated and the last non-Original 6 team to win the cup until 1974.

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The 1935 Stanley Cup champion Montreal Maroons

Cain, born on this date in 1913, would play three additional seasons for the Maroons, raising his personal best in scoring to 30 points in both 1937 and 1938 before the Maroons, facing great financial difficulties from the Great Depression of the 1930's, suspended operations.

Cain simply changed dressing rooms and became a member of the Montreal Canadiens for the 1938-39 season following his purchase by the Canadiens from the Maroons. After one season with the Canadiens, Cain was dealt to the Boston Bruins just before the start of the 1939-40 season.

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Cain was dealt to the Bruins in 1939

He set new career highs with 21 goals and 31 points in his first season in Boston. While his point production dropped during the 1940-41 regular season, Cain contributed 3 goals and 5 points during the playoffs that season as the Bruins defeated Toronto in seven games before sweeping the Detroit Red Wings in four to capture the second Stanley Cup of Cain's career.

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Cain's second Stanley Cup came with Boston in 1941

After another 18 point season in 1941-42, Cain regained his previous scoring touch in 1942-43 with 36 points, edging his career best five points higher. Cain then shocked the NHL with an outstanding 1943-44 season when he set a career best with 36 goals, two off the league lead and equal to his point total from the previous season. He also finished third in assists with 46, three back of the league leader. His combined 82 points won Cain the league scoring title by five points and established a new league record which would set the standard for seven seasons until broken by Gordie Howe in 1951.

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Cain in the short-lived Bruins gold jerseys

In 1944-45, Cain again topped the 30 goal mark with 32. He would play one more season for Boston until being sent to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League for the 1946-47 season. Cain fit right in with Hersey, finishing second in team scoring with 36 goals and 66 points in 59 games before adding 9 goals and 15 points in 11 games as the Bears won their first Calder Cup as AHL champions.

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The Hersey Bears receiving the 1947 Calder Cup

Cain would play three additional seasons with Hersey before retiring after the 1949-50 season, the last active player to have skated for the Maroons.

His final NHL totals were 571 games played with 206 goals and 400 points and he remains the only eligible former scoring champion from the first 75 years of the NHL not in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Today's featured jersey is a 1940-41 Boston Bruins Herb Cain jersey as worn during the season the Bruins won the first Stanley Cup of Cain's career. From 1932-33 to 1935-36 the Bruins wore a large capital B on the front and the player number on the back of their sweaters. In 1936-37 the B crest moved to the sleeves (as there were no sleeve numbers back then) and they began wearing the player number on both the front and back of their sweaters in black outlined in gold.

Things changed in 1940-41, as the striping on the white jerseys, the only ones worn up to this point, remained the same, but the colors of the B logo on the sleeves and the numbers were reversed to gold outlined in black. The Bruins also added a second jersey for the first time in their history, a gold sweater with black shoulders and a black waist stripe adorned with a script Bruins crest, complete with a baseball-style underline coming off of the final "s".

When the gold jersey was dropped for the 1944-45 season, the white jersey continued on through the 1947-46 season. For the Bruins 25th anniversary, a change to the striping added a second black sleeve stripe and the front number was finally replaced by the first appearance of the now-famous spoked B logo. Additionally, the first black jersey in Bruins history was introduced.

Boston Bruins 1940-41 jersey photo BostonBruins1940-41jersey.jpg

  

  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

1979-80 Boston Bruins Terry O'Reilly Jersey

On this date in 1979, the Boston Bruins had just completed a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden in New York and were in the process of heading off to the locker room to celebrate and begin a brief Christmas break in the schedule on a winning note. Some of the players had actually made their way off the ice while a scrum formed in the left corner of the rink between some of the Bruins and Rangers players after the Ranges goaltender John Davidson skated the length of the ice to confront the Bruins' Al Secord and John Wensink. Davidson was in a foul mood, having given up three third period goals and was unhappy with Secord for the sucker punch he hit Swede Ulf Nilsson with after the game ended among other things.

The rest of the Rangers players entered the area seeing Davidson confronting Secord and the Rangers Frank "Never" Beaton eventually began to confront Secord which moved the scrum over towards the stands. Once by the glass, the Bruins Stan Jonathan got hit in the face - not by a Ranger player, but by a Ranger fan who had reached over the then much lower glass used back then and clouted Jonathan with a rolled up program, drawing blood from under Jonathan's eye.

Jonathan was later quoted as saying he raised his stick to protect himself, only to have the fan rip the stick put of Jonathan's hands!

"He just reached over the glass and whacked me with it," Jonathan said. "I put my stick up to protect myself, and he just took it, and I can't be hitting no fan with a stick, really, eh, so I just let him take it."

Perhaps the "gentlemanly" Jonathan wasn't actually trying to whack the belligerent fan with his stick as some reported, but either way, it was now in possession of the fan which caused the Bruins Terry O'Reilly to become possessed.

With the fuse now lit, O'Reilly set off the explosion when he immediately scaled the boards and launched himself into the stands and began to wrestle with the attacking fan.

O'Reilly into stands
O'Reilly hurtles over the glass, setting off chaos in the stands

"I went into the stands because somebody, who had no right to, punched Stanley," said O'Reilly. "It's none of the fans' business. We don't interfere with them if they leave us alone. When I got in there it was pretty bad. I regret it, but I don't think I had a choice. There was no way he was going to strike one of my teammates and steal his stick, wield it like a weapon and then disappear into the crowd and go to a local bar with a souvenir and a great story. A soon as I got him into a bearhug, I felt like I was being pummeled by multiple people. All I could do was cover up."

Seeing O'Reilly enter the stands, where he was going to obviously be heavily outnumbered, several other Bruins didn't hesitate when the brother of the fan O'Reilly had gone after started hitting O'Reilly and the Bruins poured over the glass into the seats.

Bruins into stands

Brad McCrimmon, Bob Miller, Wensink and Secord all scaled the glass while Peter McNab, who was not known as a thug in any way, having totaled just four penalty minutes the previous season, went after the brother of the fan who had clearly been hitting O'Reilly and threw him down onto the seats.

"Peter was usually the guy who'd pick up our gloves for us after a fight," Jonathan said.

While Craig McTavish held back another fan from joining in McNab's confrontation, most of the Bruins actually showed a level of restraint by not throwing punches. The ugliest part of the incident, separate from O'Reilly entering the stands in the first place, was when Mike Milbury ripped a shoe off of the fan McNab had pinned, who Milbury claimed had kicked him while flailing under McNab, and hit him with it before it was pulled out of his hand before he could get in a second shot.

Mike Milbury in stands
Milbury in the eye of the storm

Milbury was already off the ice when the fight in the stands broke out. "I went from happy and content, and ready to go home for Christmas, to full combat mode in about 20 seconds," he recalled.

The entire confrontation lasted roughly 40 seconds from the time O'Reilly started to scale the glass and Milbury was calmed down. He later added to the fan's indignity by throwing his shoe onto the ice.

"Things could have been a lot worse. I give the security people a lot of credit," said Milbury. "Everyone was very fortunate that there weren't any serious injuries."

During the entire affair the Rangers' players stood on the ice and watched the episode unfolding in the seats. Four fans were charged with disorderly conduct with the charges eventually being dropped. O'Reilly was suspended for eight games, while McNab and Milbury each had to sit out six games. All 18 of the Bruins who entered the stands were fined the princely sum of $500 each.

Here is an interview with Milbury 29 years after he entered the stands in Madison Square Garden to join the melee from WEEI radio.


Today's featured jersey is a 1979-80 Boston Bruins Terry O'Reilly jersey as worn during the infamous brawl when O'Reilly entered the stands at Madison Square Garden in New York to confront a fan who hit Bruins teammate Stan Jonathan.

O'Reilly would spend his entire 14 year NHL career with the Boston and was the Bruins captain for the final two seasons of his career. Although widely regarded as a tough guy who had over 200 penalty minutes in five consecutive seasons, unlike today's fighting specialists, O'Reilly was a more complete player who scored over 20 goals four times with a high of 29 in 1977-78 when he totaled 90 points to go with his 211 penalty minutes that season. His number 24 was retired by the Bruins in 2002.

Boston Bruins O'Reilly 79-80 F
Boston Bruins O'Reilly 79-80 B

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1979-80 Boston Bruins Mike Milbury jersey, as worn while he was caught on video beating a Rangers fan with his own shoe during his part in the Bruins invasion of the stands in New York.

Milbury was a 12 year member of the Bruins defensive corps and racked up 149 minutes or more in penalty minutes seven times, including over 200 twice. He followed his playing career by becoming head coach for the Bruins for two years and later the New York Islanders as well as their general manager. He is now known of his outspoken and opinionated television and radio commentary work.

Boston Bruins Milbury 79-80 F
Boston Bruins Milbury 79-80 B

Here is the live broadcast of the end of the game, followed by Davidson confronting the Bruins and the subsequent escalation as O'Reilly enters the stands.


This interview is with the Rangers' Phil Esposito in the aftermath, discussing his desire for higher glass to prevent any repeats of the incident.


In this interview, Milbury recounts his involvement in the fracas. It's very similar to the one linked to above, but we felt worth posting.

Monday, December 22, 2014

1996-97 St. Louis Blues Brett Hull Jersey

On this date in 1996, Brett Hull made history, becoming part of the first ever father/son pair to reach 500 goals in the NHL.


Two-time winner Bobby Hull celebrating Brett Hull's
1991 Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Bobby Hull began his career with the Chicago Black Hawks in 1957 and would equal the NHL record of 50 goals in 1962 held by Maurice Richard (1945) and Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion (1961). He would break the record in 1966 when he scored 54, the highest total in the Original Six era.

Bobby would top 50 goals three more times, in 1967 with 52 goals, 1969 with 58 (a personal best and the all-time record then) and 1972 with an even 50.

He would reach 500 goals on February 21, 1970 against the New York Rangers and finish his NHL career with 610 goals, currently 15th all-time. However, Hull did spend seven seasons with the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association, where he scored an additional 303 goals, giving him 913 for his entire career.

Bobby with sons Bobby Jr. and Brett after scoring his 500th NHL goal

Brett Hull would begin his path to 500 goals with the Calgary Flames when he scored his first NHL goal in the 1986-87 season while appearing in only 5 games. During the 1987-88 season Brett would score 26 goals in 52 games for Calgary before being traded to the St. Louis Blues, along with Steve Bozak for Rob Ramage and Rick Wamsley.

It was in St. Louis that Brett would ignite and achieve his first 40 goal season in 1988-89. A monster season in 1989-90 would see him join the elite 70 goal club with 72, joining the likes of Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mario Lemieux and Bernie Nicholls.

Amazingly, Hull would beat that mark the very next season when he lit the lamp 86 times, the second highest single season mark ever, just six shy of Gretzky's 92.

Brett would continue his assault on the 500 mark with seasons of 70 in 1991-92, becoming only the second and final player to score 50 goals in 50 games more than once, 54 and then 57 over the next three seasons. The lockout shortened season of 1994-95 limited him to 29, but he reached 40 for the final two times of his career with 43 followed by 42 the season he reached 500, becoming just the 24th player at the time in the exclusive club and joining his father as the only father/son duo to achieve the feat together.

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Brett Hull while with the St. Louis Blues

Hull would reach 500 in style, scoring a hat trick as part of a four point night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Hull would continue to play seven more seasons in the NHL, winning two Stanley Cups and adding another 241 goals to his tally to finish with 741, currently third all-time behind only Gretzky and Gordie Howe.

He joined his father in having his jersey number retired in 2006, the only father/son combo in any professional sport to be so honored, and then joined him in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

Combined, the Bobby and Brett scored 1,351 NHL goals with Bobby's brother Dennis Hull adding another 303 for a family total of 1,654.

Today's featured jersey is a 1996-97 St. Louis Blues Brett Hull jersey just like the one he wore when he scored goal number 500. This jersey style was worn from 1994-95 until the 1997-98 season before being replaced with the more traditional looking jersey first introduced as the Blues alternate jersey in 1997-98.

Many did not like the inclusion of what they felt was an excessive amount of red in the blues jersey, particularly the road version, along with what they felt was the excessive number of stripes, which were there to replicate the musical staff. The diagonal lines of the jersey were unconventional at the time, but even more so were the numbers, which grew in size from right to left across the back as the lines of the staff fell away.

St Louis Blues 1995-96 jersey photo StLouisBlues1995-96H16F.jpg
St Louis Blues 1995-96 jersey photo StLouisBlues1995-96H16B.jpg

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1969-70 Chicago Black Hawks Bobby Hull jersey as worn when he scored his 500th NHL goal on February 21, 1970 in Chicago against the New York Rangers.

This jersey style was first introduced for the 1955-56 season and underwent several tweaks and evolutions, including varying locations of the secondary logo, the addition of black cuffs on the sleeves, sleeve numbers and a modernization of the crest until arriving at this style with the change from a lace-up collar to a v-neck in 1965-66. Since then, only the addition of red trim around the numbers and the arrival of names on the back are worth noting, as the jersey has remained essentially unchanged since 1965.

Chicago Blackhawks 1969-70 jersey photo ChicagoBlackhawks1969-70Fjersey.jpg
Chicago Blackhawks 1969-70 jersey photo ChicagoBlackhawks1969-70Bjersey.jpg

In today's video section, Brett scores his 500th goal on this date in 1996.


Here's a look at Bobby in action from his days with Chicago. Note him coming up the steps from the locker room to reach the ice level in the quirky old Chicago Stadium.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

1937-38 Chicago Black Hawks Paul Thompson Jersey

Although not as well known as his older brother "Tiny" Thompson, who played goaltender for the Boston Bruins, Paul Thompson was the one who made history on this day in 1937 by becoming the first player in NHL history to score a goal against his own brother, which he did at 19:31 of the third period of the Black Hawks game against the Bruins in Boston. Tiny got the last laugh however, as the Bruins won the contest 2-1.

Tiny Thompson Bruins
The Boston Bruins Tiny Thompson, brother of Paul Thompson

Paul first played junior hockey for the Calgary Canadians back in 1924 and was a member of the Canadians Memorial Cup championship team in 1926 when he contributed 12 goals in nine playoff games.

He joined the New York Rangers the following season as a role player. The left winger averaged 14 points a season during his five years with the Rangers, which included a Stanley Cup championship in 1928.

1927-28 New York Rangers Pictures, Images and Photos
The 1927-28 Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers

The following season they faced off against each other in the Stanley Cup Finals, with Tiny's Bruins winning bragging rights over Paul at the family dinner table 2 games to none over the Rangers.

Paul was traded to Chicago for the 1931-32 season and showed more of his offensive game, immediately setting a career best with 22 points, which continued to climb each of the next four seasons, from 33 in 1933 to his first 20 goal season in 1933-34 when he scored 36 points as well as seven more in eight playoff games as the Black Hawks captured their first Stanely Cup, the second of Thompson's career.

Paul Thompson Black Hawks
Thompson wearing the second style of Black Hawks
jersey he wore from 1931 to 1934

After his 39 point season in 1935, he had his first 40 point campaign in 1935-36. He rebounded nicely from his first drop in production, to 35 points the following season, by setting career highs in 1937-38 with 22 goals, including the one he scored against his brother on this day in 1937, and and equal number of assists for 44 total points. Four goals and seven points followed in the playoffs as the Black Hawks again captured the Stanley Cup, their second in four years.

Thompson would play 33 games of the following season's schedule before retiring mid-season to become head coach of the Black Hawks, a job he would retain until 1944.

His final NHL totals were 582 games played, 153 goals and 179 assists for 332 points and three Stanley Cup championships.

While there have been other sets of brothers in the NHL, such as the Bentleys (the first brothers to play on a line together), Sutters, Staals, Drydens (the first brothers to face each other in goal), Mahovlichs, Richards, Sedins, the Redmonds, Hunters and Primeaus (brothers who have all fought each other!) the Hulls, Stastnys, Plagers and several generations of Patricks, it's not too often one becomes a goaltender while the others are skaters, but it has happened a few times.

Brian Smith of the Los Angeles Kings, who was later memorialized on the Ottawa Senators jerseys with the "Smitty" patch, scored twice on his brother Gary Smith of the Oakland Seals shortly after the NHL expanded on December 19, 1967. Phil Esposito rudely welcomed his brother Tony Esposito to the NHL by scoring on him twice during Tony's NHL debut on November 3, 1968 and Mathieu Biron of the Florida Panthers scored a game winner on sibling Martin Biron of the Buffalo Sabres on November 24, 2003, the first time in 23 years a brother scored against his brother following Phil Esposito's final goal against Tony on November 5, 1980.

Today's featured jersey is a 1937-38 Chicago Black Hawks Paul Thompson jersey. This was the first season for the Black Hawks new "barberpole" style of red and black jerseys, which would later be revived by Chicago for the 1991-92 season when the Original 6 teams all wore a throwback jersey from their past.

This style jersey and subsequent variations and evolutions of this jersey would remain in use all the way through the 1954-55 season until the first version of today's classic red Blackhawks home jersey would arrive on the scene for the 1955-56 season.

Paul Thompson Black Hawks

Bonus Jersey: Today's Bonus Jersey is a 1936-37 Chicago Black Hawks Paul Thompson jersey as worn the season prior to Thompson becoming the first player to score on his own brother.

This style had a short life span, only being worn for two and a half seasons. A nearly identical style was worn to begin the 1934-35 season, only with a monochromatic crest carried over from earlier jerseys and white stripes. Halfway through the season though, this style debuted with a colored crest and the white striping now tan. This new style was worn through the end of the 1936-37 season until being replaced by today's featured jersey, the first of the barberpole styles.

Chicago Blackhawks 1936-37 jersey photo ChicagoBlackhawks1936-37jersey.jpg

Today's video section is the Phil and Tony Esposito Action Hockey Game so you too can score on your brother!


  
  
 

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