Thursday, March 12, 2015

1999-00 Vancouver Canucks Artem Chubarov Jersey

After beginning his career in 1994-95 with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the Russian second division Vysshaya Liga, Artem Chubarov joined Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Superleague for the 1997-98 season where he scored a lone goal and five total points. It was during this time that Chubarov gained valuable exposure, winning a silver medal at the 1998 World Junior Tournament.

He remained with Dynamo for the 1998-99 season, raising his point totals to 8 goals and 10 points as Dynamo would make it all the way to the Superleague finals. During this season he also won a gold medal at the 1999 World Juniors with Chubarov scoring the gold medal clinching goal in overtime against Roberto Luongo of Canada.

Having been drafted by the Vancouver Canucks with the fourth pick of the second round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Chubarov made the move to North America for the 1999-00 season. He would play 14 games with the Canucks AHL afiliate, the Syracuse Crunch as well as making his NHL debut with Vancouver on October 2, 1999.

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Chubarov, a center, was never known for his goal scoring or even his playmaking, but was a faceoff and defensive specialist, so when he scored his first NHL goal in only his second NHL game on October 6th against the Chicago Blackhawks Jocelyn Thibault, it flattered to deceive, as not only would Cubarov not score another goal in 49 total games, when Steve McCarthy scored for Chicago to make the final score 5-4 in favor of the Canucks, it made Chubarov's goal the game winner.

His sophomore season was a lost one, as Chubarov played on one game for Vancouver in 2000-01 before suffering a season ending shoulder injury while playing in the IHL for the Kansas City Blades, where he was off to a fine start, having scored 7 goals and 11 points in 10 games, far ahead of his usual pace.

Back to full health for the 2001-02 season, Chubarov began the season with the Manitoba Moose, now of the American Hockey League following the demise of the IHL. He was recalled by the Canucks after a few weeks and played three games in late October. He was back with the Moose for all of November, but by December 6th was back in the NHL.

He finally tallied his first point of the season with an assist on January 12th, and followed that with his first goal of the season in his 19th game on January 15th when he scored at 15:12 of the first period to stake the Canucks to a 3-0 lead. After Milan Kraft and Mario Lemieux scored for the Pittsburgh Penguins to make it 3-2, the Canucks responded with two goals for a final score of 5-2, making Chubarov's first goal of the season the game winner.

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Just four days and two games later, Chubarov lit the lamp once again, this time scoring the Canucks second goal of the game at 16:12 of the second period. Vancouver eventually extended their lead to 4-0 before Chris Simon of the Washington Capitals spoiled the shutout bid by Dan Cloutier at 13:44 of the third period, making Chubarov's goal yet again the game winner in an eventual 5-1 win.

Chubarov then "cooled off", going 16 games without a goal until the Canucks travelled to the American southeast to face the Nashville Predators on this date in 2002. After a scoreless first period, Chubarov scored at 2:25 of the second period against the Predators Mike Dunham to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead. The Canucks would extend their lead to 5-0 while Cloutier held the Predators off the board for an eventual 23 save shutout, allowing Chubarov's fourth career goal to stand as the fourth game winning goal of his career, making him the first player in NHL history whose first four career goals were all game winners! While his first four goals were all game winners, it did take 88 games, 2 years, 3 months and 10 days to enter the league record book.

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His unlikely streak would end two games later when his goal at 1:28 of the third period gave the Canucks a 4-2 lead, and when the Thrashers failed to score during the remaining 3:32, Daniel Sedin's goal took the honors as the game winner.

Chubarov would finish with 5 goals and 10 points that season in 51 games plus an additional 7 goals and 19 points in 19 games with Manitoba.

Chubarov would play two additional seasons with the Canucks, with an NHL career highs of 20 points in 2002-03 and 12 goals in 2003-04. That success led to a roster spot on the Russian National Team for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, but before the the following season could be played, the NHL owners locked out the players, which eventually led to the cancellation of the entire NHL season.

Like many other NHL players, Chubarov returned to his home country where he rejoined Dynamo Moscow for an abbreviated 27 games.

While the NHL resumed play for the 2005-06 season, it was without Chubarov, who chose to stay in Russia, signing with Avangard Omsk. The move to Omsk and back to the Russian Superleague saw an increase in his offensive numbers as he immediately set a new career best with 25 points followed by a career best 36 points in 2006-07.

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After one more season of 33 points in Omsk, Chubarov returned to his first club of Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod for the inaugural season of the Kontinental Hockey League. After one season back in Novgorod, Chubarov's career concluded with a third stop with Dynamo, which proved to be brief, lasting just two games of the 2009-10 season.

In all, Chubarov would play five NHL seasons, scoring a total of just 25 goals, but stands alone as the only player in NHL history whose first four goals were all game winners.

Today's featured jersey is a 1999-00 Vancouver Canucks Artem Chubarov jersey as worn during his NHL rookie season when he began his unlikely journey into the NHL record books.

The Canucks first adopted today's featured style in 1997-98 in recognition of their new owners, Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment. This drew the ire of their fans, who did not like the idea of the Canucks logo representing their corporate ownership rather than the team itself. Still, the uniforms remained and enjoyed a long run, lasting a decade until the club reverted to their original blue and green colors following the success of their throwback alternate jersey of 2006-07. Despite the return of their original colors, the orca logo remains to this day.

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photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's video section is a look at Chubarov's unusual goal scoring record.

Next, Chubarov scores in overtime to give Russia the gold medal at the 1999 World Juniors.

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