Tuesday, October 6, 2015

1988-89 Winnipeg Jets Eldon "Pokey" Reddick Jersey

Born on this date in 1964, goaltender Eldon "Pokey" Reddick earned his unusual nickname from his father due to being a "slowpoke" around the house as a kid. As he matured though, his reflexes served him well and he made serval stops as part of his junior hockey career in the Western Hockey League. He played a single game with the Billings Bighorns in 1981-82 before taking the reigns of the  Nanaimo Islanders in 1982-83, playing in 66 games.

He became a member of the New Westminster Bruins for 1983-84 where he played in 50 games, posting a winning 24-22-2 record while lowering his goals against average from the season before by over 2 full goals a game to 4.40 while sharing time in goal with future NHL teammate Bill Ranford, who appeared in 27 games.

For 1984-85, Reddick became a member of the Brandon Wheat Kings where he saw action in 47 games as the team's number one netminder.

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Reddick in junior hockey with the Wheat Kings

Undrafted by the NHL, when his junior career came to an end in 1985, Reddick played 10 games for the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL as well as 2 additional games for the Sherbrooke Canadiens of the AHL after signing as a free agent with the Winnipeg Jets organization. He was back with the Komets for a full season in 1985-86, going 15-11 in 32 games and a 3.05 goals against average.

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Reddick made his NHL debut with Winnipeg

Reddick made his NHL debut in 1986-87 with the Jets appearing in 48 games to lead the team, posting a 21-21-4 record. He shared time with Daniel Berthiaume (31 games) and the duo was given the hilarious nickname of "Pokey and the Bandit".

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Pokey and the Bandit - Reddick and Berthiaume

Reddick lost the number one job to Berthiaume in 1987-88 and was limited to 28 games with the Jets as well as spending 9 games with the Moncton Hawks of the AHL. Reddick rebounded in 1988-89 with 41 games in goal for the Jets, more than any of the other four goalies used by the club.

Just prior to the 1989-90 season, Reddick was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers, where he was reunited with his former junior teammate Ranford. He divided his season with 3 games for the Phoenix Roadrunners of the IHL, 15 games for the Cape Breton Oilers of the AHL and 11 games with Edmonton in the NHL. He also appeared in one playoff game for the Oilers as they would go on to win the NHL championship with a 4-1 defeat of the Boston Bruins, earning Reddick his name on the Stanley Cup.

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The 1990 Stanley Cup Champion Oilers
with Reddick pictured in the first row, far right

With Ranford playing the bulk of the Oilers games in 1990-91, the competition for time in the Edmonton goal was fierce, with Kari Takko playing 11 games and Grant Fuhr 13, leaving just 2 starts for Reddick, who played the majority of his season back in the AHL with Cape Breton, where he was 19-10 in 31 games.

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Reddick with Cape Breton in the AHL

He was out of the NHL in 1991-92, starting the year with Cape Breton of the AHL for 16 games and then 14 games back with the Fort Wayne Komets in the IHL. He would lead the Komets in 1992-93 with a standout 33-16-4 record in 54 games, posting a 3.08 goals against average.

Once in the playoffs, Reddick went on a tear as For Wayne swept Cleveland, ousted Atlanta in four and then captured the Turner Cup by blowing out the San Diego Gulls in four straight to complete a historic playoff sweep of 12 consecutive victories without a single loss for the Komets first championship in 20 years. Reddick was then named the IHL Playoff MVP thanks to his 12-0 record and 1.49 goals against average, which included limiting the league leading San Diego offense to just 5 goals in the four game final.

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Reddick hoists the Turner Cup as an IHL champion

That performance earned Reddick a contract with the Florida Panthers in hopes of returning to the NHL full time. While he did manage to return to the NHL, it was only for two games with the Panthers, the final games of his NHL career.

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A rare shot of Reddick with the Panthers

The rest of his season was spent as the number one for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the IHL, going 31-12-6 with a 3.05 goals against.

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Reddick spent one year in Cincinnati

Reddick would spend the next five seasons in the IHL, beginning with a pair of seasons with the Las Vegas Thunder, going 23-13-1 in 1994-95 followed by a 27-12-4 record the following season.

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A fantastic shot of Reddick with fellow goaltenders
Clint Malarchuk and Manon Rheaume!

1996-97 saw Reddick set a professional career high with 61 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins, which also saw him post a stellar 2.48 goals against average and a 30-14-10 record.

He began the 2997-98 season with Grand Rapids (10 games) before a move to the San Antonio Dragons (16 games) and finally the Kansas City Blades for 22 games. In all, Reddick went 20-21-4 despite all the time spent getting acclimated to new teammates and new systems.

Reddick returned to Fort Wayne yet again in 1998-99, seeing time in 33 games, his final ones in the IHL.

For the 1999-00 season, Reddick made the move to Europe as he signed with the Frankfurt Lions of the German DEL. For three seasons Reddick owned the Frankfurt net, playing in 56, 59 and 52 games of the shorter European season, never with a goals against higher than 3.00.

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Reddick during his time in Germany with Frankfurt

Reddick had one more trip to Fort Wayne remaining however, as he would play the final 9 games of his career with the Komets, now members of the United Hockey League following the demise of the IHL while he was away in Germany.

Today's featured jersey is a 1988-89 Winnipeg Jets Eldon "Pokey" Reddick jersey as worn during his final season with the Jets. This jersey style was adopted by Winnipeg for their first season in the NHL after the demise of the WHA. This jersey template was first used by the New York Rangers for just two seasons until reverting to their traditional, diagonally lettered jerseys. When former Rangers GM John Ferguson became the Jets new GM he brought the same jersey in the exact same colors, only now with the Jets logo in place of the previous Rangers shield.

Also of note is the large space between the top of the numbers and the player name on the back, thanks to the nearly square back numbers used by the Jets.

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Winnipeg Jets 1988-89 jersey photo Winnipeg Jets 1988-89 B jersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1992-93 IHL All-Star Eldon "Pokey" Reddick jersey as worn by Reddick during his dominant season in the IHL, which was capped off by his undefeated 12 game run through the Turner Cup playoffs, which earned him IHL Playoff MVP honors.

1992-93 IHL ALL STAR JERSEY photo 1992-93 IHL ALL STAR F JERSEY.jpg
1992-93 IHL ALL STAR JERSEY photo 1992-93 IHL ALL STAR B JERSEY.jpg

Today's video section consists of both Reddick's videos on YouTube, first he squares off with Jeff Reese, but not much in the way of punches happen. This is followed by Reddick getting plastered by none other than Tiger Williams, who sends Reddick into next week.

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