Saturday, February 20, 2016

1994-95 Detroit Red Wings Mike Ramsey Jersey

After graduating from Minneapolis Roosevelt High School, where he was considered the top defenseman in Minnesota, Mike Ramsey joined the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers for the 1978-79 season.

Ramsey Roosevelt, Ramsey Roosevelt
Mike Ramsey of the Roosevelt Teddies

Ramsey scored 24 points in 34 games as a college rookie as Minnesota would go on to win the NCAA national championship under the guidance of head coach Herb Brooks.

During that season Ramsey also participated in the 1979 World Junior Championships for the United States. Later that spring, Ramsey was chosen 11th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, the first Minnesotan ever taken in the first round.

Rather than return to Minnesota for a second season, Ramsey became the youngest member of the United States Olympic Hockey Team under his college coach Brooks. The Americans shocked the world by upsetting the Soviet Union in the "Miracle on Ice" and then completed their quest by winning the gold medal with a win over Finland.

Ramsey USA, Ramsey USA
Ramsey demonstrating his tough defensive style

Following the Olympics, Ramsey immediately turned professional and joined the Sabres for the final 13 games of the season followed by an equal number of playoff games, a total of 89 games played that season including the Olympic Team's training schedule, a huge number of games for someone two years removed from high school hockey.

Ramsey, buoyed by his high pressure Olympic experience against players much older than himself, adapted to the faster and stronger players in the NHL, playing over 150 games in the NHL over the course of the next two seasons. With Buffalo quickly eliminated from the playoffs, Ramsey was free to once again wear the red, white and blue of the United States at the 1982 World Championships.

The 1982-83 NHL season was one of Ramsey's finest offensive seasons, as he scored 8 goals and 38 points while posting a +20 rating. The following season Ramsey's offensive total dipped to 31 points, but he set a career high with 9 goals, as well as having a +27 rating.

Ramsey Sabres, Ramsey Sabres

Before the 1984-85 NHL season could begin, Ramsey competed in the 1984 Canada Cup tournament, scoring a goal and an assist in six games as the United States finished second in the round robin portion of the tournament before losing in the semifinals.

Another strong 30 point season followed as Ramsey set a career high with a +31 rating. Two more seasons with Buffalo saw Ramsey extend his streak of 72 or more games played to seven, and set a career high in 1986-87 with 30 points. Ramsey was also named an NHL All-Star in 1987 when the usual All-Star Game format was put on hold as the NHLers faced off against the Soviet Union in the two-game series known as Rendez-Vous '87.

The 1987 Canada Cup came next for Ramsey prior to the 1987-88 NHL season, the first of six more solid defensive seasons with the Sabres which included being named captain of the Sabres in 1991-92. Then, after 14 seasons in Buffalo, Ramsey was traded to the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins where he was reunited with his old Sabres coach Scotty Bowman.

Ramsey Penguins, Ramsey Penguins

There was no third Stanley Cup however, and after playing the following season of 1993-94 with the Penguins, Ramsey signed as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings. His time there was spoiled by injuries which limited him to just 33 games in 1994-95, but it included his 1,000th NHL game on this date in 1995, a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, becoming just the 99th player to ever do so. The season was capped by the Red Wings making to the Stanley Cup Finals. The next season again saw Ramsey's time limited by injury and he only saw action in 47 games that season.

Ramsey Red Wings, Ramsey Red Wings

He retired over the summer, but returned for a pair of games in February of 1996, but felt he wasn't up to standards and retired for good after 18 seasons, 1,070 games, 79 goals and 266 assists for 345 point and but one season with a negative plus/minus rating all while never playing a single game in the minors.

Ramsey played in four NHL All-Star Games and was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.

Today, he will be behind the bench once again, having served as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Wild, as one of the coaches for the combined Minnesota North Stars and Wild alumni team as they take on a squad of veteran Chicago Blackhawks players in advance of tomorrow's Stadium Series outdoor game between the Wild and Blackhawks.

Today's featured jersey is a 1994-95 Detroit Red Wings Mike Ramsey jersey. Ramsey wore this jersey during the Stanley Cup Finals the same season during which he played in his 1,000th NHL game on this date in 1995.

The Red Wings have worn this style jersey since 1961 when they changed the sleeves on their white jerseys from white with a red stripe to red with a white stripe.

Detroit Red Wings 1994-95 jersey photo Detroit Red Wings 1994-95 F jersey.jpg
Detroit Red Wings 1994-95 jersey photo Detroit Red Wings 1994-95 B jersey.jpg

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1987 United States National Team Mike Ramsey jersey. This blue road jersey was worn during the 1987 Canada Cup tournament.

This style served the US well, first being worn during 1984 through 1993, having been made by both CCM from 1984 to 1988 and by Tackla for IIHF tournaments from 1989 to 1993.

United States 1987 CC jersey photo United States 1987 CC F jersey.jpg
United States 1987 CC jersey photo United States 1987 CC B jersey.jpg

In today's video section, a great clip, as Ramsey levels a Montreal Canadiens player with a clean, hard hit and is then jumped by Mario Tremblay. Not only does Ramsey land a dozen heavy rights, but the two of them would go on to be assistant coaches together with the Minnesota Wild!

Here, Ramsey risks his life and career by actually checking Wayne Gretzky - during the NHL All-Star Game! Yes, he didn't put Gretzky in the fourth row of seats like he could have, but still, it's the last hit we recall in an all-star game!

Finally, here is Ramsey being interviewed a in 2009 between periods of a Minnesota High School girls hockey game in which his daughter Rachel was playing.

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