Friday, September 30, 2016

1977-78 Minnesota North Stars Per-Olov Brasar Jersey

Born on this date in Falun, Sweden Per-Olov Brasar began his professional career with Leksands IF in Sweden's Elitserien in 1969-70 and proved to be a clutch performer in the playoffs, scoring 14 points in 14 games in both 1971 and again in 1973 when Leksands won the league championship.

Brasar Leksands
Brasar early in his career with Leksands

1974 saw Brasar make his national team debut which saw his first appearance in the World Championships with 9 points in 9 games on his way to a bronze medal. He would make further appearances for Sweden at the Worlds in 1975 (bronze), 1976 (bronze), 1977 (with 11 points in 10 games on his way to a silver medal) and a final World Championships in 1978. Additionally, Brasar was named to Sweden's lineup for the inaugural Canada Cup in 1976.

Brasar Sweden
Brasar made five World Championships with Sweden

1974-75 saw Leksands win a second championship following Brasar's best European season with 42 points in just 30 games.

After two more seasons, which included another 40 point campaign in 1976-77, Brasar made the move to North America, signing as a free agent with the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL, where the longer season allowed Brasar to set a new career best with 57 points while registering a 20 goal season while playing with fellow Swedes Roland Eriksson and Kent-Erik Andersson.

Brasar North Stars
Eriksson, Brasar and Andersson teamed up with the North Stars

After a second full season in Minnesota, he was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks 22 games into the 1979-80 season. After having just scored 16 goals in two seasons, the change did Brasar good as he set career highs in all offensive categories with 22 goals, 41 assists and 63 points.

Brasar Canucks
Brasar finished his NHL career with the Canucks

One final NHL season followed in 1981-82, which included a trip to the Stanley Cup finals with the Canucks, before Brasar returned to Leksands in 1982-83. He then played his final season with Mora IK in the second division before retiring.

His final NHL totals were 64 goals and 206 points in 348 games.

Today's featured jersey is a 1977-78 Minnesota North Stars Per-Olov Brasar jersey as worn during his rookie season in the NHL when he scored 20 goals to place third on the team behind Eriksson and Tim Young.

1977-78 was the final season for this seldom seen North Stars jersey style which was first adopted in 1975-76 and worn for just three seasons. It was the first North Stars jersey to use drop shadowed numbers, a feature that would remain in use through the 1990-91 season.

Minnesota North Stars 1977-78 jersey photo Minnesota North Stars 1977-78 F jersey.jpg
Minnesota North Stars 1977-78 jersey photo Minnesota North Stars 1977-78 B jersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1977 Sweden National Team Per-Olov Brasar jersey as worn when Brasar won a silver medal with Sweden at the World Championships in Austria.

In the late 1970's Sweden abandoned their traditional "tre kronor" (three crowns" cresting for their jerseys in favor of the slogan "tre kronor" above a polar bear logo, which just happened to be the exact same polar bear used by the Polar Caravans brand of RV campers in an early example of corporate sponsorship on a hockey sweater.

The polar bear was gone by late 1981 and the three crowns returned permanently in time for the 1984 Canada Cup.

1977 Sweden jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1980-81 Vancouver Canucks Per-Olov Brasar jersey. After starting life in 1970 with blue and green jerseys, Vancouver startled the world of hockey when they debuted their new "Flying V" jerseys, designed by a psychologist to be intimidating to their opponents!

Their new team logo was practically hidden on the arms among the bold stripes, which also did not leave room for the traditional location of the sleeve numbers on the upper arm, as they were now relegated to the end of the arms near the wrists - something never seen before or since.

Perhaps the most unusual and controversial feature of the jerseys was the lack of a main crest on the front, replaced instead by a giant "V" for Vancouver. Despite the derision and controversial nature of the jerseys, the Canucks stuck with them for seven seasons!

Vancouver Canucks 1980-81 jersey photo Vancouver Canucks 1980-81 F jersey.jpg
Vancouver Canucks 1980-81 jersey photo Vancouver Canucks 1980-81 B jersey.jpg
photos courtesy of Classic Auctions

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