Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1976-77 Cleveland Barons Al MacAdam Jersey

Al MacAdam, one of the few players to ever come out of Prince Edward Island, was born on this date in 1952 and was drafted 55th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1972 NHL Entry Draft.

After playing two seasons with the Richmond Robins of the American Hockey League, MacAdam made his NHL debut with the Flyers in 1973-74, but would only see action in five regular season games with Philadelphia before being dealt to the California Seals in a deal that brought Reggie Leach to the Flyers.

MacAdam became an immediate regular with the Seals, playing all 80 games in 1974-75, scoring 43 points during his first season in California. His point totals increased to 32 goals and 31 assists for 63 points the following season to lead the Seals in scoring, but as usual, the moribund Seals once again failed to make the playoffs for the sixth season in a row.

With the franchise now relocated to Cleveland and renamed the Barons, MacAdam continued his iron man service, playing in every game in Barons history over the course of the next two seasons. He matched his previous season's point total in 1976-77, again scoring 63 points.

The Barons would play one more season in Cleveland before an unusual business deal saw the Barons franchise merge with the Minnesota North Stars and MacAdam once again changing sweaters without ever being traded, along with teammates Dennis Maruk, Greg Smith and Gilles Meloche who also made the trek from California to Cleveland to Minnesota.

Life with the new look North Stars agreed with MacAdam and he finished second in team scoring with 58 points to rookie and first overall draft pick Bobby Smith.

After some growing pains the first year, the team really came together in 1979-80 and MacAdam, teamed with Smith and his junior teammate Steve Payne, had by far the best season of his NHL career, scoring 42 goals and 51 assists for 93 points to lead the North Stars, 30 more points that he would score in any other NHL season.

Even better, the team qualified for the playoffs in 1979-80 for the first time in MacAdam's career and he responded with seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 15 games as the upstart North Stars would eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs in three straight and oust the defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens on a game winning goal by MacAdam in Game 7.

1980-81 was a return to Earth of MacAdam offensively, but still a good season with 21 goals and 39 assists for 60 points and third on the club. The playoffs again saw MacAdam shine with 19 points in 19 games as the North Stars used their previous seasons playoff experience to make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

MacAdam notched another 60 point season in 1981-82 with 61, but his offensive production dropped off after that as his role changed with age. His final two seasons with the North Stars saw him score 33 points and then 35 in 1983-84, a season in which the North Stars would go on another long playoff run, reaching the conference finals after eliminating the Chicago Black Hawks and the St. Louis Blues.

He was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in the summer of 1984, ending a ten year run with the Seals/Barons/North Stars in which he played in a remarkable 779 of 800 possible games.

His final NHL season with the Canucks saw him contribute 34 points and play in all 80 games for the seventh time in 11 seasons. His final NHL totals were 864 games played, 240 goals and 351 assists for 591 points. He also racked up 509 penalty minutes, as he was not afraid to play a rugged style and drop the gloves when needed.

He also was a fine playoff performer, scoring 44 points in 64 games.

MacAdam would appear in two NHL All-Star Games in 1976 and 1977, was named the Seals MVP in 1976, the North Stars MVP in 1980 and was named the recipient of the prestigious Bill Masterton Trophy in 1980.

Today's featured jersey is a 1976-77 Cleveland Barons Al MacAdam jersey as worn during the Barons first season in Cleveland, as signified by the State of Ohio patches on the sleeves, which were worn only the first year. Names were worn on the backs of the Barons jerseys at home that year, but it was removed from this jersey following the season.

Evidence of MacAdam's toughness can be seen in the following videos, as MacAdam stand in against Flyers tough guy Dave Hoyda and a real scrap with the Maple Leafs Gary Nylund.

One more just for fun, MacAdam in a scrap wearing the lovely teal colors of the California Seals, a jersey that would test the toughness of any player.

Dasherboard: Regular readers of Third String Goalie might recall that we featured the 1995-96 Los Angeles alternate "Burger King" jersey as part of our Curious, Weird and Ugly Collection, and rated it #3 in our rankings for our article in The Hockey News Greatest Jerseys of All-Time article about the most Curious, Weird and Ugly jerseys ever.

Well, some genius fans of the Los Angeles Kings recently declared last Sunday's game as "Burger King Jersey Appreciation Day". For a recap of the event and some scary, yet brilliant photos of the assembled gathering, we recommend this report on TheRoyalHalf.com and this one on LifeInHockeywood.com. Well done everyone!

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