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Saturday, April 10, 2010

1981-82 Los Angeles Kings Mark Hardy Jersey

Back in 1982, the first round of the NHL playoffs were a best-of-five and featured teams playing opponents within their own division.

The Edmonton Oilers, in the process of gearing up for their dynasty, had won the Smythe Division with 111 points, 48 points ahead of the fourth place Los Angeles Kings, whose 63 points came from a sub-.500 record of only 24-41-13. The Oilers were led by league MVP Wayne Gretzky, who had just completed the single greatest season in league history, scoring 92 goals and 212 points, while Dave Taylor led the Kings with 106 points, exactly half of Gretzky's total!

In Game 1, the Kings chose to try to beat the Oilers at their own game rather than trying to shut them down defensively and the result was a scintillating 10-8 win for the Kings, a record for the most goals in a playoff game that still stands today.

More traditional playoff hockey returned for Game 2 as the Oilers defeated the Kings 3-2 in overtime to send the series to Los Angeles tied a game apiece.

In Game 3, played at The Forum, located at 3900 W. Manchester Boulevard, saw the Oilers break out on top with a goal by Mark Messier. A shorthanded goal by Gretzky saw the Oilers up by two at the end of the first period.

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The Forum

The Kings powerplay carried over into the second period and disaster struck when Kings goaltender Mario Lessard misplayed a sharp angle shot by Lee Fogolin for a 3-0 Edmonton lead.

With both teams later playing 3-on-3, Gretzky stole the puck deep in the Kings end and passed to defenseman Risto Siltanen, who one-timmed the puck past Lessard and through the goal netting. The goal judge saw what had happened and turned the goal light on. The referees met and agreed that it was indeed a goal, which was later confirmed by video replay, giving the Oilers a now four goal cushion.

The rout was on when Glenn Anderson sent a hard pass through the legs of a Kings defenseman to Gretzky, who simply deflected he puck into the net for a commanding 5-0 lead at the end of two periods.

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The Kings could not catch up to Gretzky and
the Oilers through the first two periods

The Kings main focus for the early part of the third period was to do the little things right, make an effort to get back into the game, mainly to salvage some pride and try to carry some momentum into Game 4.

Jay Wells got the Kings on the board at 2:46 of the third with a shot through a screen set by Taylor.

Less than three minutes later, the Kings went on the powerplay and won a faceoff in the Oilers end. The puck went back to defenseman Mark Hardy on the point, who threw the puck at the net. Fuhr saved the initial shot, but the rebound landed between the skates of Oiler defenseman Kevin Lowe. The Kings Doug Smith pounced on the opportunity and fired a shot under the crossbar to narrow the margin to 5-2.

With both teams playing 4-on-4, the Oilers attempt at a clearing pass was intercepted and passed to Charlie Simmer, who skated in on the goal and attempted to jam the puck in on the right side while falling down. Oiler defenseman Randy Gregg attempted to tie up Simmer's stick, but in his haste hit Fuhr's leg, knocking Fuhr back far enough to allow the puck to slide over the goal line to cut the Oilers lead to two, which energized the once morose Kings fans.

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Charlie Simmer

With five minutes remaining, Pat Hughes of the Oilers was stopped on a breakaway, and in the chase to control the puck, the Oilers Garry Unger was called for a five-minute high sticking major while Dave Lewis of the Kings was called for roughing, which meant the teams would play 4-on-4 for the next two minutes. Forward Steve Bozek skated into the Oilers zone and cut to the right and made a drop pass back to Hardy who was moving to his left. The criss-cross movement gave Hardy some space and he fired a wrist shot back toward the right side of the net and past Fuhr to pull the Kings within one and send the home crowd into a frenzy.

Once the penalty to the King's Lewis expired, Unger's major continued, giving the Kings a power play for the final three minutes of the game. Lessard then saved the game for the Kings when he stopped a clean breakaway by Hughes of the Oilers and made an even better save on the rebound attempt.

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The Kings netminder Mario Lessard

As time wound down and the Kings having trouble gaining the Oilers zone the Kings pulled Lessard for a two man advantage. With now only 45 seconds to play, Kings star Marcel Dionne gained possession of the puck and kept control of it for over 20 seconds looking for a chance to shoot or a good passing opportunity. Finally he sent the puck to Simmer, who quickly returned the pass. Dionne fired a quick shot, which Fuhr saved. The rebound went over to the boards on the right, where Jim Fox gained control of the puck and sent it into the center of the zone to Hardy who fired a low shot at Fuhr, who saved the initial shot but could not stop the puck from rebounding in front of the net. Rookie Bozek, unguarded due to the two man advantage with the goaltender pulled, gathered in the puck and flung a backhanded shot back at Fuhr, who did not have time to react as the puck sailed between his legs and into the net with just five ticks remaining on the clock to complete the comeback and tie the score at 5-5, sending the Kings fan's into absolute delirium and the contest into overtime.

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Mark Hardy had a goal and two assists in the Kings comeback

Lessard nearly gave the game away by sliding out of his net to corral a rebound on a bouncing shot from center ice. In doing so, he collided with the Oilers Anderson, knocking the puck even further away and leaving him stranded 20 feet out of his goal. Messier gained possession of the puck and lifted a backhand attempt at the goal, which rolled off his stick blade sailing wide of the net as Hardy and another Kings player attempted to block Messier's shot in a heart-stopping moment for the Kings fans.

After a save by Fuhr that resulted in a faceoff in the Oilers zone, the Kings sent out an all-rookie forward line of Bozek, Smith and Daryl Evans. Smith won the faceoff back to Evans, who one-timed a slapshot toward the upper corner of the net. Fuhr raised his glove to make the save, but the puck eluded him for the game winning goal at 2:35 of the overtime for a 6-5 Kings win, sending the crowd into rapture and the Kings to a 2-1 series lead in a game that would become known as "The Miracle on Manchester".

The Oilers regrouped for Game 4 to win on the road 3-2, sending the series back to Edmonton for the deciding Game 5.

Confident they could skate with the Oilers, the Kings took a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Simmer. Dan Bonar added a pair of goals, as did Evans. Bernie Nicholls also scored at 6:49 of the second to put the Kings ahead to stay as they defeated the Oilers 7-4 to eliminate Edmonton from the playoffs, setting a record for the largest regular season point differential (48) in a series won by the underdog.

Today's featured jersey is a 1981-82 Los Angeles Kings Mark Hardy jersey as worn during the record setting Kings comeback known as the "Miracle on Manchester" in which he scored a goal and had a pair of assists.

Hardy played nine seasons for the Kings and then briefly the New York Rangers and Minnesota North Stars before rejoining the Rangers for five seasons. He would return to the Kings to finish out his 16 year NHL career in which he played 915 games, scoring 368 points.

This style of Kings jersey debuted in 1980-81, an over due modernization, as they had worn their very simple original jerseys since 1967 for thirteen seasons. This style would be worn unchanged throughout the 1980's until the arrival of Gretzky to Los Angeles saw the team change from the purple and gold colors of the Los Angeles Lakers of he NBA to the black and silver of the Los Angeles Raiders of the NFL.

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Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1981-82 Los Angeles Kings Mario Lessard jersey from the Kings goaltender during the Miracle on Manchester. Lessard would play six seasons for the Kings, his only NHL team.

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Los Angeles Kings 1981-82 jersey photo Los Angeles Kings 1981-82 B jersey.jpg

Today's video features footage of the Kings amazing record setting third period comeback on this date in 1982 along with several members of the Kings organization and their personal recollections of their amazing comeback that night.

Here is another video recalling the record setting Kings comeback, this time with Messier of the Oilers and the Kings Dionne.

Dasherboard: Last night was the final game for one of our favorite players here at Third String Goalie, Keith Tkachuk. One of our favorite moments was being at the game during the 2004 World Cup of Hockey when Tkachuk scored four goals to help the United States eliminate the Russia. Tkachuk's four goals were all assisted by Mike Modano, who also may very well be playing his final game tonight.

As a tribute to Tkachuk, a look at some of the jerseys Tkachuk wore during his long career, which included over 500 goals, 1,000 points and 1,000 NHL games and a gold medal in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and a silver medal in the 2002 Olympics.

1991 or 1992 World Junior USA jersey 1991 or 1992 World Junior USA jersey
1995-96 Winnipeg Jets jersey 1995-96 Winnipeg Jets jersey

1999-00 NHL Phoenix Coyotes Keith Tkachuk  jersey 1999-00 NHL Phoenix Coyotes Keith Tkachuk  jersey

Here is video of the final moments of Tkachuk's career from last night.

Friday, April 9, 2010

2002-03 Montreal Canadiens Saku Koivu Jersey

Monday, September 3rd, 2001 Saku Koivu of the Montreal Canadiens boarded a flight from his native Finland headed for Montreal in anticipation of the start of training camp for the upcoming season. It was during the flight that Koivu began to feel some stomach discomfort. It did not diminish, and in fact, persisted that night.

The next day he contacted the Canadiens team physician Dr. David Mulder with the news that his condition had worsened to the point that he was severely vomiting. Medication failed to curtail the symptoms so the next day Koivu entered the hospital for testing, which revealed the tumor in Koivu's stomach. Even worse, the tumor was cancerous.

The final diagnosis was non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Facing chemotherapy treatments, Koivu remained optimistic and upbeat and began to read Lance Armstrong's book "It's not About the Bike" for inspiration.

Koivu's treatment lasted until January of 2002 and it was announced that he was expected to make a full recovery. The assumption was that Koivu would begin getting back into shape and aim for a return to the Canadiens in time for training camp in September. Koivu had other ideas however, and began a rigorous training program with the goal of returning in time for that season's playoffs.

The Canadiens were in a battle with four other clubs for the remaining three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference heading into the final week of the season when Koivu caught everyone off guard by announcing on April 8th that he had completed his rehab and was ready to play in an effort to get the Canadiens into the Stanley Cup playoffs.

So, it was on this day in 2002 that Saku Koivu made his return from cancer to again play in the NHL. When Koivu came onto the ice that night the standing ovation continued on and on, lasting for eight minutes in one of the most memorable moments in NHL history. Montreal would go on to win the game 4-3 and accomplish what Koivu set out to do by locking up a playoff spot that night. Koivu would later score ten points in 12 playoff games as the Canadiens advanced to the second round of the playoffs, upsetting the rival Bruins in six games.

Following that season, Koivu was named the recipient of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Proving his disease was behind him, the next season Koivu participated in all 82 of the Canadiens games and set a then career high with 71 points.

In 2007, Koivu was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for his humanitarian work with his Saku Koivu Foundation, which supports cancer and trauma care at the Montreal General Hospital.

Today's featured jersey is a 2002-03 Montreal Canadiens Saku Koivu jersey. This jersey features the Hockey Fights Cancer patch, worn for one game in January by each team's captain. The jerseys were then auctioned off at that seasons subsequent All-Star weekend to raise money for Hockey Fights Cancer, which has now raised more than $11 million through various fundraising efforts.

The Hockey Fights Cancer jersey patches were worn from 2001 to 2004 and again in 2008. The original black and orange patches did not have the year, which was added for the following three seasons. The 2008 version was done in a new black and sliver color scheme to mark the 10th anniversary of the program.

Due to the significance of Koivu's story, this jersey is one of our favorites in the Third String Goalie collection.

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Montreal Canadiens 02-03 jersey photo MontrealCanadiens02-03B.jpg
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Plenty of great videos today, beginning with an interview with Koivu and Dr. Mulder about his cancer.

Next, Dr. Mulder of the Canadiens accepts the King Clancy Trophy on Koivu's behalf.

Our next video is a feature on John Cullen, Mario Lemieux, Phil Kessel and Koivu, all NHL players who have dealt with cancer during their playing careers.

We conclude today with the extended ovation Koivu received on his return to the ice in Montreal on this day in 2002.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

1997-98 Poland National Team Mariusz Cerkawski Jersey

On this date in 1976, the greatest upset in World Championship history occurred when Poland defeated the Soviet Union 6-4.

Just two months earlier, the Soviet Union had won it's fourth straight Olympic gold medal, which included a 16-1 defeat of Poland. And when it came to the World Championships, the Soviets had won 12 out of the last 13 championships.

The Soviet roster contained some of the most recognizable stars in international hockey history, beginning with Vladislav Tretiak in goal, defenseman Valeri Vasiliev and forwards Valeri Kharlamov, Boris Mikhailov and Alexander Maltsev among others.

Combined, this team had only lost one game since 1972, while outscoring their opposition 294-63 in the previous four major tournaments. In the last seven games in which the two countries had met, the Soviets had won by scores of 9-3, 20-0, 8-3, 17-0, 13-2, 15-1 and 16-1.

About the only things Poland had in it's favor going into the game was that the tournament was being held in Poland and it was the opening game of the tournament, perhaps allowing Poland an shot at the Soviets before they had a chance to hit their stride.

The best Poland could simply hope for was to keep the score as low as possible. A win was simply out of the question.

Believing his team would have little trouble scoring, Soviet head coach Boris Kulagin opted to leave Tretiak on the bench and started Alexander Sidelnikov in goal. The Poles thrilled the 10,000 home fans in attendance when they not only scored at 10:21 of the first period on a goal by Mieczyslaw Jaskierski, but a goal that gave them a lead. Four minutes later, lighting struck twice when Ryszard Nowinski scored again to increase the lead to two goals at the end of the first period.

Surely the Soviets were threatened with Siberian exile between periods, and began to correct the aberration that was the first period when Mikhailov scored just 31 seconds into the second period.

Rather than giving in to the inevitable, the Poles amazingly responded when Wieslaw Jobczyk made it 3-1 at 2:44, once more igniting the home fans, but before they had a chance to settle back into their seats, Jaskierski sent the arena into pure bedlam when, just 16 seconds later, he netted his second goal of the game to push the lead to three.

Kulagin had seen the error of his ways, and pulled Sidelnikov a minute later, inserting Tretiak into the game. Buoyed by the arrival of Tretiak, the Soviets got one back at 5:14 when Alexander Yakushev scored to make the score 4-2, but the now confident home team responded quickly yet again when Jobczyk's second goal of the game found the back of the net at 6:40 to restore the three goal lead. The remainder of the period was scoreless, leaving the Soviets 20 minutes to score three to tie and four to win, and based on their most recent 16-1 win just two months prior, four goals in a period was well within the Soviet reach.

During the final period, the Polish fans sang and cheered continuously, and for the first 13 minutes, their team kept the Soviets off the scoreboard until Kharlamov made it 5-3 with seven minutes remaining, but Polish goaltender Andrzej Tkacz held the Soviets at bay as the fans continued to cheer throughout.

Jobczyk completed his hat trick with 20 seconds remaining with "the Katowice arena a complete madhouse" before Kharlamov scored a meaningless goal with five seconds remaining to make the final score 6-4 before the emotional scene of the Poles and their fans filling the building with the Polish national anthem.

Wieslaw Jobczyk completes his hat trick against the Soviet Union

The Poles returned to Earth the next day with a 12-0 loss to Czechoslovakia and were eventually relegated to the B Pool at the end of the tournament, making their shocking defeat of the Soviets just that much more remarkable.

Poland played it's first international game back in 1926 and played in its first Olympics in 1928 and competed in 13 of the next 15 Olympics up through 1992, but has failed to qualify since then.

Polish goaltender Andrzej Tkacz tries to fend off Valeri Kharlamov in the 1972 Winter Olympics

Their first World Championship participation came in 1930 and a good run of form saw them finish with a series of fifth place finishes in the first half of the 1970's, but since 1977 they have generally competed in Pool B, now called Division 1, having earned five promotions to the Top Division, but never managing to stay up following their promotion. Conversely, they have never been relegated to Division 2, one of only eight countries that can make that claim.

After their best period of competitiveness from the 1950's to the 1970's, they have been passed over by several countries, especially with the breakup of the Soviet Union resulting in a number of newer, competitive countries claiming places in the Top Division that would have been within Poland's reach before.

In recent times, Poland has seen a two born and raised native sons compete in the NHL, beginning with Mariusz Czerkawski, who played in 12 NHL seasons with Boston, Edmonton, the Islanders, Canadiens and Maple Leafs beginning in 1993. Czerkawski played in 745 games, scoring 435 points.

Joining him three years later was the rugged Krzysztof Oliwa, who skated in 410 games for New Jersey, which included winning a Stanley Cup in 2000, Columbus, Pittsburgh, the Rangers, Bruins and Flames, scoring 45 points and accumulating 1,447 penalty minutes over the course of nine seasons.

There have been other Polish-born players in the NHL, such as goaltender Peter Sidorkiewicz and Wojtek Wolski, but they emigrated to Canada as youth and did not play in Poland prior to making it in the NHL.

Today's featured jersey is a Nike 1998 Poland National Team Mariusz Cerkawski jersey as worn in the 1998 World Championships Pool B.

Czerkawski was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1991 after playing in Poland. From there he played three seasons in Sweden before making a late season debut with the Bruins. A right wing, Czerkawski was probably best remembered for his time as a New York Islander, where he played for five seasons, which included two 30 goal seasons and setting career highs with 35 points and 35 assists for 70 points in 1999-00.

Poland 1998 F
Poland 1998 B

Today's first featured video is a highlight collection of Mariusz Czerkawski.

Next, a compliation of Krzysztof Oliwa fights with perhaps even a goal thrown in for variety.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

1998-99 Cleveland Lumberjacks Jim Paek Jersey

Born on this date in 1967, Chisun Paek emigrated to Canada as an infant where his parents gave him the name "Jim" to make to make the transition to Canadian life easier for their son. As he grew up, he developed a love for hockey which eventually led to him to the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League beginning in the 1984-85 season where he played defense. His play got him noticed, as he was drafted that summer by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft.

Paek played two more seasons with the Generals, including a run to the Memorial Cup Finals where he contributed 15 points in 26 games.

Following his junior career, Paek turned pro with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League (IHL), where he raised his offensive game to new levels, with three consecutive 50 point seasons while averaging 117 penalty minutes. During his second season in Muskegon, the Lumberjacks won the 1989 Turner Cup championship.

Paek next wore the sweater of the Canadian National Team during in the 1990-91 season for 48 games and then made history as the first Korean-born player to play in the NHL when he made his debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins with three regular season games late in the same 1990-91 season followed by eight playoff games, which included Paek scoring a goal. The Penguins advanced to the finals for the first time in team history where they defeated the Minnesota North Stars in six games, giving Paek the distinction of also being the first Korean to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup, which earned his Penguins jersey a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Jim Paek Stanley Cup

Paek played 49 games in 1991-92 as well as 19 more playoff games as the Penguins went back to back as Stanley Cup champions, this time with a four game sweep over the Chicago Blackhawks with Paek contributing 4 assists.

After a full season of 77 games in in 1992-93, Paek scored an NHL career high 18 points. After 41 games the following season Paek was traded, along with Marty McSorley, to the Los Angeles Kings, where he would finish out the 1993-94 season.

The Kings then dealt Paek to the Ottawa Senators at the 1995 draft. Paek only skated for the Ottawa in 29 games to close out his NHL career with 217 games played, five goals and 29 assists for 34 points and a pair of Stanley Cups.

Paek Senators photo PaekSenators.jpg

Even though his NHL career was over, Paek was far from done with hockey. Now with the Minnesota Moose of the IHL, Paek was named team captain but later dealt to the Houston Aeros. He began the following season season with the relocated Moose, now in Manitoba, but moved to the Cleveland Lumberjacks early enough in the campaign to play in 74 games and score 28 points. After another full season with the Lumberjacks, Paek played 65 games in the 1998-99 season before being loaned to Houston in March of 1999 where he would win his second Turner Cup championship.

Paek was back in Cleveland again in 1999-00 for the full season and then continued his world tour with a move to the Nottingham Panthers of the British Ice Hockey Super League of England in 2000-01. His trek around the globe was completed with a move to the Anchorage Aces of the West Coast Hockey League before a return to Nottingham at the end of the season. He played one more season with Nottingham to close out his playing days before moving into coaching.

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Paek with the Nottingham Panthers

Today's featured jersey is a 1998-99 Bauer Cleveland Lumberjacks Jim Paek jersey, worn by Paek while with the Lumberjacks. Notice the velcro affixed to the upper left chest under the Bauer logo which indicates that Paek was either the captain or assistant captain of the Lumberjacks at some point during the season.

This style jersey is notable for it's distinctive "saw blade" striping on the arms and waist. One wonders why they chose to go with such a basic number font instead of a more playful one like the Manitoba Moose or Utah Grizzlies.

Cleveland Lumberjacks jersey
Cleveland Lumberjacks jersey

In today's video segment, Jim Paek takes on noted tough guy Rob Ray, who had the audacity to lay a hand on Mario Lemieux.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1925-26 Montreal Maroons Nels Stewart Jersey

On this date in 1926, the Montreal Maroons, behind the goaltending of Clint Benedict, shut out the Victoria Cougars 2-0 to win their first Stanley Cup championship.

The Maroons were only playing in their second ever season, having been formed in 1924 and were the team of choice for Montreal's English speaking population.

After a rough first season in which the club went 9-19-2, finishing only ahead of fellow first year team the Boston Bruins.

The addition of leading scorer Nels Stewart, whose 42 points in 36 games led the NHL in scoring, and Babe Siebert (24 points) helped transform the Maroons into a serious contender, as their record improved to 20-11-5, good for second overall in the regular season. The Maroons improved from finishing last in goal scoring their first year with 45, to placing second in the league, just one behind the Bruins and Toronto St. Patricks with 91.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Maroons, captained by Dunc Munro, defeated the third place Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 and then tied them 3-3 to win their series 6 goals to 4. They advanced to face the first place Ottawa Senators, the club that had dealt Benedict and forward Punch Broadbent to the Maroons in 1924. In a close fought series, the Maroons and Senators skated to a 1-1 tie in the opening game before Benedict shout out Ottawa in Game 2 1-0 to win the O'Brien Trophy as winners of the NHL playoffs to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Their opponents in the finals were the defending Stanley Cup champion Victoria Cougars and winners of the Western Hockey League playoffs. The best-of-five series was played entirely at the Montreal Forum.

Game 1 went the way of the Maroons, as they shut out the Cougars by a score of 3-0. Another 3-0 shutout for Montreal followed in Game 2 as the Maroons went up 2 games to none.

Victoria held off elimination by winning Game 3 with a 3-2 victory but Benedict recorded his third shutout of the series to clinch the Stanley Cup with a 2-0 blanking of the Cougars as the Maroons won the series 3 games to 1. Stewart scored six of Montreal's ten goals in the four game series.

The Stanley Cup Champion 1925-26 Montreal Maroons

The Maroons would play for 14 seasons before succumbing to the financial difficulties of the depression and competing against the Canadiens in the predominantly French Montreal after the 1937-38 season, but not before winning another Stanley Cup in 1935.

Today's featured jersey is a 1925-26 Montreal Maroons Nels Stewart jersey. During their first season the Maroons wore simple sweaters that read "Montreal" on the front, but changed to the block letter "M" with additional striping for the 1925-26 season. These sweaters would remain in use through 1928-29 when the Maroons more than doubled the number of stripes on the sleeves from the classy four to a dizzying nine as well as adding a third waist stripe.

Montreal Maroons 1925-26 jersey

Today's video is a look at the evolution of hockey in Canada and features Clint Benedict wearing the first mask worn by a goaltender in an NHL game. We're curious to know what you think of the video, with it's collection of vintage photographs but choice of modern music for the soundtrack.

Monday, April 5, 2010

1969-70 Boston Bruins Bobby Orr Jersey

On this date in 1970, Bobby Orr had an assist in the final game of the season and became the first, and still only, defenseman in NHL history to lead the league in scoring. He finished the season with 33 goals and 87 assists for 120 points in 75 games.

Up to that point in his NHL career, Bobby Orr had already made a huge impact on the NHL. In his Calder Trophy winning rookie season in 1966-67, Orr finished second in scoring for defensemen. One of his many knee injuries the following season limited him to just 46 games, yet he was named the winner of the Norris Trophy, awarded annually to the league's best defenseman. 1968-69 saw Orr return to lead all defensemen in scoring for the first time with a new career high of 64 points and captured his second Norris Trophy.

Still, no one was prepared for what lie ahead for Orr and the NHL in 1969-70.

Orr obliterated the single season scoring record for defensemen, Red Kelly's 70 points set in 1961, when he blitzed the league with 33 goals and 87 assists for 120 points. To put Orr's 120 points in perspective, the Seals Carol Vadnais was second with 44 - 76 points behind Orr.

Orr's assist total alone was enough to break the record, but with the addition of his 33 goals, Orr not only led all defensemen in points, but the entire NHL as well, outdistancing teammate and center Phil Esposito by 21 points.

In the playoffs, Orr added an additional 20 points on nine goals and 11 assists in 14 games as the Bruins would capture their first Stanley Cup in 29 years, finished off with Orr's overtime goal in Game 4 of their sweep of the St. Louis Blues, captured in this iconic photograph of Orr celebrating the series clinching goal while flying through the air like a superhero.

Bobby Orr 1970

Following the season Orr was named the recipient of the Art Ross Trophy, the Hart Trophy, his now annual Norris Trophy and the Conn Smythe Trophy as well as leading the league in plus/minus with a +54 rating.

In 1999, The Hockey News asked experts to select the most important regular season performance in NHL history and Orr's 1969-70 season was ranked #1, even ahead of Wayne Gretzky's three separate 200+ point seasons, including the one in which he scored a record 92 goals, because "Orr changed the way the game was played. He expanded the job description of all defensemen who followed. No longer was it accepted for defensemen to join the offense, it was expected of them if teams were to have success."

The following season Orr would set the all-time record for points in a season by a defenseman, which still stands today, with 139 points and continues to hold five of the top eight highest scoring seasons for defensmen in NHL history.

He would conclude is career with two Stanley Cups, two Conn Smythe Trophies, the Calder Trophy, eight consecutive Norris Trophies, two Art Ross Trophies, still the only defenseman to ever win the scoring title, three Hart Trophies and the Pearson Award. He was also named the MVP of the 1976 Canada Cup, the winner of the Lester Patrick Trophy and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979 as well as having his number 4 retired by the Bruins that same year.


Today's featured jersey is a 1969-70 Boston Bruins Bobby Orr jersey as worn while flying through the air after scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal in 1970.

When purchasing a Bobby Orr Bruins jersey, please be aware that Orr very rarely wore his name on the back of any Boston Bruins jersey during his entire career, with the only times being for national TV games, as was the practice back then. Quite often Orr jerseys are sold on ebay or other online stores with Orr's name incorrectly on the back of the jersey, as if his iconic #4 wasn't enough.

Even during Orr's first season in Chicago no names were used on the back, making just the final six games of his career with the Black Hawks in 1978-79, a sad and unfortunate end to a great career and not exactly worthy of recreating for your collection, and the 1976 Canada Cup the few times Orr regularly wore his name on the back of a jersey outside of the NHL All-Star Game.

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Today's video selection is the Legends of Hockey profile of Bobby Orr.


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