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Saturday, October 29, 2011

1983-84 Bemidji State Beavers Joel Otto Jersey

Born on this date in 1961, Joel Otto, attended Bemidji State University beginning with the 1981-82 season. He scored 52 points in 31 games as a freshman and followed that up with a 33 goal, 61 point season in 1982-83. After winning their, and Otto's third consecutive Northern Collegiate Hockey Association regular season championship in 1983-84 season, during which Otto increased his point totals yet again with a 75 point season, the Beavers advanced to the NCAA Division II championship series, where they swept Merrimack in a best-of-three series by scores of 6-3 and 8-1.

Otto Beavers
Otto (#24) as a member of the Beavers

Having gone undrafted by the NHL, Otto was signed by the Calgary Flames organization who assigned him to their minor league affiliate, the Moncton Golden Flames of the AHL for the 1984-85 season. There, Otto easily adapted to the next level of play, scoring 27 goals and 63 points in 56 games, which earned him a callup to the Calgary Flames for the final 17 games of the season as well as three playoff games. Following the elimination of Calgary from the playoffs, Otto was called upon to make his international debut for the United States at the 1985 World Championships, playing in 86 games that season, nearly three times as many as he had during his final year of college the year before.

In the NHL to stay, Otto played in 79 games with the Flames during 1985-86, racking up 59 points thanks in part to a career high 25 goals. The Flames once again qualified for the playoffs, where they went on a run all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, giving Otto and the Flames 22 games of valuable playoff experience.

Otto Flames

Otto, at 6' 4", was a strong two-way player, able to score, win faceoffs as well as play in a checking role to contain the Flames strongest opponents, often drawing duty neutralizing the Edmonton Oilers' Mark Messier. Otto posted his second consecutive 50 point season in 1986-87, and later that summer Otto once more suited up for the United States in the 1987 Canada Cup.

Otto Flames
Otto battling Steve Smith of the Oilers

He would extend his streak of 50 point seasons to four over the next two campaigns, which included his second 20 goal season with 23 in 1988-89. The Flames would earn the President's Trophy for having the league's best regular season record with 117 points from a 54-17-9 record.

The Flames would survive a seven game series against the Vancouver Canucks when Otto scored in overtime of Game 7. The Flames would then sweep the Los Angeles Kings and reach the finals by eliminating the Chicago Blackhawks in five. A rematch of the 1986 finals against the Montreal Canadiens awaited them. The teams split the first two games in Calgary and did the same in Montreal. Back in Calgary, the Flames won 3-2 and captured the only Stanley Cup in franchise history with a 4-2 win in Game 6 back in Montreal. During the playoffs, Otto scored 19 points in 22 games, fourth on the club.

1988-89 Calgary Flames
The 1989 Stanley Cup Champion Calgary Flames

For 1989-90, an early playoff exit allowed Otto to once again participate in the World Championships for the United States for a second time. Prior to the 1991-92 season, he was invited to join the Americans for the 1991 Canada Cup, where he scored four goals in eight games.

After four more seasons in Calgary, which included his fifth 50 point season in 1992-93, the rebuilding Flames allowed Otto to leave as a free agent, and he subsequently signed with the Philadelphia Flyers after a dozen seasons with Calgary.

Otto Flames

His first season with Philadelphia in 1995-96 was his best offensively, as he scored 41 points. Prior to the start of the following season, Otto was a member of Team USA at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, where the Americans defeated Canada in a best-of-three final to achieve their finest result since the 1980 Olympics.

Otto USA 1996
Otto (right) and Keith Tkachuk with the 1996 World Cup trophy

Back with the Flyers for the 1996-97 season, they rolled through the playoffs, reaching the finals with a 12-3 record, only to fall to the Detroit Red Wings.

Otto Flyers

The 1997-98 season would be the last for Otto in the NHL, but not without once again wearing the jersey of the United States, as the league took a break from it's regular season schedule to allow it's star players to compete in the 1998 Olympics in Japan.

Otto retired at the conclusion of the 1997-98 season with 943 games played, 195 goals and 313 assists for 508 points and 1,934 penalty minutes and a reputation as a talented two-way player and leader.

Today's featured jersey is a 1983-84 Bemidji State Beavers Joel Otto jersey. The Beavers hockey program dates back to 1946 and won seven NAIA national championships between 1968 and 1980. They then moved to the NCHA and won five NCAA Division II and one Division III national titles between 1984 and 1997.

Otto number retirement
Otto's #24 being retired by Bemidji State

In 1999, the Beavers moved into Division I and qualified for the NCAA Division I tournament for the first time in 2005 and once again in 2006.

2009 would see Bemidji State return to the NCAA's, which began with an upset of #2 ranked Notre Dame. They then won their regional with a 4-1 win over Cornell to advance to their first ever Frozen Four, where their Cinderella story came to an end with a 4-1 loss to the Miami RedHawks.

The next chapter in BSU hockey came in 2010 when they were accepted as members of the WCHA, thanks in part to their new arena, the 4,700 seat Bemidji Regional Events Center.

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To purchase your own retro Bemidji State Beavers jersey, please visit our friends at VintageMinnesotaHockey.com.

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1988-89 Calgary Flames Joel Otto jersey as worn during the season Otto won the only Stanley Cup of his career. The Flames jersey style remained unchanged in 1980 when the team relocated from Atlanta, aside from the necessary logo change from a flaming "A" to a "C". It would remain in use through the 1993-94 season.

Calgary Flames 89-90 jersey
Calgary Flames 89-90 jersey

Friday, October 28, 2011

1993-94 New York Rangers Mike Richter Jersey

After playing for the United States at the 1985 World Junior Tournament, Mike Richter was drafted 28th overall by the New York Rangers before he began his college career at the University of Wisconsin for the 1985-86 season, after which he was named the WCHA Rookie of the Year.

Richter Wisconsin

That same season his international experience grew with appearances at both the World Juniors and the World Championships. He returned to Wisconsin for another season in 1986-87 which was followed up with another trip to the World Championships.

His 1987-88 season began as a member of the United States National Team in preparation for the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. At the conclusion of the games, Richter joined the Colorado Rangers of the IHL for the remainder of the season, as well as all of the following 1988-89 season, during which the name of the club was changed to the Denver Rangers.

He made his NHL debut on October 19th, 1989 as a member of the New York Rangers. He made 23 appearances for the blueshirts as well as seeing action in 13 games for the Flint Spirits of the IHL.

He spent the entire 1990-91 season in New York, splitting time with his goaltending partner John Vanbiesbrouck, going 21-13-7. Prior to the start of the next NHL season, Richter was the number one goaltender for the United States team at the 1991 Canada Cup tournament. He again divided the playing time down the middle with Vanbiesbrouck for the 1991-92 Rangers, who captured the President's Trophy for having the league's best record.

Richter and Beezer
Richter and goaltending partner John Vanbiesbrouck

The 1992-93 season for the Rangers was one of disappointment, as they failed to qualify for the playoffs. Richter also suffered an injury which limited him to 38 games and saw him return to the minors when he spent 5 games with the Binghamton Rangers of the AHL on a rehab assignment. With the Rangers out of the playoffs, Richter was able to return to the World Championships for the first time in six years for the United States.

Prior to the 1993-94 season, the NHL expanded by adding two clubs, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Florida Panthers. As part of the rules of the expansion draft, existing clubs could only protect one goaltender, and the Rangers elected to keep Richter, as Vanbiesbrouck would be traded away.

Now the clear number one goaltender, Richter's games played shot up from a previous high of 45 to 68, which allowed him to set a career best record of 42-12-6. Despite not having any player in the top 20 in scoring, and in fact were led in scoring by a defenseman, Sergei Zubov, the Rangers shot back up the standings to once more claim the President's Trophy with 112 points, a 33 point improvement over the previous year. During the postseason, the Rangers swept the New York Islanders in four, eliminated the Washington Capitals in five and survived a dramatic seven game series over the New Jersey Devils before taking a 3 games to 1 lead over the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks came back to force a Game 7, which the Rangers won by a score of 3-2 to win a memorable Stanley Cup, the Rangers first since 1940.

Richter Stanley Cup

If that weren't enough, Richter was also named to the second NHL All-Star Game of his career that season and was named the game's MVP on home ice in Madison Square Garden.

Richter ASG MVP

After the strike-shortended 1994-95 season, groin problems caused Richter to miss 23 games over two separate occasions during the 1995-96 season, which cut his games played back to 41. Richter showed he was fully healed prior to the 1996-97 campaign by leading the United States to it's greatest hockey triumph since 1980 as the US won the 1996 World Cup of Hockey in a hard fought three game final over Canada. Richter's outstanding play earned him the tournament MVP award to go with his gold medal.

Richter 1996 WCOH

He saw action in 61 games that season and won 33 of them, one of two seasons with 30 wins or more for his career. His workload with the Rangers reached an all-time high when he took to the ice 72 times in 1997-98. During that season, the NHL took a break from it's schedule for the first time ever, which allowed Richter and the other stars of the NHL to participate in the Olympics for the first time ever. As if his workload wasn't enough with the Rangers, Richter now travelled to Japan and played an additional four games for the United States.

For the 1998-99 season, he played in 68 games, followed by 61 the following season. On January 8, 2001, Richter set the all-time Rangers record for games played with 598, and ten days later became the winningest goaltender in franchise history with his 267th win following a 2-1 overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Richter Mask

During the 2001-02 season, Richter again led the Rangers goalies in games played with 55 and totaled 24 wins, his seventh season with 20 or more wins. He also made his final international appearance for the United States, earning a silver medal on home ice at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Richter 2002 SLC

He played in 13 games of the 2002-03 season, which included his becoming the first Ranger goaltender to reach 300 wins on this date in 2002 when Petr Nedved scored at 2:20 of overtime in a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. His career came to a premature end when he suffered a skull fracture and concussion, which necessitated his retirement.

"I was hoping to get it earlier in my career. A couple of injuries the last few years and not as many wins as we wanted was a disappointment. But I'm glad I've been able to stay with this organization long enough to set it with one team. It's really a temporary thing," Richter said. "It's something you'll dwell on a little bit more after your career is done. There has been a lot of great teams and a lot of great players that I have been associated with. For me, it's a great thing we got 300, but nothing is more important to me than 301."

He did get win #301, as his final career totals stand at 301 wins and 24 shutouts in 666 games, a Stanley Cup, a World Cup and an Olympic Silver Medal. He still holds the Rangers goaltending records for games played, wins, single season appearances and wins.

Following his career, his #35 jersey was retired by the Rangers in 2004 and he was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.

Richter Banner

Today's featured jersey is a 1993-94 New York Rangers Mike Richter jersey as worn during that magic season when Richter was the MVP of the NHL All-Star Game and went on to win the Stanley Cup, ending the Rangers 54 year wait. This particular jersey has the 1994 NHL All-Star Game patch on the right shoulder, the customary position for additional patches on Rangers jerseys, as the diagonal cresting fills the customary spot on the upper right chest where most teams wear extra patches.

This year is naturally more closely associated with the Stanley Cup championship, and for the finals, the All-Star Game patch was replaced by the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals patch, the smallest version of the finals patch ever worn in deference to it's location on the shoulder of the Rangers jersey.

This style Rangers jersey can be traced back to the club's origins in 1926, although there has been some evolution in fonts, as well as a couple of ill-fated attempts to adopt a new style, the blue jersey with the team name diagonally across the front has been in use now for all but three of the club's 86 years.

New York Rangers 93-94 jersey
New York Rangers 93-94 jersey

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1996 Team USA Mike Richter jersey as worn in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey as Richter was named the tournament MVP as the Americans won the gold medal. This short-lived "waving flag" style is very sought after by collectors and was only sold at retail in the home white version, making the blue ones very desirable, as they were only produced for use by the team itself, obviously making for an extremely limited supply.

Team USA 1996 jersey

Today's video segment is an excellent tribute to Mike Richter.

Next, is Richter in a commercial for ESPN.

Here, Richter becomes the all-time Rangers leader in wins following a dramatic overtime goal by Brian Leetch.

Finally, another commercial featuring Richter, this one for Wendy's hamburgers.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

1944-45 Toronto Maple Leafs Frank McCool Jersey

Frank McCool, born on this date in 1918, played senior hockey in his hometown of Calgary in the late 1930's before enrolling at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he would play for three seasons starting with the 1939-40 season. He would then enroll in the Canadian Army. While in the military, he continued to compete on the ice with the Calgary Currie Army team.

Duty called McCool to serve in World War II, causing him to miss a chance to play in the 1943-44 season. Another player also away from the ice during the war was Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Turk Broda. Broda had been entrenched in the Maple Leafs goal for the past seven seasons, but his absence left the Maple Leafs in need of a replacement. For the 1943-44 season Toronto had turned to Paul Bibeault, who was on loan from the Montreal Canadiens, and Benny Grant, who had not been in the NHL for ten years, to split the time in goal.

Montreal recalled Bibeault for 1944-45 and the 35-year-old Grant now retired, Toronto turned to McCool, who had been discharged from the Army due to his chronic stomach ulcers, hardly the condition suited for the high pressure world of NHL hockey. McCool though, performed brilliantly.

McCool Maple Leafs

He played every minute of every one of the Maple Leafs' 50 games that season and led the league in shutouts with four, despite sipping milk between periods in an effort to calm his stomach condition. His effort was recognized when he was named the 1945 recipient of the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year.

McCool Calder
McCool admires his Calder Trophy

He continued his stellar play in the postseason, shutting out Montreal in the opening game on his way to eliminating the Canadiens in six games, including a gutsy effort in Game 3 when he took an Elmer Lach shot to the forehead one minute into the game. Bleeding profusely, he was led off the ice and emerged ten minutes later, bandaged and ready to play the rest of the game.

He then really caught fire in the finals against the Detroit Red Wings, posting a record three consecutive shutout to open the series, which included taking a break midway through period two of Game 2 to calm his stomach. While Detroit fought back to tie the series at 3-3, thanks to shutting out Toronto 2-0 and 1-0 in games 5 and 6, McCool capped off his dream season by holding the Red Wings at bay 2-1 in Game 7 to capture the Stanley Cup in his rookie season. It was the first time in NHL history that a road team had won a Game 7 of the cup finals.

1944-45 Toronto Maple Leafs
The 1945 Stanley Cup Champion Toronto Maple Leafs

He did not play at the start of the 1945-46 season due to a contract dispute with the Maple Leafs. The situation was settled 14 games into the season and McCool returned to the nets, stomach ulcers and all. The 3-9-1 Leafs played 10-9-3 with McCool back in goal, but with 15 games remaining in the season Broda returned from his deployment in January of 1946 and reclaimed his position in the crease for the Maple Leafs.

Rather than seek a job with another team, either in the NHL or in a lower level of play, his stomach ulcers forced McCool to call it a career after just two seasons, yet in possession of a Calder Trophy, a Stanley Cup, the NHL record for most consecutive shutouts in the playoffs and the Maple Leafs team record for most postseason shutouts. Additionally, he became the first goaltender in NHL history to record a point when he was credited with an assist! Quite a resume for a player whose career lasted but a season and a half!

McCool Maple Leafs

It would take another 26 years for a rookie goaltender to win the Stanley Cup (Ken Dryden in 1971) and his mark of just 9 goals allowed during the finals would stand until 2011 when it was eclipsed by Tim Thomas, who only allowed 8

Today's featured jersey is a 1944-45 Toronto Maple Leafs Frank McCool jersey. This style Maple Leafs jersey was first adopted in 1938 when this style 35 point leaf crest replaced the previous version. This style jersey would remain in use through 1957-58, a run of 20 seasons.

This particular game worn jersey sold at auction in 2006 for $15,617.21, one of the few jerseys McCool would wear during his brief NHL career.

Toronto Maple Leafs 44-45 jersey
Toronto Maple Leafs 44-45 jersey

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

1955-56 Montreal Canadiens Doug Harvey Jersey

The story of Doug Harvey begins in 1945-46 when he began to play for the Royal Montreal Hockey Club of the Quebec Senior Hockey League. During his second season with the club, he helped the Montreal Royals capture the prestigious Allan Cup as senior champions of Canada.

He joined the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League for the 1947-48 season, and after 24 games the defenseman then made his NHL debut with his hometown Montreal Canadiens for the remaining 35 games of the season.

Harvey Rookie Card

Harvey, playing in an era where defenseman did not rush up the ice with the puck, never put up the same kind of offensive numbers seen in today's game in the post-Bobby Orr era. He was however, a key factor in the Canadiens offensive attack of the day, as he utilized his speed and passing ability to help make Montreal into a championship squad and earn him the recognition as the NHL's first offensive defenseman, paving the way for the likes of Orr.

Another way Harvey changed the game was by controlling the tempo of the action, either by making a rush up the ice or a quick pass to speed up the Montreal transition to offense, or by holding onto the puck and slowing the tempo of the game to slow down an opponent and give his teammates a chance to catch their breath. Harvey, Eddie Shore and Orr are widely regarded as the three men who had the greatest impact on the position of defense over the history of the NHL.

Harvey Canadiens

During Harvey's fourth NHL season of 1950-51, he would make his first of ten consecutive trips to the Stanley Cup finals. The 1951-52 season would see Harvey gain recognition as one of the game's best, as he would make his first of 11 straight NHL All-Star Game appearances.

The 1952-53 season saw Harvey's name engraved on the Stanley Cup for the first time following a 4 games to 1 defeat of the Boston Bruins.

A new trophy was introduced to the NHL for the 1953-54 season, the Norris Trophy, which would be awarded to the league's top defensive player. Harvey would become the second recipient of the award in 1955 and make it virtually his own, as he would win it for seven of the next eight seasons, including 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1958 thanks to his stellar defensive skills in addition to his offensive contributions, which made him a complete player unlike any other defenseman in the previous history of the league.

Harvey Canadiens

1955-56 would also see the beginning of not only another streak, but a dynasty, as the Canadiens would capture their first of a record five consecutive Stanley Cups from 1956 to 1960, giving Harvey a career total of six. During this streak of consecutive All-Star Game appearances, Norris Trophies and championships, Harvey would set a personal best in 1956-57 when he would set a personal high with the only 50 point season of his career from 6 goals and 44 assists. Recall, this was an era when the NHL schedule was shorter, at just 70 games.

With Harvey quarterbacking the deadly Canadiens powerplay, they would often score twice on a single penalty, as players were required to serve their entire two minutes as per the rules of the day, which were finally amended in 1956 to allow the penalized player to return to the ice once a goal was scored in response to the Canadians domination.

After teammate Tom Johnson won the Norris Trophy in 1959, Harvey reclaimed the award in 1960 and 1961.

After the retirement of Maurice Richard, Harvey would be named to the prestigious position as captain of the Canadiens for the 1960-61 season.

Harvey Canadiens Captain

His time with Montreal would soon come to an end however, as he was an outspoken critic of the team's ability to own players for life, which kept them not only tied to their clubs, but keep their salaries low. Also questioning how players pensions were being handled and funded, he and Detroit's Ted Lindsay went so far as to attempt to organize the players association, which infuriated the Canadiens ownership to the point that they traded their perennial Norris Trophy winning All-Star to the lowly New York Rangers, who had not even qualified for the playoffs in a six team league for 8 of the last 11 seasons.

Harvey responded with winning his third consecutive Norris Trophy during his first season with the Rangers. After one more season in New York, he split the 1963-64 season between the Rangers (14 games), St. Paul Rangers (2 games) and the Quebec Aces of the AHL (52 games).

He spent all of 1964-65 with Quebec and moved to the Baltimore Clippers, also of the AHL for the 1965-66 season. 1966-67 was divided between the Clippers and the Pittsburgh Hornets, as well as making a brief return to the NHL when he appeared in two games with the Detroit Red Wings.

With the NHL doubling in size for the 1967-68 season by adding an additional six clubs, there were plenty of opportunities created, one of which was for Harvey, as the St. Louis Blues came calling for the playoffs after Harvey had been a player/coach during the regular season with the Kansas City Blues of the Central League. Harvey would see action in 8 of the Blues 12 playoff games, as they were the West Division's representatives in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Harvey would return to the Blues for the 1968-69 regular season at the age of 44, playing in the final 70 games of his long and illustrious NHL career.

Harvey Blues

His final NHL totals were 1,113 games, 88 goals and 452 assists for 540 points. In addition, he would appear in 137 playoff games, scoring 8 goals and 64 assists for 72 points on his way to six Stanley Cups and seven Norris Trophies, which still remains second all time after Orr's eight.

He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1973 and became the first defenseman to ever have his number retired by the Montreal Canadiens on this date in 1985 when his #2 was lifted to the rafters.

Harvey Number Retirement

In 1998, The Hockey News ranked Harvey as the #6 player on their list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players. In 2000, he was honored by the Government of Canada by having his picture on a postage stamp.

Today's featured jersey is a 1955-56 Montreal Canadiens Doug Harvey jersey. Harvey was an NHL All-Star, Norris Trophy winner and Stanley champion that season.

The Canadiens would first adopt a red sweater with a blue band as far back as 1912-13 in order to differentiate their barberpole style jersey from that of the Ottawa Senators, five years before the formation of the NHL.

They would adopt the "CH" logo in 1916 and the jersey would remain essentially unchanged ever since.

Montreal Canadiens 55-56 jersey

Our video selection today is an excellent biography of Harvey with great video footage of him in action.

Next, a TV commercial where Doug and his son Doug Jr. battle it out for the household table hockey championship. Man, what we would give to be able to buy one of those today for $5!

Finally, a recap of the 1960 Stanely Cup Finals, Harvey's sixth and final championship.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2001-02 New Jersey Devils Ken Daneyko Jersey

Nicknamed "Mr. Devil", Ken Daneyko was drafted in the first round 18th overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft after a season and a half playing defense for the Spokane Flyers and a half a season with the Seattle Breakers, both of the Western Hockey League. After being drafted, Daneyko returned to the Breakers for one more season during which he scored 17 goals and 60 points in 69 games, a feat he would never come remotely close to equalling.

He made the Devils club out of training camp only to crack a bone in his leg early in the season, but not until after he registered his first NHL goal. After missing 40 games he played the remainder of his season with the Kamloops Junior Oilers back in the WHL.

His 1984-85 season was spent with the Maine Mariners of the American Hockey League, where he proved fully healed by playing in all 80 of the Mariners games as well as playing a single game with the Devils.

After dividing the 1985-86 season between Maine (21 games) and New Jersey (44 games), Daneyko would become a Devils stalwart for the next 17 seasons, never again playing another game in the minors.

It would not be easy going at first, as the Devils would finish dead last in the NHL in 1986-87 as Daneyko would play 79 of the Devils 80 games and rack up 183 penalty minutes thanks to his rugged and self-sacrificing style.

Danyeko Scars

The following season was one of improvement for New Jersey as they finished with 18 points higher in the standings to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since moving from Colorado six years previously. The Devils went on a run, making it to the third round, so after playing in all 80 regular season games, which included topping 200 penalty minutes for the first time, Daneyko totaled and even 100 games played for the season, which would prove to be good training for what lie ahead for the Devils.

Danyeko Red Green

Over the course of the next six seasons Daneyko would play in all but 12 of a possible 488 games which included scoring a career high 6 goals during the 1989-90 season. His solid defensive play and willingness to block shots, as evidenced by his old-school hockey smile lacking any front teeth, made him a favorite with the fans in New Jersey. From 1987 to 1993, Daneyko would top 215 penalty minutes five times in six seasons.

Danyeko No Teeth

At the conclusion of the 1993-94 season, the Devils made another deep playoff run, getting into round three again, which strengthened their resolve for the next season. The next season would have to wait however, as a labor dispute delayed the start of competition until January, cutting the season down to 48 games. After missing 23 of the 48 games, Daneyko was back in time for the playoffs however, as the Devils put it all together and captured the first Stanley Cup in team history by sweeping the Detroit Red Wings in four straight.

Daneyko was back to his old self the next two seasons, totaling 80 and 77 games. After going goal-less in 1997-98 because of being limited to a half a season, he rebounded with a full season of 82 games and a pair of goals. It was at this point in his career that he had managed 34 goals in 16 seasons, but began a goal scoring drought in February of 1999 that would eventually stretch to record proportions.

Despite not scoring in 78 games of the 1999-00 season, Daneyko certainly had no regrets, as goal scoring was not his job and the joy of lifting his second Stanley Cup most certainly offset any disappointment of not scoring during the regular season. Daneyko also was named the recipient of the Masterton Trophy in 2000 in recognition of his perseverance in returning to hockey after overcoming his personal issues with alcohol.

Danyeko Masterton

After a second season without lighting the lamp, the Devils returned to the finals, only to fall in seven games to the Colorado Avalanche. The 2001-02 season also passed by with no goals, extending the drought to three seasons plus, which gave Daneyko the record with his 246th consecutive regular season game to surpass Rich Pilon as the record holder.

Entering the 2002-03 season, Daneyko's 20th, people wondered if he would ever score again before calling it a career. The streak finally ended on this date in 2002 when Daneyko scored from the point with a slap shot against Martin Biron at 17:07 of the first period on a delayed penalty during a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres, ending his drought at 255 games, which still stands as the record today.

"You know we're hurting for goals when we ask Daneyko to step up!" John Madden said in the dressing room following the game.

"I've been scoring al lot on Marty (Brodeur) of late in practice," Daneyko said. "I said, 'Jeez, I wish I could do that in a game.' Fortunately, tonight the blind squirrel found an acorn."

Daneyko found the net once again before the end of the season to bring his career goal total up to 36.

That season the Devils again qualified for the postseason, the 14th time in 16 seasons and Daneyko played in the Devils first dozen games, but was left out of the lineup going forward. But when coach Pat Burns needed a spark, Daneyko was back on the ice for the critical Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, which the Devils won by a score of 3-0, ending his career on a high note that most players can only dream of, capped off by Burns putting him on the ice for the final shift of the game. He was only one of five players who were on the Devils for all three Stanley Cup championships.

Danyeko Cup

It must be noted however, while Daneyko's goal-less record officially stands at 255 regular season games, he did score during the 2000 playoffs after his first scoreless season, meaning his actual longest drought was more in the neighborhood of 150 actual games, but that's not what goes into the record books. Still, three Stanley Cup championships will make one forget about any number of dubious records.

Having spent his entire career with New Jersey, Daneyko was rewarded with the honor of being only the second player in team history to have his number retired which occurred on March 24, 2006.

Danyeko Number Retirement

He (and his new teeth!) remain with the Devils organization as part of their broadcast team.

Danyeko Teeth

Aside from his 36 NHL goals, his NHL totals are 1,283 games (the Devils all-time leader), 142 assists and 178 points and 2,519 penalty minutes, the vast majority accumulated in the first half of his career, as he never reached 100 minutes during his final seven seasons.

Today's featured jersey is a 2001-02 New Jersey Devils Ken Daneyko jersey as worn when he ended his NHL record regular season goal scoring drought. The Devils first adopted this style red and black jersey for the 1992-93 season after wearing their original red and green jerseys for their first ten seasons.

Following the change to their current red and black sweaters, now 20 years ago, the Devils have captured three Stanley Cups, resisted all temptation to introduce a third jersey, have not altered their name and number font even once and insisted they maintain their look during the change to the new Reebok Edge jerseys in what is becoming a true league classic along the lines of timeless sweaters worn by the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings.

New Jersey Devils 02-03 jersey
New Jersey Devils 02-03 jersey

Today's video section begins with proof that Daneyko was capable of putting the puck in the net despite his record, as he scores during Gam3 1 of the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals.

This next video is Daneyko's first shift in Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, the last game of his career.

We are really, really overdue for some Rick Jeanneret and it's time to rectify that with a good one between Daneyko and Rob Ray, who was very fortunate to have been wearing a helmet.

The softer side of Ken Daneyko, as he competes on the Canadian reality show "Battle of the Blades".

Monday, October 24, 2011

1903 Ottawa Senators Bouse Hutton Jersey

One of history's most accomplished multi-sport talents, John "Bouse" Hutton, was born on this date in 1877. His hockey career began in 1899 with two appearances for the Ottawa Hockey Club, then members of the Canadian Amateur Hockey League.

Bouse Hutton
John "Bouse" Hutton

Hutton, a goaltender, then took the reigns by playing in 7 of the team's 8 games in 1900, completing the season with a 2.71 goals against average which was second best in the CAHL. He would go undefeated in 1901 with a 7-0-1 record to carry Ottawa to the league championship while lowering his goals against average to 2.50 to lead the league.

1901 Ottawa Senators
The 1901 Ottawa Hockey Club

After the conclusion of the hockey season, Hutton also played in goal for the Ottawa Capitals for the summer lacrosse season and won the inaugural Minto Cup as the top senior team in Canada.

Bouse Hutton Capitals
A Bouse Hutton lacrosse card

He would again tie for the best goals against average in 1902 at 1.70, which included a pair of shutouts while once again playing in all 8 games. Prior to the start of the winter hockey season, Hutton would win another championship, only this one as a fullback for the Ottawa Rough Riders of Canadian football.

Ottawa would return to the top spot in the standings in 1903 as Hutton again contributed a pair of shutouts.

At the conclusion of the regular season, Ottawa defeated the Montreal Victorias in a two-game total goals series. After a 1-1 tie in the opening game, Ottawa cruised to the title with a 8-0 romp in game two to be awarded the Stanley Cup as league champions. Four days later they defended the cup by defeating the Rat Portage Thistles 6-2 and 4-2 in a best-of-three.

1903 Ottawa Senators Hockey Club
The 1903 holders of the Stanley Cup - The Ottawa Silver Seven

Prior to the start of the 1904 season, Ottawa, now known as "The Silver Seven" after the players were each awarded a silver nugget for winning the Stanley Cup, defended their trophy against a challenge from the Winnipeg Rowing Club. They successfully turned back the visitors in their best-0f-three series by winning the first game 9-1 and, after dropping the second 6-2, retained the cup following their 2-0 win as Hutton added another shutout to his record.
As the landscape of the hockey world was an unsettled one during it's formative years, Hutton won all four of Ottawa's games in the CAHL before the team withdrew from the league at mid-season.

Having retained possession of the cup despite leaving the CAHL, Ottawa would easily turn back the challenge of the Toronto Marlboros 6-3 and 11-2 in their best-of-three series in late February. A week later a two-game total goal series was arranged against the Montreal Wanderers. Regulation time of the first game ended 5-5, Montreal refused to play an overtime, demanding the game be considered a no-contest and requested the series start over as a best-of-three. When that proposal was turned down, Montreal abandoned their challenge and Ottawa not only retained the cup, but were also named champions of the Federal Amateur Hockey League (the league the Wanderers were members of and Ottawa was scheduled to join the following season after leaving the CAHL) despite never having played a game in the league at the time!

The Silver Seven had one more challenge to face that season, this from the Brandon Wheat Cities club, whom Ottawa would easily handle 6-3 and 9-3. Hutton's record in Ottawa's cup challenge games was 6-1-1 with a 2.90 goals against.

Following the 1904 hockey season Hutton retired from hockey to focus on lacrosse where he won a second Minto Cup with the Capitals. Following their championship, the Capitals toured England and won 23 out of 24 games.

Having been retired from hockey for five years, Huton returned to the ice in 1909 with a new club named the Ottawa Senators in the same FAHL as his original team, the Ottawa Silver Seven, who had by then moved onto yet another league. In five games, Hutton finished with a record of 3-2 with one shutout to end his career for good.

Hutton was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962.

Today's featured jersey is a 1903 Ottawa Silver Seven Bouse Hutton jersey with the Senators trademark black, red and white horizontal "barberpole" stripes. This style of jersey was first adopted in 1903, and except for one season with vertical stripes in 1910-11, remained in use through the original Senators final season in Ottawa of 1933-34, with the addition of the letter "O" crest from 1929-30 on.

Ottawa Senators 1903 jersey

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reader Submission - 2010-11 Boston Bruins Chris Kelly Jersey

Out latest reader submission comes from Justin Walden, a fan of the Boston Bruins. Here is Justin's story about his jersey:
After an entire lifetime of waiting, my Boston Bruins finally won the Cup this spring. I'm speaking for many fellow B's fans when I write that game 7 of the finals was arguably the most exciting sports moment I've ever watched. When they won, I had to celebrate with a new jersey even though I"m live the meager life of a grad student.

I selected Chris Kelly because I've been a fan of his since watching him play for the Binghamton Senators during the 2004-05 lockout. That squad had two far more hearalded centers, Jason Spezza and Antoine Vermette, but Kelly was the first to hoist the Stanley Cup. Yes, this is a garden variety Reebok that came from the NHL's website, but it celebrates an improbably run to a championship that was just thrilling to finally witness.
Boston Bruins 10-11
Boston Bruins 10-11

Thanks to Justin for taking the time to submit his jersey and share his story with us. We bet everyone would love the chance to add a "celebration jersey" to their collection at some point. As long suffering Minnesota North Stars fans, and now the Minnesota Wild, we know we would, as we've never experienced a Stanley Cup championship firsthand. It's also interesting to hear his choice of player, as we bet a large majority of Bruins jerseys were Zedeno Chara or Tim Thomas following the cup finals.

If you have a jersey in your collection that you'd like to share with us and your fellow readers, please submit your pictures and a story to go with it, no matter how brief or detailed, to spyboy1@gmail.com and we look forward to seeing your favorites!


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