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Thursday, April 5, 2012

1977-78 Colorado Rockies Doug Favell Jersey

Born on this date in 1945, goaltender Doug Favell played his junior hockey with the Niagara Falls Flyers of the Ontario Hockey Association in 1963-64 and 1964-65, teamed with future NHLer Bernie Parent. The duo led the Flyers to a Memorial Cup championship in 1965.

Favell then began his road to the NHL as part of the Boston Bruins organization, playing one game with the Minneapolis Bruins following the Flyers Memorial Cup title in 1965 in preparation for joining the Oklahoma City Blazers of the Central Hockey League in 1965-66. That same season Favell would also play a pair of games for the San Francisco Seals of the Western Hockey League.

He would spend the entire 1966-67 season back in Oklahoma City, the final season of the Original 6. Prior to the start of the next season, Favell got a break when he was selected in the 1967 Expansion Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, as the Bruins boasted a deep goaltending situation with Gerry Cheevers, Eddie Johnston and Parent all sharing time in Boston.

With teams now having their goaltenders share the suites, as opposed to having a single goaltender play ever minute of every game in the not so distant past, combined with the six new clubs joining the league that season, as many as 24 men could now find work in the NHL as a goalie, when compared to just 6 maskless goalies at the start of the decade.

Favell's partner in Philadelphia would turn out to be none other than Parent, who was also left unprotected by the Bruins for the expansion draft, and he too was selected by the Flyers. Favell saw action in 37 games, posting a 15-15-6 record as Philadelphia finished first in the Western Division among the other expansion clubs.

Favell Flyers, Favell Flyers
Favell wearing a Terry Sawchuk-style mask

Favell had a tough time the following season, being limited to just 21 games and 3 wins. The 1969-70 season was not any better, with Favell seeing time in use 15 games, winning 4.

The 1970-71 season saw Favell change the look of hockey forever, when the Flyers goaltender took to the ice on Halloween night with his protective goalie mask painted bright orange, the first painted mask in league history following Cheevers mask with stitch marks drawn on with a marker.

Favell Flyers, Favell Flyers
Favell in the NHL's first painted goalie mask, his orange Halloween night mask

That season also saw Parent traded to the Maple Leafs in February of 1971, clearing the way for Favell to take over as the number one goaltender for the Flyers, eventually playing in 44 games that season. He set a career high the following year with 54 appearances, and while that total dropped to 44 in 1972-73, he set a career high with 20 wins that season while posting his third consecutive goals against average under 3.00.

Favell Flyers, Favell Flyers
Favell in his striking new mask, as the era of bold graphics had now arrived

In an odd twist, Favell was traded to the Maple Leafs in exchange for none other than... Parent! The goaltending situation in Toronto was a crowded one, with Favell competing for time with Dunc Wilson (24 games) and former Bruin's goaltender Johnston (26), with Favell getting the most games in 32 and posting a fine 14-7-9 record.

Favell Maple Leafs, Favell Maple Leafs
Favell while with the Maple Leafs

Favell played in 39 games the following year but won just 12 followed by an injury plagued 1975-76, playing in just 3 games for Toronto and 4 for Oklahoma City.

He was then sold to the Colorado Rockies, who had just relocated from Kansas City. There, he split time with incumbent Michel Plasse for the 1976-77 season, playing in 30 games but finding it difficult to rack up any wins for the lowly Rockies.

The following season Favell took over as the Rockies top net minder, playing 47 games, the second highest of his career, accounting for 13 of the Rockies 19 wins and leading Colorado into the playoffs for the only time in Rockies history.

Favell Rockies, Favell Rockies
Favell toiling away for the Rockies, again with a bold new mask design

His fortunes changed for the 1978-79 season, and Favell only was in goal for 7 games, failing to register a win, and spent the majority of the season with the Philadelphia Firebirds of the AHL where he played in 32 games.

With expansion brining in four teams who were previously members of the WHA for 1979-80, an expansion draft was held, and Favell was selected by the Edmonton Oilers, and Favell instead chose to retire than start over with another new, young club.

Today's featured jersey is a 1977-78 Colorado Rockies Doug Favell jersey as worn during Favell's second season in Colorado when he played in 47 games as the club's main goaltender. Following the season the name was removed from the back of the jersey to prepare the jersey for possible reuse of either the jersey itself or perhaps just the nameplate.

Notice the shine on the back numbers from the plasticized, heat sealed material used for the numbers rather than the modern sewn on twill material.

The Scouts were formed in 1974-75 with blue, red and gold jerseys and moved after just two seasons to Colorado, where the state flag conveniently happened to be blue, red and gold, the design of which was incorporated into the Rockies crest.

The club wore the same jerseys for six seasons of poor play and low attendance before relocating once again, this time becoming the New Jersey Devils.

Colorado Rockies 77-78 jersey, Colorado Rockies 77-78 jersey
Colorado Rockies 77-78 jersey, Colorado Rockies 77-78 jersey

Here is an interview with Favell all about goalie masks and the rapid evolution of them in their early days and his subsequent changes in paint schemes he wore in the early days of painted masks.

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