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Friday, December 21, 2012

1975-76 Buffalo Sabres Rick Martin Jersey

Date: December 21, 1975

Location: The Buffalo Memorial Auditorium

The Teams: The second year Washington Capitals taking on the host Buffalo Sabres.

Entering the contest on this evening the visiting Capitals staggered into Buffalo with a dreadful 3-26-4 record, not having won a game since November 26th. Buffalo, on the other hand, had gotten off to a terrific start, winning 16 of their first 20, but had recently had hit a rough patch, going 1-4-1 over their previous six games.

The 16,433 fans settled into their seats as Gary Desjardins took to the Sabres crease, unaware that those seats should have been outfitted with seat belts for the thrill ride they were about to be taken on...

The Sabres got on the board first with a goal by Gilbert Perrault from Jerry Korab and Fred Stanfield just under three minutes into the game and Stanfield extended the Sabres lead to 2-0 with a goal past Ron Low in the Capitals net from Don Luce and Jacques Richard at 14:16.

Perreault Sabres, Perreault Sabres
Gilbert Pereault

With Danny Gare off serving a penalty he was assed just prior to the end of the first period, Tony White of the Capitals cut the Sabres margin to 2-1 from Bill Clement and Yvon Labre just 23 seconds into the middle period. It was the last glimmer of hope for the Capitals, as the Sabres would go streaking off into the distance soon thereafter.

Rick Martin restored the two goal margin less than two minutes later with a goal from Peter McNab and Brian Spencer at 2:15, followed by Luce from Gare and Craig Ramsay 34 seconds later.

Luce Sabres, Luce Sabres
Don Luce

Stanfield's second goal came at 10:19 from Richard prior to Curt Bennett scoring an unassisted goal for Washington at 12:17 to make the score 5-2 in favor of the Sabres, which was still a reasonable margin for the overmatched Captials.

It would not remain that way.

Stanfield Sabres, Stanfield Sabres
Fred Stanfield

Martin's 20th goal of the season and second of the period was assisted by Jim Schoenfeld and Spencer with just 11 seconds remaining in the second period to send the teams to their dressing rooms with Buffalo holding a commanding 6-2 lead.

Apparently only the Sabres answered the bell for the third period, as Ramsay made it 7 for the Sabres at 56 seconds from Gare and Luce. The rout was truly on when Martin completed his hat trick from Gare and Perreault at 4:47 to extend the Buffalo lead to 8-2 on what would shockingly be the first and only power play goal of the night for the Sabres.

Perreault scored next 1:19 later from Jim Lorentz and Schoenfeld at 6:06, quickly followed by Gare team leading 22nd goal of the season with an assist from Bill Hajt at 7:27, which allowed the Sabres to reach double digits at 10-2 and finally chase the beleaguered Low from the Captials net after allowing 10 goals on 36 shots.

Gare Sabres, Gare Sabres
Danny Gare

Bernie Wolfe was himself thrown to the wolves when he replaced Low as the Washington net minder, as he immediately was victimized by Luce with assists from Gare and Hajt at 8:20. Before Wolfe could recover, Martin banged home his fourth goal of the game to tie Luce for the team lead with his 22nd goal of the season assisted by Schoenfeld and Spencer at 9:38 to make it an even dozen for Buffalo.

Matin Sabres, Matin Sabres
Rick Martin would lead the Sabres attack with 4 goals and 5 points

McNab would contribute a goal to the cause at 16:32 from Martin and defenseman Paul McIntosh, which was the only point he would score in 42 games that season, tying him with goaltenders Desjardins and veteran Roger Crozier!

There was still one more goal remaining, as Stanfield completed his hat trick with 1:49 remaining in the game for Buffalo's eighth goal of the period to make the final score 14-2 in favor of the Sabres. Wolfe would end the night with 10 saves on 14 shots in 12 minutes of playing time.

Of the 14 Buffalo goals on 50 shots, 13 came at even strength and 12 of the 14 saw both possible assists awarded to allow the Sabres to set the NHL record for Most Points by One Team in One Game with 40 from 14 goals and 26 assists, which certainly had those in the press box looking for additional sheets of paper to record all the scoring plays!

Martin led Buffalo with 4 goals and an assist for 5 points, equalled by Gare's goal and 4 assists. Stanfield's hat trick and assist put him in at 4 points, along with Perreault and Luce, who each had 2 goals and 2 assists. Richard, Spencer and Schoenfeld each had 3 assists to their credit and McNab and Ramsay each had a goal and an assist, while Hajt had a pair of helpers. Korab, Lorentz and McIntosh each had single assists to round out the Sabres side of the ledger to establish the league record which had stood for 31 years since the Detroit Red Wings had 15 goals and 22 assists on January 23, 1944.

Since then, only the 1977-78 Sabres, the 1992-93 Calgary Flames (both with 37 points) and the Minnesota North Stars 39 points from 15 goals and 24 assists on November 11, 1981 have taken a serious run at the Sabres record.

Buffalo would go on to finish the season with a 46-21-13 record and tie for second for most goals scored that season with 339, an average of 4.24 per game, while the Capitals would crawl out of Buffalo having now gone winless in 12 games on their way to 25 games without a victory, a streak which would extend from November 29, 1975 to January 21, 1976. Washington would go 0-22-3 during that period. They would finish the season at 11-59-10 for 32 points, dead last in the league with 394 goals against (43 more than the Kansas City Scouts) for an average of 4.93 against per game, yet an 11 point improvement and 52 goals less than the Captials horrific debut season a year prior!

For the record, Desjardins got the win in goal for the Sabres, making 14 saves on 16 shots.

Desjardins Sabres, Desjardins Sabres
Gerry Desjardins

Today's featured jersey is a 1975-76 Buffalo Sabres Rick Martin jersey. Martin led the Sabres onslaught of the single game points record by a team while wearing this first generation Sabres jersey, as noted by the Sabres original lace-up collar style, worn from 1970-71 through 1977-78 without names on the back.

The names would arrive by league mandate in 1977-78 and their main logo would be placed on the shoulders the following season when the lace-up collar would now be replaced by a v-neck.

Martin would finish the season with 49 goals and 86 points, good for third on the team behind "French Connection" linemates Perreault and Robert and just one behind Gare for the team goal scoring lead.

Buffalo Sabres 75-76 jersey, Buffalo Sabres 75-76 jersey
Buffalo Sabres 75-76 jersey, Buffalo Sabres 75-76 jersey

Today's video feature is a tribute video to the late Rick Martin, who passed away in March of 2011.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

1940-41 Boston Bruins Frank Brimsek Jersey

One of the first great American hockey players in the NHL, Frank Brimsek of Eveleth, Minnesota first joined the Bruins following an injury to Bruins regular goaltender Tiny Thompson after having spent two seasons with the Pittsburgh Yellowjackets and the Providence Reds. whom he was playing for at the time of his call up by the Bruins.

Brimsek's first game came on December 1, 1938, a 2-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. His second game brought not only his first win, but his first shutout, a 5-0 win in Chicago against the Black Hawks on December 4th. His introduced himself to the home fans in Boston on December 6th in fine style, as he again shut out the Black Hawks, this time 2-0.

Brimsek Bruins, Brimsek Bruins
Brimsek's rookie card

Five days later the Bruins travelled to Madison Square Garden where Brimsek notched his third consecutive shutout with a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers. The 13th saw Brimsek gain a measure of revenge with a 3-2 win against Montreal at home even though his shutout streak ended at 211:54 when Montreal scored at 19:14 of the second period.

December 15th saw both clubs reconvene in Montreal, where Brimsek made an early third period goal stand as the game winner in a 1-0 blanking of the Canadiens for the second consecutive time.

The Detroit Red Wings hosted the Bruins on December 18th, where Brimsek once again held his opponent scoreless, this time by a final of 2-0 thanks to a late empty net goal.

Back at home in Boston, the rookie Brimsek continued his hot hand, extending his shutout streak to three games in a row for the second time in 16 days, with a 3-0 win over the New York Americans on this date in 1938, his sixth shutout in seven games just eight games into his NHL career!

Brimsek Bruins, Brimsek Bruins

His scoreless streak came to and end on Christmas Day at home when the Rangers scored the only goal of the game at 5:09 of the second period, 220:24 since the Canadiens scored against Brimsek back on December 13th, the same game his previous streak ended before beginning anew.

Later in the 1938-39 season, more shutouts would arrive on January 22nd against the Detroit Red Wings (5-0), consecutive blankings on February 5th over Chicago (3-0) and February 7th over the Toronto Maple Leafs (2-0) and finally reaching double-digits with his 10th shutout on March 7th, again over Detroit (3-0).

Brimsek's stunning arrival in the NHL earned him the nickname "Mr. Zero" as well as both the Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year and the Vezina Trophy as the goaltender with the lowest goals against average for the season at 1.56.

If his rookie season was not remarkable enough, Brimsek and the Bruins proceeded to eliminate the Rangers in seven games of the Semifinals, including a triple overtime Game 7, to earn the right to face Toronto in the Finals.

The Bruins won Game 1 at home 2-1, but lost the next game 3-2 in overtime. Boston responded with a 3-1 win in Toronto prior to another shutout for Mr. Zero, a 2-0 Bruins win in Game 4 at Maple Leaf Gardens. Brimsek then led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup championship with a 3-1 victory in Game 5 in Boston Garden to cap off his remarkable debut season, one he was initially scheduled to spend in Providence!

1938-39 Boston Bruins team, 1938-39 Boston Bruins team
The 1938-39 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins

Brimsek was no flash in the pan either, as he would backstop the Bruins for three more seasons, winning another Stanley Cup in 1941 and a second Vezina in 1942 as well as being named an NHL First Team All-Star in 1939 and 1942.

Brimsek Bruins, Brimsek Bruins

His career was interrupted in 1943 by World War II, as Brimsek enlisted in the United States Coast Guard, which included staying sharp by playing for the Coast Guard Cutters hockey team as well as serving aboard ship in the Pacific until 1945.

Brimsek Coast Guard, Brimsek Coast Guard
Brimsek suited up for the Coast Guard Cutters during World War II

Brimsek resumed his NHL career with the Bruins beginning with the 1945-46 season when he saw action in 34 of the Bruins 50 games.

Brimsek Bruins, Brimsek Bruins
Following Brimsek's return from World War II in 1948-49, the first season
of the Bruins now iconic spoked B logo

He would play an additional three seasons for Boston prior to his final NHL season with the Black Hawks.

Brimsek Blackhawks, Brimsek Blackhawks
Brimsek during his final season while with Chicago

In all, Brimsek would play in 514 games, winning 252, 80 of which were shutouts on his way to a career goals against average of 2.70 and appearances in both the 1947 and 1948 NHL All-Star Games. His record of 252 wins by an American stood until 1994 when surpassed by Tom Barrasso, who had the benefit of playing in an era of longer regular seasons.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966 as the first American ever inducted into the hall, and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1973. Additionally, he was ranked #67 on The Hockey News list of the 100 Greatest Players in 1997.

Today's featured jersey is a 1940-41 Boston Bruins Frank Brimsek jersey as on display at the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in Brimsek's hometown of Eveleth. Despite being identified by the hall as a 1938-39 sweater, the Bruins wore black numbers that season prior to the gold numbers arriving in 1940-41, the season of Brimsek won the second Stanley Cup of his career.

After changing from their original colors of brown and gold in 1934, the Bruins changed to having the player's numbers boldly emblazoned on the front of their sweaters in 1936-37. Sharp-eyed viewers will notice the "B" logo on the sleeves where the TV numbers would later be placed in 1958.

The numbers would remain on the front of the Bruins sweaters until 1948, when the club celebrated their 25th anniversary by introducing the spoked B logo for the first time.

Boston Bruins 38-39 Brimsek jersey, Boston Bruins 38-39 Brimsek jersey

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

1964-65 Chicago Black Hawks Bobby Hull Jersey

One of the most dynamic and prolific scorers in NHL history, Bobby Hull played his junior hockey for the St. Catharines Teepees in the Ontario Hockey Association from 1954-55 to 1956-57, a season in which he scored 33 goals in 52 games, giving a glimpse into the future as to what was to follow.

He made his NHL debut with Chicago at the age of 18 and finished second in the rookie of the year voting following his 13 goal, 47 point season, which included the first of over 600 NHL goals (and over 900 professional when his days in the WHA are taken into account).

His second season was a repeat of the first, with his goals and points edging upwards to 18 and 50. His game really took flight in 1959-60 when he more than doubled his previous goal total to 39 along with 42 assists to lead the league in both categories and capture the first Art Ross Trophy of his career with 81 points.

Hull and the Black Hawks would achieve even greater heights in 1960-61. Although Hull would relinquish the scoring title, he would still top 30 goals with 31, but his 14 points in 12 playoff games would help the Black Hawks to their first Stanley Cup championship in 23 years.

Bobby Hull 1961 Stanley Cup
Hull with the 1961 Stanley Cup

Individual honors would return to Hull's trophy case in 1961-62 when he again led the NHL in both goals and points when he became just the third player in NHL history to reach 50 goals in a single season on his way to 84 points. Hull again added 14 points in the playoffs as Chicago again reached the finals, but fell short in six games.

Bobby Hull 50 goals
Hull celebrates goal #50 (wearing #7)

After a 31 goal season in 1962-63, Hull once more led the league in goals in 1963-64 with 43 and came in second to teammate Stan Mikita in the points chase 89-87.

The 1964-65 awards ceremony had more in store for Hull, as he took home the Hart Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player as well as the only Lady Byng Trophy of his career. In the postseason, Hull led Chicago in playoff scoring with 10 goals and 17 points in 14 games as the Black Hawks took the Montreal Canadiens to the full seven games before succumbing.

He really turned on the jets beginning in 1965-66 when he led the league in goal scoring for the first of four consecutive seasons with his second 50 goal season when he netted an NHL record 54 goals as part of his league leading 97 points, which garnered Hull his third Art Ross Trophy and second Hart Trophy.

The next two seasons he again led the league in goals with 52 and then 44 before breaking his own NHL single season record with a career high 58 goals and his first 100 point season when he amassed 107 in 1968-69 as the NHL entered a new era in scoring, at which Hull was at the forefront. At the time, Hull owned four of the six 50 goal seasons in NHL history.

Limited to 61 games the following season, Hull still scored 38 goals and passed the 500 career goals mark, on the third player after Maurice Richard and Gordie Howe to reach that milestone. His final season with the Black Hawks in 1971-72 saw him surpass the 600 goal mark during yet another 50 goal season, his fifth, while only Phil Esposito had more than one to his credit with two.

It was then that the upstart World Hockey Association came calling with an offer too good to refuse, and Hull joined the Winnipeg Jets, becoming the centerpiece of the WHA and giving the league an instant shot of credibility.

Hull's jersey #9 was retired by the Black Hawks in recognition of his outstanding career on this date in 1983 in a ceremony at the legendary Chicago Stadium.

Today's featured jersey is a 1964-65 Chicago Black Hawks Bobby Hull jersey from the season Hull won both the Hart Trophy as the NHL's MVP and the Lady Byng Trophy as well as leading all playoff scorers with 17 points as the Black Hawks took the Montreal Canadiens to a Game 7.

This particular style was worn in the 1962-63 season when the Black Hawks went from five sleeve stripes down to the three white-black-white pattern of today's featured jersey. This style would remain in use for just three seasons, after which the lace-up collar would change to a v-neck collar.

Hull originally broke into the NHL wearing the #16. He would later change to #7 before adopting his familiar #9. Eventually, back in the NHL following the WHA's merger with the NHL, during the final season of his career he would join Gordie Howe on the roster of the Hartford Whalers and once more wear the #16 in deference to Howe.

Chicago Blackhawks 64-65 jersey, Chicago Blackhawks 64-65 jersey
Chicago Blackhawks 64-65 jersey, Chicago Blackhawks 64-65 jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's first video is a trip down memory lane, with a look at Munro's Bobby Hull table hockey game. Love the automatic puck dropping scoreboard with the flags. Rod hockey at it's finest. Check out the teams too, Chicago vs. Minnesota. Perfect, and a nice break from Montreal vs. Toronto.

Forgive the quality of the video taping of the TV screen on this video, but the historical nature of Hull scoring goal #600 makes it worth it.

In this next video, Hull wins the only Stanley Cup of his career in 1961.

Finally, a recent interview with Hull on the occasion of becoming a part of the Blackhawks organization once more after far too long of an absence.


Monday, December 17, 2012

1921-22 Ottawa Senators Frank "King" Clancy Jersey

After playing junior hockey in his native Ottawa, Frank "King" Clancy garnered the attention of the local professional club, the Ottawa Senators, who just happened to be the current World Champions.

After a tryout with the Senators, he was signed to a three year contract for $800 a year. When his current, amateur club, the St. Brigid's Athletic Club heard Clancy was planning to leave their team, they attempted to get him to reconsider, talking about the merits of amateurism and how money can often taint a sport and take the joy out of it for the athlete. When they could see that their star player was unconvinced, St. Brigid's make a counteroffer...

Seven dollars and fifty cents - for the entire season! They explained that was all the money they had left in their treasury and Clancy could have it all if he'd stay!

Needless to say, Clancy became a member of the Senators for the 1921-22 season and played the first game of his NHL career on this date in 1921.

Clancy Rookie Card, Clancy Rookie Card

Clancy relates the story of his first NHL game in the 1968 book "Clancy: The King's Story as Told to Brian MacFarlane";
My first game as pro! I can remember it like it was last night. We were scheduled to play in Hamilton, and they had players on their roster like Goldie Prodgers and Ken Randall and the two Mummery boys [Harry and Walter]. They were all big men, powerful men. The night before I left home for that encounter, my poor dad came down to the station in Ottawa and gave me the kind of advice that any father would give a boy going off to play his first professional game. He took me aside, told me not to worry, to do my best and a lot of other things. Then he shook my hand and wished me luck as I got on the train. 
Now we're on the train and on our way, and I thought everything was just great. Every once in a while some passenger would come down the aisle and I could see he'd recognize some of the players. Now and again one the boys would be asked for his autograph. Nobody recognized me, of course, but I was tickled pink to be among the famous Ottawa Senators. 
We stayed at the Royal Connaught Hotel in Hamilton and that was great too. The next morning going into breakfast, I learned something else. At home my breakfast usually meant a plate of porridge, a piece of toast and maybe a glass of milk. But these guys! They polished off everything! Double orders of bacon and eggs, flapjacks, sausages, toast, rolls, and gallons of milk. I'd never seen fellows eat like that in all my life! It was a revelation to see a bunch of hungry hockey players tie on the feedbag. 
That night we headed out to the Barton Street Arena, the same arena that's used for hockey in Hamilton today. And if I thought I was going to get in a lot of ice time in my first game as a pro, I soon had another thing coming. 
Frankie Boucher and I sat on the bench right though the sixty minutes of game time. We got a chance to warm up before the game and we took a whirl around the ice between periods, but during the actual play we didn't get a smell of the ice. Boucher didn't get the call; I didn't get the call. We're sitting there like a couple of dummies. Now we come to the end of regulation time and the game is tied 2-2. This mean we have to play overtime. The coach, Petey Green, taps me on the shoulder and says, "You go out there in place of [EddieGerard on the defence." Then he turns to Boucher and says, "You go out there in place of [Frank] Nighbor at centre ice." Now this was sudden-death overtime and no time to be making mistakes, and here's the coach throwing two bushers out there in place of two of the greatest players in the game. 
We just begin the overtime, when I get the luckiest break in the world. I remember getting the puck. It came back to me off the draw, and it looked like a big watermelon rolling my way. I slapped at it with my stick and stumbled on ahead with it before I let fly a pass across to Punch Broadbent. I kept going up the ice because I didn't have sense enough to stay back on defense where I belonged. Then, whoops-a-daisy, I get the puck right back again, but I was off at a poor angle and on the wrong side of the net when I took this pass. There wasn't much I could to but wing a shot at the net. I let go a backhander and, lo and behold, I look up and see the goal judge waving his handkerchief and wave it in the air. To me, this handkerchief looked at big as a bed sheet. 
I had scored on my first shot as a professional in the National Hockey League, and it was a winning goal in sudden-death overtime. Naturally I was robbed by my teammates and it then dawned on me that I should keep the puck as a souvenir. When I went after it, the Hamilton goalkeeper, a fellow by the name of [HowieLockhart, just glared at me. I never did know why, until a couple of years later when I met him outside the rink one day and asked him why he would do such a thing. He said it was because the puck went though a hole in the netting at the side of the goal! It hadn't gone in the front at all and so it shouldn't have counted! 
But my first goal did count and we beat Hamilton 3-2 on that shot of mine. To this day I'm not sure whether to be proud of it or embarrassed by it. But scoring that goal on my first shot in the big leagues did one thing for me. It gave me a little confidence. My teammates hadn't see how the puck went in and they couldn't care less. In the shower after the game, Gerard, whose place I'd taken, came over to me and said, "Frankie, that was a terrific shot!:" I thought it was too - until this fellow Lockhart told me what he thought about it some time later.
The "goal" would be one of just four Clancy would score as an NHL rookie in 24 games that season. Clancy would play nine seasons with the Senators, winning Stanley Cups in 1923 and 1927 and being named their captain in 1928, before moving on to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1930 in exchange for $35,000 and two players as the struggling Senators began to sell of their most valuable assets in an effort to stay in business.

Clancy Sold, Clancy Sold

Clancy would play for the Maple Leafs for seven seasons, winning another Stanley Cup in 1932, where his charismatic personality, combined with his small size and extra large toughness, would make him a beloved icon in Toronto.

1923-24 Ottawa Senators team, 1923-24 Ottawa Senators team
The 5' 7" Clancy (back row, far right)  is dwarfed by his much larger
Senators teammates in this 1923-24 team photo

Clancy was said, according to McFarlane, to have started a thousand fights and never won any of them. At the time of his retirement in 1937, Clancy was the highest scoring defenseman in NHL history with 136 goals in 592 games, with his best season coming in 1930 with 17.

Clancy Maple Leafs, Clancy Maple Leafs

Following his playing days, Clancy became an NHL referee for 11 years before he went into coaching, first in the American Hockey League, which included a Calder Cup championship with Pittsburgh in 1952.

Doug Bentley and King Clancy Referee, Doug Bentley and King Clancy Referee
Doug Bentley politely conversing with referee Clancy

He was promoted to coach of the Maple Leafs in 1953 and, after three seasons, became assistant general manager until 1969 when he was made vice-president of the club, a position he held until he passed away at the age of 83 in 1986, the last surviving member of the 1923 Stanley Cup champions.

Clancy Coach, Clancy Coach

Clancy was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958 and the Canada Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1998, he was ranked #52 on The Hockey News list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.

One further tribute was bestowed on the legendary Clancy when the King Clancy Memorial Trophy was named in his honor and is awarded annually since 1987 to the NHL player who demonstrates leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made exceptional humanitarian contributions on the community.

Clancy Autograph, Clancy Autograph

Today's featured jersey is a 1922-23 Ottawa Senators King Clancy jersey. The Senators wore their barber pole jerseys for each of their 14 seasons in the NHL, a style which actually dates back to the turn of the century years prior to the formation of the NHL.

The Senators occasionally wore a special patch commemorating their standing as league champions and in 1929 an "O" crest arrived, but the black, red and white stripes were a constant, both at home and on the road, as the first road jersey did not arrive until the 1927-28 season when the newly renamed Maple Leafs introduced a white jersey to be worn for games against the New York Rangers, who also wore blue sweaters.

Ottawa Senators 1922-23 jersey, Ottawa Senators 1922-23 jersey

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1931-32 Toronto Maple Leafs King Clancy jersey. This white jersey was the first road jersey in NHL history, necessitated by the green-clad Toronto St. Patricks being sold and changing their name to the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1926-27 season.

When the Maple Leafs introduced a new blue jersey for the 1927-28, the New York Rangers were already wearing blue, which, for the first time in league history, necessitated a special jersey to avoid the confusion of both teams wearing blue sweaters. It would not be until six seasons later in 1933-34 that the New York Americans would become the second team to wear two different sweaters during a season.

Toronto Maple Leafs 1931-32 jersey, Toronto Maple Leafs 1931-32 jersey

In today's video  section, a look at the versatility of Clancy.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Reader Submission - 2011-12 Columbus Blue Jackets Shawn Hunwick Jersey

Our newest reader submitted jersey comes from your friend and mine, John Wooten, and yet again, it's a tale unlike any other reader submission we've ever had before, which is proving by far to be our favorite part of the reader submissions, even more so than the variety of teams represented.

Here is John's story about his jersey and the unusual sequence of events that led up to it's existence in the first place.
At the Blue Jackets morning practice on 3/28/12, Columbus goaltender Steve Mason took a puck to the mask and was ruled out for that night's game against the Detroit Red Wings. Columbus was already quite thin in net with veteran started Curtis Sanford and the promising Mark Dekanich being out for the season.  Another former college goalie, Allen York from RPI, with 180-odd minutes of NHL experience was set to start the game. Columbus had no other healthy goalies with NHL contracts. 
Needing a backup, Columbus called Michigan coach Red Berenson and asked if Shawn Hunwick was available.  Fresh off a season ending loss a few days before, the 2012 Hobey Baker Award finalist was more than willing to take a trip down US 23 and join the Blue Jackets.  His Michigan teammates would joke that his 2003 Ford Ranger might not make the trip. 

The 5'6" goaltender packed his gear, complete with winged helmet and headed 3 hours south to the heart of Buckeye country.  He spoke briefly with Columbus GM Scott Howson and signed an amateur try out contract so he could back up York.  As if things weren't quite crazy enough, the game between the last place Blue Jackets and playoff bound Red Wings was being broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
In warmups, unbelievably small and decked out in full Michigan gear, he was quite a sight.  In the end, he took a few pucks in the warmup and skated around, talking with fellow UM alum Jack Johnson and getting encouragement from his new teammates, each of them aware of what a special opportunity this was for him.
Today's featured jersey is a 2011-12 Columbus Blue Jackets Shawn Hunwick alternate jersey.  Due to the quick call up, 2010-11 Set Stamp, and evidence of a nameplate change, it would appear that this is a recycled 2010-11 David LeNeveu jersey.  It has very light wear as you might expect, having been shared by two backup goalies.  The puck mark on the right shoulder is not there pregame photos, but is there when he is shown on the bench by NBCSN. 
Hunwick got an early mention from Doc Emerick and some extra attention at the rink, but in the end, York would play the entire game and get his first career victory.  The day after the Red Wings game, Hunwick signed a contract with Columbus for the rest of the season and would finally get into a game for the Blue Jackets home finale.  That jersey is also in the hands of some lucky fan, since it was a "jersey off their backs" night.

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2011-12 Columbus Blue Jackets Allen York alternate jersey, worn during the same game.  As mentioned, the RPI alum earned his first career victory wearing this shirt with a stellar 29 save effort, also earning the game's first star.

Thanks to John for taking the time to photograph his jersey and share the story of his jersey from that unique set of circumstances. We really appreciate the efforts involved when our readers take the time and effort to share their jerseys.

Only Columbus could have more injured goaltenders than other teams have on their entire roster. 

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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