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Saturday, November 15, 2014

2000-01 New Jersey Devils Chris Terreri Jersey

Chris Terreri, born on this date in 1964, played four seasons for the Providence College Friars. His first two seasons of 1982-83 and 1983-84 were as members of the Eastern College Athletic Conference and saw Terreri play 21 games with 11 wins. Providence joined the brand new Hockey East conference in 1984-85 and Terreri assumed the role as the number one starter, playing in 41 games and leading the Friars to the Hockey East championship and later the NCAA national championship final, earning All-Hockey East First Team and league MVP honors and being named to the All-NCAA All-Tournament Team and singled out among that group as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

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Terreri had an outstanding season in 1984-85 with the Providence Friars

During the NCAA tournament, Providence survived a three overtime game against Boston College in the Frozen Four where Terreri and BC goalie Scott Gordon became the first goalies to take a water bottle out to the nets with them. His outstanding season earned him an invitation to play for the United States at the 1985 World Championships.

He would play one final season for Providence and return to the World Championships for the US again in 1986, playing in five games and posting a shutout.

Terreri began his professional career the following 1986-87 season with 14 games for the Maine Mariners of the AHL and also made his NHL debut when he was called up by the New Jersey Devils, who had drafted him back in 1983, appearing in 7 games. He also played in his third consecutive World Championships for the United States that spring.

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Terreri wearing the red and green of the Devils

Terreri's focus for the 1987-88 season was with the US National Team. Although he did play 7 games with the Utica Devils of the AHL, he saw action in 26 games for the National Team in preparation for the 1988 Olympics in Calgary where he saw time in 3 games and finishing with a 1-1 record.

The following season was spent primarily with Utica, having a solid 20-15-3 season in 39 appearances as well as playing in 8 games up with New Jersey.

He became a full time NHLer in 1989-90, playing 35 games for the Devils which finally included getting his first NHL victory, which had eluded him in his previous limited chances with the Devils.

After backing up Sean Burke the previous season, the roles were reversed for 1990-91, Terreri started the majority of the Devils games, posting a goals against average under three at 2.91 in 53 games and set a career best with 24 wins. He played in another 54 games in 1991-92 in tandem with Craig Billington.

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1991-92 was the final season for the Devils red and green jersey

Again teamed with Billington, Terreri got the majority of the playing time with 48 games in 1992-93.

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1992-93 saw the Devils debut their new red and black jerseys

1993-94 saw a change in New Jersey with the establishment of goaltender Martin Brodeur, who saw time in 48 games to Terreri's 44. He was limited to 15 games in strike shortened 1994-95 season, but the Devils were able to prevail in the playoffs where Terreri played in one game as New Jersey captured the Stanley Cup.

Following that success, after just 4 appearances early in the 1995-96 season, Terreri was traded to the San Jose Sharks in November.

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Terreri went across the country to California in 1995-96

With incumbents Arturs Irbe and Wade Flaherty already competing for playing time, Terreri took over as the Sharks number one, making 46 appearances versus Flaherty's 24 and Irbe's 22. In 1996-97, free agent Kelly Hrudey arrived, costing Terreri playing time. After 22 games, Terreri was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks in January as part of a package for Ed Belfour. Following the season Terreri played in his fourth World Championships for the United States, his first Worlds in ten years. In 6 games, he went 2-3-1 with a 2.69 goals against.

Terreri spent the entire 1997-98 season with the Blackhawks backing up Jeff Hackett, save for three starts for the Indianapolis Ice of the IHL.

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Terreri wore #40 for Chicago

He was then sent back to New Jersey by the Blackhawks prior to the start of the 1998-99 season where he would spend the next three seasons backing up the now firmly established number one Brodeur, which included a second Stanley Cup championship in 2000.

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Terreri wearing his traditional bird cage helmet back with New Jersey

Late in the 2000-01 season, Terreri was dealt to the New York Islanders where he would play the final 8 games of his NHL season. He would retire as a player with 406 games played and a 172-43-9 record and two Stanley Cups.

Terreri then became an assistant coach for the Devils Albany River Rats AHL affiliate beginning with the 2001-02 season. Unexpectedly, due to injuries he would be pressed into emergency service one final time when he played two periods of relief in a game for the River Rats during the 2005-06 season!

Today's featured jersey is a 2000-01 New Jersey Devils Chris Terreri jersey. Under the leadership of Lou Lamoriello, the Devils dropped the green from their jerseys in 1992 and have since resisted all efforts to change jerseys or introduce a third jersey of any kind, despite the potential financial gains alternate jerseys can provide modern pro sports teams.

Not even the change to the new Reebok Edge jerseys in 2007 could deter Lamoriello, and the Devils look remained exactly as it was and apparently always will be. The Devils even went so far as to issue a press release stating that there would be no new unveiling event of their "new" Reebok version since there was nothing new to see!

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New Jersey Devils 2000-01 jersey photo NewJerseyDevils2000-01Bjersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1987 United States National Team Chris Terreri jersey as worn during the World Championships. Adidas jerseys were used by teams in the IIHF World Championships during the 1980's through the 1987 season until being replaced by the Finnish company Tackla in 1988.

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United States 1987 jersey photo UnitedStates1987Bjersey.jpg

In today's video section, Terreri makes a great glove save on Alexi Yashin of the Senators.

Next, he has a great sequence against the Blackhawks.

Finally, Terreri nearly joins an exclusive club as he nearly scores a goal while with the Sharks.



Friday, November 14, 2014

1989-90 Minnesota North Stars Aaron Broten Jersey

After beginning his college career with 25 goals and 72 points as a freshman in 1979-80 for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, Aaron Broten set a Gopher record which still stands to this day with a 106 point season in 1980-81 from 47 goals and 59 points, 10 points clear of the next closest pursuer. His 59 assists that season are also a school record to this day.

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Drafted by the Colorado Rockies following his freshman season, Broten, born on this date in 1960, turned pro with the Rockies once the Gophers season concluded, appearing in two games.

He divided his time in 1981-82  between the Forth Worth Texans of the Central Hockey League (19 games) and Colorado of the NHL, where he scored his first NHL points with 15 goals and 39 points.

Broten moved with the Rockies franchise to New Jersey for the 1982-83 season, where they were renamed the Devils. He would play for the Devils for eight seasons, with his standout season being 1987-88 when he set career highs with 26 goals, 57 assists and 83 points. Additionally, the lowly Devils, who had never finished with a winning record or qualified for the playoffs, went on a run to the Wales Conference Finals by defeating higher seeded New York Islanders and Washington Capitals before falling to the Boston Bruins in seven games. Broten scored 16 points in 20 games during the postseason.

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Broten would lead the Devils in scoring in 1983 and 1987 before a trade to the Minnesota North Stars during the 1989-90 season, which would bring to an end the stability he had enjoyed with the Devils. His stay back in Minnesota would be a short one, as he would only play 35 games during the second half of the season as a teammate to his brother Neal Broten. While a North Star, Aaron scored 9 goals and 18 points.

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He was claimed by the Quebec Nordiques during the 1990 NHL Waiver Draft, but after just 20 games as a Nordique, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After a 27 game stint with Toronto which ended prematurely due to a dislocated shoulder, Broten was again on the move, signing for the 1991-92 season with the Winnipeg Jets. Broten would see time in 25 games, scoring the final 4 goals and 9 points of his NHL career. He would also register four games that season with the Moncton Hawks of the AHL to close out his professional career.

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Internationally, Broten was a regular for the United States on the international scene, beginning back in 1979 when he skated for the US at the World Junior Championships, debuting with 4 goals and 7 points in 5 games to lead the US in scoring.

He made his World Championship debut in 1981, and with the Devils regularly missing the NHL playoffs, Broten was available to answer his country's call again in 1982, 1986 and 1987. He also was on the American roster for the Canada Cup tournament in 1984 and 1987.

Unusually, six years after he played his final professional games, Broten suited up one final time in November of 1998 for the World Championship Qualifying Round, held in Klagenfurt, Germany, where the US defeated Kazakhstan, Estonia and Austria to advance to the World Championship the following May. Broten's participation was limited to the Qualifying Round, and he did not appear in May's World Championships proper.

Broten was a teammate to his brother Neal at the 1979 World Juniors, 1984 Canada Cup and again the 1998 World Championship Qualifying Round, which took place two seasons following  the conclusion of Neal's NHL career. Also joining Aaron and Neal in 1998 was their younger brother Paul Broten, the only time the three of them would appear on the same roster, although Paul and Neal were teammates on the Dallas Stars in 1993-94 and 1994-95.

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Aaron would finish his 12 year career with 186 goals and 515 points in 748 games and was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.

Today's featured jersey is a 1989-90 Minnesota North Stars Aaron Broten jersey worn during his brief stay in his home state as a pro. The first initial "A" as part of the name was necessary due to the presence of Aaron's brother Neal on the North Stars roster at the time.

The North Stars would add black trim to their white home jerseys for the 1981-82 season, but oddly not do the same for their green road jerseys until 1988! These beloved North Stars jerseys would remain in use through the 1990-91 season until replaced by a whole new look, which many feel hinted at the eventual move out of Minnesota, since all references to the "North" part of the club's name were now absent.

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Minnesota North Stars 1989-90 jersey photo MinnesotaNorthStars1989-90Bjersey.jpg

For an example of how the thinking has changed on hits and head injuries, watch the damage done to Broten on this hit and hear the reaction to his obvious concussion, including "He may not return tonight." Imagine the reaction to that kind of hit today. Also notice no one goes after Chris Dahlquist for laying the hit on Broten, something that today would be an instant cause for retaliation.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

1984-85 Los Angeles Kings Bernie Nicholls Jersey

The Los Angeles Kings began the 1984-85 season with an 0-2-1 homestand. Their first road trip of the season was a dismal failure, with a loss to the Washington Capitals, a 3-3 tie in Montreal versus the Canadiens and then one sided losses to the New York Islanders (8-3), the Chicago Black Hawks (5-2) and the Edmonton Oilers (8-2). They managed a 2-2 tie against the Winnipeg Jets on October 27th and then, in an unusual bit of scheduling, played the Jets again, still in Winnipeg two days later! They must have learned something from their first matchup, because they finally won their first game of the season 5-3 in their tenth game.

With that first win under their belts, the Kings found their game and their confidence and proceeded to close out October with a 10-3 hammering of the Vancouver Canucks to finish out their eight game, 15 day road trip with a pair of wins after starting out the season 0-6-3.

Back in Los Angeles they again won by the same margin with a 7-0 blanking of the Toronto Maple Leafs. After a narrow 3-2 loss to Chicago, they beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 and then travelled across the continent to take down the New York Rangers 4-2.

Fresh off that win, the Kings crossed the border into Canada to face off against the Quebec Nordiques on this date in 1984 with a record of 5-7-3.

Dan Bouchard got the start for the host Nordiques while Darren Eliot was in goal for Los Angeles.

Bernie Nicholls opened the scoring with his 9th goal of the season from Terry Ruskowsk just 13 seconds into the game before the Nordiques fans could even settle into their seats.

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Bernie Nicholls

Paul Gillis got Quebec on the board at 8:12 from Jean-Marc Gaulin and Normand Rochefort and the first period ended tied at 1-1.

Firewagon hockey was on tap for the second period, which began with Michel Goulet converting on the power play at 2:52 from Bruce Bell and  Peter Stastny. The Kings countered when Phil Sykes shot found the back of the net at 3:12 from Doug Smith at even strength. Los Angeles regained the lead at 3-2 when Nicholls 10th goal of the season and second of the game came at 7:55 from Gary Galley and Jim Fox.

Gaulin looked to be the hero for the Nordiques when he got not only his first goal of the season at 14:34, from Tony Mckegney and Gillis, but also his second at 16:57, again from Gillis and Randy Moller to put the Nordiques ahead 4-3 at the end of the second period with Quebec showing a narrow 20-19 edge in shots through two.

With Bell off for Quebec, Nicholls completed his hat trick with his 12th goal of the season at 3:34 from Mark Hardy to tie the game at 4-4. Through the rest of regulation, both goalies stood their ground and, despite 7 shots for the Kings and 8 for the Nordiques, the game remained tied after 60 minutes of play and the game moved to overtime.

While overtime had been a part of the NHL, it had been eliminated in November of 1942 due to war time restrictions and was not reinstated until the 1983-84 season.

After Los Angeles missed on their first shot, Nicholls entered the history books with not only his fourth goal of the game from Craig Redmond and Hardy at 2:57 on a power play to win the game 5-4 for the Kings, but he became the first player in NHL history to score a goal in all four periods of a game, as his three previous goals had each come in a separate period.

The win was the third in a row for Los Angeles and their winning streak would eventually extend to seven straight to not only balance out their dismal start but see them climb above .500 with a 10-7-3 record. Oddly, the streak came to an end at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets, who visited The Forum in Los Angeles for - two consecutive games, winning both to pay back the Kings for the treatment they received in Winnipeg when the Kings finally won their first game of the season a month earlier.

The Jets and Kings would repeat the two consecutive games in Winnipeg in December and again in Los Angeles in January, as well as having the Kings play the St. Louis Blues on back to back nights in St. Louis on January 25th and 26th in what must have been an effort to reduce the Kings travel demands, but the oddest part of their schedule was from March 23rd to the 29th when they played three consecutive games versus the Calgary Flames over seven days. The Kings lost the first game in Los Angeles 4-3, dropped the second 4-2, again in LA four nights later, before the two teams travelled to Calgary to meet yet again on the  29th, where the Flames won their third game in a row 3-0.

Nicholls would go on to score an even 100 points that season from 46 goals and 54 assists to finish second on the club in scoring behind Marcel Dionne. Nicholls would play nine seasons for the Kings, highlighted by his spectacular 70 goal, 150 point season in 1988-89. He is one of only eight players to score 70 goals and one of only five to ever score 150 points in NHL history.

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Nicholls would score 46 goals and 100 points  in 1984-85

Nicholls would eventually play 17 seasons in the NHL including stints with the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks. He would play in 1,127 games, scoring 475 goals and 1,209 points.

Today's featured jersey is a 1984-85 Los Angeles Kings Bernie Nicholls jersey as worn the night he became the first player in NHL history to ever score a goal in all four periods of a game. After 12 years of wearing their original jerseys, the Kings introduced a modernized jersey for the 1980-81 season, adopting the same template used by the Philadelphia Flyers since 1983.

This style would be used by Los Angeles through the 1987-88 season without any variations, sharing the same colors as the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. For the 1988-89 season, wholesale changes would be in store with the arrival of Gretzky when an all new jersey and logo arrived, this time in the black and silver of the Los Angeles Raiders of the NFL. The only patch worn by the Kings on this style jersey would commemorate their 20th Anniversary patch in 1986-87.

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Today's video is from Legends Night when the Kings honored Nicholls on December 10, 2011.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

1991-92 Vancouver Canucks Pavel Bure Jersey

Born in 1971 in Moscow in the Soviet Union, Pavel Bure was once selected to practice with Wayne Gretzky and Vladislav Tretiak for a television program at the age of 11. By the age of 14, Bure was named to the famed Central Red Army's junior team.

In 1986, five years before playing in Vancouver as a professional, Bure toured Canada with a Soviet youth team and played a game at the Pacific Coliseum, his future home rink.

Bure made his debut with the Central Red Army senior club in 1987-88 at the age of 16 as a fill-in player when the Red Army Club was without several regulars who were participating in the 1987 Canada Cup. In all, he managed to get into five games, which included scoring his first goal.

While with CSKA Moscow, Bure was teamed with Alexander Mogilny and Sergei Fedorov, a dangerously potent line combination that was set to dominate not only Soviet hockey, but international hockey for years to come, until politics interfered and changed everything.

Bure set a Soviet League record for goals by a rookie in 1988-89 when he totaled 17 goals in 32 games, a mark that would stand for 18 years. He was recognized for his for his efforts by being named the rookie of the year. He also participated in the 1989 World Junior Tournament, with his eight goals tying for the tournament lead. Additionally, his 14 points led the tournament in scoring, earned him Best Forward honors and led the Soviet Union to the gold medal.

Mogilny would later defect after that spring's World Championships in Sweden, breaking up the line the Soviets expected would lead them into the future.

Later on June 17, 1989, thanks to some detective work by their head scout, the Vancouver Canucks were able to draft Bure one year earlier than many thought he would be eligible due to a rule that stated he needed at least two seasons of play, with a minimum of 11 games each season, for his top-level European club.

Although Bure only played in five league games, it was discovered he had also competed in enough exhibition and international games to make him eligible to be chosen 113th overall in the 6th round. The Detroit Red Wings had even been told by an NHL vice-president that Bure was not eligible prior to their fifth round pick. Verbal complaints and written protests followed, which resulted in a formal investigation, which ended in league president John Ziegler declaring the pick illegal on May 17, 1990.

Bure would compete in the 1990 World Junior Championships, this time scoring seven goals in seven games, but come up short with a silver medal. Later that spring he made is debut with the Soviet National Team as a 19-year-old at the World Championships in Switzerland in which he scored six points in ten games on the way to a gold medal.

Pavel Bure
Pavel Bure at the 1990 World Junior Championships

Another international tournament was on the calendar for 1990, this time in Seattle, Washington for the Goodwill Games. While the Soviet Union won the gold medal, and Bure contributed four goals and an assist in five games, the tournament is best remembered for the defection of Bure's other linemate, Fedorov, who tried to persuade Bure to defect with him. Bure declined out of concerns about the repercussions for his brother Valeri Bure, who was then an up and coming 15-year-old in the Soviet Union.

After the Canucks selection of Bure was negated by the league's ruling, Vancouver appealed to the league and provided game sheets proving his participation in the required number of games. On June 15, 1990, the day before that year's Entry Draft in which Bure would have been fair game for any team who wished to select him, Vancouver's selection of Bure was permanently reinstated.

In Bure's third season with Central Red Army in 1990-91, he tied for the team lead in scoring with 46 points in 44 games. His 35 goals were one behind the league leader in that category. During the season he also participated in his third World Junior Championships. Bure finished as the tournament's leading scorer once more following his 12 goal, 15 point effort, but had to once more settle for a silver medal. He concluded his junior career with a tournament record 27 goals.

Later that spring he participated in the 1991 World Championships where he tied for the team lead with 11 points in 11 games on his way to a bronze medal finish.

Bure left Moscow on September 6, 1991 and the Canucks began to negotiate a contract with Bure, but before it could be finalized, the Canucks also had to deal with the Central Red Army club, who had an existing contract with Bure. The two sides met in late October of 1991 in Detroit and in the end, Bure was free to join the Canucks following a $250,000 payment to Central Red Army. Once that deal was settled, Bure signed a four year contract with Vancouver, making him the second highest paid player on the team behind only team captain Trevor Linden.

Due to the court proceedings, Bure missed the first month of the season and eventually made his NHL debut on November 5, 1991 against the Winnipeg Jets which ignited "Pavel-mania". His speed on the ice was eye-catching and led to his eventual nickname of "The Russian Rocket".

Pavel Bure
Prior to his NHL debut, Bure poses for one of
Upper Deck's unconventional "lifestyle" cards

After a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings on November 7th, Bure got his first NHL point on November 10th with an assist on a goal by Cliff Ronning in a 6-0 win over the New York Islanders.

Finally on this date in 1991, Bure scored his first goal in the NHL when he beat Daniel Berthiaume of the Los Angeles Kings and added a second one in an 8-2 win in Vancouver. As he adjusted to life in North America and the NHL style of game, he was able to score 12 goals in 42 games. It was at that point that Bure caught fire and surged to the end of the season with a stellar 22 goals in his final 23 games, which sent Vancouver into a frenzy and gave him 34 goals and 60 points in 65 games, which tied a team record for points by a rookie.

Pavel Bure
Bure as a rookie in 1991-92

Once in the playoffs, Bure registered his first hat trick during Game 6 of the Canucks opening round series against Winnipeg. The Canucks would participate in two rounds of the playoffs that season, with the confident rookie scoring 6 goals and 10 points in 13 games.

At the conclusion of the season, Bure was named the winner of the 1992 Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year, the first Canuck's player to win an individual award in the team's 21 seasons.

Pavel Bure
Bure poses with the Calder Trophy

Today's featured jersey is a 1991-92 Vancouver Canucks Pavel Bure jersey as worn during his rookie season in which he scored his first two NHL goals on this date in 1991.

This jersey features the NHL 75th Anniversary patch on the right chest as worn by all players in the NHL that season. This style of jersey was adopted in 1989 and worn through the 1996-97 season, with the only notable change being the addition of the "Canuck Place" patch in 1992.

Vancouver Canucks 91-92 jersey
Vancouver Canucks 91-92 jersey

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1991 Soviet Union Pavel Bure jersey. Following Adidas in the mid to late 1980's, the Finnish brand Tackla became the supplier for the World Championships and Olympics through 1993. Their jerseys featured mesh fabric and classic styling (for the most part), with contrasting colored shoulders which contained repeating diamond shapes, which is the Tackla company logo.

Their jerseys are also instantly recognizable by their block font numbers with the "3-D" drop shadow effect. These jerseys are all sublimated, and therefore age very well, retaining their bright colors over time.

Jerseys worn in 1994 and 1995 were branded as Reebok jerseys, but have all the hallmarks of being produced by Tackla, the dye-sublimated mesh fabric and 3-d block numbers, especially the logo on the lower left hem on the back which reads "manufactured by Tackla"!

Soviet Union 1992 jersey
Soviet Union 1992 jersey

In today's video segment, a look at what could have been, with Bure, Mogilny and Fedorov playing together at the 1989 World Junior Tournament.

Next, a look at "Pavel-mania" during Bure's rookie season, including footage of his first NHL game and his first two NHL goals.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

1996-97 Dallas Stars Pat Verbeek Jersey

Following a prolific junior hockey career with the Sudbury Wolves, during which he scored 40 goals and 107 points while accumulating 184 penalty minutes in 61 games after being drafted by the New Jersey Devils at the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, Pat Verbeek made his debut with the Devils for the final six games of the season, where he made an impression with 3 goals and 5 points.

He returned to New Jersey the following season and made the club out of training camp. He immediately set the tone for the rest of his career by playing in 79 games, the first of 11 consecutive seasons of 73 games or more, despite his hard nosed, all-in style of play which saw him lead the Devils in penalty minutes as a rookie and register 10 seasons with 150 minutes or more, with four of those being well over 200.

During his six seasons with the Devils, Verbeek broke out of the gate as a rookie with 20 goals and 47 points. After a step back as a sophomore, his goal totals rose from 25 to 35 and eventually a career high an club record of 46 in 1987-88, along with 31 assists for 77 points while surpassing 200 penalty minutes for the first time with 227 as well as a +29 rating, a true star among fantasy hockey players!

Verbeek Devils, Verbeek Devils

That season, the Devils qualified for the playoffs for the first time since the franchise moved from Colorado, where they were known as the Rockies. Not content just to be in the postseason, Verbeek and the Devils went on a run to the conference finals, ousting the New York Islanders in 6 and beating the Washington Capitals on the road in Game 7 before taking the Boston Bruins the full distance before succumbing. Verbeek set a career best with 12 playoff points in 20 games.

Verbeek's reputation for toughness was only added to just after the 1984-85 season ended when he had one of his thumbs was severed by an auger in a farming accident. His brother drove Pat 20 miles to the hospital, only without the missing portion of his thumb. After phoning home, his father Gerry was able to locate the severed portion and deliver it to the hospital, where, after six and a half hours of surgery, the top half of his digit was reattached and his other cut fingers treated. Pat was able to recuperate over the summer and returned in time for training camp without missing a single regular season game.

Following a down season in 1988-89, during which he scored 30 points less than the previous season, Verbeek was dealt to the Hartford Whalers during the off season, but not until he had made his World Championships debut for Canada in 1989. He immediately rebounded offensively with back to back 40 goal seasons with 44 goals and setting a career high with 89 points in 1989-90 followed by 43 goals and 82 points in 1990-91, when he was named team captain, to lead the team in scoring, all while agitating his way to seasons of 228 and 246 penalty minutes. During both of those seasons, he was the only player to lead his team in both goals and penalty minutes.

Verbeek Whalers, Verbeek Whalers

He would play three more seasons in Hartford, including making his first NHL All-Star Game in 1991 and another 80 point season in 1992-93, when he lit the lamp 39 times and just missed 200 penalty minutes with 197 as he totaled 82 points. He also led the club in scoring a second time in 1993-94 with 75 points.

Verbeek Whalers, Verbeek Whalers

During the strike-shortened 1994-95 season, Verbeek was traded to the New York Rangers after 29 games with Hartford. In his 19 games in Manhattan, Verbeek was given the nickname "The Little Ball of Hate" by teammate Glenn Healey. The following season he recorded his fourth and final 40 goal season with 41 on his way to his fourth and final 80 point season with 82 while being named to his second all-star game in 1996.

Verbeek Rangers, Verbeek Rangers

For the 1996-97 season, Verbeek signed with the Dallas Stars as a free agent, which had an immediate affect on his offensive numbers, as Dallas was not a wide open offensive club, combined with the game changing to a more defensive style in the latter half of the 1990's. While his point total did decrease to 53 his first season with the Stars, it was enough for him to place second on the team in scoring. Also during the 1996-97 season, Verbeek would play in his 1,000th career game on this date, picking up an assist in the Stars 3-2 win over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Verbeek Stars, Verbeek Stars

Verbeek would finish third in team scoring despite his increase in points to 57, 12 off the team lead of 69. Dallas would make their presence known in the postseason, making it to the conference finals in 1998 before falling to the eventual champions.

That playoff experienced served the Stars well, as they again made a long postseason run in 1999, sweeping the Edmonton Oilers in four, eliminating the St. Louis Blues in six and defeating the Colorado Avalanche in a seven game struggle to advance to the finals against the Buffalo Sabres, where the Stars won the first Stanley Cup of Verbeek's career.

Verbeek Stars Stanley Cup, Verbeek Stars Stanley Cup

For the 1999-00 season, Verbeek left Dallas when he signed a free agent contact with the Detroit Red Wings, During that season he scored 22 goals and 26 assists, including his 1,000th career point, making him only the second player in NHL history to record 1,000 career points and 2,500 career penalty minutes, along with Dale Hunter.

Less than a month later, he would reach another significant milestone with his 500th career goal, making him the first player in NHL history with 500 goals and 2,500 penalty minutes.

Verbeek Red Wings, Verbeek Red Wings

He would play one more season for the Red Wings before returning to Dallas as a free agent for his final NHL season in 2001-02.

He would finish his career with 1,424 games played, 522 goals and 541 assists for 1,063 points and 2,905 penalty minutes during a career in which he never played a single game in the minor leagues. He would also score 26 goals and 36 assists for 62 points in 117 playoff games while being whistled for 225 penalty minutes in the playoffs.

Internationally, Verbeek competed for Canada at the 1983 World Junior Tournament, scoring 4 points in 7 games, the 1989 and 1994 World Championships as well as the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

Verbeek Canada, Verbeek Canada

Today's featured jersey is a 1996-97 Dallas Stars Pat Verbeek jersey. This jersey was first worn during the Stars third season in Dallas, the 1995-96 season> This was the first season the sleeve and waist stripes were made much larger than previously and the name "Dallas" was added to the main crest. This style was worn through the 1999-00 season.

Dallas Stars 98-99 jersey, Dallas Stars 98-99 jersey
Dallas Stars 98-99 jersey, Dallas Stars 98-99 jersey

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1989-90 Hartford Whalers Pat Verbeek jersey from one of Verbeek's seasons of being the only player in the NHL to lead his team in goals and penalty minutes.

This jersey can be identified as a 1989-90 jersey by the straight stripes on the arms, worn this way only two seasons, one of which was 1991-92 when the jersey was adorned with the NHL 75th Anniversary patch.

For all other years of this style, the sleeve stripes were at an angle across the arms.

Hartford Whalers 89-90 jersey, Hartford Whalers 89-90 jersey

Extra Bonus Jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1996 Canada National Team Pat Verbeek jersey as worn during the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, one of Verbeek's four appearances for Canada on the international stage.

Canada was one of three teams to wear Bauer jerseys, with the other two being Sweden and the Czech Republic. The Bauer teams were the only three to wear the larger 4 inch diameter World Cup logo patches and Canada was the only one of those to wear the patch on the chest rather than the upper left arm.

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photos courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's first video shows Verbeek getting nailed but bouncing right back up again.

Next, Vebeek discusses the Hartford Whalers being "in" with the fans at the 2011 Whale Bowl outdoor game in Hartford which featured an alumni game between the Whalers and Bruins alumni teams. Note the original Whalers jerseys and the terrific Bruins throwbacks created just for this game.

Finally, Verbeek promoting his anti-odor product, Beek's Reek Out at the Let's Play Hockey Expo in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Monday, November 10, 2014

1968-69 Detroit Red Wings Alex Delvecchio Jersey

On this date in 1991, the Detroit Red Wings held a pregame ceremony where they retired Ted Lindsay's #7 sweater as well as the #10 of Alex Delvecchio.

Delvecchio's #10 hangs in the rafters of Joe Louis Arena with the other Red Wings honored greats

Delvecchio left no doubt that he was ready to play in the NHL following his first and only season in junior hockey when he led the Ontario Hockey Association in assists with 72 in just 54 games. Not only a playmaker, the talented Delvecchio also scored nearly a goal a game for the Oshawa Generals as well. His 49 goals added to his league leading 72 assists gave him an impressive 121 points for the season and second place in the scoring race.

Delvecchio Generals
Delvecchio while a member of the Oshawa Generals

He made his NHL debut that same season with a single game for Detroit.

The following season of 1951-52 could not have gone any better for Delvecchio. After six games in the minors, in which he scored nine points, he was called up to Detroit. He scored his first NHL goal, as one of the 15 he would score that season, and played 65 games with the Red Wings before advancing to the playoffs, where they would sweep eight straight games to earn Delvecchio his first Stanley Cup in his first full season of play.

"That was a great team we had and I felt proud to be among so many players that were true stars of the game. Terry Sawchuk was in goal and in those eight playoff games against Toronto and Montreal, he only gave up six goals. We had Ted Lindsay, Sid Abel, Gordie Howe, Glen Skov, Tony Leswick, Metro Prystai and Marty Pavelich up front. Marcel Pronovost, Red Kelly and Bob Goldham were three of our defensemen," Delvecchio remembered.

His point total would jump from 37 to 59 in his second season, powered by 43 assists as he was paired with none other than Lindsay and team leader Gordie Howe on the second version of "The Production Line" following the trade of line member Sid Abel. The 59 points would stand as his career high for seven seasons. While his personal point totals would drop in 1953-54, greater things were in store for Delvecchio than personal glory, as the Red Wings would win the second Stanley Cup of Delvecchio's career. He would contribute 9 points in 15 games in the postseason.

Delvecchio may have began to think that winning was easy following the 1954-55 season, as the Red Wings again marched through the playoffs to win their third championship in Delvecchio's four seasons as he chipped in 7 goals and 8 assists in 11 games for third in team playoff scoring.

Delvecchio Red Wings
Alex Delvecchio in action

It would prove to be the final Stanley Cup of what would eventually stretch to a 24 year career.

The 1955-56 season saw him record the first 20 goal season of his career when he netted 25 . The Red Wings would once more reach the finals that season, but fell short against the Montreal Canadiens, who were just beginning a dynasty that stretch for five seasons.

1956-57 was cut short by injury, one of the rare seasons Delvecchio would play less than 70 games, although he was still productive while healthy, scoring 41 points in 48 games. Aside from 1956-57, Delvecchio would play in 1,050 out of 1,054 possible games between 1952-53 and 1967-68.

Following the 1958-59 season, Delvecchio would be named the winner of the Lady Byng Trophy following his 54 point season which saw him whistled for just 6 penalty minutes.

1960-61 was the beginning of six consecutive 20 goal seasons for Delvecchio. He was then named team captain of the Red Wings for the 1962-63 season, a post he would retain for 12 years, the longest in team history until eventually surpassed by Steve Yzerman.

The 1965-66 season was a memorable one for Delvecchio, highlighted by the only 30 goal season of his career, when he scored 31. That season would also be the fourth return to the Stanley Cup Finals in six seasons for Detroit. His season was capped off by being named the recipient of his second Lady Byng Trophy.

Three seasons later Delvecchio set a career high in points with 25 goals and 58 assists for 83 points, including the 1,000th point of his career on February 16, 1969, only the third player in league history after Howe and Jean Beliveau to achieve that feat. His efforts were recognized with the 1969 Lady Byng Trophy, the third of Delvecchio's career.

The final four seasons of his career were as productive as any that came before, with the final full season seeing his second highest point total of his career. Although it was one of the rare seasons in which he did not score 20 goals, coming up just short at 18, he had his second highest assist total with 53 for 71 points.

Delvecchio retired as a player following 11 games of the 1973-74 season when he was chosen as coach of the team. At the time of his retirement, he had established an NHL record for the most games played in a career with only one team at 1,549. In those games, he scored 456 goals and 825 assists for 1,281 points. Additionally, he played in 13 All-Star Games, a total only five players have ever surpassed.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1977 and His #10 was retired on this date in 1991.

Today's featured jersey is a 1968-69 Detroit Red Wings Alex Delvecchio jersey. This jersey features the captain's "C", which Delvecchio wore longer than any other player at the time and still remains the second longest tenure of any captain in Red Wings history.

This style of Red Wings jersey was first adopted in 1932 when the team changed their name from the Falcons to the Red Wings and remains essentially unchanged to this day.

Red Wings 68-69 jersey

Here are highlights of the 1954 Stanley Cup, when the Detroit Red Wings battled the Montreal Canadiens as well as a lively panel discussion with members of both teams hosted by the great Curt Gowdy.



Sunday, November 9, 2014

The 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

A momentous occasion occurred in Germany twenty five years ago on this date in 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell.

After the conclusion of World War II, Berlin was divided into four sectors. The United States, the United Kingdom and France controlled what became West Berlin, while the Soviet Sector formed East Berlin.

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The Soviets also controlled the area of Germany that surrounded Berlin as well, leaving the three Allied Sectors of Berlin deep inside Soviet controlled Germany, 100 miles from the nearest Allied controlled part of Germany.

Growing differences between the former allies against Nazi Germany led to the Soviets imposing the Berlin Blockade, cutting off road and train access to West Berlin on June 24, 1948. The Allies responded with the Berlin Airlift, bringing in 13,000 tons of food per day with over 200,000 flights lasting nearly a year until May 12, 1949.

On October 7, 1949 the Soviet controlled part of Germany became a separate country, the German Democratic Republic, or "East Germany", which was heavily influenced and controlled by Soviet authorities. Meanwhile, West Germany operated as a capitalist country with a democratic government and saw it's economy and standard of living growing and improving over time, which attracted many East Germans, who wished to relocate to the more prosperous and free West Germany, away from Soviet control.

The period from 1950-1952 saw 544,000 East Germans move to West Germany and in 1953 another 331,000 migrated to West Germany, fearing an even greater increase in Soviet control. Up until 1952, passing from West Berlin into East Berlin was relatively easy until a system of passes were introduced to restrict movement. At the same time, a declaration was made that the border between the countries of East and West Germany should be considered a dangerous border and a barbed-wire fence was erected between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the border between West and East Berlin still remained open, leaving West Berlin, deep in the heart of East Germany, attracting thousands of East Germans to West Berlin as a gateway to West Germany. By 1956, the East German authorities restricted virtually all travel to West Germany.

The next step in isolating East Germany was a new passport law that reduced the number of people leaving East Germany through the West German border, which increased the percentage of people leaving through West Berlin to over 90% by 1959 since there was no physical barrier in Berlin, such as the barbed wire fence that separated the two countries along their border 100 miles to the west. There was even subway service between East and West Berlin at the time.

This left West Berlin as a tiny island of freedom and a gateway to the West located right in the center of East Germany.

By 1961, approximately 20% of the entire East German population, 3.5 million people, had left East Germany. With the majority of the people leaving being young and well educated, the population of working age people decreased from over 70% to 61% and represented a loss of manpower estimated to be worth from $7 to $9 billion. Finally on August 12, 1961 orders were given to close the border between East Berlin and West Berlin and erect a barrier to prevent any further movement of East German citizens into West Berlin and out of East Germany.

Roads were torn up and barbed wire and fences were erected around the perimeter of West Berlin, stretching for 87 miles. In 1962 a second fence was erected approximately 100 yards further into East Germany, creating what was effectively a moat that offered no protection from armed East German guards, called The Death Strip.

In 1965 the wire fencing was replaced by a concrete wall which eventually grew to be 12 feet tall and nearly 4 feet thick.

During the wall's existence, there were around 5,000 successful escape attempts to West Berlin and the number of people killed trying has been placed between 136 to above 200. Various methods of escape were used, including tunnels, hot air balloons, sliding along overhead wires and ultralight aircraft as well as escaping through the sewer system. On occasion, wounded escapees were left to die in the Death Strip, as any potential rescuers feared being shot at by the East German border guards.

On June 12, 1987, Ronald Reagan challenged Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union to "Tear down this wall" as a sign of increasing freedoms in the Communist Eastern Europe.

On August 23, 1989, Hungary removed it's border defenses with Austria, allowing more than 13,000 East Germans in Hungary to escape into Austria. The remaining East Germans prevented from leaving flooded the West German embassy in Budapest and refused to return to East Germany. This set up a similar event in Czechoslovakia and mass demonstrations within East Germany. In October, longtime East German leader Erich Honecker resigned and on November 4 a million people gathered in the Alexanderplatz public square.

With Honecker's replacement Egon Krenz's new government tolerating the wave of East Germans leaving through Czechoslovakia, a plan was put into place on November 9, 1989 to allow people to simply leave directly through the checkpoints between East Germany and West Germany, including West Berlin.

Spokesperson Gunter Schabowski was given the assignment of announcing the new policy, however he had not been present at the meeting or fully updated on the details. Shortly before a press conference, he was handed a note that said East Berliners would only be allowed to cross the border with proper permission, but no further information on how to present the news. The new rules were to take effect the next day in order to be able to inform the border guards on the new policy, but no one had told Schabowski, who when asked on live TV when the new rules would take effect, assumed from the wording of the note that it would be the same day, replied "As far as I know effective immediately, without delay." After further questions, he confirmed that this included the border crossings into West Berlin.

Soon afterwards West German television announced that starting immediately, East German borders were open to everyone. Since East Germans had been waiting to hear this news for 28 years, thousands of East Germans went to the border crossings, demanding that the guards open the gates. Unaware of the new rules, the outnumbered and overwhelmed guards tried to call their superiors, but none of them dare give any orders to use lethal force and, without the authority to fire, the guards had no way to hold back the growing crowds and opened the gates. The wall had, in theory, come down.

Initially, the wall stayed intact, but new border crossings were added as previously severed roads were rejoined and various rules remained in effect, which included the need for visa applications in advance for West Berliners to visit the East. The guarding of the wall became more and more relaxed and more and more damage to the wall was tolerated.

Many celebrations were held in the days following, including David Hasselhoff rocking the wall on New Year's Eve 1989 wearing one amazing jacket. Note at the 3:22 mark someone almost drills him with a bottle rocket as he is leaning over!

Roger Waters performed the Pink Floyd album "The Wall" on July 21, 1990 near the Brandenberg Gate.

Finally in June of 1990, the dismantling of the wall officially began and Germany was officially reunified as one country on October 3, 1990.

As for how the separation of Germany after World War II into East Germany and West Germany affected their national hockey team, the East German National Team first competed in 1951 and participated in the World Championships from 1956 on to 1990. They had some success, reaching the highest level, the "A" Pool on a number of occasions, but often being relegated back to the "B" Pool within a year or two. Their highest finish at the World Championships was 5th place, which they managed in 1957, 1965, 1966 and 1970. They were the winners of the "B" Pool on six occasions, each time earning promotion back to the "A" Pool.

The East Germans also competed in the Olympics, first as The Unified Team of Germany, comprising athletes from both East and West Germany as a single team, in 1956, 1960 and 1964, finishing last in 1956 and 1960 and next to last in 1964. They competed as separate teams in 1968, with the East Germans finishing 8th out of 8 with a 0-7-0 record. From 1972 onward they did not compete in the Olympic hockey tournament.

The West Germans won a silver medal in 1953 in their first appearance at the World Championships but generally hovered between 5th and 7th place for the majority of it's existence with the occasional relegation to the "B" pool for a couple of years.

The Olympics were very much the same story, finishing at or near the bottom in 1952, as the Unified Team of Germany in 1956, 1960 and 1964, and as West Germany in 1968, 1972 and 1980. Some improvement was shown in the 1980's, with mid-pack finishes in 1984 and 1988, but 1976 was the highlight of the separate West German program, with a surprising 3rd place finish which earned them the bronze medal behind the dominant Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia.

West Germany began by defeating Switzerland 5-1 in a qualification match to move onto the main group, whose round robin schedule would determine the medal winners.

They opened Group play by defeating Poland 7-4. Losses to Finland (5-3), the Soviet Union (7-3) and Czechoslovakia (7-4) hurt their chances, but a 4-1 win over the United States left West Germany, Finland and the USA all tied with 4 points from two wins in the standings with West Germany winning the tie-breaker and being classified third to take home the bronze.

With the reunification of Germany in 1990, the German National Team once more represented the country as a whole. Their record in the World Championship generally sees them finishing between 7th and 11th, with the occasional relegation to the second level, followed by a quick return to the top division.

Their Olympic record is very much the same, with finishes of each step from 6th to 10th on their record over the last five Olympics.

Today's first featured jersey is a 1989 West German National Team Udo Keissling jersey from the World Championships held in Stockholm, Sweden. West Germany would finish the Round Robin portion with a 0-5-2 record, but avoid relegation by finishing with a 1-2-0 record and save themselves from the drop with a 2-0 defeat of Poland.

One of the best players in German hockey history, Udo Kiessling set a new record in 1992 with his 5th consecutive Olympic tournament appearance. Kiessling's record shows he played a single game in the NHL, in 1982 on a tryout after his German club team was an early exit from the playoffs, but returned home to play in the World Championships, never to return to the NHL again. But just because a player is not in the NHL, doesn't mean he doesn't exist, as Kiessling would go onto have a 24 year career, ending in 1996 at the age of 40.

He made his first appearance in the Olympics at Innsbruck in 1976, winning a Bronze Medal. In addition to his five Olympics, Kiessling also participated in 15 World Championships and the 1984 Canada Cup, as well as winning six national titles in Germany, where he was named the top player three times.

This beautiful jersey features the vibrant colors of the dye-sublimation process and the arresting graphics of the era with the colors of the tri-color German flag streaking across the chest, as well as the distinctive Tackla diamond logos on the shoulders and drop shadow block font for the numbers. Easily one of our favorite jerseys.

West Germany 1989 jersey photo Germany1989WCF.jpg
West Germany 1989 jersey photo Germany1989WCB.jpg

Today's second featured jersey is a 1989 East Germany Torsten Hanusch jersey as worn during the 1989 World Championships B Pool. This jersey was worn in the 1989 World Championships B Pool, Hanusch's only appearance for the East German National Team.

While the East Germans competed in the World Championships on a regular basis from 1956 to 1990, they discontinued their Olympic hockey program after 1968, choosing to take the approach of funding single athletes who could win multiple medals, such as a track and field athlete, swimmers and speed skaters, rather than funding an entire team who could only hope to win a single medal, such as water polo or in ice hockey, which frankly was a long shot when up against the likes of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Sweden and Canada.

This jersey has an extremely minimalist style, with only simple striping on the arms and waist and is devoid of any traditional main cresting, with only the Tackla branding on the upper right chest and the DDR initials and East German coat of arms on the left chest in the style of a soccer jersey, leaving the rest of the body devoid of any traditional main logo.

Also unusual is the East Germans choice of a primarily blue jersey, as the colors of the East German flag were black, gold and red. Additionally, many of the communist ruled nations favored primarily red sweaters, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia in particular.

East Germany 1989 jersey photo EastGermany19898F.jpg
East Germany 1989 jersey photo EastGermany19898B.jpg

Today's video selections have some footage of the West German National Team competing in the 1980 Olympics against Sweden and then the United States team, which would go on to pull off the Miracle on Ice against the Soviet Union.


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