History of Jersey 83-93 Banner sm photo History of Jersey 83-93 Banner sm.jpg

Saturday, January 24, 2015

1934 NHL All-Star Ace Bailey Benefit Game Jersey

In honor of All-Star Weekend, today we take a look at the four All-Star games held prior to the game becoming an annual event.

The first of four All-Star type games prior to it becoming an annual tradition took place way back on January 8, 1908 (nine years before the creation of the National Hockey League) as a benefit for the family of Hod Stuart, who died in a drowning accident three months after the Wanderers won the Stanley Cup. In that first game, the Montreal Wanderers faced off against a team of All-Star players from the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association.

It would be nearly 26 years later before the first All-Star style game would take place featuring players of the National Hockey League. This game was again another benefit game as a result of Eddie Shore violently retaliating for a hard check by Red Horner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The enraged Shore hit the Maple Leafs Irvine "Ace" Bailey from behind, which caused Bailey to flip over backwards and hit his head on the ice so hard it fractured his skull and sent him into convulsions. His injuries were so severe, it not only ended Bailey's playing career, a priest in attendance administered the last rites. Bailey underwent several operations to save his life and eventually spent a month in the hospital before being able to return home to Toronto.

Two months later a benefit game for Bailey and his family was held at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto when the Maple Leafs took on a squad made up of All-Stars from the eight other clubs in the NHL at the time, two from each team. As part of the event, Bailey's #6 was retired by the Maple Leafs, the first number ever retired in NHL history.

The lasting image from the game is the cordial handshake which took place between Bailey and Shore to a resounding ovation from the crowd.

Ace Bailey Eddie Shore handshake
Bailey greets Shore to a rousing ovation prior to the game.
Note Shore wearing his usual Bruins sweater rather than
a special All-Star sweater for the event.

Prior to the game the All-Stars were introduced while wearing their NHL club sweaters, but after the introductions were concluded, Bailey, league President Frank Calder and New York Rangers owner Frank Patrick presented each player with his special NHL All-Star jersey. The Maple Leafs also wore special jerseys for the occasion, emblazoned with "ACE" diagonally across the front with the team logo on the upper left chest.

1934 NHL All-Star Game
A group shot of all the participants of the Ace Bailey Benefit Game with the NHL All-Stars now wearing their special All-Star sweaters for the contest

The game drew 14,074 fans and raised $20,909 for Bailey, who dropped the ceremonial first puck prior to the game, which was won by the Maple Leafs by a score of 7-3.

Bailey All-Star puck drop
Bailey drops the ceremonial puck prior to the benefit game in his honor

Following the 1934 benefit game for Ace Bailey, two more All-Star style games took place, the first being for the late Howie Morenz of the Montreal Canadiens, a participant in the Ace Bailey Benefit Game.

Morenz Memorial Game ticket
A ticket stub from the Howie Morenz Memorial Game

Morenz had died in the hospital in March, 1937, five weeks after breaking his leg in four places during a game. On November 3, 1937 a memorial game to raise money for Morenz's family was held at the Montreal Forum between a combined team of the Montreal Canadiens and Montreal Maroons versus a team comprised of the team of All-Stars from the six other NHL franchises of the day.

Morenz Memorial Game Maroons & Candiens
The combined team of Montreal Canadiens and Montreal Maroons

The game was won by the NHL All-Stars 6-5 and both teams again wore special sweaters for the occasion, but with somewhat less sartorial success than those worn in the Ace Bailey Benefit Game, particularly the stark white sweaters worn by the NHL All-Stars.

Morenz Memorial Game Canadiens Jersey
The sweater worn by the combined Montreal Clubs in the
1937 Howie Morenz Memorial Game

Morenz Memorial Game All-Star Jersey
The sweater worn by Mush March of the NHL All-Stars in the
1937 Howie Morenz Memorial Game

Morenz Memorial Game All-Star Jersey
The rear view of the NHL All-Stars sweater, quite possibly the plainest,
dare we say boring, sweater in hockey history

One last memorial game took place on October 29, 1939 to benefit the family of Babe Siebert, a 14 year NHL veteran who was named coach of the Montreal Canadiens upon his retirement as a player, who drowned in Lake Huron on August 25, 1939 before he was ever able to coach the Canadiens.

The game featured the NHL All-Stars against the Montreal Canadiens and was won by the All-Stars by a score of 5-2 and raised $15,000 for his family, which included Siebert's wife, who was paralyzed from the waist down.

While the Canadiens wore their normal game sweaters, the All-Stars were again given special sweaters for the game, which left no doubt as to which team the All-Stars were, thanks to it's bold star logo on the chest. This made for a much more pleasing result, especially with the addition of the black and orange trim, than the previous Morenz Game sweaters.

Siebert Memorial Game All-Star Jersey
Siebert Memorial Game All-Star Jersey
Ebbie Goodfellow's 1939 NHL All-Star jersey from
the Babe Siebert Memorial Game

Today's featured jersey is a 1934 NHL All-Star Ace Bailey Benefit Game jersey as worn in the first All-Star contest in NHL history, a charity event to raise money for injured Toronto star Ace Bailey.

This jersey is the first special jersey worn by an NHL All-Star team and is currently on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

1934 NHL ACE Bailey NHL All-Star Jersey

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1934 Toronto Maple Leafs "ACE" jersey as worn by the Maple Leafs during the Ace Bailey benefit game, the precursor to the modern NHL All-Star Game. This particular sweater is a modern remake of the Maple Leafs original version.

1934 Tornoto Maple Leafs ACE jersey

Today's video section is a look at the 1934 Ace Bailey Benefit Game, held in Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens.

Our next video is a brief recollection on the passing of Howie Morenz in 1937.

Friday, January 23, 2015

1993-94 Washington Capitals Sylvain Cote Jersey

On this date in 2000, Sylvain Cote, then with the Chicago Blackhawks, played in his 1,000th NHL game in a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.

Cote, a defenseman, was originally drafted 11th overall by the Hartford Whalers in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft and broke into the NHL in 1984-85 with the Whalers, playing in 67 games that first season but a -30 rating did not do much to establish the young defenseman.

He played the majority of the next season back in junior hockey with the Hull Olympiques, getting more seasoning and gaining confidence, as he was named a First Team All-Star and scored 6 goals and 28 assists for 34 points in just 13 playoff games! He also won a silver medal with Team Canada at that year's World Junior Championships as well as being named a tournament all-star.

With that successful season on his resume, Cote returned to the NHL and played five more seasons in Hartford, qualifying for the playoffs each time, with his best year offensively coming in 1987-88 with 28 points in 67 games, his only season of his five in Hartford with over 20 points.

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Prior to the 1991-92 season, Cote was dealt to the Washington Capitals for a second round draft choice and thrived under the Capitals system. Cote's point totals immediately increased dramatically, as he posted seasons of 40, 50 and then a career high of 51 points in 1993-94 as well as plus/minus numbers of +28 in 1992-93, a season in which he had a career high in goals of 21, and a +30 in 1993-94.

Four more seasons in Washington would follow, as well as a spot on Team Canada during the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

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During the 1997-98 season, Cote was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the trading deadline and played one full season in Toronto in 1998-99 with 29 points and a +22 rating.

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1999-00 was one of unrest for Cote, as the Maple Leafs traded him in October to the Chicago Blackhawks after only three games. He then played 45 games in Chicago, including the 1,000th game of his career on this date in 2000 before being sent to the Dallas Stars in February and being rewarded with a trip to the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals.

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Cote would return to Washington as a free agent for the final two seasons of his career in 2000-01 before being released after playing just one game in the 2002-03 season.

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By the time of Cote's return, the Capitals had an all new look

Cote completed his career with 1171 games played, scoring 122 goals and 313 assists for 435 points. In 102 playoff games he would add an additional 33 points.

Today's featured jersey is a 1993-94 Washington Capitals Sylvain Cote jersey with features the Washington Capitals 20th Anniversary patch. This jersey was worn during Cote's best offensive season in the NHL when he had career highs in points with 51, penalty minutes with 66 and plus/minus rating with a +30.

The Capitals wore these jerseys from their inception in 1974 all the way through the 1994-95 season. What really sets the authentic version of the Capitals jersey apart from the replica jerseys is that each letter of the Capitals logo on the front is a separate piece of material, rather than the entire crest being embroidered in a smaller size onto a patch, which would then be sewn onto the jersey. Each of the 16 stars on the chest and sleeves are also separate pieces of material which are sewn on. If you can get an old game worn or authentic Capitals jersey, do so, as it is one of the largest differences in quality between the authentic and the replica of any jersey.

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1999-00 Dallas Stars Sylvain Cote jersey as worn by Cote during the 2000 Stanley Cup Final. This jersey is becoming a bit crowded, as all players that season worn the NHL 2000 patch for the Millennium in addition to the Stars crest taking up a fair bit of real estate, leaving little room for the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals patch.

The green version of this jersey was first worn as an alternate in 1997-98. After two seasons of use as a third jersey, it was promoted to the club's primary jersey for 1999-00, which gave birth to today's bonus jersey, the white home version. It became the team's road jersey in 2003-04 with the NHL's change to dark jerseys at home and continued to be worn through the 2005-06 season before the introduction of the Reebok Edge jerseys in 2007-08.

Dallas Stars 1999-00 jersey photo DallasStars1999-00Fjersey-1.jpg
Dallas Stars 1999-00 jersey photo DallasStars1999-00Bjersey-2.jpg

Here is Cote in the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals being stopped by Martin Brodeur at point-blank range on a rebound.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

1974-75 Montreal Canadiens Serge Savard Jersey

Born to be a Montreal Canadien, Serge Savard was born on this date in Montreal in 1946 and played his junior hockey for the Montreal Junior Canadiens from 1963-64 to 1965-66, where the defenseman's best season was a 47 point effort from 56 games in 1964-65.

The following season must have been a culture shock of the highest degree, as the French Canadian found himself in the Central Hockey League as a member of the Houston Apollos. Savard was named CHL Rookie of the Year when he scored 32 points in 68 games, but also stood his ground while being tested during his first season of professional hockey with 155 penalty minutes. He would never get half that many minutes again in his 17 year career. He would also make his NHL debut with Montreal with a pair of games that season as well as appearing in a single playoff game with the Quebec Aces of the AHL.

Savard Apollos, Savard Apollos

Savard would crack the Montreal lineup the following season and never return to the minors again. As a rookie in 1967-68, the season of the great NHL expansion, he registered 15 points in 67 games, including his first NHL goal. He would also get his first taste of playoff action, which was to become a regular part of his career going forward. Savard played in 6 of Montreal's 13 playoff games, as the Canadiens swept the expansion St. Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup, earning the rookie his name on the cup for the first time.

With the confidence of a full season behind him now, Savard doubled his point total in 1968-69 with 8 goals and 23 assists for 31 points, but really shone in the playoffs, as he racked up 4 goals and 10 points in 14 games as Montreal rolled to a second consecutive Stanley Cup and Savard became the first defenseman to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs.

Savard Canadiens, Savard Canadiens

Savard raised his goal total to 12 and matched his point total with 31 in 1969-70, but the Canadiens missed out on the postseason due to losing a tiebreaker in the standings. Savard did however, play in his first NHL All-Star game that season.

He was limited to just 60 games over the next two seasons in part due to a severely broken leg which he later broke again, quite nearly the only blemish on his otherwise durable nature, as 12 times in 16 seasons he would play upwards of 64 games, with 9 of those being 71 or more.

Savard cartoon, Savard cartoon

Back healthy once again, Savard played first in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union, playing in 5 of the series 8 games, during which Canada won 4 and tied 1 as Savard likes to point out!

Savard Canada, Savard Canada

Savard then saw action in 74 games with the Canadiens, setting a new career high with 39 points but he really came alive in the playoffs with 11 points in 17 games as Montreal won the fourth Stanley Cup of Savard's career, as they also won the title in 1971 when Savard missed the majority of the season due to injury.

After a down year offensively, with just 18 points, Savard rebounded in 1974-75 with a career best 60 points coming from 20 goals and 40 assists, both also career highs.

Savard Canadiens, Savard Canadiens

The 1975-76 season saw Savard score 47 points and help Montreal earn another Stanley Cup. Before the next NHL season could get underway, Savard suited up for Team Canada again during the 1976 Canada Cup, which the Canadians would win.

Montreal was now in the midst of a dynasty, as they would win their second of four consecutive Stanley Cups in 1976-77, followed by their third and fourth in 1978 and 1979. Following the 1978-79 season, Savard was named the recipient of the Masterton Trophy for perseverance, dedication and sportsmanship. That season would also see Savard compete in the 1979 Challenge Cup, a series of games against the Soviet Union which was held in lieu of the customary all-star game.

Savard would play two more seasons with Montreal while serving as the team captain before briefly retiring until being convinced to return to the ice with the Winnipeg Jets, who desired his veteran leadership on their young squad.

Savard Canadiens captain, Savard Canadiens captain

Savard played 47 games on his return to the NHL in 1981-82, which saw a 48 point improvement in the standings for the Jets, and a 76 games in 1982-83, which included his 1,000th NHL game in 1983, making him just the 45th player in league history to reach that milestone.

Savard Jets, Savard Jets

Savard was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1986 and had his #18 retired by Montreal in 2006. He stayed active in the Canadiens organization, later spending 12 seasons as the Canadiens general manager, a time period which included two Stanley Cup championships.

Savard Canadiens GM, Savard Canadiens GM

Today's featured jersey is a 1974-75 Montreal Canadiens Serge Savard jersey. from the year Savard set career highs in goals, assists and points, with 60. This jersey features a lace up collar and has the sleeve numbers contained within the blue arm stripe, which Montreal did from 1966 to 1978.

This particular style with the lace up collar and sleeve number placement was used from 1966-67 to 1974-75 until the Canadiens changed to a v-neck collar.

Notice the back numbers are not centered on the blue chest stripe, a common misconception with Canadiens jerseys.

Montreal Canadiens 74-75 jersey, Montreal Canadiens 74-75 jersey

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1982-83 Winnipeg Jets Serge Savard jersey. The Jets adopted a new jersey style upon their entry into the NHL in 1979-80 and continued to wear it for 11 seasons throughout the 1980's.

One unique element of this jersey is the extra thin font used for the names on the back.

Winnipeg Jets 82-83 jersey, Winnipeg Jets 82-83 jersey
Winnipeg Jets 82-83 jersey, Winnipeg Jets 82-83 jersey

The template for this jersey was actually originally used by the New York Rangers for two seasons under the management of John Ferguson. After being let go by the Rangers in 1978, Ferguson became the general manager of the Winnipeg Jets and reprised the exact same jersey template for the Jets beginning with their inaugural NHL season in 1979, with the only differences being the font for the name and numbers and, naturally, the team logo. The Jets would use this style all throughout the 1980's.

rangersjets Pictures, Images and Photos

Today's first video segment is the Legends of Hockey biography of Savard.

Next, is a tribute to Savard on the occasion of having his #18 retired by the Canadiens.

Here, Savard's #18 raises to the rafters later in the ceremony. Notice the current Canadiens players all wearing #18 Savard captain's jerseys with a special commemorative patch for the occasion.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

1996-97 Pittsburgh Penguins Patrick Lalime Jersey

Patrick Lalime played three seasons with the Shawinigan Cataractes, beginning in the 1991-92 season finishing with a high of 22 wins in 1993-94. After his second season in Shawningan, Lalime was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft in the 6th round, 156th overall.

For the 1994-95 season, Lalime joined the Hampton Roads Admirals of the ECHL. For the first half of the season he played well, posting a 15-7-3 record, earning a promotion to the IHL, where he became a member of the Cleveland Lumberjacks. He stayed with the Lumberjacks for the 1995-96 season and finished with a 20-12-7 record in 41 appearances. He was called up to the Penguins twice during the season, serving as a backup but did not see any playing time.

Patrick Lalime Lumberjacks, Patrick Lalime Lumberjacks
Lalime while with the Lumberjacks

He returned to Cleveland for a third season in 1996-97, but after two months he was recalled by Pittsburgh. His NHL debut came in relief of Ken Wregget on November 16, 1996.

On December 6th, he made his second appearance, again in relief of Wregget, as the Penguins were trailing 2-0 after one period against the Washington Capitals. The Penguins came back with two goals in the second period and out scored the Capitals 3-1 in the third period to win the game 5-3, earning Lalime the first victory of his career, having made 16 saves on 17 shots.

Patrick Lalime Penguins, Patrick Lalime Penguins
Lalime earned his first NHL victory in relief

He was rewarded with the start in the Penguins next game on December 7th against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. After trailing 3-2 after two periods, the Penguins rallied for three goals in the third period to earn Lalime his second consecutive victory, 5-3.

Wregget started on December 10th, but Lalime got the start the following day against Anaheim. With the game at 4-3 in the second period, Pittsburgh pulled away for a 7-3 win, Lalime's third.

Two days later, Lalime grabbed the headlines following a 4-0 shutout of the San Jose Sharks, stopping all 20 Sharks shots for his first career shutout and fourth win.

Patrick Lalime Penguins, Patrick Lalime Penguins
Lalime's first NHL shutout came in his fourth win

Despite the shutout, Wregget started in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on the 15th and was the losing goaltender on the 17th after giving up 6 goals to the Boston Bruins before being relieved by Lalime in the third period. Wregget rebounded with a shutout on the 19th over the St. Louis Blues.

Lalime returned to the crease on December 21st, getting the win over the Sharks 3-1 for his fifth win. Wregget eked out a win on the 23rd, 6-5, but was yanked after the first period trailing to the Montreal Canadiens 3-0. Lalime stood tall, blanking the Canadiens the rest of the way, making 18 saves and one more in overtime as the Penguins fought back to tie the game with three third period goals to earn Lalime a tie.

Patrick Lalime Penguins, Patrick Lalime Penguins
Lalime in goal versus the Canadiens

He got the start two days later, and earned his 6th win and second shutout with a 21 save performance over the Buffalo Sabres. That earned him another start on the 30th, a game not sealed until an empty net goal by Mario Lemieux for a 5-3 Penguins win, Lalime's 7th.

The first game of the new year arrived on January 2, 1997 and Lalime was in the net for his third straight start as the Penguins blitzed the New Jersey Devils, chasing veteran goaltender Martin Brodeur on their way to a 6-1 win.

The Tampa Bay Lightning were the next to fall to the streaking Penguins on the 4th by a score of 7-3, with Lalime once more getting the start, his 9th win which ran his unbeaten streak to ten, again earning him attention on a national scale.

Staying with the hot hand, head coach Eddie Johnston again went with Lalime, who, despite giving up the first two goals to the New York Islanders, settled down and let the Penguins offensive juggernaut go to work, scoring four times in the second period to regain the lead on their way to an eventual 5-3 win, Lalime's 10th win and 12th without a loss and now within sight of the current record of 14.

Patrick Lalime Penguins, Patrick Lalime Penguins
Lalime's hot streak continued against the Islanders

January 11th saw Pittsburgh come from behind twice to tie the Ottawa Senators to keep Lalime's undefeated streak alive at 13, now just one shy of the record. The tie ended the Penguins winning streak at six.

With all eyes upon him, he tied the record for the longest unbeaten streak at the start of a career first set by the Montreal Canadiens Ken Dryden (12 wins and 2 ties) in 1971, later equalled by Ross Brooks of the Boston Bruins (11 wins and 3 ties) in 1973, following a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars on the 14th.

Lalime then set the record in style the very next day with a 20 save performance to shutout the Hartford Whalers 3-0. The rookie's record now stood at an unbelievable 13-0-2 as his every start was now the subject of lengthy discussions on the sports channels in both the United States and Canada.

His next start would not be until this date in 1997, six days after his previous game due to a break in the schedule to accommodate the 1997 NHL All-Star Game. The Calgary Flames did all they could do to dominate Pittsburgh that night outshooting the Penguins 51-24. Calgary tied the game with just under four minutes remaining, but Stu Barnes' 11th goal of the season just 23 seconds later put Pittsburgh back on top 3-2. Ron Francis sealed the victory with an empty net goal with 24 seconds left to push Lalime's won/loss record to 14-0-2 and his undefeated streak to a new mark of 16 straight after his 49 save performance.

Patrick Lalime Penguins, Patrick Lalime Penguins
Lalime pushed his undefeated streak to 16 games

Two nights later the dream came to an end when the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche came to The Igloo. Colorado led 3-0 after two periods, but the Penguins stormed back in the third on goals by Francis, Joe Mullen and Joe Dziedzic in under 14 minutes to force overtime before Colorado's Valeri Kamensky ended the streak at 3:55 of overtime.

Lalime would come back down to Earth following his record setting run, finishing the season at 21-12-2. He was unable to agree with Pittsburgh on a contract for the following season and never played for the Penguins again.

Patrick Lalime Penguins, Patrick Lalime Penguins
Lalime was always known for his distinctive masks

After spending the following season of 1997-98 with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the IHL, his rights were traded to the Mighty Ducks, but he failed to make their roster and spent the 1998-99 season with the Kansas City Blades, also of the IHL, where he led the league in wins with 39.

Following the season he was traded to the Ottawa Senators, where he would play for the next five seasons, which included setting the Senators team record for most wins in a season with 39, before moving on to St. Louis, Chicago and Buffalo to finish out his 12 year NHL career with exactly 200 wins and 35 shutouts.

Today's featured jersey is a 1996-97 Pittsburgh Penguins Patrick Lalime jersey. Following their back to back Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992, the Penguins debuted a brand new jersey set and modernized logo. The road jersey was a terrific blending of the original Penguins diagonally lettered jerseys from the 1967-68 season, done in the striping pattern similar to their blue 1974-75 jerseys, only now in their then current black and yellow colors and adorned with their new "robo-penguin" logo on the shoulders. This really sharp jersey was used from 1992-93 until 1996-97 until being replaced by the team's then alternate jersey.

Pittsburgh Penguins 96-97 jersey, Pittsburgh Penguins 96-97 jersey
Pittsburgh Penguins 96-97 jersey, Pittsburgh Penguins 96-97 jersey

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1995-96 Cleveland Lumberjacks Patrick Lalime jersey. This was the first season for the Lumberjacks new identity package, as for the club's first two seasons they wore an identical jersey to today's featured jersey, only with "Cleveland" substituted for "Pittsburgh".

Along with the new, cartoonish mascot logo, the club also developed their own, color scheme of light blue and black with the "buzz saw" striping pattern on the arms and waist, creating one of the most unique jerseys in IHL history. One wonders though, why the designers chose to go with such a basic number font instead of a more playful one like the Manitoba Moose or Utah Grizzlies numbers,

This jersey style would remain in use through the 2000-01 season when the IHL folded, and the Lumberjacks were not one of the clubs absorbed into the AHL, ending their nine year run.

Cleveland Lumberjacks 95-96 ersey, Cleveland Lumberjacks 95-96 ersey
Cleveland Lumberjacks 95-96 ersey, Cleveland Lumberjacks 95-96 ersey

Today's video section begins with highlights of Lalime's three consecutive playoff shutouts.

Next, Lalime makes a stellar glove save against the Canucks Pavel Bure while still a member of the Penguins.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

1979 Sweden National Team Inge Hammarström Jersey

Sweden's Inge Hammarström began his career with Wifsta/Östrands IF in Sweden in 1963-64 at the age of 16. He would play for the club for five seasons, which included a change in name to Timrå IK for the 1966-67 season, the year he would hit his stride with 25 points in 19 games followed by 24 points in 21 games.

Hammarström Timra photo IngeHammarstroumlmTimra.jpg
Hammarström in the early days with Timrå IK

He would move to Brynäs IF for the 1968-69 season, but appear in just 6 games for his new club. The following year the left winger would return to form with  14 goals and 19 points in 28 games as Brynäs would regain the Le Mat Trophy as champions of Sweden in 1970, having won the title 3 times in the previous four seasons.

In 1970-71, Hammarström would not only win another championship with Brynäs  but also make his international debut for Sweden in the 1971 World Championships, scoring a goal and 3 points in 7 games.

1971 Brynas team photo 1971Brynasteam.jpg
The 1971 Swedish champions Brynäs IF

Hammarström, born on this date in 1948, would set a Swedish career high with 19 goals on his way to 29 points in 28 games as Brynäs would complete a hat trick of championships in 1972 as well as leading Sweden in scoring during the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan with 4 goals and 6 points in 6 games. He would score a further 6 goals in 10 games of the 1972 World Championships where he would win a bronze medal.

His final season in Sweden saw him once again score 29 points in 28 games, scoring 18 goals before returning to the World Championships where he would score 6 goals and 9 points in 10 games en route to a silver medal.

With the competition for players growing as the NHL expanded from 6 teams to 12 in 1967-68 and then 14 and then 16 in 1972-73, plus the arrival of the free spending World Hockey Association and it's 12 member clubs, which doubled the total of players employed in North America from roughly 280 in 1971-72 to 560 virtually overnight. With only so many players in the minor leagues available to fill the 14 new rosters, teams began to look to Europe for talent, and Sweden in particular.

In May of 1973, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed rugged defenseman Borje Salming and Hammarström for his skating and stickhandling skills. He played well for Toronto for four seasons, highlighted by his NHL debut season with 20 goals and a career high 43 points. He was a model of consistency, totaling 41, 40 and 41 points over the next three seasons with a career high of 24 goals in 1976-77.

Hammarström Maple Leafs photo IngeHammarstroumlmMapleLeafs3.jpg
The first wave of Europeans in the NHL included Hammarström

Prior to the start of the 1976-77 season, Hammarström would again skate for the Tre Kronor as part of Sweden's roster for the 1976 Canada Cup.

Hammarström had his issues adapting to the harder hitting North American style of play and was subjected to criticism for being European, best illustrated by a notorious quote from his very own team owner Harold Ballard, "Hammarström could go into the corner with a dozen eggs in his pocket and not break any of them."

After four seasons with the Maple Leafs, Hammarström was traded after 3 games of the 1977-78 season to the St. Louis Blues, who got exactly what they expected with 19 goals and 38 points in 70 games, as he had already scored a goal and an assist while still with Toronto, placing him at exactly 20 goals and 40 points yet again!

Hammarström Blues photo IngeHammarstroumlmBlues.jpg
Hammarström finished his NHL career in St. Louis

He would play one final NHL season with the Blues in 1978-79 followed by his fourth appearance for Sweden at the World Championships, his first in six years. He would score 4 goals and 5 points in 8 games and was rewarded with a bronze medal.

For the 1979-80 season, he would return to Brynäs IF where the club would immediately win another Le Mat Trophy as Swedish champions as Hammarström led the club in playoff scoring.

1980 Brynas team photo 1980Brynasteam.jpg
Brynäs found immediate success on Hammarström's return in 1979-80

Following the 1980-81 Swedish season, Hammarström would close out his international career with a sliver medal for Sweden at the 1980-81 World Championships.

His career would come to a close follwoing the 1981-82 season, during which Hammarström would score 10 goals and 20 points, his 13th consecutive season with double digit goals and 20 points or more, dating back to 1969-70, an impressive feat when you take into account the much shorter schedule of games in Sweden.

Hammarström would finish with 427 NHL games and 116 goals and 239 points. Following his playing career he would become a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and is credited for discovering Peter Forsberg.

Today's featured jersey is a 1979 Sweden National Team Inge Hammarström jersey. During his career Hammarström would play for Sweden on 7 occasions in 52 games, scoring 24 goals and 34 points, earning two bronze and two silver medals at the World Championships.

During the late 1970's, Sweden temporarily abandoned their traditional three crowns cresting in favor of the "tre kroner" wordmark, which left space for the polar bear logo of their Polar Caravans sponsorship.

Sweden 1979 jersey photo Sweden1979jersey.jpg

In today's video section, Swedish stars Salming and Hammarström are profiled in this segment in 1973.


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