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Saturday, February 7, 2015

1994-95 Pittsburgh Penguins Joe Mullen Jersey

Joe Mullen, one of the best kept secrets in hockey history, attended Boston College for four years and, after finishing his college career, immediately played for the United States in the 1979 World Championships where he scored seven goals in eight games.

Mullen Boston College
Boston College Eagles captain Joe Mullen

Rather than playing for the United States at the 1980 Olympics, Mullen turned professional when he signed a contract with the St. Louis Blues due to his father's illness and subsequent financial needs of the family, causing him to miss being a part of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" United States Olympic hockey team.

St. Louis assigned Mullen to the Salt Lake Golden Eagles of the CHL, where he was named the league's Rookie of the Year. The following season with the Golden Eagles, he would win the league scoring title.

In 1981-82 Mullen would see 45 games in the NHL and score 59 points. After another partial season in 1982-83, Mullen would stick full time with the Blues and rewarded them with his first 40 goal season, scoring 41 goals and 85 points. The next season would see another 40 goals and hit 92 points.

Mullen Blues

Inexplicably, St. Louis would trade Mullen halfway through the 1985-86 season, along with Terry Johnson and Rik Wilson to the Calgary Flames for Ed Beers, Charles Bourgeois and Gino Cavallini.

Mullen Flames

Not breaking stride, Mullen would total a career high 44 goals that season split between the two clubs. He would top that with 47 goals the next season as he led the Flames in scoring with 87 points, along with winning the Lady Byng Trophy, and 40 more goals the year after. The Flames would put it all together in 1988-89, as Mullen would score a career high 51 goals, along with 59 assists for a career best 110 points and his second Lady Byng Trophy.

Mullen McDonald Joe N
Following a remarkable game in Flames history on March 21, 1989, Mullen celebrates his 50th goal of the season, as does Joe Nieuwendyk, while Lanny McDonald smiles after reaching both 500 goals and 1,000 points, all during the same game

During the final game of the 1988-89 season, Mullen scored a goal and picked up a pair of assists in a 4-2 Flames win over the Edmonton Oilers. The three points Mullen scored that night set a new NHL record for most points in a season by an American born player, breaking the mark of 107 set by Jimmy Carson of the Los Angeles King set the previous season.

Mullen and the Flames would finish the season by capturing the Stanley Cup after narrowly defeating the Vancouver Canucks in overtime of Game 7 in round 1 prior to sweeping the Kings in four and eliminating the Chicago Blackhawks in five before defeating the Montreal Canadiens in six games in the last Stanley Cup Final played between two Canadians teams, becoming the only team to ever win the cup against the Canadiens at the Montreal Forum in it's 71 year history.

After another 36 goal season in 1989-90, Mullen would be traded again, this time to the Pittsburgh Penguins prior to the 1990-91 season for a second round draft pick. The timing couldn't have been better for Mullen. Although he would only play in 47 regular season games due to injuries, his 17 points in 22 playoff games would help the Penguins capture their first Stanley Cup.

Mullen Penguins
Mullen again gets to lift Lord Stanley's cup

He would return to form with 42 goals in 1991-92 and Pittsburgh would again capture the Stanley Cup, the third of Mullen's career.

Two more 70 point seasons would follow before he was limited to 45 games in 1994-95 but did score the 1000th point of his career on this date in 1995 in Pittsburgh, making him the 42nd player to reach 1000 points but only the first American to ever do so.

Mullen Penguins

He would sign as a free agent with the Boston Bruins for the 1995-96 season and play in 37 games, scoring 8 goals. After the season, Mullen would be named the 1995 winner of the Lester Patrick Trophy.

Mullen would return to Pittsburgh for his final NHL season. With just ten games remaining in the season, Mullen would score the 500th goal of his career, only the 25th player and first American to ever reach that hallowed milestone.

Internationally, despite missing out on the 1980 Olympics, Mullen would suit up for the United States during the 1984, 1987 and 1992 Canada Cup tournaments. After having retired from hockey in 1997, He would return one more time at age 42 to play for the United States in a qualifying tournament for the 1999 World Championships.

Mullen would be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.

Today's featured jersey is a 1994-95 Pittsburgh Penguins Joe Mullen jersey worn during the season Mullen became the first American player to ever score 1,000 points in the NHL.

The Penguins were fresh off winning back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992, but chose to mess with success and introduced a brand new set of jerseys for the 1992-93 season, which included dropping the "skating penguin" logo, which dated back to 1968-69, in favor of the "robo penguin", a modern, highly stylized logo, which served as the main crest of their home white jerseys and the secondary logo on their new road black jerseys.

While the white jerseys came off as quite modern, thanks to their new, graphic crest and pointed shoulder yoke, the road jerseys were an attractive melding of the old and new, as the jersey template was originally used by Pittsburgh back in 1974-75 when the team wore blue jerseys, paired with the diagonal "PITTSBURGH" cresting as used during their inaugural season of 1967-68.

Those classic elements were then mated with their modern, new logo as the secondary shoulder logo, done in a rather sizable manner, which was all executed in their current black and gold colors.

After being introduced in 1992-93, the black road jersey would last through the 1996-97 season until being replaced by the Penguins far less attractive alternate jersey, while the white home jersey continued on through 2001-02.

Pittsburgh Penguins 1994-95 jersey photo PittsburghPenguins1994-95Fjersey.jpg
Pittsburgh Penguins 1994-95 jersey photo PittsburghPenguins1994-95Bjersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1988-89 Calgary Flames Joe Mullen jersey as he wore in when he became the highest scoring American-born player in NHL history at home against the Edmonton Oilers. Calgary would go on to capture the Stanley Cup at the conclusion of the 1988-89 season, Mullen's first championship.

Calgary would continue to wear this style jersey through the 1993-94 season until it was replaced after 22 seasons of use, which included a change in logo after the franchise's relocation from Atlanta to Calgary.

Calgary Flames 88-89 jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Here is an interview with Mullen from May of 1991 showing off his eastern accent and talking about is unusual neck collar he wore on the ice, as seen in the photo above of him holding the Stanley Cup.

Next is Mullen from 20 years later looking back at his early days of playing roller hockey in New York City.

Here are videos of Mullen winning the Stanley Cup, first with the Calgary Flames in 1989 followed by the Penguins winning Game 6 to capture the 1991 Stanley Cup, which includes Mullen scoring a pair of the many Penguins goals and assisting on the one by Ron Francis.

Friday, February 6, 2015

1955-56 Montreal Canadiens Doug Harvey Jersey

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

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

Harvey Rookie Card
A Doug Harvey 1951-52 Parkhurst rookie card

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

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

Harvey Canadiens
Harvey changed the way defensemen played the game

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

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

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

Harvey Canadiens
Harvey won seven Norris Trophies in eight years

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

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

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

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

Harvey Canadiens Captain
Harvey became the Canadiens captain in 1960

It would be on this date during the 1962-63 season that Harvey would become only the second defenseman in NHL history to score 500 career points, just three months after Bill Gadsby became the first.

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

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

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

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

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

Harvey Blues
Harvey finished his career with the St. Louis Blues

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

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

Harvey Number Retirement
Harvey's #2 was retired by the Canadiens in 1985

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

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

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

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

Montreal Canadiens 55-56 jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

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

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

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


Thursday, February 5, 2015

1967-68 Rochester Americans Don Cherry Jersey

Better known for his television commentary on "Coaches Corner" and his NHL head coaching career before that, Don Cherry had a 20 year career as a player prior to that.

He began as a junior with first the Windsor Spitfires in 1951-52 followed by a move to the Barrie Flyers later that same season. A defenseman, Cherry played three seasons with Barrie, which concluded with a Memorial Cup championship in 1953.

Cherry, born on this date in 1934, turned professional with the AHL Hershey Bears in 1954, and following a full season with the Bears, made his one and only appearance in an NHL game with the Boston Bruins during the 1955 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Cherry Bruins, Cherry Bruins

The following two seasons were spent with the Bears before moving to the Springfield Indians, also of he AHL, where he clashed with cantankerous Indians owner and former legendary NHL defenseman Eddie Shore. Cherry would spend the next two and half seasons with the Indians before splitting the 1959-60 season with the Indians and the Trois-Rivieres Lions of the EPHL.

In 1960-61, he set a personal best of 39 points while skating for the Kitchner-Waterloo Beavers of the EPHL before moving on yet again, this time to the Sudbury Wolves in 1961-62 before finding himself back in Springfield for 11 games that same season.

A move west was in the cards for 1962-63, as Cherry joined the Spokane Comets of the Western Hockey League.

The 1963-64 season saw a move back east and a period of stability arrive when Cherry became a member of the Rochester Americans. Aside from 17 games with the Tulsa Oilers in 1965-66, he would spend the next six seasons with the Americans.

Cherry Americans, Cherry Americans
Don Cherry with the Rochester Americans

In addition to stability, success was also part of Cherry's time in Rochester, as they would win the Calder Cup during his second season with the Americans after they defeated his former club Hershey 4 games to 1.

1964-65 Rochester Americans team, 1964-65 Rochester Americans team
1964-65 Calder Cup champion Rochester Americans 

Rochester went back-to-back when they defeated the Cleveland Barons 4-2 to claim the 1966 Calder Cup. Their streak of titles fell was stopped when they lost in the 1967 finals to the Pittsburgh Hornets but 1968 saw Cherry and the Americans take their third championship in four years when they defeated the Quebec Aces 4-2.

1967-68 Rochester Americans team, 1967-68 Rochester Americans team
1967-68 Calder Cup champion Rochester Americans 

He would play one more season, splitting time between the Americans and the Vancouver Canucks of the WHL to close out his playing days - for now.

For the next two seasons Cherry worked as a car salesman, construction worker and painter before tiring of a non-hockey life and making a comeback as a player for the 1971-72 season with the Americans. Rochester was not playing well and Cherry wasn't getting much playing time as the parent club dictated the team to go with younger players. In an attempt to change the club's fortunes, Cherry was made the new head coach in the middle of the season.

He was an instant success as a head coach, winning Coach of the Year honors. The next year he also became the club's General Manager and followed that with another Coach of the Year award in 1974.

That success earned him a promotion to head coach of the Boston Bruins, a position he would hold for five seasons, guiding he Bruins to two Semifinals and two Stanley Cup Finals while earning the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year in 1976.

Don Cherry Bobby Orr, Don Cherry Bobby Orr
Don Cherry with Bobby Orr

After being fired by the Bruins, Cherry landed a job as head coach of the Colorado Rockies, a tenure marked by several incidents which did not endear him to the club's management, including calling his own goaltender Hardy Âström "The Swedish Sieve"! His tenure in Colorado lasted but one season, bringing to an end his NHL coaching career.

Following the Rockies failure to qualify for the playoffs, Cherry was hired by the CBC as a studio analyst, starting him on the route to the career he is best known for today - along with his outlandish wardrobe!

Ron MacLean Don Cherry, Ron MacLean Don Cherry
Ron MacLean and Don Cherry on "Coaches Corner"

Today's featured jersey is a 1967-68 Rochester Americans Don Cherry jersey. The Americans were founded back in 1956 and have six championships to date. Their shield logo is an icon of minor league hockey and remains in use today.

This classic minimalist style from Cherry's playing days features a lace-up collar, simple arm stripes and just enough stars to create a perfect balance with the crest and stripes.

Rochester Americans 67-68 jersey, Rochester Americans 67-68 jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's video segment is a departure from the usual, as we bring you "Keep Your Head Up Kid - The Don Cherry Story" in two parts of 90 minutes each. It's a fantastic look at Cherry's trials and tribulations during his minor league career on his way to becoming a head coach and media icon.

We've watched this film more than once and can't recommend it enough. There are some hilarious scenes in the movie and Jared Keeso as Cherry is just fantastic.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

1951-52 Boston Bruins Adam Brown Jersey

The second highest scoring player in NHL history born in Scotland, Adam Brown was born on this date in 1920 in Johnstone.

Brown's family moved to Canada during his childhood and it was there he took up the game of hockey. He played senior hockey in the Ontario Hockey Association first with the Stratford Majors in 1938-39 and made his mark with the Guelph Indians in 1939-40 with 21 goals in 20 games.

He crossed the border to play of the Omaha Knights of the American Hockey Association in 1940-41 and the left winger made his NHL debut the following season with the Detroit Red Wings. He saw action in 28 games that season, scoring 6 goals and 9 assists for 15 points. He also played for the Indianapolis Capitals of the American Hockey League the other half of the season, where he averaged more than a point per game.

Brown Red Wings

Brown spent the entire regular season with Indianapolis in 1942-43, but was called up by the Red Wings for the NHL post season. The Red Wings outlasted the Toronto Maple Leafs in six games and then swept the Boston Bruins in four straight to earn Brown his name on the Stanley Cup. During the playoffs he played in six of the Red Wings 10 games and contributed a goal and an assist.

Brown Red Wings cup
Brown congratulated by Red Wings owner Jack Adams

Note the "Everybody Buy War Bonds" patch worn on the Red Wings sweaters during World War II in 1942-43 to 1944-45.

The next season Brown was a full time Red Wing, skating in 50 games where he scored a career high 24 goals as well as adding 18 assists for 42 points, good for sixth on the team.

Following that career year, Brown did not play professional hockey the following season at either the NHL or minor league level, owing to him performing military service due to World War II, but he did manage to play some senior hockey during his year away from the NHL.

Brown returned to the NHL in 1945-46 and picked up where he left off with a 20 goal season for Detroit which included a hat trick against Boston in the season opener. He returned to the Red Wings to begin the 1946-47 season, but after 22 games with Detroit, Brown was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks in early December. He played in 42 games for Chicago and scored 11 goals, falling just short of 20 for the season with a combined 19.

Brown Black Hawks

He was a member of the Black Hawks for five seasons in a defensive role before being involved in a trade that sent him to the Boston Bruins for the 1951-52 season. He split time between the Bruins (33 games) and Hershey Bears (30 games) of the AHL in what would prove to be his last NHL action.

Brown Bruins home

He spent the entire 1952-53 season with Hershey and returned to Canada for the rest of his career. He played for the Quebec Aces in the Quebec Hockey League in 1953-54 and regained his scoring touch with 23 goals and 55 points, his highest point total in 11 years.

His final season playing hockey was spent in the Northern Ontario Hockey League with the Sudbury Wolves before he retired as a player. In ten NHL seasons, Brown totaled 104 goals and 113 assists for 217 points. It would take until 1991 for Steve Smith of the high scoring Edmonton Oilers to surpass Brown's status as the highest scoring NHL player from Scotland.

Sadly, Brown died in an auto accident just five years later at the age of 40.

His son Andy Brown later became a goaltender in both the NHL and WHA and was known as the last goaltender to play without a mask as late as 1977.

Today's featured jersey is a 1951-52 Boston Bruins Adam Brown jersey as worn during Brown's final NHL season. This attractive Bruins jersey was first used in 1949 and remained in use through 1955 and was the last Bruins jersey not to use the famous "spoked B" logo, which was introduced on the Bruins white home jerseys back in 1948.

Brown Bruins

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

1998-99 Washington Capitals Peter Bondra Jersey

It began like any other game when the Washington Capitals hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning on this date in 1999. Corey Schwab started in goal for the Lightning while the Capitals number one Olaf Kolzig took his familiar place in the crease for Washington.

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Olaf Kolzig got the start for the Capitals

Washington failed to capitalize on a power play opportunity at 1:37 and the Lightning also could not score with their first man advantage at 8:17. Peter Bondra of the Capitals broke the stalemate at 10:40 shortly after Kelly Miller's charging penalty expired 23 seconds earlier. In fact, Miller received an assist on the goal. Despite two more power plays, Washington could not add to their lead and the period ended with the Capitals up by a goal and leading in shots by a comfortable 13-4 margin.

The well-travelled Mike Sillinger scored his fourth goal of the season from Rob Zamuner and Darcy Tucker at exactly 5:00 with both teams at even strength to tie the game at 1-1.

And then it began.

Bondra struck for the second time in the game at 9:46 to regain the lead for Washington and he completed his hat trick just 35 seconds later with an assist from Adam Oates. It was Bondra's 20th goal of the season, his eighth consecutive season of 20 goals or more.

Bondra Capitals photo BondraCapitals.jpg
Bondra completed his hat trick at the halfway point of the game

Calle Johanson made it 4-1 for the Captials 1:29 later from Andrei Nikolishin and Brian Bellows 9th goal came just 35 seconds afterwards at 11:50 to stretch the Washington lead to 6-1.

 photo BrianBellows.jpg
Bellows scored just 35 seconds after Nikolishin

This marked the end of the line for Schawb in the Tampa Bay goal. He was replaced by former Captial and NHL veteran Bill Ranford, who was rudely greeted by Joe Juneau's 10th goal of the season, from Bondra and Nikolishin just 1:15 after entering the game.

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Corey Schwab's night ended early after Washington's fifth goal

Bondra then confirmed the rout with his fourth of the game another 63 seconds afterwards from Oates and Juneau at 14:33.

Bonda Capitals 1 photo BondaCapitals1.jpg
Bondra celebrates his fourth goal of the night

James Black joined the scoring parade from Nikolishin, his third of the period, and Bellows at the 16:56 mark, the Capitals seventh even strength goal of the period.

Jaroslav Svejkovsky's third goal of the season, from Steve Konowalchuk and Jan Bulis came on the power play at 19:20 to give Washington eight goals in the second period alone and set a new NHL record for the fastest 8 goals by one team, which they did in 9 minutes and 34 seconds.

 photo JaroslavSvejkovsky.jpg
Jaroslav Svejkovsky completed the Capitals onslaught

The period ended with Washington leading 9-1, with their 8 second period goals coming on 25 shots to Tampa Bay's 8. Once Bondra began the record scoring binge, the longest Washington went without a goal during the period was just 2 minutes and 24 seconds.

After the break, Washington set another record for the quickest 9 goals by one team in league history when Bellows 10th of the season, from Oates and Juneau, lit the lamp at 1:18 on the power play, giving the Capitals 9 goals in the span of 11:32.

The remainder of the game was scoreless as the Capitals cruised to a 10-1 final score and outshot Tampa Bay 46-22 for the game.

"Tonight was a night where we scored early and just kept going forward," said Bondra, who matched his goal total for the previous seven games. "I don't think I played bad before. I would hit a post. Tonight was a night when the puck went in. Everything I shot went in."

14 of the 18 Capitals scored a point, led of course my Bondra's 5 points. Defensemen Johansson and Joe Reekie were both a +5. Conversely, every Tampa Bay player, save for Tucker who was even, finished the game with a minus rating with Wendel Clark and Chris Gratton getting tagged with a -4 for the game during which the last place Lightning were missing five defensemen due to injuries.

Today's featured jersey is a 1998-99 Washington Capitals Peter Bondra jersey as worn during his four goal performance during the Capitals record setting scoring binge against the Tampa Bay Lightning. While Bondra's four goal game was certainly impressive, it was not his best, as he once scored five goals in a game on February 5, 1994 in a 6-3 Washington victory over... the same Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Capitals had adopted this style of jersey, often referred to as "the screaming eagle" style in 1995 after 21 seasons wearing their original red, white and blue jerseys. This style remained in use through the 2006-07 season before a complete redesign in 2007 coinciding with the new Reebok Edge jerseys saw a return to patriotic red, white and blue colors.

Washington Capitals 98-99 jersey
Washington Capitals 98-99 jersey

First up in today's video section is a Bondra tribute video featuring lots and lots of goals.

And there was much rejoicing.

Next up is an interview with Bondra at the 2015 Winter Classic.

Monday, February 2, 2015

1977-78 Philadelphia Flyers Gary Dornhoefer Jersey

Born on this date in 1943, Gary Dornhoefer played for both the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers during his 14 season NHL career.

Dornhoefer made his NHL debut with Boston in the 1963-64 season, getting into 32 games while scoring 22 points. Dornhoefer found it tough to crack the Bruins lineup though, as the number of games played each season with the Bruins declined to 20 games the next year, followed by just 10 games followed by none in 1966-67, as he spent the entire season playing for the Hershey Bears in the American Hockey League.

It's hard to imagine any player benefiting from the NHL expansion and 100% increase in NHL jobs more than Dornhoefer, who was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft, and would spend the remainder of his career with the Flyers.

Never one to be considered a flashy goal scorer, Dornhoefer was a perfect fit for the Flyers who valued his gritty style, all-out tenacity and ruggedness.

His first season in Philadelphia saw him score 43 points for the expansion Flyers and rack up 143 penalty minutes. That set the tone for what the Flyers could expect from Dornhoefer annually, as he regularly scored between 40 and 60 points and averaged 120 penalty minutes.

He did have one notable offensive season in 1972-73 when he hit the 30-goal plateau for the only time and scored 79 total points, 16 more than any other season of his career. The points did not affect his rugged play, as he totaled his second highest time in the penalty box of his career, with 168 minutes, behind only the 183 from the season before.

The most famous play of his career came in the 1973 playoffs in overtime of Game 5 against the Minnesota North Stars when he raced down the boards, eluding first Bill Goldsworthy and then Barry Gibbs as he cut in front of the net. He then pulled the puck from his forehand to his backhand as he moved past Gibbs before shooting the puck past goaltender Cesare Maniago just before Tom Reid could upend him.

Dornhoefer scoring his dramatic goal in the 1973 playoffs

The spectacular goal all but clinched the series for the Flyers giving them a 3-2 lead in games, a series they would go on to win 4-2 for the first playoff series win in team history.

“I don’t even know how I scored. I just remember getting the puck at center ice, and fortunately it stayed right with me. You could try that play again a hundred times and it wouldn’t work,” Dornhoefer recounted afterwards.

Dornhoefer's goal was immortalized as a statue outside the Flyers original arena, The Spectrum.

Dornhoefer's famous goal immortalized as a statue

The loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs the year before only increased the Flyers hunger and The Broad Street Bullies would take on the league with their elbows up, sticks high and fists flying, as they won the West Division with a league leading 1,750 penalty minutes, an average of over 22 minutes a game, 7 minutes more per game than the next closest team and 10 more per game than the league average of 12.

During the playoffs, the Flyers would eliminate the Atlanta Flames in the opening round 4-0, outlast the New York Rangers 4-3 and defeat the Boston Bruins 4-2 to become the first expansion team to capture the Stanley Cup.

Dornhoefer posing with the Stanley Cup while wearing the celebratory
Stanley Cup champions patch, which was only worn by the team
during the following preseason until the patch was removed at the player's
request, as they feared it would provide motivation for their opponents

Dornhoefer and the Flyers would defend the cup again in 1975, repeating their same pattern as the year before by sweeping the Toronto Maple Leafs, outlasting the New York Islanders in seven and beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 for their second consecutive championship. During the regular season they would up their penalty minute total to 1,969 (an average of 24.6 per game) and again lead the league by a wide margin, nearly 700 minutes more than the next closest club.

After two more full seasons, injuries would begin to take it's toll, causing Dornhoefer to miss half of he 1977-78 season and retire following the playoffs that year. His final career totals were 787 games, 214 goals, 328 assists and 542 points. Additionally, he would score 36 points in 80 playoff games and win a pair of Stanley Cups.

Today's featured jersey is a 1977-78 Philadelphia Flyers Gary Dornhoefer jersey, as worn during the final season 0f his career.

This jersey features the #4 memorial patch for former Flyer Barry Ashbee, who was on the club the season they won the 1974 Stanley Cup, but saw his career end six games into the playoffs when he was struck in the eye by a puck.

Ashbee became an assistant coach with the Flyers for 1974-75, a season which saw the Flyers retire his number 4 and win another Stanley Cup. Ashbee was diagnosed with leukemia in April of 1977 and died a month later, leading to him being memorialized on the Flyers jerseys in 1977-78.

Today's video selections begin with Dornhoefer hitting the Rangers Eddie Giacomin, which of course starts another Flyers brawl, this one with the Rangers Ron Harris.

Next, Dornhoefer recalls his late teammate Ashbee. 

Here is a scrap between Dornhoefer and Brad Park, with the Flyers wearing their odd black names on a white nameplate on their orange jerseys, a look they have brought back with their current orange jerseys and again with their 2010 Winter Classic jerseys.

Finally, here is the call as the Flyers capture their first Stanley Cup.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

1973-74 Portland Buckaroos Connie Madigan Jersey

Connie Madigan's career began in his hometown Port Arthur Bruins of the Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League in the 1952-53 season. After three seasons with the Bruins, Madigan moved up to the senior level in 1955 with the Peniction Vees of the Ontario Senior Hockey League for two seasons.

Madigan, a defenseman, also played for the Nelson Maple Leafs of the Western International Hockey League in 1958-59 where he was named to the WIHL First All-Star Team after helping lead the Maple Leafs to the Allan Cup as the champions of Canadian Senior Hockey. He then joined the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League for the following season, where he established a personal high with 57 points in 66 games.

After a second season with the Komets of Fort Wayne, Madigan moved west to play for the conventionally spelled Comets of Spokane in the Western Hockey League for the 1961-62 and 1962-63 seasons. Eventually Madigan was traded to the Los Angeles Blades after an argument with his Spokane coach that included a threat to trade Madigan, to which he responded "go ahead." Within the hour Madigan was on his way to Los Angeles!

After one season in Los Angeles, he was traded across the country to the Providence Reds of the American Hockey League. He would play in just ten games for Providence to begin the 1964-65 season before once more being traded for cash to the Portland Buckaroos back in the familiar WHL.

Madigan Buckaroos program

It was with Portland that Madigan's nomadic hockey career, which had seen him criss-crossing the North American continent would finally find a place to call home. Madigan became a stalwart on the Buckaroos blueline for the next nine seasons, never playing less than 60 games a year.

His first season with Portland would be a successful one, as the Buckaroos captured their second Lester Patrick Cup in franchise history as champions of the WHL. 1966-67 saw Madigan record his second 50 point season as a professional with 51 points and be named to the WHL First All-Star Team for the first of four consecutive seasons. Additionally, he was named the recipient of the Hal Laycoe Cup as the WHL's Outstanding Defenseman.

1964-65 Portland Buckaroos
1964-65 WHL champion Portland Buckaroos

In 1969-70 Madigan left Portland for a ten game stint with the Dallas Black Hawks of the Central Hockey League, the fifth league he had now played in since turning professional back in 1958.

Back with Portland for the majority of the season, Madigan still had enough time to surpass the 100 penalty minute mark, keeping alive the rugged defenseman's streak that now stretched to 14th seasons and would eventually reach 18 consecutive seasons.

1970-71 would see the Buckaroos capture another Lester Patrick Cup following a season in which Madigan would establish a career high with 67 points which came in 72 games.

1970-71 WHL champion Portland Buckaroos

Following a 56 point season in 1971-72, Madigan began the season with Portland as usual, but on the final day of 1971, the unthinkable happened - he was sold.

While Madigan being traded for cash was not that unusual, as it had happened a number of times earlier in his career, the unthinkable element was to whom he was sold. The St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League.

So it came to be on this date in 1973 that Connie Madigan of the St. Louis Blues became the oldest rookie in NHL history when he made his debut in a 3-3 tie against the Montreal Canadiens at the age of 38 years old.

Madigan Blues

At the time of his debut, his coach Jean-Guy Talbot was only two years older than Madigan and some of his teammates had not even been born yet when his career began!

Filling in for a pair of injured Blues defensemen, Madigan played in 20 games for St. Louis, scoring three assists and seeing action in five playoff games.

That would be the extent of Madigan's NHL career, as the Blues would sell him to the San Diego Gulls of the WHL for the start of the 1973-74 season. After 39 games with the Gulls, he once again returned home to Portland when he was sold yet again in February of 1974. Back with the Buckaroos he finished out the regular season and one final playoff run in the spring of 1975 before closing out his career with ten games in 1974-75 at the age of 40.

At the time of his retirement, Madigan was second in penalty minutes in minor league history.

His retirement would not be his final time on skates however, as Madigan appeared as Ross "Mad Dog" Madison in the greatest hockey movie of all time, "Slap Shot" starring Paul Newman in 1977.

Ross "Mad Dog" Madison

Today's featured jersey is a 1973-74 Portland Buckaroos Connie Madigan jersey. The Buckaroos began play in 1960-61 and took the name of a previous franchise which played in Portland from 1928 to 1941.

The team had a smashing debut, winning the WHL title in it's very first season. They went on to capture two more championships in 1965 and 1971.

They remained in the WHL until it folded in 1974. The franchise lingered on for another two seasons in first a semi-professional league and then a new amateur league, which did not last a full season, bringing and end to the Buckaroos after 15 seasons.

Madigan Buckaroos

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2011-12 Portland Winterhawks Portland Buckaroos Connie Madigan Day jersey. Sunday, March 18 2013 was declared "Connie Madigan Day" in Portland and Madigan's Buckaroos jersey was replicated for the occasion hosted by the Winterhawks of the WHL.

Portland Winterhawks Buckaroos 2011-12  jersey photo PortlandWinterhawksBuckaroos2011-12Fjersey.jpg
Portland Winterhawks Buckaroos 2011-12  jersey photo PortlandWinterhawksBuckaroos2011-12Bjersey.jpg

Today's video segment begins with a feature on Madigan presented by the Portland Winter Hawks, who saluted the Buckaroos on March 14, 2009.

This next video feature on the Portland Buckaroos, has some classic footage that is really a joy to see, and it's followed by some former Buckaroos, including Madigan, talking about their time in Portland.


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