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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Third String Goalie 6th Anniversary - 1992-93 Winnipeg Jets Phil Housley Jersey

Today is the sixth anniversary of Third String Goalie. To date we have made 1915 posts, are followed by 85 people here on blogger, by 301 on our Facebook page, and 915 of the most intelligent people on Twitter.

We've written about jerseys from Alaska to Japan and from Finland to South Africa, including jerseys from the United States, Canada, Iceland, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Austria, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, South Africa, Poland, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, China and Japan.

In addition to the countries we've written about, we've also had visitors from 198 different countries and territories, which still shocks us to no end, often wondering what someone from someplace like Malawi or Iran was expecting to find when they arrived here?

We've written about the oldest hockey sweater in existencebrand new releases and sweaters never actually used. we've covered jerseys we love and those we do not.

We've also gone astray a time or two with unexpected stories we felt worth sharing and we sincerely hope you've enjoyed the ride.

As a small token of our appreciation for your readership, all readers who email us their mailing address will receive a Third String Goalie refrigerator magnet for free!


Also, we are pleased to announce we are having an Anniversary Sale in the Third String Goalie Online Shop Sale!

Prices have never been lower and we have t-shirts, polos, sweatshirts, hoodies, jackets, clothing for kids, tote bags, home and office, mugs and even buttons all featuring our vintage Third String Goalie logo.

Click the image below for The Third String Goalie Online Shop
Third String Goalie Branded Goods proudly featuring
the Patron Saint of Goaltenders Georges Vezina. 

In honor of our 6th anniversary, we have chosen to feature one of our favorite players to have worn the number 6.

Phil Housley is one of the rare NHL players who never played a single game in the minors. He was drafted 6th overall in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft out of South St. Paul High School by the Buffalo Sabres.

Housley Sabres, Housley Sabres

He was a model of dependability for Buffalo, playing no less than 72 games, scoring a minimum of 15 goals, with a high of 31 in 1983-84, and totaling between 62 and 81 points for each of his eight seasons with the Sabres, with his best season being his last of 1989-90. Additionally, Buffalo made the playoffs in six of his eight seasons with the Sabres.

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A 1989-90 Buffalo Sabres Phil Housley jersey, worn during his highest scoring season with the Sabres

He was sent to the Winnipeg Jets in a deal that saw Dale Hawerchuk go to Buffalo and spent three seasons in Winnipeg cranking out the exact same kind of numbers he had for the Sabres, with each season being better than the last. His final season with the Jets saw him set career highs with 79 assists and 97 points, assisting on many of the dynamic rookie Teemu Selanne's record 76 goals.

Housley Jets, Housley Jets

He was traded to the St. Louis Blues for the 1993-94 season, but his time there was brief, appearing in only 26 games due to injuries before once more being traded, this time to the Calgary Flames.

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A 1993-94 St. Louis Blues Phil Housley jersey
from his short stay with the Blues

His first season with the Flames was then curtailed by the lockout of 1994-95 which limited him to 43 games once the season finally began in January. Prior to the resumption of the NHL season, Housley played in Switzerland for the Zurich Grasshoppers, scoring 6 goals and 14 points in just 10 games.

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A 1994-95 Zurich Grasshoppers Phil Housley jersey from his
time in Europe during the 1994 NHL lockout.
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Housley scored 52 points in 59 games in 1995-96 for the Flames before a late season trade sent him to the New Jersey Devils for the final 22 games of the season.

Housley Devils, Housley Devils

He then signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals for the 1996-97 season, during which he would play in his 1000th game. It was during the following season of 1997-98 that he would record the 1,000th point of his career. Housley would go on to set the unfortunate record of playing the most games in NHL history without ever winning the Stanley Cup at 1,495. The closest Housley came to winning the cap was when the Capitals advanced to the 1998 finals.

Housley Capitals, Housley Capitals
Housley would wear #96 while playing for the Capitals

He made a return to Calgary for the next three seasons from 1998-99 through 2000-01 with a best of 55 points in 1999-00.

Housley Flames, Housley Flames

Housley's next stop was with the Chicago Blackhawks for 2001-02 and 57 games of the 2002-03 season before he was traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs, his eighth and final team, where he would play in just a single regular season game and three playoff games, again wearing #96, to bring an end his 21 year career.

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A 2002-03 Chicago Blackhawks Phil Housley alternate jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

When Housley retired in 2003, he held the record for most games played by an American, as well as the record for most career points by an American, no mean feat considering he spent the majority of his career playing defense, although he did spend some time skating at forward as well. His final statistical totals were 1,495 games played, 338 goals and 894 assists for 1,232 points.

Internationally, Housley played for the United States at the World Championships in 1982, 1986, 1989, 2000, 2001 and 2003.

USA 2005 jersey, USA 2005 jersey
2005 United States National Team Phil Housley jersey which sports Bauhaus sponsor patches on the shoulders, a unique element of jerseys worn during the World Championships
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

He was a part of both the 1984 and 1987 Canada Cup tournaments as well as being on the winning team at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and winning a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

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A 1996 United States National Team Phil Housley jersey as worn during the United States championship at the first World Cup of Hockey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

He was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame in 2007 and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.

In 2013 Housley coached the United States to a gold medal at the World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia.

Today's featured jersey is a 1992-93 Winnipeg Jets Phil Housley jersey as worn during Housley's finest season when he scored 79 assists and 97 points.

The Jets adopted this style jersey for the 1990-91 season and would wear it through the rest of their time in Winnipeg before the franchise was sold and relocated to Phoenix.

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In today's video secion, Housely plays for the United States in the 1984 Canada Cup versus Dominik Hasek and Czechoslovakia and gets an assist with a blast from the point.

Once more Housely gets an assist with a blast from the point versus Hasek, only this time while playing for the Capitals and wearing the unfamiliar #96.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Yellow Sunday

On this date in 1988, the New Jersey Devils hosted the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the Wales Conference Finals. The first period passed without any scoring, but plenty of penalties were called by Don  Koharski, two minors on both New Jersey as Boston as well as a pair of fighting majors until the 19:30 mark, when Keith Crowder of Boston was given a roughing penalty and Kirk Muller of New Jersey was whistled for holding while his teammate Pat Verbeek drew four minutes for roughing for retaliating for being hit in the face by Crowder, which gave the Bruins an extended power play.

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Don Koharski

With Verbeek in the penalty box as the second period started, Boston came out flying, as Ken Linseman put Boston up by a goal at 1:05. Rookie Bob Joyce added a second goal for the Bruins 58 seconds later still on the power play at 2:03 and then Lyndon Byers continued the onslaught with the third Bruins goal just 15 seconds later for a sudden 3-0 lead for Boston with defenseman Ray Bourque assisting on all three goals.

The fists began to fly at 4:04 with each team receiving a minor, a major and a misconduct. Verbeek was then given a tripping penalty at 8:43 with the Bruins widening their lead to 4-0 just 9 seconds after the penalty expired. Verbeek then earned his fourth minor of the game when he and Allen Pederson of Boston were given matching minors at 11:38.

Before they could return, another pair of fighting majors were handed out at 12:20 followed by the Devils first power play coming at 13:00 when Linseman was sent off for elbowing. Brendan Shanahan took advantage of the opportunity and got the Devils on the board with the man advantage at 14:58, only to have Linseman restore the four goal Bruins lead when he netted the 5th Bruins goal of the period at 17:05. The period would not end without Gord Kluzak taking a high sticking penalty at 19:59 with one player from each side also receiving a misconduct penalty.

At 13:05 of the third period, Tom McCarthy of Boston added an additional goal for the Bruins, who also took a trio of minors at 10:54, 14:14 and 17:27 that the Devils could not turn into any additional goals. Things turned ugly late in the game as the "message sending" began at 19:24 with the Devils receiving a minor, a major and a misconduct to the Bruins misconduct and fighting major. To add insult to injury, the Devils went two men down 13 seconds later when Ken Danyeko was called for holding.

Losing by five goals was all too much for the Devils head coach Jim Schoenfeld, who ran after Koharski as he was making his way down the corridor. Schoenfeld made contact with Koharski, who was still wearing his skates, when he stepped in front of Koharski to slow his rapid attempt to retreat to the officials' dressing room. Koharski immediately lost his balance and stumbled to his right, bracing himself against the wall.

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Schoenfeld confronts Koharski as he comes off the ice

With his balance regained, the two engaged in a shouting match in front of TV cameras, which caught the profanities and insults as they flew. Koharski, feeling he had been pushed over, told Schoenfeld "You pushed me! You're done!", while Schoenfeld accused Koharski of falling on purpose and claiming he didn't touch him. He then proceeded to yell at Koharski "You're full of (crap)! You're crazy! You're crazy! You fell, you fat pig!" and as Koharski hurried to his dressing room, Schoenfeld yelled after him "Have another doughnut! Have another doughnut!" which was replayed on ESPN many times to a national audience.

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Schoenfeld during his tirade

Following the incident on a Friday night, Schoenfeld was not suspended for Game 4 until 12:30 in the afternoon Sunday by Brian O'Neill of the NHL for the game scheduled to be played that evening, Mother's Day, on this date in 1988. Lou Lamorello of the Devils knew a sympathetic judge and, with his assistance, got in touch with the New Jersey Superior Court Judge on call, Judge James F. Madden, who  issued a restraining order (at his apartment!)  just 40 minutes before the game on the basis that Schoenfeld did not receive a proper hearing from the NHL, which allowed Schoenfeld to coach Game 4 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

This development did not go over very well with the officiating crew, referee Dave Newell and linsemen Gord Broseker and Ray Scampanello and backup referee Denis Morel, who refused to take to the ice for the game in protest. The game was then delayed by an hour while three local officials were located and pressed into service - during the Wales Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs!

The replacement linesmen were outfitted with yellow practice jerseys, rather than the traditional black and white striped uniforms, and all three replacement officials wore green Devils sweat pants with red and white stripes down the legs! With the new officials in place and "dressed", the game was finally able to get underway in front of a sold out crowd and a national TV audience over an hour late.

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The replacement linesmen taking to the ice
in their yellow practice jerseys

The Devils would win the game 3-1 with New Jersey scoring two goals in less than a minute during the midway point of the first period. The game, dubbed "Yellow Sunday" thanks to the practice jerseys worn by two of  the stand-in officials, saw the replacement referee show the teams he was in charge early, calling the Devils goaltender Sean Burke for Delay of Game just 55 seconds into the contest.

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The replacement referee McInnis and one of his yellow-clad linesmen

After calling four minors on the Devils and three on Boston during the first period, the Bruins received 9 minors, a fighting major and a misconduct, while New Jersey got 8 minors, a fighting major and a misconduct, all in the second period. Things settled down in the third period, with the replacement officials adding five minors, 2 for Boston and 3 for the Devils.

Schoenfeld then was given his proper hearing and subsequently suspended for Game 5 in Boston, which resulted in the return of the normal NHL officials and their usual black and white striped shirts.

Today's featured jersey is a yellow practice jersey as worn by the replacement linesmen, when stand-in referee Paul McInnis (a 52-year-old goal judge and rink manager), linesmen Jim Sullivan (a retired 50-year-old police officer) and Vin Godleski (a 51-year-old salesman) worked the all-important Devils game against the Bruins on this date in 1988 when the scheduled NHL officials refused to work the game in protest.

Referee McInnis would wear a pair of Aaron Broten's skates and Godleski's striped referee's shirt he had stored in his car. The reasons McInnis was the referee that night, despite Godleski having the proper striped shirt, was because Godleski hadn't skated in a month and had run five miles earlier that day!

Boston would go on to win the series by winning Game 7 at home.

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Today's video section are highlights of both Game 3 and the controversial incident following the game as well as the "Yellow Sunday" Game 4.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

1920-21 Hamilton Tigers Mickey Roach Jersey

Reports vary as to the day and location of early NHLer Mickey Roach. Some sources list him as having been born on May 1, 1895 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Hockey Hall of Fame biography states he is "American-born" and NHL.com also favors Boston, while other sources say he was born on this date, May 7, 1895 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, with the most convincing argument being his birth certificate from Nova Scotia! One source seems to have his story right, as it splits the difference, stating he was born in Glace Bay but moved to Boston at a young age.

Regardless of where he was born, it seems apparent he grew up in New England, as his earliest recorded hockey club was the Boston Pilgrims, with whom he played 8 games as a teen in 1913-14, scoring 4 goals.

For 1914-15 he joined the Boston Arenas of the American Amateur Hockey League where he totaled 14 goals in just 10 games to lead the league in scoring. He remained with the Arenas for 1915-16. While he was limited to just 6 games, he found the net 11 times, an average of nearly 2 goals per game. His next stop was with the New York Crescents, still in the AAHL, where he scored 5 goals in 6 games.

He remained in New York for the 1917-18 season, only now with the New York Wanderers of the USNHL where he scored another dozen goals in 10 games.

Roach moved across the border to his native Canada for the 1918-19 season when he joined the Hamilton Tigers of the Ontario Hockey Association where he had another fine offensive season, leading the league in scoring with 17 goals and 29 points in only 8 games thanks to his speed and agility. The Tigers had a successful regular season and eventually advanced the the Allan Cup playoffs for the Canadian amateur championship where they defeated Winnipeg Selkirk in the first game 6-1 and then held on after a 5-1 loss in Game 2 to win the series 7 goals to 6.

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His fine season with Hamilton caught the attention of the Toronto St. Patricks of the National Hockey League, which was about to embark on only its third season of play. Playing a season twice as long as any he had before, Roach scored 11 goals and 13 points in 1919-20, which included Roach becoming only the fourth player in the NHL to score five goals in one game on March 6, 1920 as Toronto defeated the Quebec Bulldogs 11-2.

Not to diminish Roach's accomplishment, which also included an assist that night, but goaltender Howard Lockhart of the St. Patricks was loaned to Quebec for that game, allowing Roach's five goals and the St. Pats 11, which certainly must have caused the Bulldogs to question Lockhart's effort that evening!

To this date, 98 years later, only 44 men have joined the exclusive five goal club, and just two since 1997. With Roach having indeed born in Canada, Mark Pavelich in 1983 remains the only American to accomplish the feat.

Roach began the 1920-21 season with the St. Pats, but after 9 games, he was sold to the first year Hamilton Tigers of the NHL, a different Hamilton Tigers than who Roach had won the Allan Cup with in 1919. After having scored just 2 points with the St. Pats, Roach racked up 17 points in 14 games with Hamilton.

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The inaugural 1920-21 Hamilton Tigers

In 1921-22, Roach, a center, scored 14 goals and 17 points prior to setting career highs in 1922-23 with 17 goals and 25 points to lead Hamilton in scoring and finish 6th overall in the NHL.

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Roach in the 1921-23 "Walking Tiger" style he wore during his finest season

After never making the playoffs previously and a disappointing 1923-24 season, in which he only managed 5 goals and 8 points in 21 games while Hamilton finished dead last, the Tigers had a great regular season in 1924-25, finishing first overall in the NHL with a 19-10-1 record to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in Roach's career.


The NHL had increased the season schedule from 24 games to 30 that season to accommodate two new clubs, and, on the train ride home following the final game of the season, the players demanded an extra $200 each for the extra six games they were required to play without any increase in pay. The Tigers management informed the players that their contracts ran from December 1, 1924 to March 30, 1925 regardless of the number of games played and no additional pay would be forthcoming.

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The 1924-25 Hamilton Tigers team

While the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto St. Patricks were facing off in the semifinals for a chance to face Hamilton for the O'Brien Trophy and a chance to play for the Stanley Cup as NHL champions the players stated they would rather retire than be taken advantage of.

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A newspaper headline about the 1925 Hamilton players' strike

The NHL took a hard line stance and warned the players they would be suspended if they did not play. After Montreal defeated Toronto, NHL President Frank Calder met with the Tigers management, declared the Canadiens champions of the NHL and fined the Tigers players $200 each!

During the offseason, "Big Bill" Dwyer bought the rights to the Hamilton players for his expansion club set to begin play in New York's Madison Square Garden for the 1925-26 season, the New York Americans. The players were more than happy with the new arrangement, as they all received raises from Dwyer, some as much as 200%!

The Hamilton franchise was then revoked at the September 22nd league meetings, bringing an end to the Tigers franchise.

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The inaugural New York Americans of 1925-26

Roach managed a mere 3 goals in 25 of the Americans 36 games, but rebounded in 1926-27 with 11 goals in 44 games, second on the Americans in goals for the season, which proved to be his last in the NHL. Thanks to the Hamilton player's strike in 1925, Roach never played in a single NHL playoff game during his eight seasons in the league.

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Roach in the star spangled sweater of the Americans

For the 1927-28 season, he joined the Niagara Falls Cataracts of the Canadian Professional Hockey League as a player-coach.

He would play one season with the Windsor Hornets of the CPHL before again spending a season as a player-coach, this time with the Buffalo Bisons in the same league, now renamed the International Hockey League, but with a much more limited amount of playing time, as he appeared in just 10 games. He retired for good as a player after the 1929-30 season to concentrate on coaching, a career that lasted three additional seasons.

In all, Roach played 211 NHL games with 77 goals and 34 assists for 111 points and no playoff games, thanks to the ill-fated Hamilton players' strike of 1925, costing Roach his only shot at winning the Stanley Cup.

Today's featured jersey is a 1920-21 Hamilton Tigers Mickey Roach jersey. The Tigers began play in the 1920-21 season while wearing these vertically striped jerseys with the tiger head logo. They were only worn for one season before being replaced by the "walking tiger" horizontally striped jerseys for the next two seasons. Their final two seasons were with jerseys with a capital H logo in a wide gold band and multiple striped sleeves.

As declared by Sports Illustrated in 2005 as one of "25 Lost Treasures of Sports", a game worn Hamilton Tigers jersey is a Holy Grail of hockey jerseys, as no known examples are currently known to exist, although legend has it one was sold for $500 in the 1990's in Hamilton to an unknown American collector and has never been seen since.

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Today's first video is the history of the Tigers sweaters.

Next is a look at the New York Americans, of which Roach was a original member.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

1913-14 Victoria Aristocrats Tommy Dunderdale Jersey

Born on this date in 1887 in Australia to English parents, Tommy Dunderdale moved to Ottawa, Ontario as a youth. He began playing hockey in high school and , after moving to Winnipeg in 1905, he joined the amateur Winnipeg Ramblers. He turned pro the following season of 1906-07 with the Winnipeg Strathconas of the Manitoba Hockey League during it's brief run as a professional league. He scored 8 goals in 10 games that season.

He divided his time between the Winnipeg Maple Leafs (3 games) and the Strathconas, scoring 11 goals in 5 games. For the 1908-09 season he remained in Winnipeg, only now wit the Winnipeg Shamrocks where he put up an impressive 17 goals and 24 points in nine games.

Dunderdale moved back east for the 1909-10 season to play with the Montreal Shamrocks. The club started the season in the Canadian Hockey Association where he scored 7 goals in 3 games before the league collapsed. The club then joined the National Hockey Association for the remainder of the season, and in 12 games he posted 14 additional goals.

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Dunderdale during his brief time playing in the east
with the Montreal Shamrocks

He again remained in the NHA for the 1910-11 season, only now with the Quebec Bulldogs, with whom he finished second in team scoring with 13 goals in just 9 of the team's 16 games.

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Dunderdale as a Quebec Bulldog in 1910-11

Dunderdale was lured west by the Patrick brothers, Frank and Lester, and their new Pacific Coast Hockey Association. He joined Lester's Victoria Senators club for the 1911-12 season. He led Victoria in scoring with 24 goals in 16 games to finish third in the league.

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The 1911-12 Victoria Senators in their barberpole sweaters

 He put up similar numbers for the Senators in 1912-13 when he scored an identical 24 goals plus 5 assists for 29 points in 15 games to dominate the league scoring race, with 10 more goals and 9 more points than any other player.

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The 1912-13 Victoria Senators

He remained with Victoria for the 1913-14 season, who were now rechristened the Aristocrats. His 24 goals tied for the league lead but a lack of assists left him second on the team and third in the league scoring race, but Victoria won the league title for the second consecutive year. With the PCHA now recognized as an established league, Victoria traveled east to challenge the Toronto Blueshirts of the NHA for the Stanley Cup, who defended their cup three games to none.

The Aristocrats had a poor 1914-15 season with just 4 wins from 17 games, which affected Dunderdale's scoring totals. He led the team with 17 goals and 10 assists, but dropped to sixth overall in the league.

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The 1914-15 Victoria Aristocrats

For the 1915-16 season, Dunderdale moved south to the United States to play for the second year Portland Rosebuds, who promptly won the PCHA championship and traveled east to face the Montreal Canadiens for the rights to the Stanley Cup, becoming the first American team to play for the cup, a challenge won by Montreal three games to two.

For the 1916-17 season, Dunderdale scored 22 goals in 24 games an finished tenth in PCHA scoring and third on the Rosebuds. What really stood out though, was his league record 141 penalty minutes to lead the league, nearly 100 more than he had ever totaled previously!

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The 1916-17 Portland Rosebuds, Dunderdale is #11

He would play one final season with Portland in 1917-18, scoring 14 goals and returning to Earth with 57 penalty minutes, still the second highest of his entire career.

For the 1918-19 season, Dunderdale was once again a member of the reborn Aristocrats following some somewhat complex franchise shifting. During Dunderdale's time in Portland, the Aristocrats lost use of the Patrick Arena when it was commandeered by the Canadian military for use during World War I. The franchise, having lost their home, moved to Spokane, Washington and played one season as the Canaries before folding. With the Patrick Arena once again available in 1918, the Victoria Aristocrats franchise was revived and stocked with players from the Rosebuds, who had ceased operations. After scoring just 9 points in his first season back in Victoria, Dunderdale regained his form with 26 goals and 33 points in 1919-20 to win his second PCHA scoring title.

He scored 9 goals and 20 points in 1920-21 to once again place in the top ten in league scoring for the Aristocrats, who changed their name to the Cougars for the 1921-22 season, during which Dunderdale racked up 19 points in 24 games, good for second on the club, which included becoming the first player to score on a penalty shot on December 12, 1921 against the Seattle Metropolitans Hugh Lehman. The penalty shot was just one of the many innovations the Patricks introduced when they ran the PCHA that have carried through to today's modern game. Oddly, in 27 games of the 1922-23 season, Dunderdale's total offensive output was a mere 2 goals, which proved to be his last with Victoria.

For the 1923-24 season, Dunderdale left the PCHA and signed with the Saskatoon Crescents of the Western Coast Hockey League, with whom he played six games before moving to the Edmonton Eskimos for the final 11 games of his career.

Dunderdale's final combined career totals are 320 games with 279 goals and 71 assists for 350 points, well over a point per game for his career. His 194 goals made him the all-time PCHA leader and he was named a PCHA all-star six times and became the only Australian-born player elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1974.

Today's featured jersey is a 1913-14 Victoria Aristocrats Tommy Dunderdale jersey. After starting out life wearing barberpole jerseys at the Victoria Senators, the club changed to the unique sash style jerseys as the Aristocrats. In 1922, the franchise changed names once again, this time to the Cougars, and adopted the colors of light blue and yellow.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

2000-01 Manitoba Moose Johan Hedberg Jersey

Prior to coming to North America, goaltender Johan Hedberg played five seasons for Leksands IF in Sweden's Elitserien, appearing in 116 games. He also was chosen to play for the Sweden National Team at the 1994 World Championships, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and the 1997 World Championships during the early stages of his career.

Hedberg Leksands, Hedberg Leksands

Despite being selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the late rounds of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, he never was invited by the Flyers to participate in a training camp and came to North America as a free agent in 1997. He started in the lower reaches of the minors, first with the Baton Rouge Kingfish of the ECHL. He then joined the Manitoba Moose of the IHL for 14 games, going 8-4-1-1.

Hedberg, born on this date in 1973, also made the roster for Sweden at the 1998 Olympics in February and the World Championships in May.

Hedberg Sweden, Hedberg Sweden

He returned to Leksands for the 1998-99 season as their number one goaltender, playing in 48 games, as well as a return to the World Championships following the domestic season.

Hedberg was back in North America once again, playing the entire 1999-00 season with the Kentucky Thoroughblades of the AHL, going 18-9-5-3.

He began the 2000-01 season with the Manitoba Moose in the IHL, where he recorded a 23-13-7-1 mark prior to being traded in mid March to the Pittsburgh Penguins by the San Jose Sharks, who had acquired Hedberg's rights from the Flyers back in 1998 and were loaded with goaltending in their system the likes of Evgeni Nabokov, Miikka Kiprusoff and Vesa Toskala.

With Garth Snow dealing with a strained groin and Jean-Sebastien Aubin not playing well, Heberg was given the opportunity to see some action during the end of the regular season. He began with a 41 save performance in a 6-3 win over the Florida Panthers on March 16th, but lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning the next night. Heberg next recorded a tie with Boston before defeating New Jersey, Buffalo, Chicago, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Carolina to finish the season 7-1-1, creating some excitement in Pittsburgh.

After losing Game 1 and winning Game 2 in Washington, while giving up only 2 goals, Hedberg shut out the Capitals back in Pittsburgh in Game 3. During that game, Hedberg, still wearing his blue mask adored with the smiling moose from Manitoba, was supported by a ever-growing chorus calls of "Moooooose", which was painted in bold letters on the side of his mask.

Hedberg Moose Mask, Hedberg Moose Mask

The Capitals would fall in six games, making "Moose" 11-3-1 in his last 15 games. In the next round, the Sabres would take a 3-2 series lead, only to have the Penguins dig deep and win the series in overtime of Game 7 as the fans in Pittsburgh were now sporting yellow foam antlers as the "Moose" calls continued to become louder and louder. At the peak of the Penguins playoff fever, one fan even altered a sign in a Pittsburgh suburb, changing the name of Heidelberg to "He d  berg"!

Hedberg Moose Antlers, Hedberg Moose Antlers

In the eastern conference finals against the New Jersey Devils, Hedberg did his best, but the Penguins offense could not manage much offense in support of their goaltender, losing games 1, 3 and 4 while scoring but a single goal. The Penguins would eventually fall in five games, but Hedberg had created a phenomenon in Pittsburgh over the course of an exciting two months as the goalie from nowhere with the blue mask and the cartoon moose led the Penguins into the playoffs and then on their deepest run in five years.

Hedberg would be the Penguins undisputed number one goaltender the following season in 2001-02, playing in 66 games only now with a mask in the colors of the Penguins, but there would not be another magical playoff run, as Pittsburgh sank in the standings, missing out on the playoffs entirely. That season also saw Hedberg as a member of the 2002 Swedish Olympic team in Salt Lake City.

The following season he was limited to 41 games after suffering an injury.

Hedberg Moose Mask, Hedberg Moose Mask

During the offseason, Hedberg was traded to the Vancouver Canucks, where he backed up Dan Cloutier. He would play just 14 games with Leksands, now down in the second division during the 2004-05 season when the NHL season was cancelled before returning to the NHL with Dallas during the 2005-06 season where he backed up Marty Turco.

He signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2006-07, playing there for four seasons, the first three behind the often injured Kari Lehtonen and the fourth while splitting time with Ondrej Pavelec.

Hedberg Thrashers, Hedberg Thrashers

The next stop for Hedberg was as a backup to Martin Brodeur in New Jersey. Previously backing up Brodeur would have guaranteed a goalie splinters as he would have ridden the bench for 70+ games, but injuries and the need for more rest for the veteran Brodeur meant Hedberg played 34 games in 2010-11 and in the 2011-12 season he was back in the Devils goal for 27 games, finishing with a fine 17-7 record, which allowed him to pass the 150 career wins mark. The lockout shortened 2012-13 season limited him to 19 games, the last of his NHL career, as Hedberg was now 40 years old and he was bought out of the remaining year of his contract after the Devils acquired 27 year old Cory Schneider from the Vancouver Canucks.

Hedberg Devils, Hedberg Devils

Despite not playing in the NHL until age 27, Hedberg played 12 NHL seasons in 373 games with a record of 161-143-36 and a career goals against average of 2.82 and a save percentage of .901.

Hedberg became the goaltending coach for the Devils top minor league affiliate, the Albany Devils of the AHL, which  led to him playing one more game in 2013-14, where he gave up 2 goals in two periods of play.

Internationally, Hedberg was named to the Sweden National Team roster on seven occasions, including the World Championships in 1994, 1997, 1998 and 1999, the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and the Olympics in 1998 and 2002, but each time as a backup, playing in a total of just 3 games.

Today's featured jersey is a 2000-01 Manitoba Moose Johan Hedberg jersey as worn by Hedberg during his time in Winnipeg prior to being traded to the Penguins.

The Moose were originally formed as an expansion team in St. Paul, Minnesota to fill the void created by the departure of the Minnesota North Stars to Dallas. After two seasons of play as the Minnesota Moose, speculation was that the Winnipeg Jets would be relocating to the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota and a plan was put in place to avoid competing head to head with an NHL franchise by moving to the vacated Winnipeg market.

While the Jets never arrived in Minnesota, moving instead to Phoenix, the deal was already in place to send the Moose north to Winnipeg, where they were renamed the Manitoba Moose.

While in Minnesota their dark jerseys were black with purple and forest green trim, but following their move to Canada, the green was given top billing, with black and purple as the secondary colors. In addition, perhaps the greatest font in the history of hockey jerseys was designed for the numbers, each digit incorporating an antler! The jerseys adopted by the Moose during their first season of play in Winnipeg featured a diagonal "check mark" waist stripe, which remained in use through the 2000-01 season, after which the purple color was replaced by copper and the waist stripe changed to a more conventional horizontal stripe.

For the 2000-01 season the Moose were sponsored by Molson Canadian beer and wore a patch on their upper right chest. Additionally, they wore a secondary logo of an "M" with a moose peeking through it. The left side of the M had a maple leaf coming out of it to represent Canada, while the right half of the M was a stylized map of Manitoba.

The team also wore a 5th Anniversary patch on the left shoulder, which was sewn to a large piece of jersey fabric to cover up the stock secondary logo as shown below.

Manitoba Moose 2000-01 jersey photo Manitoba Moose 2000-01 F.jpg
Manitoba Moose 2000-01 jersey photo Manitoba Moose 2000-01 B.jpg
Manitoba Moose 2000-01 jersey photo Manitoba Moose 2000-01 P2.jpgManitoba Moose 2000-01 jersey photo Manitoba Moose 2000-01 P1.jpgManitoba Moose 2000-01 jersey photo Manitoba Moose 2000-01 P3.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1999 Sweden National Team Johan Hedberg jersey as worn in the 1999 World Championships. Jerseys worn in the World Championships quite often  have the trademark rectangular sponsorship patches on the upper arms, unlike those worn in the Olympics, which are free from commercial sponsorship.

Sweden 1998 jersey photo Sweden 1999 F jersey.jpg
Sweden 1998 jersey photo Sweden 1999 B jersey.jpg
Photos courtesy of IIHF Jersey Collection

In today's video section, Hedberg explains how his nickname "Moose" came about.

Next up is Hedberg while playing for Leksands IF during his return to Sweden during the labor stoppage of 2005.

Finally, highlights of Hedberg in action.


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