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Saturday, November 14, 2015

1994 Stars of Russia Pavel Bure Jersey

The start of the 1994-95 NHL season was delayed when the owners locked out the players due to a labor dispute. The players were seeking a new collective bargaining agreement while the owners were looking to cap rising salaries.

The owners were proposing a tax on salaries higher than the average while the player's union viewed that as a variation on a salary cap and refused to accept it. Meanwhile, the players wanted a revenue sharing plan to help the small market teams, while the owners countered with tying salaries to revenues.

Eventually, as the delays in the season dragged on from October into November, the players grew restless and various plans were hatched to get them back on the ice. Some players decided to play in various European leagues and the National Hockey League Player's Association organized the 4-on-4 Challenge at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario, which featured four teams of Canadian and American players competing a tournament format.

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Wayne Gretzky at the NHLPA 4-on-4 Challenge

Wayne Gretzky later formed the Ninety Nine All-Stars, who played eight games in the first half of December, first in the United States against the Detroit Vipers of the IHL and then in Finland and Sweden against top level club teams or all-star squads in the case of their stops in both Norway and Germany.

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Gretzky as part of the Ninety Nine Tour
following a game against Jokerit Helsinki

Lesser known, but easily the most touching and emotional, was the Stars of Russia, a charity tour against teams from the Russian International Hockey League, a league which filled the gap between the old Soviet Championship League and the Russian Superleague for four seasons in the mid 1990's.

The tour was organized by Slava Fetisov and featured the best of the Russians in the NHL. The lineup for the Stars of Russia included: Alexei Kovalev, Pavel Bure, Darius Kasparitis, Igor Larionov, Sergei Makarov, Valeri Zelepukin, Sergei Berezin, Nikolai Khabibulin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexi Yashin, Dimitri Yushkevich, Maxim Afinogenov, Pavel Datsyuk, Oleg Tverfovsky, Danny Markov, Boris Mironov, Nikolai Borshevsky and most interestingly, Soviet defectors Alexander Mogilny and Sergei Fedorov.

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Sergei Makarov, Igor Larionov and Vladimir Krutov

In fact, the Russian government had to clear the way for the tour by dropping charges against several players, promising that no "repressive measures" would be taken against them, Mogilny in particular, as he had been convicted in absentia of treason by a military court for, not only did he defect as a hockey player, but also while as an officer of the Red Army.

"The fact that Mogilny has not been here for five years is a disgrace - not to him, but to the authorities," one fan declared. "Of course, I was sorry they all left. But I was proud of them too, because I knew they would go to that other country and show them how to play hockey."

When he returned to Moscow, Mogilny said what he had missed the most in five years away was "our Russian cooking. For so long I've wanted to taste our borscht again."

"We are glad to welcome them in Russia," Oleg Soskovets, Russia's first deputy prime minister said at a reception at the Kremlin. "The past is forgotten. They came to an absolutely new country, to an absolutely new society."

Russian Ice Hockey President Valentin Sych welcomed Mogilny home by stating, "I congratulate Alexander Mogilny for taking such a courageous stand to go where he wanted to play." in one of the most startling examples of the change in attitude by the authorities.

There was perspective and understanding shown to the players who had left rather than a feeling of resentment. "I say they're good guys. They haven't forgotten their native country. They were invited over there, and they have a God-gven gift. Why not work there? It's not a betrayal of their country to fulfill that gift," one fan stated.

"For the last five years, out country has been reconstructing everything, and hockey is not immune. The definition of a professional athlete is changing. It's not only attitude or prestige. It also includes business and commerce," Yuri Yakolev, President of Torpedo Yaroslavl explained.-

The tour began on November 4, 1994 with a 5-4 win over Moscow Spartak, highlighted by a pair of goals by Mogliny and one by Bure. Tickets for the game cost between $3 and $10, but scalpers were getting as much as $16 for a ticket!

"When they played the national anthem, I seized up," Fedorov said. "I'm thinking, 'Gee, after everything that's happened, now they're playing the song for us.' It made it extra special. This was history."

There were notable reunions among the Stars of Russia roster worth noting, such as the Bure - Fedorov - Mogilny line, which was expected to lead the Soviets into the 1990s, but none more noteworthy than the Green Unit, as Fetisov and Kasatonov on defense were reunited with the famed KLM line of Makarov and Larionov, who were now teammates with the San Jose Sharks, and the 34 year old Krutov, who was summoned from the pro team he was wrapping up his career with in Sweden.

"The last time we played together was the 1989 World Championships," said the 33 year old Larionov. "There have been a lot of reunions lately - the Rolling Stones, the Eagles. But we're not Mick Jagger. We won't be playing together when we're 50. This could be the last chance."

Their next game was a 5-4 loss to Torpedo Yaroslavl on Sunday, November 6th when 4,300 fans came our during snowstorm to watch the underdog home team take on "the millionaires from the west."

"Raw ambition beat talented professionalism," a Torpedo official was quoted as saying.

It was a result few saw coming before the game and certainly even more unexpected after the Stars of Russia scored three goals in under a minute in the first period to streak out to an early lead.

"This arena can seat 4,000, but it sounded like 10,000 out there," said Bure, who was held scoreless.

Their next stop was an 8-3 win against Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod prior to their game on Friday, November 11th that saw the Stars of Russia demolish Metallurg Magnitogorsk 11-2 with Fedorov scoring a hat trick while Bure had two goals of his own.

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Fedorov starred with a hat trick against Magnitogorsk

The squad of All-Stars then won by an even bigger margin on November 12th when they defeated Sibir Novosibirsk 17-6. Bure was the star of the show with 5 goals and 8 points on the night.

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Bure excelled with his 5 goal, 8 point performance against Novosibirsk

Fedorov had a pair of goals and an assist, Mogilny contributed a goal and 3 assists, Makarov had a goal and a pair of assists, Larionov had 1 goal and 3 assists while tour organizer Fetisov had a goal and an assist of his own in the romp.

The tour then wrapped up in Moscow on November 14th against CSKA Moscow, who were then known as the "Russian Penguins" as part of a marketing agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL. The demand for tickets was so great the game was move from the CSKA Ice Palace to Luzhniki Stadium to accommodate the large number of fans.

After the Stars of Russia jumped out to a 6-1 lead, CSKA staged a crowd pleasing rally in the third period, but eventually the NHLers prevailed by a score of 6-5, with Bure having a goal and an assist, Fedorov finding the net twice plus an assist and Mogliny adding a goal of his own as the trio starred in the game against their former club.

The NHL stars reception in Moscow was a mixed bag of joy and sadness. "It was great to watch, " said a young fan, "but it makes me sad. Bure, Fedorov and Mogilny are the best I've ever seen, and who knows when is the next time I'll get to see them."

Their performance left the fans wanting more.

"It was tremendous," said a 57 year old fan. "It's a shame that Russia doesn't have the money to keep them here."

"It was the best week for Russian hockey in years," said legendary Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak, who was in attendance but declined an offer to don his goalie pads once again.

Team captain and tour organizer Fetisov addressed the crowd following the game. "We know many of you were rooting for CSKA, but you used to be our fans. We thank you for the celebration you have given us tonight."

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Fetisov was both team captain and tour organizer

"It has been a thrill to come back here," Mogilny said after the final game. "Everywhere we went, it was a warm welcome."

Today's featured jersey is a 1994 Stars of Russia Pavel Bure jersey as worn during the tour of Russian by the locked out NHLers against Russian club teams, for some players the first time in five years they were allowed to return to Russia after defecting during the final years of the Soviet Union.

Collectors should be aware, following the success of the 1994 Stars of Russia, there have been as many as six other Stars of Russia all-star squads between 1995 and 2001, each with it's own unique jersey style.

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Stars of Russia 1994 B jersey photo Stars of Russia 1994 B jersey_1.jpg

Friday, November 13, 2015

The History of the Penalty Shot - 1934-35 St. Louis Eagles Ralph Bowman Jersey

Invented by hockey pioneer and visionary Frank Patrick in 1921, the penalty shot was added to the NHL rule book in 1934. The first person to be awarded the opportunity to take one was the Montreal Canadiens Armand Mondou on November 10, 1934. His attempt was unsuccessful, as he was foiled by George Hainsworth of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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George Hainsworth

The first successfully converted penalty shot was when Ralph "Scotty" Bowman of the St. Louis Eagles scored his first career goal on this date in 1934 against Alex Connell of the Montreal Maroons. Of note, Bowman was a defenseman who played seven seasons in the NHL and totaled just eight goals for his entire career!

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Ralph "Scotty" Bowman

The Carolina Hurricanes Erik Cole became the first player to be awarded two penalty shots in the same game, which happened on November 9, 2005 versus the Buffalo Sabres. The result was a draw, as Cole beat Martin Biron once, but Biron got the better of Cole on the other. Cole had the distinction of becoming the answer to another piece of penalty shot trivia when he was awarded another penalty shot in his very next game, the first player to have taken penalty shots in consecutive games. Only the little known Esa Pirnes of Finland, who played just 57 games with the Los Angeles Kings, has also been awarded penalty shots in back to back games.

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Erik Cole

Twice a team has scored on two penalty shots in the same game, first on February 11, 1982 when the Vancouver Canucks Thomas Gradin and Ivan Hlinka scored against Gilles Gilbert of the Detroit Red Wings. Not until December 30, 2009 was that feat duplicated, when Ryane Clowe and Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks beat Michal Neuvirth of the Washington Capitals.

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Thomas Gradin

The first penalty shot awarded in the playoffs came on March 25, 1937 when Lionel Conacher, then of the Montreal Maroons, was stopped by Tiny Thompson of the Boston Bruins. To date, 46 penalty shots have been awarded in playoff action, with just 10 being successful. The first of those ten would not arrive until 1968 when Wayne Connelly of the Minnesota North Stars beat Terry Sawchuk, then playing with the Los Angeles Kings, on April 27th of that year.

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Tiny Thompson

Joe Juneau of the Washington Capitals received the first opportunity to end a playoff game with a penalty shot in overtime on April 24, 1996, but he was foiled by the Pittsburgh Penguins Ken Wregget. To date, no player has yet to score on a penalty shot in overtime of a playoff game.

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Ken Wregget

The first penalty shot goal in the Stanley Cup Finals would not occur until June 5, 2006. That goal belongs to Chris Pronger, then of the Edmonton Oilers, who beat the Hurricanes Cam Ward.

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Chris Pronger

In NHL history, one man is the answer to two penalty shot questions, "Who has taken the most penalty shots?" and "Who has scored the most goals on penalty shots?" That man is Mario Lemieux, who at one point was 5-for-5 before he came out of retirement in 2001. His final career totals are 8 penalty shots taken and 6 scored.

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Mario Lemieux

Today's featured jersey is a 1934-35 St. Louis Eagles Ralph Bowman jersey. Bowman, the first NHL player to ever score on a penalty shot, played one season with the Ottawa Senators and remained with the club when they moved to St. Louis for most of their only season as the Eagles before being traded to the Detroit Red Wings where he won the Stanley Cup in 1936 and 1937.

Since the Eagles lasted only one season before the club was disbanded, this is the only style sweater the Eagles ever wore, as of nine the clubs in the NHL that season, six of them had only one jersey style rather than today's dark home and white road styles. It would not be until 1951 when the Rangers adopted a white jersey to go with their traditional blue one, that every club would have a white home and colored away jersey.

Ralph Bowman Eagles

The penalty shot.

Sometimes you score...

...sometimes you don't.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

1998-99 Toronto Maple Leafs Mats Sundin Jersey

Built during the Great Depression, Maple Leaf Gardens hosted it's first game on this date in 1931.

Opening Night - November 12, 1931 - Toronto vs. Chicago

Tex Rickard, seeing the success of the New York Americans hockey club who played the 1925-26 season in his brand new Madison Square Garden, wanted a team of his own.

Conn Smythethen the coach of the University of Toronto hockey team, was hired as the Rangers General Manager for a sum of $10,000. He acquired Lorne ChabotBill CookFrank BoucherChing Johnson and 27 other players for a total of just $32,000. Rangers president Colonel John S. Hammond had a falling out with Smythe and fired him just prior to the start of the season, as well as keeping $2500 of Smythe's promised money.

When Rangers owner Rickard offered Smythe a job as vice president after the Rangers opening night victory, Smythe told Rickard not only would he not work with the Rangers management again, but how they cheated him out of his full pay. Rickard paid Smythe the remainder of the money he was due and asked him to stay. It was too late, however, as Smythe returned to Toronto and vowed to win the Stanley Cup in revenge.

Smythe took the money he received from Rickard and bet it on a football game and won. He took his winnings and next bet on a Toronto St. Pats hockey game and was a winner once more. Smythe then organized a group of other investors and bought the St. Patricks for $164,000, preventing a sale to a Philadelphia group who had offered $200,000 by promising to keep the club in Toronto.

When Smythe took control of the team on February 14, 1927 he thought the name "St. Patricks" was too Irish Catholic and immediately renamed the team the Maple Leafs and changing their colors to the blue and white of the University of Toronto.

Smythe worked to build the Maple Leafs into a contender and made the playoffs for the first time in four seasons in 1929.

Then, after four seasons of playing in the Toronto Arena, Smythe had Maple Leaf Gardens constructed in under six months for $1.5 million - just 100 yards from where Smythe was born - in order to accommodate more fans to meet the rising cost of players.

The first game ever at Maple Leafs Gardens was a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in front of 13,542 fans, with the top ticket price being $2.75.

Program cover from the first game at Maple Leaf Gardens

Despite the opening night loss, the Maple Leafs would go on to qualify for the playoffs in 1931, beating the Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round and next eliminating the Montreal Maroons to earn a trip to the finals. Smythe would gain his revenge on the Rangers, as the Maple Leafs would defeat New York three games to none, capturing the Stanley Cup at home in Maple Leaf Gardens, a fine way to cap off the first season at the new arena.

1932 Stanley Cup Champion Toronto Maple Leafs

Many other events were held at Maple Leaf Gardens over time, including professional wrestling, boxing, basketball, political rallies and concerts, including Frank SinatraElvis PresleyThe Beatles and... Tiny Tim.

Maple Leaf Gardens even hosted a hockey exhibition for the future Queen of England, Elizabeth II in 1951.

Maple Leafs Captain Teeder Kennedy greets the then Princess Elizabeth

In addition to the Maple Leafs of the NHL, many other teams also called the building home. The Toronto Lions of the OHA, the Toronto Marlboros of the OHL and the Toronto Toros of the WHA all played hockey, the Toronto Huskies of the BAA (later the NBA) and the Buffalo Braves and Toronto Raptors of the NBA played some basketball, the Toronto Bilzzard of the NASL and Toronto Shooting Stars (NPSL) called it home for indoor soccer and the Toronto Rock of the NLL played professional lacrosse there. Maple Leaf Gardens was also the first hockey arena to have plexiglass at the ends of the rink.

The Maple Leafs became so popular that the team sold out every single game they played between 1946 and their final game in the arena in 1999 - 54 years of sold out hockey in total. As a result of the demand for Maple Leafs tickets, seats were added again and again throughout its history, increasing from 13,542 on opening night in 1931 to 16,307 by 1968, including taking down a large portrait of Queen Elizabeth II to make room for more seating!

Eventually, the Maple Leafs would move to the brand new Air Canada Centre, complete with the luxury boxes that the old arena lacked, in 1999 after 67 years of playing in Maple Leaf Gardens.

Today's featured jersey is a 1998-99 Toronto Maple Leafs Mats Sundin jersey, which features the classy and attractive Maple Leaf Gardens Memories and Dreams patch to commemorate the final season of Maple Leaf Gardens.

This style jersey was first used for the closing ceremonies of Maple Leaf Gardens as a one time only throwback, but proved so popular and well received that the Maple Leafs brought it back the following season of 2000-01 as an alternate jersey, one of the most attractive and effective third jerseys in the league at the time - and one of the few white third jerseys. It remained in use through the 2006-07 season when the change to Reebok Edge jerseys led to the dropping of all third jerseys for a year. It was then brought back in the Edge template as quickly as possible in 2008-09 and was used this time through the 2010-11 season.

Most teams opted for a dark colored third jersey and promoted a secondary trim color to be the primary for their alternates. Wanting to wear them at home, the visiting team was now required to pack their road dark and home whites to wear when their hosts were wearing their colored alternates so often, it eventually led to the current practice of the home teams wearing dark so the traveling teams in the NHL now only had to travel with their home whites.

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Toronto Maple Leafs 98-99 jersey photo TorontoMapleLeafs98-99B.jpg
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On a personal note, we had the good fortune to see a game at Maple Leaf Gardens once. While driving into Toronto we heard on the radio that the Maple Leafs were going to be playing their first pre-season game of the year versus the Quebec Nordiques in a couple of days time. Our original plan was to see a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game at SkyDome during it's first year of operation, 1989, and a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame, which had yet to relocate to downtown Toronto, with no idea that there would also be a hockey game happening during our stay.

Even more to our surprise was discovering that we were staying at the Days Inn on Carlton Street, located about three feet west of Maple Leaf Gardens - which was right next door!

Our lasting memory of the grand old arena? It was THE smokiest non-smoking building we've ever been in. A true throwback to the days of the original six inhabited by throwback men who did things they way they were used to, modern rules be damned.

For die hards, here is the first of eight parts of the closing ceremonies of Maple Leafs Gardens,

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

1930-31 Philadelphia Quakers Bill Hutton Jersey

On this date back in 1930, NHL hockey made it's debut in the City of Brotherly Love, as the Philadelphia Quakers took to the ice for the first time - a 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers.

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An advertisement for the Quakers opening night

The team had relocated from their previous home in Pittsburgh, where they were known as the Pirates and suffered from both dismal play on the ice, a 5-36-3 record in 1929-30, and understandably dismal attendance, with the Pirates averaging 2,718 per game, while the second worst Chicago Black Hawks were at 3,432 and the Boston Bruins leading the league at 13,387 in 1928-29.

The owners of the Pittsburgh Pirates were $400,000 in debt and, needing a new arena in Pittsburgh, asked permission to temporarily relocate the team to Philadelphia for the 1930-31 season until a new arena could be constructed in Pittsburgh.

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The 1930-31 Philadelphia Quakers

The Quakers were nothing short of a disaster. It wasn't until the third game of the season that they managed to score their first goal. They would not win a game until November 25th, their sixth game. That was followed by a 15 game winless streak which included all of December, with the low point being a very uncharitable 8-0 loss in Boston on Christmas day.

1931 got off to a bad start with a 10-3 loss to Chicago on New Year's Day on their way to a 1-11-1 record for January. They had a light schedule in February and the season concluded in March as Philadelphia posted identical 1-5-1 records over the last two months of the season. They completed their season with a record of 4 wins, 36 losses and 4 ties and their .136 winning percentage was an NHL record low that would stand for 45 years. As one would assume with a record such as that, the Quakers finished the season the fewest goals scored and gave up the most goals against in the NHL for the year.

Gerry Lowrey was the team's leading scorer with 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points in 42 games while Hib Milks led the team in goals with 17. Joe Miller (12 games) and Wilf Cude (30) shared the goaltending duties, with each getting 2 of the 4 total wins. Jake Forbes played back to back games in goal in mid-January for the remaining two games of their 44 game schedule.

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Making matters worse for the Quakers, they had competition from the Philadelphia Arrows of the Can-Am Hockey League, who had a three season head start on the Quakers, with whom they shared the Philadelphia Arena.

The one notable player for the Quakers was Syd Howe who started his career with the Ottawa Senators. He then played for the Philadelphia Quakers before moving on to the Toronto Maple Leafs for one season. Howe next rejoined the Ottawa Senators and then moved with them when they relocated and became the St. Louis Eagles before joining the Detroit Red Wings for 12 seasons. Syd, no relation to Gordie Howe, would retire as the NHL's leading scorer with 237 goals and 291 assists for 528 points when he retired in 1946.

Syd Howe, the most notable of the Quakers

Rather than move back to Pittsburgh for the next season as originally hoped, the owners did not field a team anywhere in 1931-32. Finally after five non-playing seasons during the heart of the depression, the owners officially cancelled their franchise when a new arena was never constructed in either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia.

During the era of the depression, four of the ten NHL clubs would fold, leaving what is now known as "The Original Six". Aside from the Pittsburgh Pirates/Philadelphia Quakers who dropped out of the league in 1931, the Ottawa Senators/St. Louis Eagles ceased operations in 1935, the Montreal Maroons folded in 1938 and New York Americans would fall by the wayside in 1942.

NHL hockey would not return to Philadelphia or Pittsburgh until the Great Expansion of 1967 with the arrival of the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, both of whom would eventually go on to  win the Stanley Cup.

Today's featured jersey is a 1930-31 Philadelphia Quakers Bill Hutton jersey from their only season in the NHL. Hutton was a defenseman who joined the Quakers during the season and played in 21 of their 44 games.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

1993-94 Winnipeg Jets Alexei Zhamnov Jersey

Alexei Zhamnov began his career with four games for Dynamo Moscow in the Soviet Championship league in the 1988-89 season. He became a full time member of the team in 1989-90 with 17 points in 43 games. Dynamo would go on to win the league championship for the first time since 1954 and break a 13 year stranglehold on the title by CSKA Moscow, better known as Central Red Army, thanks in part to the departures of some key Red Army players who were allowed to leave for North America and the NHL for the first time.

During the season the 19-year-old Zhamnov also competed for the Soviet Union during the 1990 World Junior Championships. He excelled with 6 goals in 7 games as his first international experienced resulted in a silver medal.

His performance raised his profile, and with the new world order that now allowed players to leave the Soviet Union and come to North America, Zhamnov was drafted in the fourth round by the Winnipeg Jets, who had a history of looking to Europe for talent.

Zhamnov, a center, would play two more successful seasons for Dynamo, as he raised his point total to 28 in 1990-91 and then 36 in 1991-92 as Dynamo would win the league championship for the second and third times in a row to close out the Soviet era.

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Zhamnov won three consecutive championships with Dynamo Moscow

Internationally, Zhamnov made his debut at the World Championships in 1991, scoring 4 goals and 9 points in 10 games to win a bronze medal in his first senior level tournament. Later that same fall, he would participate in the 1991 Canada Cup tournament.

With the Soviet Union in the process of dissolving in early 1992, Zhamnov made his Olympic debut with what was called the Unified Team, which was players from the former Soviet countries minus the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They rolled through the tournament with a 7-1 record, earning Zhamnov a gold medal.

Zhamnov next competed at the 1992 World Championships, but a level of disarray began to set in during the early days of the independent Russian program and the team failed to medal.

For the 1992-93 season, Zhamnov made the move to North America to join Winnipeg at the age of 22, confirming the pipeline of talent from Russia was now flowing, as the first wave of Soviet players finally allowed to leave were all veterans, such as Vladimir Krutov (29), Igor Larionov (29) and Vladislav Fetisov (31). Not counting those who defected at a young age, such as Alexander Mogliny and Sergei Fedorov, the departure of Pavel Bure from the Soviet Union at the age of 20 was a sign that the rich vein of Russian talent was now there to be mined by the NHL, as even just three years earlier Zhamnov would have not been allowed to leave Dynamo, and certainly not with his best days ahead of him.

Unlike some other  European transfers, he required no time in the minors to adjust to the rugged style of the NHL game, which was played on smaller rinks than he was used to in Europe. Doing his part to fit in with the high-flying Jets by scoring 25 goals and 72 points in 68 games, which included scoring his first career goal on this date in 1992 in a 4-4 tie against the Los Angeles Kings in Winnipeg.

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NHL rookie Zhamnov while with the Jets

He would repeat that feat in 1993-94 with 71 points in 61 games. Once the labor issues of the 1994-95 season were resolved, Zhamnov was on form, registering his only 30 goal season, which included a five goal game on April 1, 1995, on his way to 65 points in just 48 games to lead the team in scoring and finish third overall in the NHL behind only Jaromir Jagr and Eric Lindros.

Changes were in store for Zhamnov prior to the 1996-97 season. First, the Jets franchise was relocated to Arizona, where it became the Phoenix Coyotes. Then in mid August, Zhamnov was traded, along with another player and a first round draft pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for Jeremy Roenick.

Prior to the start of his first season in Chicago, Zhamnov returned to the international stage, playing for Russia at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

He had a fine first season with Chicago, putting up his typical 20 goals and 52 points. For the 1997-98 season, he again had a 20 goal season with 21. Additionally, he returned to the Olympics for the first time in six years as the NHL took a break in February to allow its stars to compete in Japan, from where he returned with a silver medal.

His consistency remained for the next two seasons, with 20 goals and 61 points in 1998-99 and 23 goals and 60 points in 1999-00.  Following that season he returned to the World Championships for only the second time and first since 1991.

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Zhamnov was dealt to Chicago for the 1996-97 season

His eight for eight streak of 20 goal seasons came to an end when Zhamnov was limited to just 13 goals for the 2000-01 season. He rebounded with his best season since 1995 when in 2001-02 he scored 22 goals and 67 points in 77 games, which earned him a spot in his only NHL All-Star Game. During the season he made his third Olympic appearance, earning a bronze medal at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

With the departure of Tony Amonte, Zhamnov was named the Blackhawks team captain for the 2002-03 season. After playing 23 games for the Blackhawks in 2003-04, Zhamnov was dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers where he would play 20 regular season games. After making the playoffs just twice with Winnipeg and only once with Chicago, the run to the Conference Finals with the Flyers was by far his deepest run at the Stanley Cup as he added 14 points in 18 games.

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Zhamnov was named the Blackhawks captain in 2002

With the NHL season lost to another labor dispute in 2004-05,  Zhamnov stayed active my playing for Vityaz Chekov in the Russian second division.

He returned to the NHL for the 2005-06 season, signing with the Boston Bruins as a free agent. He suffered a shoulder injury in training camp and later an ankle injury in January, which not only limited him to just 24 games with Boston, but the ankle injury prevented him from playing in his fourth Olympics in February, as he was named to the Russian team for the 2006 Games.

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Zhamnov's final games were with Boston

He retired from the NHL with 807 games played 249 goals and 719 points. Internationally, he finished with a World Junior silver medal, a World Championship bronze and gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals. He is now the General Manager of Vityaz Chekov in the KHL.

Today's featured jersey is a 1993-94 Winnipeg Jets Alexei Zhamnov jersey from his first NHL club. The Jets adopted this style, rare in the NHL with single color numbers, for the 1990-91 season and wore it through their rest of their time in Winnipeg.

Patches worn on this jersey were the NHL 75th Anniversary patch in 1991-92, the Stanley Cup Centennial patch (in two versions) and for their final ten games as the Jets, a Cherished Memories patch. The Jets were the only team to wear a version of the Stanley Cup Centennial patch without white trim, which they did for the early part of the season. During the second half of the season they got a new set of jerseys which now had the same patch with the white trim as the rest of the NHL.

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Winnipeg Jets 1993-94 jersey photo Winnipeg Jets 1993-94 B jersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1991 Soviet Union Alexei Zhamnov jersey as worn for the World Championships in Finland when Zhamnov participated in his first World Championships prior to the demise of the Soviet Union.

After wearing their stoic red jerseys with white lettering, suddenly in 1989 Tackla produced this new style for the Soviet Union with it's bright yellow accent color, angled striping (pre-dating the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim's first NHL angled striping by four years) and drop shadowed front cresting, giving the Soviets a dash of flair never seen before.

This style was worn through the breakup of the Soviet Union - and beyond, as this style, minus the CCCP lettering, was worn when the team competed as the Unified Team at the 1992 Olympics.

Soviet Union 1990-91 jersey photo Soviet Union 1990-91 F jersey.jpg
 photo Soviet Union 1990-91 B jersey.jpg

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 2000-01 Chicago Blackhawks Alexei Zhamnov jersey. This jersey is adorned with the Blackhawks 75th Anniversary patch on the right chest and Zhamnov's assistant captain's A on the left.

Making this jersey unique is the addition of the 2000 Hockey Hall of Fame Game, a regular season contest held annually since 1999 on the Friday before the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremonies the following Monday between the host Toronto Maple Leafs and a varying opponent every year with both teams wear the special Hall of Fame Game patch for the occasion to kick of the Hall of Fame weekend festivities.

Chicago Blackhawks 2000-01 jersey photo Chicago Blackhawks 2000-01 F jersey.jpg
Chicago Blackhawks 2000-01 jersey photo Chicago Blackhawks 2000-01 B jersey.jpg

With style and flair, Zhamnov scores his fifth goal of the night against the Kings.

Here, Zhamnov pulls of the same move twice during his rookie season.

Finally, an interview with Zhamnov while he was General Manager of Atlant Mytishchi with English translations.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The 2015 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Tonight is the 2015 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for this year's inductees, Sergei Fedorov, Phil Housely, Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger and Angela Rugiero. Also going into the hall tonight will be Bill Hay and Peter Karmanos Jr., both in the builder category.

Here then is our tribute to the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

Detroit Red Wings 1992-93 jersey photo Detroit Red Wings 1992-93 F jersey_1.jpg
Detroit Red Wings 1992-93 B jersey_2 photo Detroit Red Wings 1992-93 B jersey_2_1.jpg
1992-93 Detroit Red Wings Sergei Fedorov Jersey
1997, 1998 and 2002 Stanley Cup Champion
19994 Hart Trophy
1994 Pearson Award
1994 and 1996 Selke Trophy
Holds the record for Most Career Overtime Points
First European Trained Hart Trophy Winner
First Russian with 1,000 NHL Points
Holds the record for Most Goals by a Russian-born NHL Player (483)
1989 World Junior Gold Medal
1989, 1990 and 2008 World Championship Gold Medal
2010 World Championship Silver Medal
1998 Olympic Silver Medal
2002 Olympic Bronze Medal
Six time NHL All-Star


 photo Buffalo Sabres 1989-90 F jersey.jpg
Buffalo Sabres 1989-90 jersey photo Buffalo Sabres 1989-90 B jersey.jpg
1989-90 Buffalo Sabres Phil Housley Jersey
1998 Stanley Cup Finalist
1996 World Cup of Hockey Champion
Played in 6 World Championships and 2 Canada Cups for the United States
Member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame (2004)
Retired as the record holder for Most Career Points by an American Player (1,232)
Currently ranks second all-time and first among defensemen
Retired as the record holder for Most Games by an American Player (1,495)
Currently ranks third all-time

Went directly from high school hockey to the NHL
and never played a game in the minors

Seven time NHL All-Star


 photo Detroit Red Wings 1997-98 F jersey_1.jpg
Detroit Red Wings 1997-98 jersey photo Detroit Red Wings 1997-98 B jersey_1.jpg
1997-98 Detroit Red Wings Nicklas Lidström Jersey
1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008 Stanley Cup Champion
2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011 Norris Trophy
2002 Conn Smythe Trophy
2006 Olympic Gold Medal
1991 World Championship Gold Medal
2004 World Championship Silver Medal
1994 World Championship Bronze Medal
Triple Gold Club Member
Member of the IIHF Hall of Fame (2014)
First European Norris Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy winner
First European-trained captain of a Stanley Cup winner
First European-born and trained defenseman with 1,000 NHL career points
Holds NHL record for Most Games Played by a European-born Player (1,564)
Holds Detroit Red Wings records for Most Career Goals (264), Assists (878), Points (1,142) and Games Played  (1,564) by a Defenseman and Best Career Plus/Minus (+450)
Jersey #5 Retired by Detroit on March 6, 2014
12 time NHL All-Star


Hartford Whalers 1993-94 jersey photo Hartford Whalers 1993-94 F jersey.jpg
Hartford Whalers 1993-94 jersey photo Hartford Whalers 1993-94 B jersey.jpg
1993-94 Hartford Whalers Chris Pronger Jersey
2007 Stanley Cup Champion
2000 Hart Trophy
2000 Norris Trophy
2002 and 2010 Olympic Gold Medal
1993 World Junior Gold Medal
1997 World Championship Gold Medal
Member of the Triple Gold Club
Led NHL in Plus/Minus in 1998 (+47) and 2000 (+52)
Six Time NHL All-Star


Angela Ruggiero won a gold medal at the 1998 Olympics as the youngest member of the team. She also won a silver medal at the 2002 and 2010 Olympics and a bronze at the 2006 Olympics  while being named Top Defenseman in 2002 and 2006. She was the Kazmaier Award winner as the top player in NCAA Women's Hockey in 2004, won a national championship with Harvard in 1999 and was a four time NCAA All-American. She won World Championship gold in 2005 (where she scored the championship winning goal in a shootout), 2008, 2009 and 2011 as well as six silver medals  while being named Top Defenseman four times. She holds the record for Most Career Games for the United States (256) and was named Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004. She will be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame later this year.

Bill Hay played eight NHL seasons for the Chicago Blackhawks beginning in 1959-60. That season he was named the Calder Trophy winner and played in the 1960 NHL All-Star Game. He also appeared in the 1961 All-Star Game and, playing on a line with Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, won the 1961 Stanley Cup. He is being inducted in the Builder category for his post-playing career work as President and CEO of the Calgary Flames, President and COO of Hockey Canada and was on the Hockey Hall of Fame's Board of Directors and served at the Hall's Chairman and CEO for 15 years.

Peter Karmanos Jr. founded the Compuware Hockey organization, which fielded teams from Junior "A" down to recreational hockey. Program graduates include Pat Lafontaine, Mike Modano, Eric Lindros and Kevin Hatcher. His Detroit Compuware Ambassadors became the first Ontario Hockey League team outside of Ontario. The team is currently known as the Plymouth Whalers. He also is the owner of the Florida Everblades of the ECHL. Karmonos purchased the Hartford Whalers in 1994 and moved the club to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1997. The team was renamed the Carolina Hurricanes and won the Stanley Cup in 2006. In 1998, Karmonos was named the recipient of the Lester Patrick Award for Outstanding Service to Hockey in the United States.

The 2015 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be broadcast on the NHL Network in the United States starting at 7:00 PM Eastern time and on TSN 4 in Canada at 8:00 PM Eastern tonight.

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