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

Monday, November 28, 2016

The First Goaltender to Score a Goal - 1980-81 New York Islanders Billy Smith Jersey

NHL history was made on this date in 1979, when Rob Ramage of the hapless Colorado Rockies, while on a delayed penalty call, would send the puck back to the point anticipating a Rockies teammate would be stationed there, only to find the point vacated and the puck making the long journey down the length of the ice and right into the Rockies goal and the record books.

Ramage Rockies, Ramage Rockies
Rob Ramage

Since Islanders goaltender Billy Smith was the last Islander to touch the puck, he was the official scorer of the goal, the first one credited to a goaltender in NHL history.

Billy Smith Islanders, Billy Smith Islanders
Billy Smith

Ron Hextall became the first goaltender to legitimately aim for the net and score a goal in the NHL eight years later on December 8, 1987 when he scored against the Boston Bruins, who had pulled goaltender Rejean Lemelin for a sixth attacker who was apparently not in any way a sixth defender.

Ron Hextall Goal, Ron Hextall Goal
Ron Hextall shoots for the far goal

Hextall scored a second goal during the playoffs on April 11, 1989 versus the Washington Capitals, entering the record books as the first goalie to score during the playoffs.

Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings added his name to the list of goaltenders who have scored on March 6, 1996 with a shot the length of the ice in Hartford versus the Whalers.

Osgood Red Wings, Osgood Red Wings
Chris Osgood

April 17, 1997 would see the first of Martin Brodeur's three goals, as he would fire one in against the Montreal Canadiens. Brodeur would be credited with his second goal, despite being about 125 feet from the puck when a mishandled puck by the Philadelphia Flyers found it's way into an unguarded Flyers net on February 15th of 2000. Brodeur's third credited goal would arrive on March 21, 2013 when the Carolina Hurricanes would errantly put the puck into their own net as their goalie Dan Ellis was skating to the bench for an extra attacker. Ellis attempted to intercept the puck, but when he was unable, not only was Brodeur credited with the goal, but it counted against Ellis since he was still technically on the ice at the time, regardless of how far from his crease he was!

Brodeur Devils, Brodeur Devils
Martin Brodeur

Jose Theodore, then of the Montreal Canadiens would score with style on January 2, 2001 with a backhand shot, as he launched the puck the length of the ice on Long Island against New York in the process of shutting out the Islanders, the only goalie to shoot the puck into the goal and record a shutout in the same game.

Jose Theodore Canadiens, Jose Theodore Canadiens
Jose Theodore

Evgeni Nabokov joined the scoring ranks on March 10, 2002 when he fired one in against the Canucks in Vancouver for the sixth goalie to score with a direct shot on goal.

Nabokov Sharks, Nabokov Sharks
The Sharks Evgeni Nabokov

Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes became the seventh and most recent goalie to purposely shoot the puck into the opposing goal when he scored with one tenth of a second remaining against the Detroit Red Wings on October 19, 2013, the first goal by a direct shot in over 11 years.

Mike Smith Coyotes goal photo Mike Smith Coyotes Goal.jpg
Mike Smith celebrates his goal in 2013

Damian Rhodes of the Ottawa Senators (1999), Mika Noronen of the Buffalo Sabres (2004), Chris Mason of the Nashville Predators (2006) and Cam Ward (2011) would all also receive credit for goals of the Billy Smith variety, as the opponents would all misfire in some manner and send pucks down the ice and into their own nets.

Today's featured jersey is a 1980-81 New York Islanders Billy Smith jersey, the same style he was wearing when he "opened the floodgates" of goalies scoring in the NHL.

In addition to going into the history books as the first goalie to score a goal, Billy Smith did manage to accumulate four Stanley Cups during the early 1980's while backstopping the Islanders dynasty.

This particular style of jersey with the white and orange sleeve stripes was first introduced for the 1978-79 and used through the 1983-84 season before the Islanders changed the specification of the names on the back from two-color to single color white names. The appearance of the "Sandow SK" branding on the rear hem was one of the earliest instances of manufacturer logos appearing on NHL jerseys, which began only the season before and was the first season ever on an Islanders jersey.

photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1979-80 Colorado Rockies Rob Ramage jersey. Ramage's errant pass led to Billy Smith being credited with the first goal ever scored by a goaltender.

The Rockies wore the same jerseys for their six years in Colorado before moving to New Jersey, with the only notable change being adding names to the backs of their blue road jerseys for their second season of 1977-78.

Colorado Rockies 80-81 jersey, Colorado Rockies 80-81 jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Here is the play on which Billy Smith was credited with the first goal ever scored by an NHL goalie.

Here is a wonderful compilation of all the goals scored by goalkeepers in the NHL (up to the time the video was created), several of which are direct shots by the goalies themselves, and not "own goals" on the part of the other team. Be warned, the volume varies quite a bit from clip to clip!

The last video today is a look at the career of Billy Smith from the "Greatest Hockey Legends" series.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome and encourage genuine comments and corrections from our readers. Please no spam. It will not be approved and never seen.


hit counter for blogger