Saturday, December 3, 2016

1980 United States Olympic Team Mike Ramsey Jersey

After graduating from Minneapolis Roosevelt High School, where he was considered the top defenseman in Minnesota, Mike Ramsey, born on this date in 1960, joined the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers for the 1978-79 season.

Ramsey Roosevelt, Ramsey Roosevelt
Mike Ramsey of the Roosevelt Teddies

Ramsey scored 24 points in 34 games as a college rookie as Minnesota would go on to win the NCAA national championship under the guidance of head coach Herb Brooks.

The 1979 NCAA national champion Minnesota Golden Gophers

During that season Ramsey also participated in the 1979 World Junior Championships for the United States. Later that spring, Ramsey was chosen 11th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, the first Minnesotan ever taken in the first round.

Rather than return to Minnesota for a second season, Ramsey became the youngest member of the United States Olympic Hockey Team under his college coach Brooks. The Americans shocked the world by upsetting the Soviet Union in the "Miracle on Ice" and then completed their quest by winning the gold medal with a win over Finland.

Ramsey USA, Ramsey USA
Ramsey demonstrating his tough defensive style

Following the Olympics, Ramsey immediately turned professional and joined the Sabres for the final 13 games of the season followed by an equal number of playoff games, a total of 89 games played that season including the Olympic Team's training schedule, a huge number of games for someone two years removed from high school hockey.

Ramsey, buoyed by his high pressure Olympic experience against players much older than himself, adapted to the faster and stronger players in the NHL, playing over 150 games in the NHL over the course of the next two seasons. With Buffalo quickly eliminated from the playoffs, Ramsey was free to once again wear the red, white and blue of the United States at the 1982 World Championships.

The 1982-83 NHL season was one of Ramsey's finest offensive seasons, as he scored 8 goals and 38 points while posting a +20 rating. The following season Ramsey's offensive total dipped to 31 points, but he set a career high with 9 goals, as well as having a +27 rating.

Ramsey Sabres, Ramsey Sabres
The respected Ramsey was named captain of the Sabres

Before the 1984-85 NHL season could begin, Ramsey competed in the 1984 Canada Cup tournament, scoring a goal and an assist in six games as the United States finished second in the round robin portion of the tournament before losing in the semifinals.

Another strong 30 point season followed as Ramsey set a career high with a +31 rating. Two more seasons with Buffalo saw Ramsey extend his streak of 72 or more games played to seven, and set a career high in 1986-87 with 30 points. Ramsey was also named an NHL All-Star in 1987 when the usual All-Star Game format was put on hold as the NHLers faced off against the Soviet Union in the two-game series known as Rendez-Vous '87.

The 1987 Canada Cup came next for Ramsey prior to the 1987-88 NHL season, the first of six more solid defensive seasons with the Sabres which included being named captain of the Sabres in 1991-92. Then, after 14 seasons in Buffalo, Ramsey was traded to the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins where he was reunited with his old Sabres coach Scotty Bowman.

Ramsey Penguins, Ramsey Penguins
Ramsey again played for Bowman while with the Penguins

There was no third Stanley Cup for Pittsburgh, and after playing the following season of 1993-94 with the Penguins, Ramsey signed as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings. His time there was spoiled by injuries which limited him to just 33 games in 1994-95 and 47 the next.

Ramsey Red Wings, Ramsey Red Wings

He retired over the summer, but returned for a pair of games in February of 1996, but felt he wasn't up to standards and retired for good after 18 seasons, 1,070 games, 79 goals and 266 assists for 345 point and but one season with a negative plus/minus rating all while never playing a single game in the minors.

Ramsey played in four NHL All-Star Games and was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.

Today's featured jersey is a 1980 United States Olympic Team Mike Ramsey jersey. This blue road jersey was worn during the Americans final game against Finland which clinched the gold medal.

USA 1980 #5 jersey photo USA19805RF.jpg
USA 1980 #5 jersey photo USA19805RB.jpg

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1986-87 Buffalo Sabres Mike Ramsey jersey. This classic Sabres jersey style would remain in use through the 1995-96 season until replaced by an all new look for Buffalo when the team's colors changed to red, black and white. It was brought back as an alternate jersey in 2006-07 and was the basis for a new, modernized alternate in 2008-09 before being promoted to the team's primary jersey in 2010-11, much to the delight of the fans.

 photo Buffalo Sabres 1986-87 F jersey.jpg
 photo Buffalo Sabres 1986-87 B jersey.jpg

Extra bonus Jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1987 United States National Team Mike Ramsey jersey as worn in the 1987 Canada Cup tournament. The United States first wore this style in 1984 and wore it for a long run through to 1995 until Nike took over making jerseys for IIHF international competition.

  photo USA 1987 CC F jersey.jpg
 photo USA 1987 CC B jersey.jpg

Extra extra bonus Jersey: Today's extra extra bonus jersey is a 1994-95 Detroit Red Wings Mike Ramsey jersey as worn during the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals against the victorious New Jersey Devils.

The Red Wings name was adopted in1932 after the team was originally called the Cougars and Falcons. The Red Wings first wore just a red jersey for all games for two seasons until introducing a white jersey for the 1924-35 season. That jersey had white sleeves with a broad red stripe and remained in use all the way until the 1960-61 season until they sleeve colors were reversed to today's red sleeves with a white stripe.

Only minor additions have taken place since then, such as the addition of sleeve numbers and names on the back, which remain one of the few professional sports teams to still employ the stylish and classy vertically arched names.

 photo Detroit Red Wings 1994-95 F jersey.jpg
 photo Detroit Red Wings 1994-95 B jersey.jpg

In today's video section, a great clip, as Ramsey levels a Montreal Canadiens player with a clean, hard hit and is then jumped by Mario Tremblay. Not only does Ramsey land a dozen heavy rights, but the two of them would go on to be assistant coaches together with the Minnesota Wild!

Here, Ramsey risks his life and career by actually checking Wayne Gretzky - during the NHL All-Star Game! Yes, he didn't put Gretzky in the fourth row of seats like he could have, but still, it's the last hit we recall in an all-star game!

Finally, here is Ramsey being interviewed a in 2009 between periods of a Minnesota High School girls hockey game in which his daughter Rachel was playing.

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