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Friday, June 10, 2016

1902 Montreal Amateur Athletic Association Jack Marshall Jersey

One of Montreal's finest athletes of the early 20th century, Jack Marshall  excelled at rugby, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, bowling and hockey. His hockey career began in 1889 when he traveled west to join the Winnipeg Victorias. There, he played three seasons, which concluded with the Victorias defeating the Montreal Shamrocks two games to none at the Montreal Arena by scores of 4-3 and 2-1 in overtime.

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The Winnipeg Victorias

Marshall moved back to Montreal for the 1901 season in order to join the Montreal Hockey Club, also known as Montreal AAA due to their association with the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association. In 8 games, Marshall scored 11 goals, good for third in the league. Montreal, as Canadian Amateur Hockey League champions then challenged the same Winnipeg Victorias that Marshall had helped win the Stanley Cup in January of 1901.

The best-of-three series was held in Winnipeg and the Victorias began their defense with a victory in Game 1 1-0, but Montreal evened the series two days late with a dominant 5-0 win, with Marshall scoring twice to force a deciding third game. In a close contest, Montreal emerged as 2-1 winners, with Marshall scoring the cup clinching goal to give him the second Stanley Cup of his career.

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The 1902 Montreal AAA

During the 1903 CAHL season, Montreal fended off a challenge from the Victorias in an unusual series, as Montreal dominated Game 1 by a score of 8-1 followed by the second game being suspended at 27 minutes of overtime due to a curfew and the result was discarded from the record. Winnipeg fought back to win Game "2" by a score of 4-2, but Montreal retained the cup with a  4-1 triumph in Game 3. In all, Marshall was credited with 7 goals in the four games played.

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The 1903 Montreal AAA

Although he remained in Montreal, Marshall wore new colors in 1904, joining the newly created Montreal Wanderers of the Federal Amateur Hockey League. Marshall was an instant success, leading the league with 11 goals even though he only skated in four of the Wanderers six games, aided with a six goal performance against Ottawa on January 20, 1904. In an odd twist, the Wanderers had finished first in the standings, only to have the reigning Stanley Cup holders, the Ottawa Hockey Club, also known as the Silver Seven, join the FAHL after the regular season was concluded!

With this unusual turn of events, the Wanderers and Silver Seven were set to play a two game series for the Stanley Cup as well as the FAHL championship. The first game concluded with the teams tied at 5-5, with Marshall having scored for Montreal before the club not only refused to play any overtime, but then requested that the game be declared a no-contest and the series start over as a best-of-three!

The trustees of the cup were not amused and demanded the series continue as a two game series and Montreal responded by abandoning their challenge so the cup remained with Ottawa.

The 1904-05 season saw Marshall finished tied with Ottawa's Frank McGee for the scoring title with 17 goals in 8 games played.

In the 1905-06 season, Marshall played exhibition games with the Toronto Professionals. He joined the Montreal Montagnards of the FAHL for the 1906-07 season, but returned to the Wanderers when the Montagnards folded. Marshall scored an identical 6 goals in three games for each club. Marshall returned to Stanley Cup play, as the Wanderers won the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association regular season, but the Wanderers fell to the Kenora Thistles 12-8 over the course of two games.

Marshall spent the next two seasons with the Shamrocks, leading the club in scoring with 19 goals in 9 games in 1907-08 followed by 10 more in a dozen games in 1908-09.

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Marshall with the Shamrocks

For 1909-10, Marshall once again returned to the Wanderers, who had joined the new National Hockey Association.

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The Wanderers  became the Stanley Cup holders by winning the league championship, which entitled them to take possession of the cup from Ottawa, the third different team Marshall had won a cup with. The Wanderers then defended a challenge from the Berlin Dutchmen by a score of 7-3 in the single game played.

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The 1911 Montreal Wanderers

After two more seasons with the Wanderers, Marshall joined the brand new Toronto Hockey Club, commonly referred to as the Blueshirts, for the 1912-13 season. The following year Marshall, now a playing manager, skated in a career high 20 games, scoring 3 times but also being credited with his the first assists of his career with 3, as assists were not awarded in the early days of organized hockey.

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A Toronto Hockey Club pennant which features Captain Jack Marshall
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

After Toronto and the Montreal Canadiens finished tied atop the 1913-14 standings with identical 13-7 records, Toronto won the two-games, total-goals series after dropping the first game 2-0 by winning the second 6-0 with Marshall chipping in a goal for the Blueshirts, to earn another Stanley Cup with a record fourth different club. Toronto subsequently fended off a challenge from the Victoria Aristocrats of the PCHL, sweeping three straight in the scheduled best-of-five series.

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The 1913-14 Stanley Cup champion Toronto Hockey Club

Marshall would play one final season with the Blueshirts before yet again returning to Montreal, where he rejoined the Wanderers for the fourth time in his career! He would play 15 games in 915-16 and wrap up his career with 8 more games in the 1916-17 NHA season.

On this date in 1965, it was announced that Marshall would be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame later that year and he remains the only player to win the Stanley Cup with four different clubs.

Today's featured jersey is a 1902 Montreal AAA Jack Marshall jersey. Also known as the Montreal Hockey Club, the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) wore blue sweaters with adorned with a winged wheel, which would later be revived by James Norris, founder of the Detroit Red Wings as the Red Wings logo, which remains in use today.

The Montreal Hockey Club was founded in 1884 and was the first team to hold the brand new (and substantially shorter) Stanley Cup in 1893. They would also again be holders of the cup in 1894, 1902 and 1903.

The club would remain as amateurs until 1906, and after two seasons as a professional club, returned to the amateur ranks and eventually win the Allan Cup in 1930 and change their name to the Montreal Royals in 1932.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

2002-03 New Jersey Devils Martin Brodeur Jersey

The New Jersey Devils  finished atop the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 46-20-10, good for 108 points. The highlight of their season was a one month stretch from January 5th to February 5th in which they won 12, tied 1 and lost 1, including a 6 game winning streak and a 9 game unbeaten run.

The #2 seeded Devils moved quickly through the playoffs, defeating both the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning in five games before coming up against the Ottawa Senators, who took the Devils to a Game 7, which New Jersey won by a goal on the road to reach the finals.

There, they were paired up against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, the surprising #7 seed from the Western Conference, who had knocked out both the #1 seeded Detroit Red Wings and #2 Dallas Stars on their way to the finals.

It was the Devils third finals appearance in four years and many expected the veteran, battle-tested Devils to have an easy time over the finals debutant Mighty Ducks, who finished 13 points behind New Jersey in the standings.

Game 1 saw the Devils make their intentions clear with a 3-0 blanking of the Mighty Ducks on goals by Jeff Friesen early in the second and by Grant Marshall at 5:34 of the third before Friesen sealed the game with an empty net goal in the final half minute of the game. Martin Brodeur's 5th shutout of the playoffs came on just 16 saves.

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Jeff Friesen had two goals in Game 1 and five in the Finals

Game 2 was more of the same, as Brodeur again recorded a shutout on 16 saves yet again. Former Mighty Duck Oleg Tverdovsky set up a pair of goals for the Devils in period two by Patrik Elias and Scott Gomez. Friesen chipped in his 8th of the playoffs 4:22 into the third to put the game out of reach for Anaheim, who headed back to California without having scored a single goal in New Jersey.

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Martin Brodeur opened the Finals with two shutouts

New Jersey tied Game 3 at 2-2 with a goal at 9:11 of the third, but could not get the game winner before Ruslan Salei won it for the Mighty Ducks at 6:59 of overtime.

Former Devil Steve Thomas spoiled Brodeur's shutout bid at 39 seconds of overtime to win Game 4 for Anaheim to even the series after four games. Jean-Sebastien Giguere's shutout came after 26 saves.

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Jean-Sebastien Gigiuere

Game 5 back in New Jersey was even for the first half, with each team having scored 3 goals before a video review confirmed Jay Pandolfo's goal at 9:02 of the second was not kicked in, giving the Devils a lead they would not relinquish. Jamie Langenbrunner would score a pair of third period goals to put the game out of reach at 6-3.

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Jamie Langenbrunner had two goals in Game 5

Game 6 back in Anaheim is best remembered for Scott Stevens thunderous hit on Paul Kariya, which left him laying motionless on the ice for several minutes. To everyone's surprise, Kariya not only returned to the game, but scored a goal at 17:15 of the second period to restore the Mighty Ducks three goal cushion they gained in the first period on their way to a 5-2 win to force a deciding Game 7 back in New Jersey.

Game 7, played on this date in 2003, saw the Devils get on the board first when Mike Rupp scored the first playoff goal of his career at 2:22 of the second period. Friesen scored yet again ten minutes later to give New Jersey a two goal lead with just 20 minutes remaining in the season.

While the Mighty Ducks out shot the Devils 10-6 in the third period, it was Friesen scoring his 10th goal of the playoffs at 16:16 to give the Devils a comfortable 3-0 margin. The Mighty Ducks were never able to solve Brodeur, who finished the game with 24 saves and an NHL record seventh playoff shutout of the playoffs and his third of the finals to give New Jersey their third Stanley Cup Championship in eight years. The win was the Devils 12th on home ice, also a record.

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Martin Brodeur set a playoff shutout record with seven
on his way to winning the Stanley Cup in 2003

Rupp's goal was the first time in Stanley Cup history that a player's first career goal be the Stanley Cup winning goal. The Devils win at home concluded only the third time in NHL history, and the first since 1965, that the home team won every game in the finals.

Langenbrunner led all playoff scorers in goals with 11 and was tied for the points lead at 18 with Scott Niedermayer (2 goals, 16 assists). John Madden was close behind with 16 points and Friesen's 10 goals were one back of Langenbrunner's 11. Add in the fine defensive efforts of Stevens and Niedermayer, along with Colin White and Brian Rafalski, helping Broduer to the shutout record, the candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy were numerous, so it certainly caught many off guard when Giguere was named the winner over Broduer despite Brodeur setting the playoff shutout record and winning their head to head battle for the cup 12 goals to 18. It was only the fifth time a player on the losing team won the award since it was first handed out in 1965.

Broduer was later recognized with his first Vezina Trophy for his league leading 41 wins and 9 shutouts as well as his 2.02 goals against average and .914 save percentage.

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Brodeur with the Jennings Trophy, Stanley Cup and Vezina Trophy

Today's featured jersey is a 2002-03 New Jersey Devils Martin Brodeur jersey as worn during the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals. This jersey is distinguished by the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals patch worn by both the Devils and the Mighty Ducks, a tradition which began back in the 1989 finals and has continued ever since.

Club president and general manager Lou Lamoriello steadfastly refused to change the now classic Devils jersey. Lamoriello joined the Devils in 1987, inheriting their red and green jerseys in the process. For the 1992-93 season the team changed their color scheme by changing the green to black and simplifying their jerseys striping pattern. The club has stuck with with look ever since, including the name and number fonts. They have also refused to introduce any sort of alternate third jersey and were able to maintain their traditional sweaters even through the transition to the new Reebok Edge jerseys introduced in 2007.

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New Jersey Devils 02-03 jersey, New Jersey Devils 02-03 jersey
New Jersey Devils 02-03 P jersey, New Jersey Devils 02-03 P jersey

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2002-03 New Jersey Devils Scott Stevens jersey. Stevens veteran leadership, legendary hard hits and solid defense was a primary reason that the Devils enjoyed such consistent success in his 12 seasons with the club. In 2006 his #4 was the first number retired by the Devils.

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New Jersey Devils 2002-03 jersey photo New Jersey Devils 2002-03 P.jpg

Our video segment today begins with Stevens hit on Kariya in Game 6.

Next, highlights of Game 7 from the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals when New Jersey clinched the Stanley Cup.

Finally, a montage of highlights from the entire playoffs by the CBC.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

1991-92 Winnipeg Jets Thomas Steen Jersey

Born on this date in 1960 in Sweden, Thomas Steen began his career with Grums IK in 1975-76 and moved over to the Leksands IF junior team in 1976-77, the year he made is debut for the Sweden National Team at the European Junior Championships where he scored 8 points in 6 games as Sweden took home the gold medal.

After a move up to the Elitserien in 1977-78, Steen would play three seasons with Leksands IF. He would also participate for Sweden in the World Junior Tournament in 1978 (silver), 1979 (bronze) and 1980 (bronze). Following the 1978-79 season, Steen was drafted 103rd overall by the Winnipeg Jets.

He moved to Farjestads BK for 1980-81 and more than doubled his previous season high in points when he scored 16 goals and 23 assists for 39 points in 32 games on his way to being named 1981 Elitserien Player of the Year as Farjestads won the Swedish Championship.

Now playing at the senior level, Steen participated in both the World Championships, earning a sliver medal, and also skated in the 1981 Canada Cup.

Having reached the top of Swedish hockey, Steen moved to North America for the 1981-82 season and made his NHL debut with the Winnipeg Jets.

Thomas Steen Jets

His first four seasons saw him adapt quite well to the North American game and his point totals improved each season, from 44 as a rookie, to 59, then 65 and then setting a career high with 30 goals on his way to 84 points in 1984-85. Prior to that season Steen also competed in his second Canada Cup, the 1984 edition in which he led the tournament in goal scoring with 7 goals in 8 games.

After three more steady seasons, which included Steen scoring 11 points in 8 games for Sweden at the 1986 World Championships, helping Sweden to bring home the silver medal, he would set a career high with 88 points from 27 goals and 61 assists in 1988-89 and follow that with his final appearance at the World Championships in 1989.

Health issues began to affect Steen, as he only played in 53 games in 1989-90, his first season under 73 games in his nine years in the NHL, due to a back injury. Those 53 games were very productive however, as Steen totaled 66 points for 1.25 points per game, the highest average of his career. He was also named as one of the team captains for 1989-90 and 1990-91.

The following season was a carbon copy of the previous one, with 67 points in just 58 games played, this time due to a broken ankle. Prior to the start of the 1991-92 season, Steen played for the Sweden National Team for the final time when he played in the 1991 Canada Cup, his third.

Another short season of 38 games in 1991-92 due to both ankle and back issues was followed by a return to health, with 80 games and 72 points in 1992-93 and 76 games and 51 points in 1993-94.

His final NHL season of 1994-95 saw him play in 31 games during the strike-shortened season and finish his 14 year NHL career, spent entirely in Winnipeg, with 950 games played, 264 goals and 553 assists for 817 points. Steen remains the second leading scorer in franchise history, including their over ten years in Phoenix as the Coyotes.

At the conclusion of his career, Winnipeg retired Steen's #25 on May 6, 1995, one of only two numbers ever retired by the Jets and the very first European player to have his number retired by an NHL club.

Steen would come out of retirement in 1996 to play with the Frankfurt Lions of the German DEL in 4 regular season and 3 playoff contests. He would continue playing the following season, joining the Berlin Polar Bears, for whom he would play for three seasons before retiring again in 1999.

Today's featured jersey is a 1991-92 Winnipeg Jets Thomas Steen jersey. This jersey has the "Goals for Kids" patch on the left sleeve and features the NHL 75th Anniversary patch on the right chest as worn by all players in the NHL that season.

After Winnipeg adopted a new set of jerseys for their entry into the NHL in 1979, this was their second and final NHL jersey, which served them well from 1990 to 1996.

Winnipeg Jets 91-92 jersey
Winnipeg Jets 91-92 jersey

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1996-97 Eisbaren Berlin "Berlin Polar Bears" Thomas Steen jersey as worn during the final few seasons of Steen's career after he came out of retirement from the NHL. Steen scored 33 points in 49 games.

This jersey has the typical European flair with it's sublimated graphics, multiple, if not excessive, sponsorship logos and even sports a collar, something more common in the Scandinavian leagues. It also has the European-standard player name located below the number on the back, giving the more prominent location above the number to yet another sponsor logo.

Berlin Polar Bears 96-97 jersey
Berlin Polar Bears 96-97 jersey

Our video segment begins with Thomas Steen scoring with just seven seconds left in regulation to fuel a late Winnipeg comeback versus the Chicago Blackhawks from 1991-92. Note that the Blackhawks are wearing their Turn Back the Clock jerseys, worn only during the NHL's 75th Anniversary season.

Next is the retirement ceremony in Winnipeg for Thomas Steen's sweater #25.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

1951-52 Detroit Red Wings Leo Reise, Jr. Jersey

Leo Reise, despite having vision in only one eye since his youth, played for the Hamilton Tigers, first in the Ontario Hockey League beginning in 1914, and then later in the NHL starting with the 1920-21 season. It was after this season that he became the father of Leo Reise, Jr. on this date in 1922. After two more seasons with the Tigers, he was then traded to the Saskatoon Crescents of the WCHL where he played for three seasons before returning to the NHL with the New York Americans for three and a half seasons prior to a half season with the New York Rangers. He then spent two seasons in the IHL with Pittsburgh before retiring. Reise, a defenseman, played eight seasons in the NHL, totaling 223 games, scoring 36 goals and 29 assists for 65 points.

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1926-27 New York Americans - Leo Reise, Sr. back row, third from left

Leo Reise, Jr. followed in his father's footsteps, orginally playing junior hockey in Brantford and Guelph prior to joining the Navy and playing for teams in Victoria, Halifax and Winnipeg. With his Naval career now over, Reise, Jr. turned professional with the Chicago Black Hawks in 1945-46 for six games, and in doing so, became the first son of an NHL player to play in the NHL. He spent the majority of the season with Kansas City of the USHL and was named to the USHL First All-Star Team.

The following season he returned to the Black Hawks for 17 games prior to being traded to the Detroit Red Wings in December and getting into 31 games with Detroit where he would score his first NHL points with 4 goals and 6 assists while playing on a team with a rookie named Gordie Howe.

He became a regular in the Detroit lineup the following season and played 58 and then 59 games in 1947-48 and 1948-49, which included two consecutive trips to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Reise, Jr. had his best offensive season in 1949-50 with 21 points and Detroit once more returned to the finals, aided by Reise's overtime goals in both games 4 and 7 of the semifinals, to defeat the Rangers in double-overtime in the seventh and final game to make Leo Reise, Jr. a Stanley Cup champion.

1949-50 Stanely Cup engraving

The following year he would match his 21 point season high. In the 1951-52 season, the dominant Red Wings would cruise through the playoffs with sweeps of both Toronto and then Montreal to capture the second Stanley Cup of Reise's career.

After one more season with Detroit, his career then mirrored that of his father, as he was traded to the New York Rangers, which also turned out to be the final team of his NHL career, as he would play two seasons in Manhattan to close out his professional playing days.

In 2005, Reise was given a day with the Stanley Cup as part of a great program that allowed veteran players to participate in the now well known tradition which did not begin until 1995.

Leo Reise Jr

Today's featured jersey is a 1951-52 Detroit Red Wings Leo Reise, Jr. jersey. Note the unique treatment of the assistant captan's "A" which is contained in a diamond shape on the upper left chest. Captain's letters just don't get that kind of unique treatment anymore.

The classic Red Wings jersey was first introduced in 1932 when the club changed their name from the "Falcons" to the "Red Wings" and remains essentially unchanged to this day.

Leo Reise Jr

Today's video section is a brief look at the deciding Game 7 of the 1950 finals, as the Stanley Cup is decided by a sudden-death goal in the second overtime.

Monday, June 6, 2016

1989-90 Boston Bruins Cam Neely Jersey

Born on this date in 1965, Cameron "Cam" Neely played his junior hockey for the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League. He gained recognition for his 56 goal, 120 point season in 1982-83 when he led the Winter Hawks to the Memorial Cup championship with 20 points in 14 playoff games, which earned him a 9th overall selection by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft.

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1983 Memorial Cup champion Cam Neely

He began the next season with Portland, but after 19 games made his NHL debut with the Canucks. He played well enough, scoring 31 points in 56 games, as well as gaining his first NHL playoff experience with four games in which he scored a pair of goals.

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Cam Neely in the Canucks "Flying V" jersey

The next two seasons with Vancouver saw Neely play over 70 games and score 39 and 34 points, Additionally, he showed his rugged side with 137 and 126 penalty minutes. He was however, playing behind veterans Stan Smyl and Toni Tanti and Canucks coach Tom Watt was not a fan of Neely's defensive game, which combined to make Neely expendable in the eyes of the Canucks, who dealt him, also on this date, to the Boston Bruins along with their first pick in the 1987 draft, for former 100 point scorer Barry Pederson.

The change in scenery saw an immediate rise in Neely's production and he scored more goals in his first season in Boston than he did points in Vancouver the year before, and more than doubled his point total from 34 to 72, as the Bruins coaching staff gave him more playing time which led to more confidence.

The 1987-88 season saw a rise in goals to 42 and the first deep playoff run of Neely's career, as the Bruins made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, a run that saw Neely contribute 17 points in 23 games. After a then career best 75 points in 1988-89 before exploding with 55 goals and 92 points in 1989-90 prior to the Bruins making a return to the Stanley Cup Finals later that season. Neely had an excellent playoff season, with 28 points in 21 games.

Proving his 55 goal season was no fluke, Neely lit the lamp 51 times in 1990-91 and registered a second consecutive 90 point season with 91. A knee injury suffered during the conference finals that year would change the course of Neely's career and limit him to just 22 games over the next two seasons combined.

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Cam Neely in the 1991-92 Bruins throwback jersey

He rebounded in 1993-94 with 50 goals in his 44th game of the season, a mark only Wayne Gretzky has surpassed. Still suffering from injury problems, Neely was limited to just 49 games that year, leaving many to wonder what his goal total could have reached had he played a full season that year. His ability to return to such a high level of play after essentially missing the previous two seasons earned Neely the Masteron Trophy for 1994.

After two more seasons limited to 42 and 49 games, along with a drop in production to point levels in the 40's, led Neely to call it a career due to a degenerative hip condition.

Neely's #8 was retired by the Bruins in 2004 and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005.

Today's featured jersey is a 1989-90 Boston Bruins Cam Neely jersey as worn during the Stanley Cup Finals of Neely's finest season during which he set personal highs with 55 goals and 92 points.

This long-serving Bruins jersey was first used back in 1974 and quickly gained secondary shoulder logos and names on the back by 1977 and then remain essentially unchanged through it's retirement at the end of the 1994-95 season.

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Boston Bruins 1989-90 jersey photo Boston Bruins 1989-90 B jersey.jpg
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Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1989-90 Boston Bruins Cam Neely jersey as worn at home during the regular season of Neely's finest season during which he set personal highs with 55 goals and 92 points.
Boston Bruins 1989-90 jersey
Boston Bruins 1989-90 jersey

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1991 NHL All-Star Game Cam Neely jersey.

Neely appeared in five NHL All-Star Games during his career, four in a row from 1988 to 1991 and again in 1996.

This style was first worn in 1989 and again in 1990, 1991 and once more in 1993, as the league used a throwback style in 1992 for the league's 75th Anniversary edition. The first three years the black jerseys had orange numbers on the back outlined in white and orange sleeve numbers outlined in black. Those colors were reversed in 1993, with the back numbers now white outlined in orange while the sleeve numbers were also reversed, now black outlined in orange. The same rules also apply to the home white versions as well.

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Our first video is a very well done look at highlights of the career of Cam Neely.

Here is a unique look at Cam Neely's 50 goals in 44 games - all 50! - in the 1993-94 season.

Finally, Cam Neely shares his favorite work out routine and then expresses his feelings in no uncertain terms regarding the debut of ESPNews.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

1985-86 Detroit Red Wings Bob Probert Jersey

Born on this date in 1965, legendary tough guy Bob Probert played junior hockey with the Brantford Alexanders of the Ontario Hockey League beginning with the 1982-83 season. In 51 games he scored 12 goals and 28 points while amassing 133 penalty minutes as he discovered by accident a he had a knack as a tough guy when he knocked out the Kingston Frontenacs bruiser with one punch. Now with a reputation, he then learned to fight properly. The 6' 3", 230 lbs. left winger was selected after the season 46th overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings.

Probert returned to the Alexanders for the 1983-84 season and excelled with 35 goals and 73 points in 65 games, good for third on the team, and all the more impressive when you consider he spent more than the equivalent of three full games in the penalty box thanks to his 189 minutes of penalty time.

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Probert with the Alexanders in junior hockey

He would spend one more season in Canadian juniors, playing with the Hamilton Steelhawks, where he had a lone assist and 21 penalty minutes in just 4 games before moving to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds with whom he had a second fine offensive season, as in 44 games, he registered 72 points from 20 goals and 52 assists with an additional 172 penalty minutes. His combined total of 193 ranked him seventh in the league for the second season in a row.

In 15 playoff games, Probert would add an additional 17 points in 15 games as the Greyhounds won the OHL championship and advanced to the 1986 Memorial Cup, where they placed third.

Probert turned pro in 1985-86 and split time between the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL and Detroit of the NHL. In addition to his 12 goals and 27 points in 32 games with Adirondack, he slugged his way to the NHL with 152 penalty minutes, all of which earned him a call up to Detroit to make his NHL debut. He would play in 44 games with the parent club, scoring his first 8 NHL goals, as well as 13 assists for 21 points. His 186 penalty minutes ranked third on the team behind Randy Ladouceur (196 PIM in 78 games) and Joey Kocur's league leading 377. Probert's combined AHL and NHL total for the season amounted to 338 PIM. Probert and Kocur would play together in Detroit for six seasons and become known as "The Bruise Brothers".

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In a lighter moment, a young Probert and Kocur share a laugh

He was back in the AHL by the time of the playoffs and played in 10 of Red Wings 16 playoff games as Adirondack won the Calder Cup as AHL champions when they defeated the Hershey Bears 4 games to 2. It was during the post game celebrations that Probert, who had been drinking alcohol since he was 14, tried cocaine for the first time.

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Adirondack celebrates their Calder Cup victory

In 1986-87, Probert surpassed the 200 minute mark for the first time in the NHL with 221 minutes in penalties. He also chipped in 13 goals and 24 points, adding another 7 in 16 playoff games for the Red Wings.

The following season of 1987-88 was Probert's finest in the NHL on several levels, as he scored 29 goals, 33 assists and 62 points as well as leading the entire league with 398 penalty minutes, which were career highs in all four categories. His 62 points were tied for third on the Red Wings behind only Steve Yzerman (102) and Gerard Gallant (73). He tied with Petr Klima at 62 points and finished with more than centers John Chabot, Adam Oates and Brent Ashton. His mulch-faceted game was recognized with a spot in that season's NHL All-Star Game. Not done yet, he also led Detroit in playoff scoring with 21 points in 16 games!

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Mark Messier, Probert and Wayne Gretzky at the 1988 NHL All-Star Game

Probert developed a number of rivalries with other bruisers and enforcers around the league as he protected his Red Wings teammates. He had a long running battle with Wendel Clark. He praised regular combatants Stu Grimson, Troy Crowder and Marty McSorley as honorable fighters in his book and once fought Jody Shelly three times in the same game.

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Probert and Shelly once fought each other three times in the same game

He also fought Tie Domi on several occasions that garnered much publicity and anticipation.

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Domi and Probert fought once, with Domi showboating afterwards

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They fought again 37 seconds into their next game,
with Probert hammering Domi

Unfortunately, Probert was by now having off-ice problems with drinking and discipline issues on the ice. He had been limited to just 25 games of the 1988-89 season, scoring a mere 6 points after being suspended indefinitely in September for breaking team rules and then being removed from the team after his reinstatement for showing up late for a game, which caused him to miss another month. Then on March 2, 1989 he was arrested while entering the United States with 14 grams of cocaine in his possession as well as drug paraphernalia.

Eventually, he was suspended indefinitely from the NHL and served three months in a federal prison and an additional three months in a halfway house. All of this led to Probert playing a mere 4 games of the 1989-90 NHL season. For a time after his return to the NHL, Probert was ordered to be deported from the United States to his native Canada. He filed an appeal , which allowed him to return to play for the Red Wings, but he was not allowed to leave the United States for games in Canada, as he would not have been allowed back into the US had he left it. It would take until December of 1992 for the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service to grant his appeal, which restored his travel privileges between the US and Canada.

He had a return to form for the 1990-91 season when he scored 16 goals and 39 points as well as a team leading 315 penalty minutes, third in the NHL that season, in only 55 games played thanks to being unable to play in games in Canada.

Probert stitches photo Probert 

Probert had the second 20 goal season of his career in 1991-92 with exactly 20, as well as 24 assists for 44 points and 276 penalty minutes in 63 games. He would also develop a new rival for his fight card, as former teammate Kocur was now a member of the New York Rangers and the two fought several times over the remainder of his career.

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Porbert following another intense battle

With his travel restrictions behind him, Probert played in 80 of the Red Wings 84 games in 1992-93, chipping in 14 goals and 43 points as well as 292 penalty minutes to finish 8th in the league after dropping out of the top ten the previous season.

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Probert, by now an assistant captain, in 1992-93

After his offensive numbers dropped to just 7 goals and 17 points in 66 games in 1993-94, his contract with Detroit expired. If the Red Wings were even considering offering Probert a new contract, he shattered those thoughts by hurting himself when he crashed his motorcycle into a car, which led to police determining his blood alcohol level was approximately three times the legal limit in addition to finding trace amounts of cocaine in his system. Four days later Detroit senior vice-president Jim Devellano stated, "This is the end. In my 12 years with the organization, we've never spent more time on one player and his problems than we have on Probert."

Despite his obvious personal problems, he was signed by the Chicago Blackhawks just eight days after his motorcycle crash. Probert would miss the abbreviated 1994-95 season, which did not begin until January of 1995 when he was placed on inactive status by the NHL when he entered rehab stemming from the drunk driving charges against him relating to his motorcycle crash in July.

He was able to return to the ice for the 1995-96 season, playing in 78 games and scoring a hopeful 19 goals and 40 points. He also led the team with 237 penalty minutes, but ranked outside the league's top ten.

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Probert joined the Chicago Blackhawks for the second half of his career

His offensive numbers though, would never approach 40 again as his role as a tough player with all-around skills evolved. He played a full schedule for the only time in his career in 1996-97, 82 games in all. He finished second overall in the NHL with 326 penalty minutes, the second highest of his career, but managed only 9 goals and 23 points.

The 1997-98 season was all but lost to a torn rotator cuff, which limited him to 14 games. He bounced back with 78 games during 1998-99, but barely exceeded 200 penalty minutes with 206. His offensive contribution was 21 points that season.

For the final three seasons of his career, he played 69, 79 and 61 games, which saw his penalty minutes fade from just 114 to 103 in 2000-01 with a bounce back up to 176 in 2001-02. His point totals from 1999-00 to 2001-02 were 15, 19 and then just 4 in 61 games.

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Probert during the 1999-00 season with Chicago

Chicago then placed him on waivers after the 2001-02 season, but was not picked up by any other club. When informed that his role with the club would be limited, if not even sent to the minors, he unofficially retired in order to join the Blackhawks broadcasting team for 2002-03. That did not last long, as in February of 2003, he went back into rehab for help with his ongoing addictions.

Probert formally retired in February of 2003 with 935 games played over 16 seasons, having scored 163 goals and 221 assists for 384 points. His 3,300 penalty minutes were fourth all-time in NHL history.

Following the end of his hockey career, he had several encounters with the police that led to several arrests in 2004 and 2005 but his life appeared to settle down as he was active in the community, appearing at charity games, speaking at conventions and conducting youth clinics. He appeared at Joe Louis Arena for Yzerman's jersey retirement ceremony and played in the Red Wings Alumni Game against the Boston Bruins, both in January of 2007. In 2009, he was a participant in the Canadian television show Battle of the Blades, where hockey players compete in a pairs figure skating competition.

In July of 2010, Probert died of a heart attack at the age of 45 while boating with family. "This is a very sad day for Red Wings fans as we have lost one of the toughest players, best power forwards and all-around great guys who ever wore the Winged Wheel," Kocur said. "My favorite memory of Bob would be sitting down before a game, going over the opposing lineup and picking and choosing who would go first and if the goalie would be safe or no. It was great to be able to go out on the ice knowing that he had my back and I had his. He was like the brother I never had. My prayers go out to his family."

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Kocur wearing a Probert jersey in his honor during the
2014 NHL Winter Classic Alumni Showdown Game 2 in Detroit

Chicago teammate Tony Amonte recalled, "He had a lot of hardships in his life, overcome a lot of obstacles, and it looked like he was doing really well these last few years. He was an unbelievable guy, great person, almost like a kid in man's body is just the guy he was. He always had a grat hear and was always there for his teammates. It was awesome playing with him. I'm devastated by the news." 

His brain was donated by his family to assist researchers to study the effects of concussions and sports related head injuries and it was found that their was evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), one of the first hockey players identified following the first such diagnosis of Reg Fleming in December of 2009.

Today's featured jersey is a 1985-86 Detroit Red Wings Bob Probert jersey as worn during his rookie sesaon. This jersey has the logo celebrating the Red Wing's 60th season, but unlike the standard custom, the logo is on the left shoulder rather than the right chest. Also quite unusually, the logo is not a sewn on patch, but is embroidered directly into the jersey.

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Detroit Red Wings 1985-86 jersey photo Detroit Red Wings 1985-86 B R jersey.jpg
Detroit Red Wings 1985-86 jersey photo Detroit Red Wings 1985-86 P R jersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1991-92 Detroit Red Wings Bob Probert jersey. This jersey has the NHL 75th Anniversary logo swen onto the upper right chest as a patch - the more conventional approach to commemorative logos on NHL jerseys.

On the upper left chest, this jersey has the assistant captain's "A", a testament to Probert's standing with the Red Wings.

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Detroit Red Wings 1991-92 jersey photo Detroit Red Wings 1991-92 B jersey.jpg

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1998-99 Chicago Blackhawks Bob Probert jersey. This jersey was the Blackhawks alternate third jersey from 1996-97 through 2006-07. During the first year of the new Reebok Edge jerseys the use of third jerseys was suspended for one year before this style returned in Edge form for the 2008-09 season before being replaced by the team's throwback jersey as worn in their first Winter Classic appearance for the 2009-10 season.

Chciago Blackhawks 1998-99 Alt jersey photo Chciago Blackhawks 1998-99 F Alt jersey.jpg
Chciago Blackhawks 1998-99 Alt jersey photo Chciago Blackhawks 1998-99 B Alt jersey.jpg

In today's video section, Probert himself talks about his experiences as a fighter in the NHL.

Here, Probert scores his fourth goal of the playoffs in 1988.

Next, it's throwback jerseys for everyone! Probert takes on Grimson from the 1991-92 season with both players and the linsemen all wearing Turn Back the Clock jerseys. One could literally spend all day on YouTube watching the numerous Probert vs. just Grimson fights.

 After Domi showed up Probert with his antics after their first fight, Probert hammers Domi into next week just 37 seconds into the game.

In a brutal battle, Probert and McSorley engage in a lengthy slugfest. It's such an instant classic, that Don Cherry, at his finest, breaks down the fight for his local police who didn't get to see it the first time around. Even Doug Gilmour, a good Kingston boy, liked it.

Here, Scott Parker bites off more than he can chew, when he makes the poor choice to take on Probert, which he soon regrets...

Finally, all this came at a price, and he's Probert's wife Dani talking about the decision to donate his brain to science after his death.


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