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Saturday, November 26, 2016

1925-26 New York Americans Billy Burch Jersey

On this date in 1925 the New York Americans were accepted into the NHL and would play as tenants of the brand new (and third) Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The club was founded by Thomas Duggan, who had actually been granted three franchises back in 1923, but was required to wait until the completion of construction of Madison Square Garden before the team could take to the ice. The club benefited from the demise of the Tigers in Hamilton, when Duggan's financial backer, mobster "Big Bill" Dwyer, who made his fortune as a prohibition bootlegger, bought the rights to the Tigers players to stock the Americans roster.

Their first game, on October 9, 1925, was against fellow expansion brothers the Pirates in Pittsburgh in a contest won by the Americans 2-1 in overtime. Future Hockey Hall of Famer and team captain Billy Burch scored the first goal in team history at 6:12 of the second period, assisted by veteran Ken Randall. Pittsburgh evened the score at 9:45 on a goal by the great Lionel Conacher, who would play a role in Americans team history later on. The third period went by with no scoring, sending the game into an extra period where defenseman Charlie Langlois won the game for New York with an unassisted, short-handed goal at 3:10 to get the franchise off to a fine start.

After four road games to start the season, the Americans would finally play their first game in their new home, which was not originally designed with the ability to create a sheet of ice.

Madison Square Garden 1925, Madison Square Garden 1925
Madison Square Garden in 1925

Duggan arranged for Madison Square Garden owner Tex Rickard to come to Montreal with Dwyer, who would arrange to properly lubricate Tex with some of his underground liquor production before the Canadiens game he was about to witness. The sight of the sold out arena, combined with the dazzling display put on by Canadiens star Howie Morenz suitably impressed Rickard, who agreed to modify the plans for Madison Square Garden to include ice making capabilities on the condition that Morenz be present for opening game. Thus the first opponent hosted by the Americans was none other than Morenz and the Canadiens, who defeated the home team by a score of 3-1 in front of 17,422 curious New Yorkers who saw Morenz seal the victory for Montreal with their third goal at 4:15 of the third period.

1925 Americans program, 1925 Americans program
A program from the Americans first season

Despite stocking their roster with the players from the first place Tigers club, the team finished fifth out of seven with a 12-20-4 record, led by Burch in scoring with 22 goals, quite nearly one-third of the team's total of 68, and 25 points.

1925-26 New York Americans team, 1925-26 New York Americans team
The 1925-26 New York Americans

Still, despite the placing in the standings, the Americans season overall was deemed such a success at the gate that Rickard obtained his own NHL franchise for the 1926-27 season, which would be nicknamed Tex's Rangers. With the addition of not only a second team in Madison Square Garden, but also Chicago and Detroit joining the league, the NHL was split into two divisions, with the Americans being placed in... the Canadian Division! The extra travel over the border took it's toll on the club and they once more finished out of the playoffs with a 17-25-2 record. Burch again led he club in scoring with 19 goals and 27 points, ten more than Conacher, who was obtained from the cash strapped Pirates.

The Americans sank to last in the Canadian Division in 1927-28 with just 11 wins in the face of 27 losses and 6 ties. To make matters worse, the New York Rangers, owned by their landlord Rickard, won the Stanley Cup in only their second year of existence! From the beginning of the two clubs competing for the same fan base. The Rangers, who were coached by the elegant and respected Lester Patrick, became the team of choice for the upper class of Manhattan while the Americans, perhaps tainted by being associated the jailed bootlegger Dwyer, who was arrested 11 days before the Americans first game and spent the entire first season locked up, were the "working class" team, who somehow failed to capture the imagination of the fanbase in the same manner as the stylish and immediately successful Rangers.

Goaltender Roy Worters was obtained from Pittsburgh to solidify the Americans defense, and the club responded with their first winning record, finishing 19-13-12 for second place in their division and their first playoff berth - against their rival Rangers, who won the two-game, total-goals series 1-0 on a dramatic goal at 29:50 of overtime of the second game. Burch led the club in scoring for the third time in four seasons and Worters was named the Hart Trophy winner as league MVP.

1928-29 New York Americans team, 1928-29 New York Americans team
The 1928-29 New York Americans

The team plunged to fifth place in the 1929-30 season under new head coach Conacher and missed the postseason for what would be the first of six consecutive seasons. Norman Himes, who led the team in scoring in 1928, set a new club records with 28 goals and 50 points, breaking Burch's mark of 36.

Himes again led the club in scoring in 1931-32, although he came back down to Earth with just 24 points. While the Americans finished "fourth" in the Canadian Division, it was due to attrition, as the Ottawa Senators had not competed that season due to financial difficulties, which meant the Americans actually came in last and missed out on the playoffs for the third season in a row. Additionally, the Pirates had by now moved to Philadelphia for a single, dismal 4 win season and closed up shop for good, unable to survive the Great Depression.

The 1932-33 Americans were led in scoring by Himes for the fourth consecutive season as Worters continued to hold down the duties in goal while their won/loss record continued to slip, now down to 15-22-11, a mark essentially duplicated in 1933-34 at 15-23-10. Eddie Burke led the club offensively with 20 goals and 30 points in 46 games. The Americans introduced a second, white sweater for the 1933-34 season, making them only the second team to have two styles following Toronto in 1927. The struggling team attempted a merger at this point with the equally poor Ottawa Senators, which was turned down by the NHL Board of Governors.

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Goaltender Alex Woods wearing the Americans new white sweater
with the shield crest, worn for just two seasons, 1933-34 and 1934-35

The club had a difficult time in 1934-35 with just 12 wins and their sixth straight, and ninth out of ten seasons of their existence, with no playoffs. Meanwhile, the Rangers not only had yet to have a losing season, made the playoffs in every single one of their now nine seasons and had also delivered a second Stanley Cup by then, which had arrived in 1933.

Another issue for the "Amerks" was Dwyer's inability to recognize the benefits of stability. The club literally had a different head coach every season for their first six seasons, as Tommy Gorman, Newsy Lalonde, Shorty Green, Gorman again, Lionel Conacher and Eddie Gerard all took turns behind the bench until Gerard managed to hold onto the job for two seasons in a row, but only two seasons, as Bullet Joe Simpson then took the helm for three seasons, 1932-33 to 1934-35. Meanwhile, Patrick remained behind the bench for the Rangers' first 13 seasons, and won while doing it, winning 281 games while the Americans would only manged to win 255 during their entire 17 years.

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A 1935-36 Madison Square Garden program cover, which contained
information on both MSG tenants, the Americans and the Rangers

The world turned upside down in 1935-36, as not only did Sweeney Schriner lead both the Americans and the NHL in scoring, but the Americans finally returned to the postseason guided by new head coach and general manager Red Dutton, while the Rangers missed out on the playoffs for the first time in their history! Oddly enough, the Rangers kept their streak of winning records intact at 19-17-12, while the Americans streak of losing records continued for the fifth straight season but it was enough for the Americans to finish third in the Canadian Division to advance to the postseason. They made the most of the opportunity, and defeated the Chicago Black Hawks 3-0 before staying close enough in a 5-4 loss in Game 2 to win their first ever playoff series 7-5 in total goals. Round 2 went to Toronto, who won the best-of-three 2 games to 1.

Sweeney Schriner, Sweeney Schriner
NHL scoring champion Sweeney Schriner

On the business side of the operation, owner Dwyer, now finding it difficult to pay the bills with the end of prohibition, saw the club taken over by the league. Dwyer was given a second chance, but could not pay off his debts and the league took full control for the 1937-38 season.

After 1936-37, which saw the Americans out of the playoffs once again following a 15-29-4 mark in Worters ninth and final season in goal for the Americans, the club posted only the third winning season in their history when they won 19, lost 18 and tied 11 thanks to Dutton acquiring veterans Ching Johnson and Hap Day.

Ching Johnson 37-38 Americans, Ching Johnson 37-38 Americans
Ching Johnson

Schriener again led the team in scoring with 21 goals and 8 points and the Americans finally got the best of the Rangers, knocking them out of the playoffs in a hard fought Round 1, winning 2-1 in overtime of Game 1, losing 4-3 in Game 2 before winning Game 3 by a score of 3-2 "on the road" at Madison Square Garden in an epic four overtimes in what was then the fourth longest game in league history and arguably the highlight of the Americans franchise history. Despite winning Game 1 of Round 2 versus Chicago, the Black Hawks rebounded with two straight wins to eliminate the Americans.

The Americans qualified for the postseason with a losing record once more at 17-21-10 thanks to the demise of the Montreal Maroons leaving the NHL as one seven team division, with the top six qualifying for the playoffs. Schriner led the team in scoring for the fourth consecutive season with 44 points but a quick exit from the playoffs followed, as they failed to score a goal in either game against the Maple Leafs.

Financial troubles led to Schriner departing for Toronto in exchange for four players. Also of note, the club acquired the great defenseman Eddie Shore late in the season from Boston. The now 37 year old Shore played the final ten games of his career, as well as three playoffs games, as the Americans scrapped their way to a sixth place finish, with their 15-29-4 record surpassing the Canadiens, who won only 10 times. The Americans drew the Detroit Red Wings, who defeated them 2 games to 1 to end Shore's career. Meanwhile, the Rangers captured their third Stanley Cup, while the Americans had yet to win three playoff series.

Eddie Shore Americans, Eddie Shore Americans
Eddie Shore during his brief time with the Americans

The Americans hit bottom in 1940-41 after being forced to sell of their best players in an attempt to stay solvent, coming in a distant last with a dismal 8-29-11 record, the only team to score less than 100 goals and the only to allow more than 147, with 186 against.

Desperate to improve their financial situation, the club changed it's name for the 1941-42 season to the Brooklyn Americans in hopes of connecting with the fans across the East River in Brooklyn despite retaining Madison Square Garden in Manhattan as their home arena due to the lack of a suitable arena in Brooklyn. The team improved record-wise to 16-29-3, but despite scoring 34 more goals while allowing 11 less and improving 8 points in the standings, the Americans finished last in the NHL and missed out on the playoffs once again.

With the arrival of World War II, the Americans were hit harder than most due to their already weak financial position. With many players off to serve in the war, combined with travel restrictions and Dutton's inability to actually relocate the team to Brooklyn, the team suspended operations with the intent of regrouping and coming back after the war. Despite an effort to build a new arena in Brooklyn as a home for the team in 1945, the NHL finally cancelled the franchise formally in 1946. The departure of the Americans from the NHL after the 1941-42 season formally began the "Original 6" era, as no new franchises would begin play until 1967 and metropolitan New York would not have a second team again until 1972 with the arrival of the New York Islanders.

In all, the Americans played 17 seasons, qualifying for the playoffs just five times despite only three winning records in their history.

Today's featured jersey is a 1925-26 New York Americans Billy Burch jersey as worn during the Americans inaugural season. When the Americans took to the ice, it was in their new, star-spangled sweaters, unlike any seen before in the NHL, and we dare say ever since, thanks to it's more than three dozen stars.

The Americans first wore their star spangled sweaters for all games during their first eight seasons, either home or road, before adding a white alternate jersey in 1933. They would wear both jerseys through the 1937-38 season, which was the last for the original stars and stripes jersey. For their final four seasons, only the white jerseys were worn for all games.

New York Americans 25-26 jersey, New York Americans 25-26 jersey
Photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1935-36 New York Americans Lorne Carr jersey. After wearing sweaters emblazoned with "New York" for their first five seasons, the Americans reversed the wording on the sweaters, making "Americans" the main crest beginning with the 1930-31 season. This style then remained in use for the remainder of their classic stars and stripes jerseys through 1937-38.

New York Americans 1935-36 jersey photo New York Americans 1935-36 jersey.jpeg
Photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Extra extra bonus jersey: Today's extra extra bonus jersey is a 1935-36 New York Americans Harry Oliver jersey from the middle era of the Americans run in the NHL. Through 1932-33 New York had worn only variations of their original sweaters, but with the concept of separate home and road jerseys made necessary due to the expanding league seeing now multiple teams wearing red or blue sweaters, the Americans introduced a white change sweater for the first time in 1933. That first white sweater, with it's shield crest, lasted two seasons until being replaced by today's bonus jersey for the 1935-36 season.

Oddly, the original look with it's multiple stripes was dropped for 1938-39, leaving this white style as their only sweater for two seasons until an evolution in their look brought a new design for 1940-41, ending today's bonus jerseys' run after six seasons, with the floundering club having just two years left to play prior to folding.

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Photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Extra extra extra bonus jersey: Today's extra extra extra bonus jersey is a 1941-42 Brooklyn Americans Tom Anderson jersey as worn during the Americans final season.

Anderson was named the winner of the Hart Trophy as league MVP after setting a league scoring record for defensemen with 41 points in 48 games. He played eight NHL seasons, with his MVP season being his last, as military duty brought his NHL career to a premature end. He remains just one of three Hart Trophy winners not inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Americans adopted their first white jersey, complete with red stripes down the arms and red cuffs, back in 1933. There would be frequent changes in the cresting and waist stripe colors and thickness until the desperate name change to "Brooklyn" in 1941, despite the team never actually playing in Brooklyn.

This game worn example no longer has it's original number 7 on the back, but it's outline is still clearly visible thanks in part to the bleeding of the dye of the red digit's blue outline.

Brooklyn Americans 1941-42 jersey photo Brooklyn Americans 1941-42 F jersey.jpg
Brooklyn Americans 1941-42 jersey photo Brooklyn Americans 1941-42 B jersey.jpg
Photo courtesy of Lelands.com

Today's video is a look at the history of the New York Americans.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday - 1927-28 Chicago Black Hawks Jersey

In honor of the official kickoff to the Christmas shopping season and the madness known as "Black Friday", today we take a look at the first black jersey worn in the National Hockey League.

The Chicago Black Hawks entered the NHL in time for the 1926-27 season wearing a white jersey adorned with multiple black stripes in the art deco style of the times.

Babe Dye Chicago Black Hawks

The majority of the team's players came from the Portland Rosebuds of the defunct Western Hockey League. The club was named after their owner Frederic McLaughlin's army unit, of which he had been a commander, the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Infantry, nicknamed the "Black Hawk Division". It was McLaughlin's wife Irene who designed the team's Indian head logo.

Despite leading the league in goals scored with 115, they also allowed the most goals with 116 and finished under .500 with a 19-22-3 record. They would qualify for the playoffs, but fell to the Boston Bruins 6-1 and tied them 4-4 in Game 2 to lose the total goals series 10-5.

For their second season, the club would debut brand new sweaters, which were a complete color reversal of their inaugural sweaters, now black with a multitude of white stripes. This sweater was the first black sweater in NHL history.

1927-28 Chicago Black Hawks team

While the sweaters colors were reversed from year one, the crest was not and remained white on black. In all honesty, it too probably could have had it's colors reversed as well for greater contrast and legibility.

Today's featured jersey, a 1927-28 Chicago Black Hawks Teddy Graham jersey, shows the higher placement of the crest for the 1927-28 season, which overlapped the lower two chest stripes.

Chicago Black Hawks 27-28 jersey

For 1928-29 and subsequent seasons, the crest was lowered below the striping and the collar would change from black to white as shown below in this photo or Art Somers from the 1929-30 season.

art somers 1930 blackhawks

The Black Hawks would wear these sweaters for seven seasons and win their first Stanley Cup wearing them in 1934.

Chicago Blackhawks 1934 Cup Champions

1933-34 Chicago Black Hawks team

They would begin the next 1934-35 season wearing them, but midway through the schedule they would debut a new, short-lived set of black sweaters with a wide white chest stripe with red trim which would only be worn for the remainder of that season only.

As most teams only had a single style of sweater through the 1930's worn for all games regardless of home or road, no other team would introduce another black jersey until the 1948-49 season when light and dark "home" and "road" jerseys had by then become the accepted practice, which allowed the Boston Bruins to introduce their first black sweater, knowing Chicago would now be able to wear their white sweaters to differentiate themselves from the Bruins.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

1902-03 Rat Portage Thistles Tom Hooper Jersey

Born on this date in 1883 in Rat Portage, Ontario, Tom Hooper, known as a formidable checker and clever stickhandler, joined the Rat Portage Thistles of the Manitoba Senior Hockey League at the age of 18. The Thistles won the league championship in 1903, and emboldened by their local success, travelled east to challenge the Ottawa Silver Seven for their grip on the Stanley Cup in March of 1903.

Thistles 1902-03
1902-03 Rat Portage Thistles

Their series was a two-game, total-goal contest in which the Silver Seven took a dominant 6-2 win in Game 1, leaving Rat Portage a task they could not overcome. Game 2 also went the way of the Silver Seven 4-2, allowing them to retain their hold on the trophy.

Two seasons later following a 7-1 regular season record in which he scored a career high 9 goals, Hooper and the Thistles, now older and wiser than the teenagers of 1903, once more challenged mighty Ottawa for the rights to the Stanley Cup. This time around, the contest was a best-of-three format and the Thistles broke out on top with a 9-3 win in Game 1, which certainly must have had the Thistles faithful pining for a return to the two-game, total-goals format. The Senators welcomed back center Frank McGee for Game 2, and Ottawa responded with a 4-2 win to even the series. The decisive Game 3 once again went the way of Ottawa in a nail biting 5-4 win for the home Senators, sending the Thistles back to Rat Portage empty handed. Hooper finished the series with a pair of goals this time out.

Thistles 1904-05
The MAHA league champions and Stanley Cup
challenging 1904-05 Rat Portage Thistles

In 1905 the town renamed itself Kenora while the hockey club continued to be known as the Thistles. The Thistles won the MAHA title in 1906, but circumstances out east did not allow time for an immediate challenge, so one was scheduled during the following 1906-07 season.

Thistles 1905-06
The 1905-06 Kenora Thistles pose with their
impressive Manitoba league championship trophy

In January of 1907, the time arrived for the Thistles challenge for the Stanley Cup and they traveled east once more, this time to face the Montreal Wanderers, who had wrestled away control of the cup from Ottawa during their league playoffs.

The Thistles, with future hall of famers Joe Hall, Tommy Phillips, Art Ross, Billy McGimsie, Roxy Beaudro and Hooper, defeated Montreal 4-2 in Game 1 on January 17 and won the coveted Stanley Cup on four days later with an 8-6 triumph to win the two-game, total goal series 12-8, with Hooper contributing 3 goals in the second game , making Kenora, population 4000, the smallest town to have ever won a major sports championship in North America.

Thistles 1907 Stanley Cup holders
The 1907 Stanley Cup holders the Kenora Thistles

Following the Thistles' Manitoba Professional Hockey League season, they defeated Brandon Wheat City 8-6 and 4-1 to win the league's playoff championship, which also allowed them to retain possession of the Stanley Cup. Five days later, on March 23, the Thistles took to the ice to defend their cup against the Wanderers, this time in Winnipeg but without Hooper who had fractured his collarbone. Montreal took Game 1 by a score of 7-2, and although Kenora won the second game 6-5, it was not enough to overcome Montreal's 5 goal margin from the first game, and the cup was again headed back east, ending tiny Kenora's reign as champions of all of Canada after just two months.

Gutted by player defections to professional clubs, the Thistles folded after just one game of the 1907-08 season and Hooper moved east to play one game with the Pembroke Lumber Kings prior to joining the Wanderers for two regular season games, as well as their defense of the Stanley Cup they had claimed back from Kenora a year earlier. The Wanderers easily fended off the challenge from the Ottawa Victorias 9-3 and 13-1 with Hooper having moved back to a defensive role with the Wanderers.

1908 Montreal Wanderers
1908 Stanley Cup holders the Montreal Wanderers

Hooper then joined the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association club for the remaining seven games of the season in which he scored 9 goals and subsequently retired as a player, having played for seven seasons in 65 games and scoring 48 goals as well as winning the Stanley Cup twice. He was later elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962.

Today's featured jersey is a 1902-03 Rat Portage Thistles Tom Hooper jersey. The Thistles name was selected from a local name the team contest, with the winner, a local Scottish carpenter named Bill Dunsmore, who not only submitting the name "Thistles", but a drawing for the logo that would adorn the team's sweaters as well.

Thistles 1903-04

Most often the Thistles logo would appear centered on the teams sweaters, but as seen in the above team photo from the 1903-04 season, there was some inconsistency in 1902-03 and 1903-04 where some sweaters had what would become the standard centered logo, some had the logo over the left breast and some had no logo whatsoever.

Rat Portage Kenora Thistles 1902-03

Today's video segment is a look at the Kenora Thistles. While the original Thistle club disbanded in 1908, subsequent clubs in Kenora have adopted the Thistle name, which was the case for the club that interview subject Louis McKay played on in 1934.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The NHL Record for Most Fights in a Single Game - 1929-30 Boston Bruins Eddie Shore Jersey

On this date in 1929, the Boston Bruins traveled across the border into Canada to take on the Montreal Maroons. It was to be Boston's fourth game of the season and they were riding a three game winning streak, having already defeated the Detroit Cougars, Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers.

The Bruins lineup was loaded with star players, such as Hall of Famers Dit Clapper, Cooney Weiland, Mickey MacKay, Marty Barry, goaltender Tiny Thompson and the legendary Eddie Shore as well as Lionel Hitchman.

1929-30 Boston Bruins team photo 1929-30BostonBruinsteam.jpg
The 1929-30 Boston Bruins

The Maroons were no pushovers either, as their roster also featured Hall of Famers goalie Clint Benedict, Georges Boucher, Red Dutton, Nels Stewart, Hooley Smith and Babe Siebert for no less than 12 future Hall of Famers taking part.

 photo 1929-30 Montreal Maroons team.jpg
The 1929-30 Montreal Maroons

While the host Maroons entered the game at 2-2, Montreal would go on to win the Canadian Division of the NHL with a 2316-5 record for 51 points (out of a then possible 88 from the current 44 game schedule), second best in the league and behind only the Bruins, who would win the American Division with a league best 77 points from a stellar 38-5-1 record.

The Maroons would draw first blood when Dave Trottier beat Thompson from Bill Phillips at the 9:30 mark of the first period. Weiland responded for Boston with just ten seconds remaining in the first with an assist from Shore as the period ended in a 1-1 tie.

Shore Bruins photo ShoreBoston.jpg
Boston's legendary and controversial Eddie Shore

Montreal retook the lead at the 4:30 mark of the second period when Smith scored from Stewart to put the Maroons back up 2-1.

Shore then got into a fight with the rugged Boucher of the Maroons, who finished his long NHL career with 838 penalty minutes in 449 games.

 photo Boucher Maroons.jpg
Georges Boucher

At the conclusion of the fight, the violent tone for the rest of the evening was fully established when Shore spotted Trottier as the nearest Maroon, and got into it with him so viciously that Shore collapsed one of Trottier's lungs and sent him to the hospital.

 photo Trottier Maroons.jpg
Dave Trottier, who suffered a collapsed lung at the hands of Shore

Shore was now a marked man, as for the rest of the night the Maroons sought out Shore for revenge. Smith, who had fought Shore on many occasions was the first to confront the hated Bruin for Shore's third fight of the evening, leaving him looking somewhat battered.

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Hooley Smith

In between all the fisticuffs, there was still some hockey to be played, and Boston scored twice in 50 seconds just after the midway point of the second period, as Bill Carson tied the game at 10:30 from Art Gagne followed by Weiland's second goal of the game at 11:20 from no less than Shore to give Boston a 3-2 lead.

Clapper then scored his fifth goal of the young season with 1:30 left in the second period from Dutch Gainor to extend the Bruins advantage to 4-2 after the second period.

Stewart pulled Montreal to within one at the 3 minute mark with an assist from Boucher to make the score 4-3, but the Maroons were still furious with Shore, and continued to pound him at every opportunity, but he was no stranger to that kind of treatment and continued to press on despite his ever increasing ragged appearance.

Dutton was the next Maroon to attempt to knock Shore out of the game, as the previous season's penalty minute leader exchanged blows with Shore in his fourth fight of the game. Similar to Boucher, Dutton would complete his NHL career with 871 penalty minutes in 449 games played.

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Red Dutton

The final bout on Shore's fight card came after Siebert was knocked down behind the net. He was in the process of rising to his skates when Shore slugged the vulnerable Maroon. Enraged, Siebert charged at Shore with his stick raised and cross checked him in the head, setting off Shore's fifth brawl of the game. The two went at it so violently, that when the battle was over, beleaguered referees George Mallinson and Lou Hefferman called a halt to the game while the blood was cleaned off the ice.

Babe Siebert photo BabeSiebertsm.jpg
Babe Siebert

The game ended without any further scoring for a 4-3 win for the Bruins and an NHL record five fights for the hated Shore, a record which still stands to this day and will remain unbroken, as the rules now call for a game misconduct for any player accumulating three fights in a game.

Speaking to the toughness of the combatants, that night, Shore of Boston and Dutton, Siebert and Smith would all finish in the top ten in league penalty minutes for the season.

In addition to Trottier, Siebert suffered so much at the hands of Shore that he also was hospitalized that night while Shore finished the night with a trip to the hospital were he was diagnosed with a broken nose, two black eyes, a gashed cheekbone, cuts over both eyes, a mild concussion and four missing teeth!

Shore missed the Bruins next game, perhaps fortunately, as it was rematch against the very same Maroons in Boston just three days later, but returned to the ice for Boston's next game one week after the bloodbath, scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Bruins owner Charles Adams was incensed and protested the actions of the Maroons, complaining to NHL president Frank Calder that "the hockey displayed by the Maroons was a crime. It was brutal. Eddie Shore was knocked out four times." When Calder did nothing in response, Adams caused quite a stir at the league offices when he presented Shore with a check for $500 before the Bruins next home game on December 3rd, explaining that the reward represented $100 for each scar Shore received against the Maroons and the "game way he took his punishment". Shore, though, insisted that the money be shared equally with the rest of his teammates.

Shore Bruins photo ShoreSportKings.jpg
Shore from the 1933 Sport Kings trading card set,
one of only three hockey players in the 48 card set

The two teams would meet again that season in the playoffs, as the second and third place teams from each division would face off in the Quarterfinals, with the winners advancing to the Semifinals against each other for a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. Meanwhile, as division winners the Bruins and Maroons advanced directly to the Semifinals for a place in the finals. Boston took Game 1 in overtime 2-1 and won Game 2 by a score of 4-2 on the road. Montreal stayed alive with a tight 1-0 win in Boston, but the Bruins closed out the Maroons with a 5-1 win in Game 4. Boston then lost in the best-of-three final to the Montreal Canadiens in two straight.

Today's featured jersey is a 1929-30 Boston Bruins Eddie Shore jersey as worn the night Shore set a record for Most Fights in a Single Game with five.

The Bruins were formed in 1924 and originally wore brown and gold uniforms, which were taken from owner Adams' First National Stores. After changing to a new style for their second season, today's featured jersey style arrived for their third season of 1926-27 and was worn for six seasons, which included their first Stanley Cup in 1929.

Sharp eyed readers will notice a Boston Cubs patch on the left sleeve, as this particular sweater was worn by Shore for two seasons until being handed down to the Bruins minor league team, the Cubs and worn by player Byron Johnson, whose family retained possession of the jersey until recently, when it was auctioned off for $119,500.

 photo Boston Bruins 1929-30 F jersey.jpg
 photo Boston Bruins 1929-30 B jersey.jpg
photos courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Today's video is a 15 minute film on the career of Shore, a rich topic worthy of much more than we can provide here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

1962-63 Montreal Canadiens Jacques Laperriere Jersey

Born on this date in 1941, defenseman Jacques Laperriere spent his apprenticeship in the Montreal Canadiens system, playing for both the Jr. Canadiens and senior level Canadiens farm teams, which often carried the same team name at both the junior and senior levels of play. His first season in the Montreal system was in 1958-59 with the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens and his most notable season prior to the NHL was spent with the Montreal Jr. Canadiens in 1961-62 when he scored 20 goals and 57 points from the blueline in only 48 game.

 photo Laperriere Montreal 1.jpg
Jacques Laperriere

In 1962-63, Laperriere made his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadiens. scoring 2 assists in 6 games. He also played in 5 playoff games that season, but spent the majority of his time with the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens of the Eastern Professional Hockey League, seeing action in 40 games, scoring 8 goals and 27 points.

The following season he became a full time NHLer, playing 65 games with Montreal, scoring his first 2 NHL goals on his way to 30 points and a career high 102 penalty minutes. His defensive play as a rookie was quite impressive, as he made few mistakes game after game, which led to him winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL Rookie of the Year as well as being named to the NHL Second All-Star Team at the conclusion of the season.

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Laperriere won the Calder Trophy in 1964

Just prior to the start of the 1964-65 season, Laperriere played in the 1964 NHL All-Star Game, which at the time was held before the regular season, rather than the current mid-season location on the schedule.

The 1964-65 season saw Laperriere post similar offensive numbers with 5 goals at 27 points as well as 92 penalty minutes. During the playoffs, Laperriere played in 6 of Montreal's 13 playoff games as they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4 games to 2 in the Semifinals before defeating the Chicago Black Hawks in a series that went the full seven games before the Canadiens won the deciding game 4-0 to get Laperriere's name engraved on the Stanley Cup for the first time of his career.

Tall for his day at 6' 2", the smooth skating Laperriere used his long reach to stymie his opponents on a consistent basis while is steady offensive contributions continued for the 1965-66 season with 6 goals and 31 points. His fine play that season was recognized when he was named the winner of the Norris Trophy as the NHL's Best Defenseman for 1966 despite only playing in 57 games. Although he missed the playoffs, a controversial Game 7 overtime goal by Henri Richard won the Stanley Cup for the Canadiens, earning Laperriere his name on the Stanley Cup for the second time.

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Laperriere won the 1966 Norris Trophy as the NHL's Best Defenseman

While Laperriere did not score a goal during the 1966-67 season, he contributed his customary 20 assists. While Montreal made it to the Stanley Cup Finals once again, the came up short against Toronto 4 games to 2.

The 1967-68 season saw Laperriere score 4 goals and 25 points during the season the NHL expanded from six teams to twelve. The great expansion led to the addition of another round of the playoffs, and Montreal demonstrate their utter dominance by sweeping the Boston Bruins in four before eliminating the Black Hawks 4 games to 1 to advance to the Finals, where they swept the expansion St. Louis Blues to win Laperriere's third Stanley Cup.

1968-69 was a virtual repeat of the previous season, as Laperriere scored 5 goals and matched his career high with 31 points. The Canadiens again had an easy time of it in the Eastern Division playoffs, which was comprised of all of the established, much stronger Original 6 teams, as they swept the New York Rangers in four and eliminated the Bruins in six to advance to the finals, where they once again faced off against St. Louis. Montreal had finished the season with a league best 103 points, 15 points better than the Blues 88. The might of the Canadiens was too great for St. Louis, as Montreal won in four straight for the second year in a row, outscoring the Blues 12-3 in the series, thanks in no small part to Laperriere's strong defensive play

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Laperriere won his fourth Stanley Cup in 1969

Laperriere set a career high in 1969-70 with 37 points from 6 goals and 31 assists, his seventh consecutive season of 20 points or more. Shockingly, Montreal missed the playoffs, losing a tie breaker to the Rangers for the fourth and final East Division playoff spot, despite their 92 points being more points than the West Division winning Blues 86 points!

The Canadiens regrouped in 1970-71, and solidly qualified for the playoffs. Laperriere's season was limited by injuries to 49 games and just 16 assists, he was recovered in time for the postseason, where he went on a tear, scoring 4 goals and 13 points in 20 games while controlling the play every time he was on the ice. The new playoff format saw the Canadiens defeat the rival Bruins in 7 games before defeating the Minnesota North Stars in six to advance to the Finals against the Chicago Black Hawks. The series went the full seven games and Laperriere was on the ice at the end, trusted by head coach Al MacNeil to protect the Canadiens 3-2 lead and he was the first player to hug the Canadiens young phenomenon in goal, Ken Dryden. Montreal was the last team to win

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Laperriere's fifth Stanley Cup came in 1971

Laperriere rebounded with a 73 game season in 1971-72, scoring 28 points. He was again slowed by injuries in 1972-73, but still managed his customary 23 points in only 57 games during the regular season. Healthy enough to play in 10 of Montreal's 17 playoff games, the Canadiens defeated the Buffalo Sabres in 6, the Philadelphia Flyers in 5 and earned Laperriere his sixth Stanley Cup after they beat the Black Hawks in six games. That season, Laperriere also led the NHL with a +78 rating, becoming the only player other than Bobby Orr to lead the league between 1969 and 1975.

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Laperriere excelled despite having to contend
with stars such as Buffalo's Gilbert Perreault

His final NHL season of 1973-74 was cut short after 42 games when Laperriere suffered a knee injury that ended his career after 691 games played with 40 goals and 242 assists for 282 points and a +241 rating, a Calder Trophy, a Norris Trophy and six Stanley Cups. Additionally, Laperriere played in five NHL All-Star Games (1964, 1965, 1967, 1968 and 1970) and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987.

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Laperriere played 13 seasons, all with the Canadiens

Following his playing career, Laperriere would become an assistant coach to the Canadiens for 16 seasons, which included winning two more Stanley Cups in 1986 and 1993. He later would be on the coaching staff of the Bruins, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils.

Today's featured jersey is a 1962-63 Montreal Canadiens Jacques Laperriere jersey as worn during his rookie season in the NHL. This style jersey dates back to 1941 and, aside from a version with a blue stripe around the chest for three years in the late 40's, has remained essentially unchanged ever since.

 photo Montreal Canadiens 1962-63 jersey.jpeg
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1967-68 Montreal Canadiens Jacques Laperriere jersey as worn during the season the Canadiens won the fifth of six Stanley Cups Laperriere would win during his 12 year career with Montreal.

The Canadiens red sweaters with the blue band around the chest date back to before the formation of the NHL in 1917 and this exact variation with the lace up collar and numbers inside the arms stripes dates back to 1966-67 and remained in use through 1974-75 when it was replaced by a new v-neck collar.

 photo Montreal Canadiens 1967-68 F jersey.jpeg
 photo Montreal Canadiens 1967-68 B jersey.jpeg
photos courtesy of Classic Auctions

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1973-74 Montreal Canadiens Jacques Laperriere jersey as worn during the final season of his NHL career.

 photo Montreal Canadiens 1973-74 F jersey.jpeg
 photo Montreal Canadiens 1973-74 B jersey.jpeg
photos courtesy of Classic Auctions

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