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Saturday, December 24, 2016

1997-98 Houston Aeros Dave Morissette Jersey

Born on this date in 1971, Dave "Moose" Morissette was a bruising left winger who amassed penalty minutes by the hundreds.

He played his junior hockey with the Shawnigan Cataractes and his toughness instantly earned earned him the role as one of the team's enforcers, as Morisette finished second on the team in penalty minutes as a rookie with 298, which was good for fifth in the QMJHL in 1989.

The following season he led the team in penalty minutes as he slugged his way to 269 PIMs, placing sixth overall. After seasons of 15 and 11 points, Morissette found his offensive game for the only time of his career when he netted 20 goals and 26 assists in addition to the expected 224 penalty minutes to again lead the team.

Dave Morissette fists

Following his final season of junior hockey, Morissette was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. He played the 1991-92 season with the Hampton Roads Admirals of the East Coast Hockey League, who went 42-20-0-2 and went on to win the Riley Cup as champions of the ECHL. Morissette of course led the Admirals with 293 penalty minutes, eighth in the league.

He returned to Hampton Roads the following season as the Admirals defended their title to capture their second consecutive ECHL championship. He improved upon is 16 points the previous season with 9 goals and 22 points, which would prove to be career highs as a professional. He would also surpass the 200 penalty minute mark once again with 226.

Morissette played for the ECHL's Roanoke Express in 1993-94, with his team leading 278 PIM's placing him in the top ten in the notoriously rugged ECHL.

For the 1994-95 season, "Moose" moved up to the International Hockey League, appropriately enough with the expansion Minnesota Moose and became an instant fan favorite thanks to his outgoing personality and rough and tumble style. After two seasons and 83 games with the Moose, he moved down south to join the Houston Aeros for two seasons, the second of which, 1997-98, had Morissette once again leading his team in penalty minutes with 254, the third highest of his professional career.

After seven minor league seasons, Morissette was rewarded with his first NHL action after signing as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens for the 1998-99 season. He would play ten games for Montreal that season and manage to participate in six fights. While in the AHL that season, he saw action in 39 games with the Fredericton Canadiens as well as 12 playoff games.

Dave Morissette fights Bob Probert
While in the NHL, Morisette fought several renowned heavyweights,
including the likes of Bob Probert

The Fredericton franchise was relocated and renamed for 1999-00, becoming the Quebec Citadelles, with whom Morissette played 47 games, amassing 231 penalty minutes to lead the Citadelles. He played in a single game for Montreal in the NHL, earning a major penalty for a fight.

His career wound down in 2000-01 with five games with the Lake Charles Ice Pirates of the Western Professional Hockey League and 13 games in England with the London Knights of the British Ice Hockey Super League. In just 13 games with the Knights, Morissette made his presence known with 117 penalty minutes but had his season cut short and his career ended by a concussion which knocked him out for 30 minutes.

Dave Morissette Knights
Morissette while with the London Knights

His final combined totals were 673 games played, 69 goals and 104 assists for 173 points and 2,943 minutes in penalties, the equivalent of 49 complete games in the box!

Following his career, Morissette wrote a book in 2005 before the NHL even had a drug testing policy, Mémoires d'Un Dur à Cuire (Memories of an Enforcer). The book, written in French, detailed his steroid use throughout his career as a warning to others about the dangers of steroids and how he feels they shortened his career.

Today's featured jersey is a 1997-98 Houston Aeros Dave Morissette jersey. This jersey is one of the most popular minor league jerseys of all time, and when the club changed to a new modern fighter jet logo, the outcry was so great that that the team restored the classic bomber logo to their jerseys the following season.

Houston Aeros 97-98 jersey
Houston Aeros 97-98 jersey

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1999-00 Quebec Citadelles Dave Morissette jersey as worn during his only season with the Citadelles with the typical North American sponsorship logo on the upper right chest.

This attractive jersey features the unusual choice of a goat head for the team's logo, which was the mascot of the Royal 22nd Regiment, which was stationed in the Citadel of Quebec. The team played in Quebec for just three seasons before relocating to Hamilton where they were renamed the Bulldogs.

A well traveled franchise, it began in 1969 in Montreal as the Voyageurs before moving to Nova Scotia, then Sherbrooke, Quebec and then Frederiction before relocating for the fourth time to Quebec.

Quebec Citadelles 99-00 jersey
Quebec Citadelles 99-00 jersey

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1998-99 Montreal Canadiens Dave Morissette jersey as worn during the season Morissette got is first taste of NHL action.

Montreal Canadiens 98-99 jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions
The Moose is loose! Morissette takes on NHL veteran Al Secord, then with the Chicago Wolves and beats him into the ice in 1994-95. Then, Jason Simon of the Denver Grizzlies gets pounded by Morissette to give you a perfect example of his straight ahead style of taking a punch to give a punch which made him a fan favorite at each stop in his career.

Here, Morissette holds his own with Probert in his third NHL fight in October of 1998 as he tries to establish himself in the NHL.

In this slugfest, Ken Baugartner of the Bruins and Morissette really go at it for quite some time in Morissette's next fight nine days later.

In some AHL action, Morissette of the Fredericton Canadiens trades blows with Rocky Thompson of the Saint John Flames in the 1998-99 season. Note the theme from "Rocky" playing in the background, a nice touch by the in arena crew in Saint John.

In our final video today, while this interview mainly focuses on guest Scott Gomez, it's conducted by the bi-lingual Morissette and gives you some insight into his infectious personality which made him so popular.

Friday, December 23, 2016

1940-41 Boston Bruins Woody Dumart Jersey

During the 1934-35 season, Woody Dumart scored 17 goals and 28 points in 17 games for his hometown Kitchener Greenshirts. Following the season, Dumart and his childhood friends and Greenshirts linemates Bobby Bauer and Milt Schmidt were all signed by the Boston Bruins.

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Woody Dumart

Schmidt remained with Kitchener for the 1935-36 season, while Dumart and Bauer spent the year with the Boston Cubs in the Can-Am league. While Bauer outscored Dumart with 15 goals and 28 points to Dumart's 11 goals and 21 points in 46 games, it was Dumart who made his NHL debut first, playing in one game for the Bruins that season.

For the 1936-37 season, the trio was reunited with the Providence Reds of the International-American Hockey League. After 23 games, Schmidt was called up by the Bruins for 26 games and Dumart joined him after 34 games, seeing action in 17 games for Boston, which included scoring his first NHL goal on his way to 4 total goals and 8 points. Bauer also made his NHL debut that season with one regular season and one playoff game for the Bruins.

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Dumart made his Bruins debut in 1935-36

By 1937-38, all three were now full time members of the Bruins, with right wing Bauer leading the way with 20 goals and 34 points. Left winger Dumart and center Schmidt each had an identical 13 goals and 27 points. At 6' 1" and among the largest wingers of his day, Dumart was the checker and defensive component of the line, which was known as The Kraut Line due to their shared German heritage.

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The Kraut Line of Schmidt #15, Dumart #14 and Bauer #17
meet with Bruins head coach Art Ross

Dumart, born on this date in 1916, would have 14 goals and 29 points in 1938-39. The Bruins finished first in the NHL that season with a 36-10-2 record and then win one of the most dramatic playoff series in NHL history. After winning the first three games against the New York Rangers, the first of which was a 2-1 triple overtime thriller on the road. Game 2 in Boston also required overtime. The Rangers then came back to win Game 4 at home 2-1 and Game 5 in Boston 2-1 in yet other overtime game. The Rangers then became the first team in league history to force a Game 7 after losing the first three of the series with a 3-1 win at home. The Bruins finally prevailed in triple overtime in Game 7 by yet another 2-1 game, the fourth of the hard fought series. Of note, Mel Hill had all three overtime winners for the Bruins.

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Dumart sharing a laugh with Frank Brimsek

The Bruins, behind the goaltending of Frank Brimsek, held the Toronto Maple Leafs to 6 goals in the five game series, won by the Bruins 4 games to 1 to make the childhood friends Dumart, Bauer and Schmidt Stanley Cup champions.

1938-39 Boston Bruins team, 1938-39 Boston Bruins team
The 1939 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins

Dumart would set new career highs in scoring in 1939-40 with 22 goals and 43 points. Due to missing eight games in 1940-41, his point total would drop to 33. The Bruins again finished first in the league that season and again had to survive a seven game Semifinal series against the Maple Leafs, a back and forth series that required the Bruins to win the final two games, before a four game sweep of the Detroit Red Wings to claim their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.

1940-41 Boston Bruins team photo 1940-41BostonBruinsteam.jpg
The Stanley Cup champion 1940-41 Boston Bruins

After 36 games of the 1941-42 season, Dumart, Bauer and Schmidt all enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force due to World War II. After their final game before leaving, they were honored by being carried off the Boston Garden ice by the Montreal Canadiens players.

While in the military, the line joined the Ottawa RCAF Flyers team in time for the team's playoffs. After winning the Ottawa City Hockey League, they advanced to the national Finals, where they defeated the Port Arthur Bearcats 3 games to 2 to win the Allan Cup as senior champions of Canada. During the Allan Cup playoffs, Dumart had 14 goals and 23 points in 13 games.

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The 1942 Allan Cup champion RCAF Flyers

In 1942-43, Dumart found the time to play in 6 games for the Flyers, scoring 6 goals and 11 points before being shipped overseas for the duration of his time in the military.

After four seasons away from the NHL, Dumart returned to the Bruins for the 1945-46 season along with Schmidt and Bauer. Dumart picked up right where he left off by equaling his personal best of 22 goals. During the playoffs, the Bruins would make it to the Finals during the Kraut Line's return season before falling in five games to the Canadiens.

Dumart would set career highs with 24 goals, 28 assists and 52 points in 1946-47. Following the season, Bauer, despite having just completed a career year of his own with 30 goals and 54 points in 58 games, would announce his retirement from the NHL, bringing to an end the era of the Kraut Line after seven seasons together with Dumart and Schmidt.

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Bauer and Schmidt leap over Dumart, showing the playful spirit
of the line that made them so popular with the Bruins fans

He would again score 20 goals in 1947-48 with 21. Three seasons later in 1950-51, Dumart would reach the 20 goal level for the fifth and final time of his career as he totaled 41 points for the season, his third time with 40 or more.

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Dumart in 1948-49 wearing the Bruins first Spoked B jersey

He would play three more seasons for the Bruins, including one more trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Despite Boston finishing fourth in the regular season, they upset the first place Red Wings to advance to face Montreal, who again won in five games.

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Schmidt and Dumart were teammates for Dumart's entire career

With his time with the Bruins now over, Dumart played 15 games of the 1954-55 season wtih the Providence Reds before retiring.

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A 1953-54 Parkhurst Dumart hockey card

His final NHL totals were 772 games, 211 goals and 218 assists for 429 points, numbers which would have been higher had he not had to miss three full seasons while away in the military. At the time of his retirement, Dumart was the leading scoring left wing in Bruins history and still remains in fourth place, as well as in games played. He also played in the first two of the annual NHL All-Star Games in 1947 and 1948.

Dumart would win a pair of Stanley Cups and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992.

Today's featured jersey is a 1940-41 Boston Bruins Woody Dumart jersey. This jersey was worn during Dumart and the Kraut Line's second Stanley Cup championship season.

After this striping pattern first arrived in 1939-40 with black numbers for one season, the team swapped the colors of the numbers and logos for the 1940-41 season. This style remained in use through the 1947-48 season until the Bruins introduced their now famous Spoked B logo for their 25th Anniversary in 1948-49.

 photo Boston Bruins 1940-41 jersey.jpg
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Thursday, December 22, 2016

1996-97 St. Louis Blues Brett Hull Jersey

On this date in 1996, Brett Hull made history, becoming part of the first ever father/son pair to reach 500 goals in the NHL.

Two-time winner Bobby Hull celebrating Brett Hull's
1991 Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Bobby Hull began his career with the Chicago Black Hawks in 1957 and would equal the NHL record of 50 goals in 1962 held by Maurice Richard (1945) and Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion (1961). He would break the record in 1966 when he scored 54, the highest total in the Original Six era.

Bobby would top 50 goals three more times, in 1967 with 52 goals, 1969 with 58 (a personal best and the all-time record then) and 1972 with an even 50.

He would reach 500 goals on February 21, 1970 against the New York Rangers and finish his NHL career with 610 goals, currently 15th all-time. However, Hull did spend seven seasons with the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association, where he scored an additional 303 goals, giving him 913 for his entire career.

Bobby with sons Bobby Jr. and Brett after scoring his 500th NHL goal

Brett Hull would begin his path to 500 goals with the Calgary Flames when he scored his first NHL goal in the 1986-87 season while appearing in only 5 games. During the 1987-88 season Brett would score 26 goals in 52 games for Calgary before being traded to the St. Louis Blues, along with Steve Bozak for Rob Ramage and Rick Wamsley.

It was in St. Louis that Brett would ignite and achieve his first 40 goal season in 1988-89. A monster season in 1989-90 would see him join the elite 70 goal club with 72, joining the likes of Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mario Lemieux and Bernie Nicholls.

Amazingly, Hull would beat that mark the very next season when he lit the lamp 86 times, the second highest single season mark ever, just six shy of Gretzky's 92.

Brett would continue his assault on the 500 mark with seasons of 70 in 1991-92, becoming only the second and final player to score 50 goals in 50 games more than once, 54 and then 57 over the next three seasons. The lockout shortened season of 1994-95 limited him to 29, but he reached 40 for the final two times of his career with 43 followed by 42 the season he reached 500, becoming just the 24th player at the time in the exclusive club and joining his father as the only father/son duo to achieve the feat together.

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Brett Hull while with the St. Louis Blues

Hull would reach 500 in style, scoring a hat trick as part of a four point night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Hull would continue to play seven more seasons in the NHL, winning two Stanley Cups and adding another 241 goals to his tally to finish with 741, currently third all-time behind only Gretzky and Gordie Howe.

He joined his father in having his jersey number retired in 2006, the only father/son combo in any professional sport to be so honored, and then joined him in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

Combined, the Bobby and Brett scored 1,351 NHL goals with Bobby's brother Dennis Hull adding another 303 for a family total of 1,654.

Today's featured jersey is a 1996-97 St. Louis Blues Brett Hull jersey just like the one he wore when he scored goal number 500. This jersey style was worn from 1994-95 until the 1997-98 season before being replaced with the more traditional looking jersey first introduced as the Blues alternate jersey in 1997-98.

Many did not like the inclusion of what they felt was an excessive amount of red in the blues jersey, particularly the road version, along with what they felt was the excessive number of stripes, which were there to replicate the musical staff. The diagonal lines of the jersey were unconventional at the time, but even more so were the numbers, which grew in size from right to left across the back as the lines of the staff fell away.

St Louis Blues 1995-96 jersey photo StLouisBlues1995-96H16F.jpg
St Louis Blues 1995-96 jersey photo StLouisBlues1995-96H16B.jpg

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1969-70 Chicago Black Hawks Bobby Hull jersey as worn when he scored his 500th NHL goal on February 21, 1970 in Chicago against the New York Rangers.

This jersey style was first introduced for the 1955-56 season and underwent several tweaks and evolutions, including varying locations of the secondary logo, the addition of black cuffs on the sleeves, sleeve numbers and a modernization of the crest until arriving at this style with the change from a lace-up collar to a v-neck in 1965-66. Since then, only the addition of red trim around the numbers and the arrival of names on the back are worth noting, as the jersey has remained essentially unchanged since 1965.

Chicago Blackhawks 1969-70 jersey photo ChicagoBlackhawks1969-70Fjersey.jpg
Chicago Blackhawks 1969-70 jersey photo ChicagoBlackhawks1969-70Bjersey.jpg

In today's video section, Brett scores his 500th goal on this date in 1996.

Here's a look at Bobby in action from his days with Chicago. Note him coming up the steps from the locker room to reach the ice level in the quirky old Chicago Stadium.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

1991-92 New York Rangers Turn Back the Clock Joey Kocur Jersey

One of the toughest men to ever play in the NHL, Joey Kocur was born on this date in 1964.

Kocur impressed scouts with his performance as a junior in the Western Hockey League while playing for the Saskatoon Blades. During his first season of 1982-83, he scored 23 goals and 40 points while amassing 289 penalty minutes in 62 games, over 4.6 minutes per game in penalty minutes. That eye opening performance led to him being drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft.

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Kocur while with the Saskatoon Blades

He returned to Saskatoon for the 1983-84 season, where in 69 games, Kocur scored an even 40 goals and matched that with 41 assists for 81 points while being whistled for 258 penalty minutes. Once his junior season was over, Kocur joined the Adirondack Red Wings of the American Hockey League for five playoff games, where he received 28 penalty minutes.

Kocur spent the majority of his 1984-85 season with Adirondack, playing in 47 games with 19 points to his credit. He was called up to Detroit to make his NHL debut, eventually seeing action in 17 regular season games, scoring his first goal.

His debut would have to wait however, as during his last game before being called up, Kocur knocked out Jim Playfair. Doctors in Halifax didn't realize Kocur, who needed 40 stitches to close the wound on his hand following the fight, had cut his hand on Playfair's teeth and sewed the wound shut, which allowed the hand to become infected.

Overnight, his arm swelled up to three times it's normal size which attracted the attention of the Detroit trainer. Three hours later he was in surgery and two weeks later he was informed that if he had waited another day, they might have had to amputate his entire right arm.

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Kocur after having emergency surgery following a
hand infection after a fight

For the 1985-86 season, Kocur played 9 games with Adirondack, but spent most of his time in the NHL terrorizing the league with a career high 377 penalty minutes in just 59 games to lead the league despite giving the rest of the league a 21 game head start. In all, Kocur had 34 fights that season, also a career high.

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Kocur introduced himself to the NHL by leading the
league in penalty minutes

Kocur again led the Red Wings with 276 penalty minutes thanks to 30 more fights in the 1986-87 season while scoring another 9 goals. The following season, Kocur placed second on the team with 263 minutes, thanks to 25 fights, behind teammate and league leader Bob Probert (398). The duo became known as "The Bruise Brothers" and were very popular with the Detroit faithful.

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In a lighter moment, Probert and Kocur share a laugh

Kocur again was second on the Red Wings in penalties in 1988-89 with 213 behind Gerard Gallant. Such was the power of his right fist that he was actually able to crack some player's helmets during fights. Donald Brasher relates, "Kocur was hitting me in the helmet like a power hammer and in the end the helmet split! I remember the next day I had a terrible pain, my gums on the left side of my head were hurting even though he was hitting me on the right side of my face. I couldn't chew anything. I wonder what it would be if I did not have a helmet? Too scary."

Not only did Kocur lead Detroit in penalty minutes for the third time in 1989-90 with 268, but he set a career highs for goals with 16, 20 assists and points with 36, double his next highest of 18.

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Kocur had offensive career highs in 1989-90

After 52 games of the 1990-91 season with the Red Wings, and 253 penalty minutes, his sixth season of over 210 penalty minutes with Detroit, Kocur was traded to the New York Rangers in March of 1991 and played in five games for New York to finish the season, adding another 36 penalty minutes to his final season total of 289, the second highest of his career.

His role with the Rangers would change, and in five seasons in New York, Kocur would never exceed 131 minutes. His best offensive season in New York was 1991-92 when he had 7 goals and 11 points.

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Kocur took his toughness to the New York Rangers

In 1993-94, the Rangers would go on a deep playoff run and Kocur would play in 20 of the Rangers 23 games as they defeat the Vancouver Canucks in seven games to win their first Stanley Cup in 54 years.

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The 1994 Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers

One of Darren McCarty’s first fights as a rookie for Detroit was against Kocur, by then with the  Rangers before they later became teammates. “One of his punches cracked my helmet,” McCarty recalled. “The momentum of his fist connecting with my head sent us both crashing to the ice. We were both tangled up, and we went down head first and we landed face-to-face.” Kocur asked if McCarty was okay. “Thanks for not killing me, Mr. Kocur,” McCarty said.

After having only played in 38 games for New York in 1995-96, Kocur was traded to the Canucks in March of that season, playing just 7 regular season and 1 playoff game in Vancouver.

Kocur began the 1996-97 season with the San Antonio Dragons of the International Hockey League, but after just five games, he was resigned by Detroit on the recommendation of team captain Steve Yzerman to provide an element of toughness the team was lacking with the departures of Probert and Stu "The Grim Reaper" Grimson.

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Kocur had two successful stints with Detroit

He would play in 34 games, scoring a pair of goals and 3 points with 70 penalty minutes. He would also play in 19 playoff games, scoring once and chipping in 3 assists as the Red Wings would sweep the Philadelphia Flyers in four straight to win the second Stanley Cup of Kocur's career.

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Kocur drinks from the cup in 1998

Detroit, inspired by the career ending injuries to Vladimir Konstantinov while celebrating in the days following the 1997 championship, would repeat as Stanley Cup winners again in 1998. That season Kocur played in 63 games with 6 goals and 11 points and then scored 4 more goals during 18 playoff games during the 1998 playoffs.

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Kocur lifts the Stanley Cup in 1998

Kocur would play one final season in the NHL, seeing action in 39 games before retiring as a player. His final career totals were 821 games played, 80 goals and 82 assists for 162 points. His final penalty minute total was 2,519, which rank him as 20th all time.

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."

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

After his playing career ended, Kocur became President of the Red Wings Alumni Association, which is involved in raising money for charitable causes by holding reunion games and he also started the Joe Kocur Foundation for Children, which can be followed on Twitter @KocurFoundation.

Kocur Foundation logo photo Kocur Foundation.jpg

To read about Kocur and Probert, the legendary Bruise Brothers, get your copy at the link below.

Today's featured jersey is a 1991-92 New York Rangers Turn Back the Clock Joey Kocur jersey. To celebrate the NHL's 75th Anniversary season, every player wore the NHL 75th Anniversary logo patch on their jersey, while the Original 6 clubs each wore a throwback jersey based on a design from the team's past. New York wore jerseys based on the ones worn the last time they had won the Stanley Cup in 1939-40.

 photo New York Rangers 1991-92 TBTC F jersey.jpg
 photo New York Rangers 1991-92 TBTC B jersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1987-88 Detroit Red Wings Joey Kocur jersey. Jersey forensics reveal this to be the only season the Red Wings had the combination of their customizers EastSide Team Sports adding their logo to the team's jerseys in combination with the red-red-blue CCM logo on the back, which changed to team colors the following season, leaving the three blocks in the CCM logo now white-white-white with red letters.

This simple, yet iconic style was first worn by Detroit in 1932-33, the season they changed their name from Falcons to Red Wings. Aside from changing the original red numbers outlined in white to one color white in 1937 and adding sleeve numbers and names on the back, this jersey remains unchanged for over 80 years and looks to remain the same for another 80 years.

 photo Detroit Red Wings 1987-88 F jersey.jpg
 photo Detroit Red Wings 1987-88 B jersey.jpg

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings Joey Kocur practice jersey. To date, we have featured very few practice jerseys on Third String Goalie, but they can be an interesting subset of jersey collecting and can be found in variety of colors, often unrelated to the team's identity package. We've seen everything from half the team wearing white and the other half the team's primary color to each forward line wearing a different color (green, red, blue, yellow), while the defense wore white and the goaltenders black.

This particular style has a bold CCM logo below the Red Wings winged wheel logo as well as Kocur's name on the back. Many practice jerseys do not have player names on the back. Note the simple block lettering on this one when compared to the ornate vertically arched lettering of the Red Wings road jersey shown above.

 photo Detroit Red Wings 1997-98 practice F jersey.jpg
 photo Detroit Red Wings 1997-98 practice B jersey.jpg

Extra extra bonus jersey: Today's extra extra bonus jersey is a 1996-97 San Antonio Dragons Joey Kocur jersey.worn during his brief time away from the NHL until he was resigned by the Red Wings and would go on to win the Stanley Cup that season.

The Dragons only lasted two seasons in the IHL, 1996-97 and 1997-98 before folding due to financial problems.

 photo San Antonio Dragons 1996-97 jersey.jpeg
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's video section begins with Kocur messing up Link Gaetz, whose nickname was "The Missing Link".

Next, newly signed by the Red Wings, Kocur fights his former teammate Probert in 1996.

Here, Kocur knocks out Jim Kyte of the Winnipeg Jets with his feared right hand.

In this next video, Kocur picks off a Flyers pass and beats Ron Hextall in Game 1 of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals. Don't forget, Kocur scored 80 goals during his career.

The sweet hands of Kocur score on this penalty shot against the Chicago Blackhawks  Jacques Cloutier.

Kocur battles Cam Neely of Vancouver and lands several blows to Neely's helmet, which Neely said was cracked afterwards from the force of Kocur's punches!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

1975-76 Atlanta Flames Bill Clement Jersey

Born on this date in 1960, Bill Clement played his junior hockey with the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League. A center, Clement played three seasons for the 67's, including being named team captain for the last two seasons. He scored a high of 19 goals and 36 assists for 55 points in 1969-70, which led to him being drafted 18th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft.

His apprenticeship continued with the Quebec Aces of the American Hockey League in 1970-71 where he again posted very similar numbers with 19 goals and 58 points. He began the 1971-72 season with the Richmond Robins of the AHL, where he played in 26 games prior to making his NHL debut with the Flyers. Once called up to the NHL, Clement scored 9 goals and 23 points that season for his first NHL points.

After one more full season with the Flyers, Clement played an abbreviated season with Philadelphia, playing in just 39 games and four of the Flyers 17 playoff games on their way to their first Stanley Cup championship, the first ever won by a 1967 expansion club.

Clement Flyers
Clement apparently went to the same barber as Bobby Clarke

Clement came back strong in 1974-75, setting personal highs with 21 goals and 37 points. He also played a bigger role in the Flyers second consecutive Stanley Cup championship by not only playing in 12 of the Flyers 17 playoff games, but scoring the cup winning goal in Game 6 against the Buffalo Sabres.

That summer Clement was traded to the second year Washington Capitals, immediately going from the penthouse to the outhouse, as he moved from the two-time Stanley Cup champions to the Capitals, who had just concluded the previous season with the fewest number of points in NHL history, 21, from a horrendous 8-67-5 record.

Clement Capitals
Clement during his half a season with the Capitals
while serving as team captain

Clement was named the Capitals team captain for the 1975-76 season and appeared in 46 games prior to being traded to the Atlanta Flames halfway through the season. Just as the second year Capitals relied on Clement, so did the fourth year Flames. Despite the mid-season upheaval of being traded, Clement was able to score a combined 23 goals and 31 assists for 54 points to set career highs in all three offensive categories. He also made his first of two NHL All-Star Game appearances in 1976.

Clement Flames
Clement as a member of the Flames while they were still in Atlanta

He had his second 50 point season in 1977-78, and appeared in his second All-Star Game, prior to playing two more seasons in Atlanta before following the franchise to it's new home in Calgary, where they retained the Flames name and colors. Clement was the Flames eighth leading scorer during their time in Atlanta, an impressive showing for a two-way forward.

Clement 1978 All-Star
Clement at the 1978 NHL All-Star Game

Clement played two seasons in Calgary to close out his career, finishing with 719 games played, 148 goals and 208 assists for 356 regular season points. He also played in 50 playoff games, which included five goals, one of which was the cup clincher in 1975.

Following his playing career, Clement entered the world of broadcasting, where his charisma and ever-present smile has made him one of the most popular color commentators in the game.

Clement Easter overtime
Color commentator Clement gets silly as the Islanders and Capitals
enter the third overtime in their legendary playoff game

Today's featured jersey is a 1975-76 Atlanta Flames Bill Clement jersey as worn during the most productive offensive season of his career, when he scored a combined 54 points with both the Capitals and Flames.

The Flames kept essentially the same jerseys from their inception in 1972 through their move to Calgary in 1980, with only a tweak in striping following their first season and the addition of league mandated names on the back in 1977 worth noting. In fact, the Flames retained the same jersey template following their move to Calgary through 1992, with only the obvious change in crest from a flaming "A" to a flaming "C". To this day, Calgary pays tribute to their Atlanta origins by retaining the flaming "A" to designate their alternate captains.

 photo Atlanta Flames 1975-76 F jersey.jpg
 photo Atlanta Flames 1975-76 B jersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1975-76 Atlanta Flames Bill Clement jersey. This is the road red version of today's home white featured jersey. Like the home white jersey, this road red jersey was unchanged for the Flames entire run in Atlanta.

 photo Atlanta Flames 1975-76 jersey.jpg
Photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1973-74 Philadelphia Flyers Bill Clement jersey as worn by Clement the year the Flyers won the Stanley Cup for the first time.

The Flyers introduced this jersey style for their inaugural 1967-68 season with one color numbers and no names. The numbers gained a black outline in 1970-71 and the names on the back of the home white jerseys arrived in 1972-73. The sleeve stripes were widened in 1978-79 so the arm numbers fit completely inside. For the final season for this style, the waist stripe was removed for the 1981-82 season when the team wore the full length Cooperall pants. For the second and final season of the Cooperalls, the jersey was heavily updated, primarily with the addition of black trim separating the sleeve stripes from the main body color and now a black waist stripe rather than the previous orange, ending the 15 year long run of their original jersey.

The orange version of this jersey was brought back as a throwback alternate in 2008-09, complete with the white nameplates once used for games on TV when the Flyers chose not to make a separate home and away set of nameplates and simply affixed the home white plates to their road orange jerseys.

The white version was brought back for the 2010 NHL Winter Classic only now with black nameplates, the same season the orange version replaced their then black primary home jersey.

The Winter Classic white jersey then became the team's primary road jersey for the 2010-11 jersey, making for a full return to the Flyers 1970-71 look, only now with names on the back with both utilizing the contrasting nameplate retro look.

 photo Philadelphia Flyers 1973-74 F jersey.jpg
 photo Philadelphia Flyers 1973-74 B jersey.jpg
Photos courtesy of Classic Auctions

In today's video segment, Clement gets into a scrap with Bobby Orr of the Bruins.

Here, Clement gets silly as the Capitals and Islanders enter the third overtime of their 1987 playoff game, known as "The Easter Epic", which eventually went into a fourth overtime.

Clement, Clement. Hands of cement.


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