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Saturday, March 18, 2017

2016-17 Toronto Maple Leafs St. Patricks Throwback Auston Matthews Jersey

As a part of their Centennial celebrations, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be wearing throwback jerseys tonight as worn from 1922-23 to 1924-25 when the club was known as the Toronto St. Patricks.

The team began during the first season of the National Hockey League in 1917-18 as the Toronto Hockey Club, also known as the Toronto Blueshirts. The club won the NHL playoffs their first season and then defeated the Vancouver Millionaires of the PCHA 3 games to 2 to take the Stanley Cup in their very first try.

1917-18 Toronto Blueshirts team
The Stanley Cup champion 1917-18 Toronto Blueshirts

The following season, still wearing blue sweaters, the club became known as the Toronto Arena Hockey Club, named after the Arena Gardens rink which owned the club as a part of business maneuvers to protect themselves from legal action from the owner of the previous Toronto franchise that played in the previous National Hockey Association. The team was more commonly referred to as the Toronto Arenas for the 1918-19 season. The Arenas quickly ran into financial difficulties and were sold to new owners for $5,000 in time for the 1919-20 NHL season.

The Arena Gardens, later changed to the Mutual Street Arena

The new owners were Charile Querrie, the General Manager of the Toronto Arenas, and the owners of an amateur hockey club called the St. Patricks. The new ownership group then changed the NHL club's name to the Toronto St. Patricks and their sweaters from blue to now green.

Rebounding from a chaotic 5-13 season resulting from the sale or defection of their best players due to the financial problems of the previous ownership, the St. Patricks were essentially starting over from scratch for the 1919-20 season.

1919-20 Toronto St Patricks team
1919-20 Toronto St Patricks

While they did not qualify for the playoffs, the St. Patricks did improve their season record to 12-12 and were led in points by Corb Denneny, a holdover from the Toronto Arenas, who had 24 goals and 36 points in 24 games, good for fourth in the league.

Future Hall of Famer Babe Dye led the club with 33 goals and 38 points in 23 games in 1920-21, and the team would finish first in the second half standings, but lost in the NHL finals to the Ottawa Senators.

Toronto St Pats Babe Dye 1920-21
Babe Dye during the 1920-21 season

1921-22 again saw the St. Patricks led by Dye's 31 goals and 38 points in 24 games, as Toronto would defeat the Senators 5-4 in a two-game, total goals series to capture the O'Brien Trophy and earn the right to play for the Stanley Cup against the Vancouver Millionaires, champions of the Pacific Coast Hockey League.

The series was a best-of-five and all games were played in Toronto. The Millionaires won Game 1 and Dye scored in overtime to even the series at 1 game apiece. Vancouver shut out Toronto 3-0 in Game 3, only to have the St. Patricks return the favor 6-0 in Game 4. Dye took control of the deciding Game 5, scoring four goals to lead the St. Patricks to a 5-1 victory and the Stanley Cup.

1921-22 St Patricks
1921-22 Stanley Cup Champion Toronto St. Patricks

The next two seasons Toronto would finish in third place, and miss out on the playoffs both times.

Babe Dye St Pats 1923-24
Dye in 1922-23 wearing the Stanley Cup champions patch on his sweater

Dye again led the team in scoring both seasons, with 37 points in 1922-23 and just 19 in 1923-24, but still enough to lead the club.

1923-24 Toronto St Patricks team
The 1923-24 Toronto St Patricks

Dye rebounded with 38 goals and 46 points in 1924-25 to lead the team for the fifth season in a row and Toronto again returned to the playoffs, only to lose out to the Montreal Canadiens 5 goals to 2.

Another Hall of Famer, Jack Adams, would finally unseat Dye as the club's leading scorer, as he managed 21 goals and 26 points to Dye's 23 points in 1925-26, but Toronto would fail to reach the playoffs.

Jack Adams St Pats
Jack Adams led the St. Pats in scoring in 1925-26

St. Pats Owner Querrie then lost a lawsuit to the notorious Eddie Livingstone, the one time owner of the previous Toronto franchise known as the Toronto Blueshirts of the NHA, and, as a result, decided to put the team up for sale. The club was purchased by Conn Smythe for $160,000 and, when he took control of the team on February 14, 1927, immediately changed the club's name to the Toronto Maple Leafs, bringing an end to the St. Pats name during the 1926-27 season.

On March 2, 2002, the Toronto Maple Leafs wore the green jerseys of the 1926-27 St. Patricks, along with brown pants and helmets, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the franchise changing their name to the Maple Leafs in a 3-3 tie against the Buffalo Sabres, led by captain Mats Sundin's two goals.

Sundin St Pats
Mat Sundin in the green of the 1926-27 St. Patricks in 2002

Today's featured jersey is a 2016-17 Toronto Maple Leafs St. Patricks Throwback Auston Matthews jersey that will be worn tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks as a part of the Maple Leafs centennial celebration.

The original 1919-20 St. Pats jerseys were alternating green a white hoops on the body, while the sleeves were green with a single white band and white cuffs. For 1920-21, the sweaters were solid green with white cuffs, collar and waist stripe. They reverted to their original horizontally striped sweaters for 1921-22.

For 1922-23, the location of the sweater's colors were reversed, with the result being a predominately white look now that the arms were white with a green band and cuffs. This style was worn for three seasons through 1924-25 and this is the style which will be worn this evening.

It was back to an all-green look for 1925-26, including the collar and cuffs, with the only white being three narrow stripes along the waist.

Finally, for the team's final season as the St. Patricks, they added a white chest band trimmed with narrow white stripes and reduced the three narrow waist stripes to two. With the sale of the club to Smythe, this jersey would not finish out the season, as it was immediately replaced by a solid white sweater with a green maple leaf crest, with the team colors permanently changing to blue and white for the 1927-28 season.

It would be the St. Patricks final green jersey with the white chest band of 1926-27 which would become the basis for Toronto's throwback jersey worn in March of 2002 on the 75th Anniversary of Smythe's ownership and resulting name change to the Maple Leafs.

One unique feature of today's throwback jersey is the use of separate white boxes for each digit on the back of the jersey done in the style teams used to employ in the days of multi-striped barberpole jerseys.

Toronto Maple Leafs St Pats 2016-17 F jersey
Toronto Maple Leafs St Pats 2016-17 B jersey

Friday, March 17, 2017

2017 NCAA Conference Tournaments

Last night began the final weekend of play in the six NCAA men's collegiate hockey tournaments to award each conference's automatic bid for the national championship playoffs, which will see four regionals take place on March 24th, 25th and 26th with the Frozen Four in Chicago, Illinois on April 6th and 8th at the home of the Chicago Blackhawks, the United Center.

NCAA Hockey Logo

The field for the national championship is open to 16 teams as determined by the NCAA's computer ranking system. The fly in the ointment is that the top 16 teams do NOT automatically advance to the national playoffs, as both the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and Atlantic Hockey Association conferences eventual playoff winners will both be from well outside the top 16 and the champions of those conference playoff tournaments are guaranteed take one of the 16 available spots in the national playoffs, narrowing the available openings to now 14.

Furthermore, if any of the other four tournaments see an upset winner from lower in the computer rankings, another place will be lost to the teams "on the bubble" hovering around 12th to 14th place in the NCAA computer rankings.

The first group of teams affected the most by this system are the winners of the various conferences regular season championships, which guarantees them absolutely nothing when it comes to post season play. Look no further than the WCHA regular season titlist the Bemidji State Beavers, who were dumped 4-3 in overtime last Friday and 2-1 on Saturday by the Bowling Green Falcons, ending the Beavers season, as they were only ranked 29th, far outside of the top 14 required for a possible place in the national tournament despite their regular season championship.

One team this year who has won their conference regular season title but will be required to win their conference's playoff tournament's automatic bid is the Canisius Golden Griffins of Atlantic Hockey, who are currently ranked 25th.

Atlantic Hockey Logo

Taking a look at this weekend's competition by conference in alphabetical order, Atlantic Hockey sees regular season champions Canisius facing off against the Robert Morris Colonials (4th in the regular season) with the winner meeting the survivor of the second place Air Force Falcons versus the third place Army Black Knights, with all games taking place at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York. Again, with all four teams well outside the top 14 places in the NCAA rankings, it's all on the line as only the winner of the tournament will continue to play past this weekend.

Big Ten Hockey Logo

The Big Ten tournament takes place this year at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan for the final time, as poor attendance in Detroit (in odd numbered years) and St. Paul, Minnesota's Xcel Energy Center (in even numbered years) will see future tournaments taking place on campus sites going forward. Last night, the #14 Ohio State Buckeyes kept their NCAA hopes alive with a 6-3 win over the Michigan State Spartans, while the #12 Penn State Nittany Lions advanced by defeating the Michigan Wolverines 4-1. Penn State now advances to play #5 Minnesota while Ohio State takes on the #18 Wisconsin Badgers, which highlights one of the quirks of the computer rankings, as both Ohio State and Penn State are ranked above Wisconsin in the computer ratings, despite Wisconsin finishing above both of them in the Big Ten regular season. While Penn State is a lock for the NCAA tournament at #12, Ohio State is in a must-win position tonight to improve on their #14 rating, which leaves them very much on the bubble if there are any major upsets this weekend nationwide. Wisconsin, at #18, simply must win the entire tournament to claim the league's automatic entry or their season is done.

ECAC Hockey logo

The Eastern College Athletic Conference playoffs will take place at the Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, New York with teams 1-Harvard Crimson, 2-Union Dutchmen, 3-Cornell Big Red and 5-Quinnipiac Bobcats taking part. With Harvard (#3), Union (#7) and Cornell (#9) all solidly in the NCAA tournament, teams and fans of teams on the edge of making the tournament will all have their fingers crossed that last year's national runner up Quinnipiac does not pull off the upset and claim the ECAC automatic entry to the NCAA's. To do so, they will have to defeat Harvard tonight and then the winner of the Cornell vs. Union matchup tomorrow.

Hockey East Logo

The Hockey East tournament takes place at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts with the UMass Lowell River Hawks (#8 nationally and Hockey East regular season champions) battling #10 the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Notre Dame should be safe at 10th, but a win tonight is a guarantee to advance to the NCAA tournament. The other Semifinal has rivals #6 the Boston University Terriers squaring off against the tied for 15th Boston College Eagles, with the Eagles currently on the outs nationally and in a must-win position tonight. Even a win tonight may not be enough to secure a place in the national tournament field, as they may not move up enough to fend off an unexpected tournament winner elsewhere. Winning the Hockey East tournament would, of course, eliminate any questions about their place in the NCAA tournament, but likely cost a team like Ohio State or Penn State their place in the national championship tournament.


The National Collegiate Hockey Conference holds their tournament annually at the Target Center in Minneapolis, successfully surviving both the Big Ten and WCHA tournaments which used to be held across the river in St. Paul in alternating years. The field this year is by far the strongest in the nation, with regular season champion and computer #1 the Denver Pioneers facing off against #11 the defending national champion North Dakota Fighting Hawks, who finished the NCHC regular season in fourth. All the favorites won during the first round last weekend, and therefore, the #2 University of Minnesota - Duluth Bulldogs will square off against the #4 Western Michigan Broncos. Barring any huge upsets elsewhere, all four NCHC teams should advance to the national championship playoffs, with only North Dakota having to keep an eye on the out of town scoreboard should they lose tonight. The remaining three, Denver, Duluth and Western Michigan are all playing for bragging rights and a favorable NCAA seeding.

WCHA logo

The final tournament is one that will have a certain affect on the national championship field, as the WCHA winner will be from outside the top 16 and claim a spot from a bubble team. The WCHA tournament has a new format this year, as the "Final Five" is no more. Previously alternating between St. Paul and Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the tournament is now simply held at the home rinks of the WCHA member clubs, with the theme "There's no place like home". As such, the WCHA tournament is on a decidedly different schedule than the other five conferences, as they began their opening round, best-of-three series back on March 3rd to 5th. Bowling Green, 4th in the league, advanced as did regular season champion Bemidji State, the 3rd place Minnesota State Mavericks and the 2nd place Michigan Tech Huskies. Those four teams then met last weekend, with Bowling Green upsetting Bemidji in two straight and Michigan Tech knocking out Minnesota State in three. That sets up Saturday's championship game between the #37 Falcons and #28 Huskies at Michigan Tech in a single game, winner-take-all-final for the automatic bid in the NCAA tournament.

There is one other teams aside from those we have not mentioned with a lot on the line this weekend, and that is the Providence Friars of Hockey East. The Friars are tied for #12 in the computer rankings but were eliminated from their league playoffs when they were thrashed 5-0 and 5-2 by Notre Dame. While Providence is currently 12th, the rankings are constantly in flux, as yesterday's wins by both Ohio State and Penn State, will likely drop the Friars down a notch or two, leaving them very much on the cusp of being knocked out of the NCAA's by just about any upset this weekend as they sit home, completely unable to defend their position on the ice.

We at Third String Goalie will be in attendance at the NCHC Frozen Faceoff and making regular updates on our twitter feed @3rdStringGoalie using the hashtags #NCHCHockey and #FrozenFaceoff with our usual combination of serious reporting, fun observations and sarcasm both Friday and Saturday, including a round or two of "Spot the Webmaster", as we post a picture of us wearing a jersey with a Third String Goalie hockey card for those who come up and say hi.

If you are a regular reader of Third String Goalie and do not follow us on Twitter, we invite you to join our 1,400 followers, as we post the occasional jersey news and live tweet various events we attend in addition to posting links to our daily blog entries.

Today's first featured jersey is a 2002-03 University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux Zach Parise jersey. The North Dakota hockey program dates back to 1929 and the program lasted until shut down due to the Great Depression in 1936. It was revived in 1946 and joined the forerunner of the WCHA in 1951. They won their first national championship in 1959 and again in 1963. They then had to wait until the 1980s when they won three more, in 1980, 1982 and 1987. It would be another ten years until they won again in 1997 before going on a run of ten Frozen Four appearances in the 2000s with championships in both 2000 and last year in 2016, their first after leaving the WCHA for the brand new NCHC in 2013 and since changing their name from the Fighting Sioux to the Fighting Hawks in late 2015 under pressure from the NCAA.

North Dakota 2002-03 F jersey
North Dakota 2002-03 B jersey

Today's second featured jersey is a 2002-03 University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux Jonathan Toews Parise jersey. The team has won 15 WCHA and 2 NCHC regular season titles and 11 WCHA playoff championships, qualifying for the NCAA tournament 30 times with 22 Frozen Four appearances that has resulted in 8 national championships.

Two North Dakota players, Tony Hrkac and Ryan Duncan, have won the Hobey Baker Award and numerous alumni have gone on to successful NHL careers, including Ed Belfour, Jason Blake, Dave Christian, Brock Nelson, T. J. Oshie, Zach Parise and Johnathan Toews among many others.

North Dakota 2005-06 F jersey 
North Dakota 2005-06 B jersey

Today's third featured jersey is a 1986-87 University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux Ed Belfour jersey as worn by Belfour in his NCAA national championship season. No names were used on the back of the North Dakota road jerseys at that time and Belfour wore #29 in college rather than the more familiar #30 he would later wear in the NHL.

This classic Fighting Sioux jersey is clearly derived from the traditional Chicago Blackhawks jersey, only with the Blackhawks red replaced by the green of the Fighting Sioux and with the "C" in the crossed tomahawks secondary logo replaced by an "S".

A much beloved style among Fighting Sioux fans, this style was first used in 1978 and lasted through 1993 when political correctness resulted in a "North Dakota wordmark" style for a couple of seasons until stylized "geometric" Indian head was employed. While today's featured style came into being in 1984, the use of the "Blackhawks" crest dates back to 1971.

North Dakota Sioux 1986-87 R F
North Dakota Sioux 1986-87 R B

Thursday, March 16, 2017

St. Urho's Day

While many anticipate tomorrow's celebration of Irish and Irish-American culture, St. Patrick's Day, who is said to have driven all the snakes out of Ireland, many are unaware that today is a similar celebration of Finnish culture, St. Urho's Day.

St Urho logo

In reality, St. Urho is a fictional saint of Finland, whose legend was the invention of Finnish-American Richard Mattson of Virginia, Minnesota in 1956. Mattson invented St. Urho when questioned by coworker Gene McCavic about the Finns lack of a saint similar to St. Patrick for the Irish.

Mattson and McCavic wrote an "Ode to St. Urho", in which he was to have supposedly cast the frogs out of Finland, similar to St. Patrick and the snakes of Ireland. The original St. Urho's Day was set to May 24th, but later changed to today, March 16th, the day before St. Patrick's Day, with credit to high school teacher Kenneth Brist and friends in an effort to have two days to celebrate, what with St. Patrick's Day being the very next day.

Not only did the date of St. Urho's Day change, but so did the legend under the influence of Dr. Sulo Havumaki, a professor at Bemidji State College in Bemidji, Minnesota, as the legend of St. Urho now credits the fictional saint with driving all the grasshoppers out of Finland, thus saving the Finnish grape crop, and therefore the country's supply of wine by chanting "Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen", which translates to "Grasshopper, grasshopper, go to hell!"

St. Urho's Grapes and Grasshopers
St. Urho is said to have saved the Finnish grape crop
by driving the Grasshoppers out of Finland

In addition to celebrating Finnish heritage and culture, as well as being an excuse to drink somewhat heavily, like the wearing of the green by the Irish, St. Urho's celebrants traditionally wear Royal Purple and Nile Green.

There has even been a book published on St. Urho, The Legend of St. Urho, which chronicles the origins and folklore of the man, the myth and the legend of St. Urho.

St Urho Menahga, MN
The statue of St. Urho in Menahga, Minnesota

The Finland National Team first appeared at the World Championships back in 1939. Their next appearance was not until 1949 when they became regulars at the World Championships. A perennial mid-pack team, it took them until 1992, a span of over 40 years, to earn their first medal of any kind. Once the floodgates opened, they captured silver in 1992 and 1994 before reaching the pinnacle with World Championship gold in 1995.

Finland 1995 Celebration
Finland celebrates their first World Championship after arriving back home

Two fifth places in 1996 and 1997 followed before a run of four medals in row with silver in 1998 and 1999, bronze in 2000 and silver once more in 2001. A bit of a slide saw then finish 4th, 5th, 6th then 7th from 2002 through 2005 before returning to the medal podium with bronze in 2006, silver in 2007 and bronze again in 2008. Finland won their second gold medal in 2011, captained by Mikko Koivu. Two more silver medals have since followed in 2014 and in 2016.

2011 IIHF World Championship
Finland's captain Mikko Koivu is thrilled to hoist
the World Championship trophy

Finland's hockey team first appeared at the Winter Olympics in 1952, and aside from 1956, has appeared in each Olympic hockey tournament since, becoming a regular medal contender in the mid 1970's, with a fourth places in 1978 and 1980. They won their first medal in 1988 with a silver and took bronze in both 1994 and 1998. In 2006 they again won silver followed by bronze medals in both 2010 and 2014 to give them medals in three consecutive Olympics for the first time.

Lehtinen, Koivu and Peltonen 2010
Jere Lehtinen, Saku Koivu and Ville Peltonen enjoying their final success as
a trio at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver where they won bronze medals

Finland has also participated in the Canada Cup and it's successor, the World Cup of Hockey, taking home the silver medal in the 2004 World Cup in the seven times it has competed.

The Finland National Team has now retired the numbers of #14 Raimo Helminen, #17 Jarri Kurri, #8 Teemu Selanne, #11 Saku Koivu, 26 Jere Lehtinen and #16 Ville Peltonen.

Today's first featured jersey is a 1991 Finland National Team Jari Kurri jersey as worn in the 1991 World Cup. This jersey was produced by Tackla out of Finland and features a short-lived cartoonish lion's head logo, which was actually the logo of a Finnish sponsoring bank, that was quickly replaced by a new shield-style logo which remains in use today.

Finland 1991 Kurri F
Finland 1991 Kurri B

Today's second featured jersey is a 1996 Finland National Team Raimo Helminen jersey from the inaugural World Cup of Hockey. Note that this is a #14 jersey, not the #41 Finland retired for Helminen. This attractive "waving flag" style of jersey marked Nike's entry into being the jersey supplier for the IIHF, which continues to this day. This style was worn through the 1997 World Championships until new styles were debuted for the 1998 Olympics.

Finland 1996 F jersey copy
Finland 1996 B jersey copy
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's third featured jersey is a 2004 Finland National Team Teemu Selanne jersey. Finland first wore this style for the 1998 Oympics in Nagano, Japan with the crest reading "Suomi". For the 2002 Olympics, the crest was altered to read "Finland" with Suomi now printed boldly across the waist. This would be the final appearance for this jersey, as Nike would introduce a new style for the 2005 World Championships.

2004 World Cup Team Finland  jersey
2004 World Cup Team Finland jersey

Today's fourth featured jersey is a 1995 Finland National Team Saku Koivu jersey. This is the same style jersey used in the 1994 Olympic games and, while branded as a Reebok jersey, they were produced by Tackla using their mesh fabric and dye sublimation process. Visually, the only difference between the Olympic jerseys and the World Championship versions are the additions of the Warsteiner sponsorship patches to each arm.

Finland 1995 R F
Finland 1995 R B

Today's fifth featured jersey is a 1996 Finland National Team Jere Lehtinen jersey. One year after Finland won the World Championship in a Reebok branded Tackla produced jersey, Nike became the official supplier to the IIHF for the World Championships and the Olympic Games. Following their debut at the 1996 World Championships in the spring, Nike also outfitted all of the teams at the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in the fall of 1996.

Their "waving flag" style of jerseys took Tackla's sublimation techniques to further extremes, as they introduced gradients to the international scene. These jerseys were also worn for the 1997 World Championships until being replaced by new styles for the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Finland 1996 WCOH jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's sixth featured jersey is a 1995 Finland National Team Ville Peltonen jersey. This is the home white version of the blue road jersey shown above as worn during the 1995 World Championships, differentiated from the 1994 Olympics by the Warsteiner beer sponsorship patches on the upper arms.

Finland 1995 H F
Finland 1995 H B

In today's video section, Finland's finest moment in hockey, winning their first World Championship in 1995 against their rivals Sweden and in Sweden.

Here are highlights of Finland winning the 2011 World Championship.

Finally, a Finnish Nike commercial featuring Mikko Koivu, Ruutu, Selanne, Filppula and Peltonen.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

1968-69 New York Rangers Ed Giacomin Jersey

On this date in 1989, the New York Rangers retired sweater #1 in honor of goaltender Ed Giacomin.

Giacomin, overcoming serious burns suffered in a kitchen accident as a teenager when a stove exploded, played five seasons for the Providence Reds of the American Hockey League to start his professional career.

Giacomin Providence Reds photo GiacominProvidenceReds.jpg
Giacomin with the Providence Reds

He then made his NHL debut with the New York Rangers in 1965-66 and led the NHL in shutouts with nine during his second season, helping the Rangers make the playoffs for only the second time in nine seasons.

Giacomin Rangers photo GiacominRangersnomask.jpg
Giacomin led the NHL in shutouts in 1966-67

Once established as the Rangers starting goaltender, Giacomin would lead the league in games played for the next four seasons, seeing action in between 66 and 70 games while winning 30 games or more each of those four seasons with a high of 37 in 1968-69 and leading the NHL in shutouts again in 1967 with nine and 1968 with eight.

Giacomin Rangers
Giacomin had four consecutive seasons of over 30 wins

With the acceptance of goalies in the NHL sharing the duty now becoming the norm, Giacomin's games played would shrink to the mid 40's starting in 1970, but he would still lead the league in shutouts in 1971 with eight on his way to winning the Vezina Trophy along with partner Gilles Villemure.

The following season the Rangers would enjoy their greatest playoff success of Giacomin's career, making it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Giacomin Rangers photo GiacominRangers.jpg
Giacomin joined the legions of goalies now wearing
masks after starting his NHL career playing without one

Giacomin was limited by injuries in 1974-75, limiting him to just 37 games and 13 wins, his first time under 24 wins since becoming the starter in 1966-67. As a result, the Rangers, off to a bad start, began dumping their high priced veterans, which included waiving Giacomin, who was claimed by the Detroit Red Wings.

 photo GiacominRedWings.jpg
Giacomin was claimed by Detroit early in the 1975-76 season

Giacomin's return to New York was an emotional one, as the Rangers fans chanted "Ed-die! Ed-die!", drowning out even the national anthem, a game that was voted one of the Top 50 moments in Madison Square Garden history, not just Rangers history, but all events at MSG, which include Elvis Presley and other concerts, legendary boxing matches, NBA and college basketball, political conventions and an appearance by the Pope.

He would finish his career by playing two seasons plus an additional nine games in 1977-78 with the Red Wings before retiring in January of 1978 with 609 games and a record of 289-209-96 and 54 shutouts and a goals against average of 2.82.

Giacomin played in the NHL All-Star Game six times, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987 and his sweater #1, retired on this date in 1989, was only the second number retired by the Rangers in their 64 year history.

Today's featured jersey is a 1968-69 New York Rangers Ed Giacomin jersey as worn during the season he recorded his highest NHL win total of 37 games.

The Rangers diagonal crest dates back to their first season in the NHL in 1926-27 and changed to the current font in 1941 with the drop shadow first being added the following season. This particular style with the lace-up collar was first used in 1951 with sleeve numbers arriving in 1963.

After a radical change in style in 1976 and a return to a more traditional style which read "New York" on the front in 1978, the Rangers name returned to the blue jerseys in 1987 and this style with the lace up collar was reinstated in 1997 and remains in use today.

New York Rangers 1968-69 jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1970-71 New York Rangers Ed Giacomin jersey as worn during the season he won the Vezina Trophy.

 New York Rangers 1974-75 F jersey
New York Rangers 1974-75 B jersey

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1973 NHL All-Star Game Ed Giacomin jersey as during the sixth and final NHL All-Star Game of Giacomin's career.

This style had an extended run of use, having first been worn for the 1973 game and then continuing through the 1981 game, with the exception of 1979 when the traditional NHL All-Star Game was replaced by the 1979 Challenge Cup when a team of NHL All-Stars took on the Soviet National Team.
 NHL All-Star 1973 F jersey
NHL All-Star 1973 B jersey

Today's video segment begins with the excellent Legends of Hockey profile on Giacomin which includes footage of his jersey retirement ceremony.

Here's evidence of the combative nature Giacomin possessed referred to by Stan Fischler in the previous video, as he goes after Garry Howatt of the Islanders. It's also an example of the "Ed-die! Ed-die!" chant that used to fill Madison Square Garden.


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