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Friday, June 9, 2017

2002-03 New Jersey Devils Martin Brodeur Jersey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Martin Brodeur opened the Finals with two shutouts

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

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

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Jean-Sebastien Gigiuere

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

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Jamie Langenbrunner had two goals in Game 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Brodeur with the Jennings Trophy, Stanley Cup and Vezina Trophy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 8, 2017

1930-31 Montreal Canadiens Johnny Gagnon Jersey

Right winger Johnny Gagnon began his organized hockey with his hometown Chicoutimi Bleuets of the Quebec Provincial Hockey League in the 1922-23 season.

The problem for Gagnon was, that his parents did not approve of his playing hockey in the slightest, to the point that his father would break his sticks when he caught him playing hockey!

Gagnon, now 18 years old and not finding any support for his passion for the game at home, traveled the 325 kilometers by train south to try out for the Trois-Rivieres Renards of the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey League. He made the club and played two seasons for the Foxes, scoring 18 goals in 16 games during his second season of 1924-25.

The then joined the Quebec Sons of Ireland club in the Quebec Amateur Hockey Association for the 1925-26 season.

The diminutive Gagnon, topping out at 5 feet 5 inches, had caught the eye of the Montreal Canadiens, but team president Leo Dandurand judged him to be too small for the NHL. Gagnon challenged Dandurand to weigh him and judge for himself. Gagnon then filled his pockets with rocks and weighed in at 150 pounds, ten more than his actual weight!

Gagnon was invited to the Canadiens training camp and was eventually assigned to the Quebec Castors of the Canadian-American Hockey League for the 1926-27 season, where he scored 27 goals and 33 points in 32 games, easily beating his next closest Beavers teammate, who had but 13 goals and 17 points.

After standing out during an exhibition game in Providence, Rhode Island, and arrangement was made for him to join the Providence Reds for the next three seasons, leading the club in scoring in 1927-28 with 20 goals and 24 points in 39 games. Gagnon bettered that in 1929-30 with 21 goals and 38 points, finishing second on the club while Providence won the Can-Am League championship that season.

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The 1928-29 Providence Reds

For the 1930-31 season, Gagnon realized his dream of playing in the NHL, as he became a member of the Canadiens. Even better, he was paired with linemates and future Hall of Famers Aurele Joliat and Howie Morenz.

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Morenz, Joliat and Gagnon formed the core of the Canadiens offense

Gagnon's rookie season saw him finish with 18 goals and 25 points in 41 games. The Canadiens would win the Canadian Division of the NHL and defeat the Boston Bruins 3 games to 2 in the Semifinals to advance to play the Chicago Black Hawks for the Stanley Cup.

Gagnon's father passed away during the Finals, and after attending his funeral, Gagnon made his way to Montreal for Game 4, where he scored twice and assisted on a third goal to help tie the series at 2 games apiece. Montreal would win the decisive Game 5 to capture the championship 3 games to 2 and earn Gagnon his name on the Stanley Cup after just his first season of play in the NHL, bearing in mind that the Canadiens were not the dominant club they would become, as this was only their fourth championship in franchise history at the time. In all, Gagnon contributed 6 goals and 8 points in Montreal's 10 playoff games.

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The Stanley Cup Champion Montreal Canadiens

He set a career high in points in 1931-32, scoring 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points in 48 games. The following season of 1932-33, he set a career high in assists with 23 on his way to 35 points. The humble Gagnon was quoted as saying that he would just pass the puck to Morenz and Joliat, stand back and get an assist.

In 1933-34, his point total was down to 21, no doubt affected by Morenz missing 9 games that season, but he still managed to finish third in team scoring for the third consecutive season.

Just prior to the 1934-35 season, Gagnon was traded to Boston due to clashes with then Canadiens head coach Newsy Lalonde. He was a huge disappointment for the Bruins, scoring just one goal and being credited with a single assist in 24 games before being sold back to the Canadiens on January 3, 1940, a move made possible with Lalonde having been relieved of his duties just 16 games into the season. Despite being back in familiar territory, Gagnon had but one goal and 5 assists in 23 games for the Canadiens.

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Gagnon was sold back to Montreal after just a half a season in Boston

In 1935-36, he had a somewhat improved season, but was still off his usual pace with 7 goals and 16 points in full season with Montreal.

Gagnon roared back with a career high in goals with 20 in 1936-37 on his way to 36 points, the second best of his career to lead the Canadiens in scoring for the only time.

He proved that season was no fluke with 13 goals and 30 points in 1937-38 and 34 points in 1938-39.

During this time period, Morenz tragically passed away in March of 1937, slightly more than a month after severely breaking his leg in a game in late January. A benefit game for Morenz' family was organized for November of that season between a team of all-stars from the Canadiens and Montreal Maroons, taking on a team comprise of players from the remaining six clubs.

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The combined Canadiens and Maroons All-Star Team in 1937

Gagnon scored the first goal of the game and later added an assist plus a second goal, both in the second half of the third period to fuel a Montreal All-Stars attempted comeback in a 6-5 defeat.

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Gagnon was the star of the Howie Morenz Benefit Game

Just prior to the 1939-40 season, Gagnon again appeared in a benefit all-star game, this time for former Canadiens player Babe Siebert, who tragically drowned while swimming.

He returned to Montreal for the 1939-40 season, scoring 9 point in 10 games before being traded to the New York Americans on January 3, 1940. He would play 24 games for the Americans to close out his time in the NHL.

He was not finished as a player however, as he would play for the Shawinigan Cataracts in the Quebec Senior Hockey League in 1940-41, scoring 41 points in 33 games. The following season he would play for the North Sydney Victorias of the Cape Breton Senior Hockey League.

After taking the 1942-43 season off, Gagnon returned to the ice with his old club in Providence, playing in 50 games for the Reds with 19 points. He returned for an abbreviated 1944-45 season, playing the final 9 games of his career before retiring as a player.

His final NHL totals were 454 games played, scoring 120 goals and 141 assists for 261 points. Additionally, he scored 12 goals and 24 points in 32 playoff games, winning the Stanley Cup once during his rookie season of 1930-31.

Today's featured jersey is a 1930-31 Montreal Canadiens Johnny Gagnon jersey as worn during his rookie season in the NHL when he would go on to win the Stanley Cup.

The Canadiens first wore a red jersey with a blue band around the body when they wore barberpole jerseys during the 1912-13 season, which were too similar to those worn by the Ottawa Senators. The concept returned the following season as their new full season jersey, only now with white trim separating the blue band from the red boy, which remains in use, now over 100 years later.

This particular variation began to come into focus in the 1924-25 season when the Stanley Cup winning Canadiens proudly wore a jersey with a globe logo emblazoned "World Champions", while moving their traditional "CH" logo to the sleeves that season.

While the "CH" logo returned to the chest for 1925-26, one of the "CH" logos remained on the Canadiens left sleeve. In 1927-28, the collar changed to all white from its previous red, white and blue, bringing us to today's feature jersey. This remained in effect through the 1934-35 season.

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photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

1998-99 Dallas Stars Mike Modano Jersey

Born on this date in Livonia, Michigan in 1970, Mike Modano opted to play Canadian junior hockey with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League beginning in the 1986-87 season. His impact was immediate, as he scored 32 goals and 62 points in 70 games. After following that up with a 47 goal, 127 point season in 1987-88, Modano became only the second American to be selected first overall in the NHL Entry Draft, after Brian Lawton, by the Minnesota North Stars who were also the club who took Lawton #1 in 1983.

Modano Drafted North Stars

He played one more season with Prince Albert, scoring 105 points, before joining the North Stars for the 1989-90 season during which he made a virtually seamless transition to the NHL with 75 points in 80 games, which instantly made him a fan favorite in Minnesota.

Modano North Stars

During his second season in Minnesota, the team went on a miraculous run through the playoffs, reaching the Stanley Cup Finals despite a 27-39-14 regular season record. Modano contributed 20 points in 23 playoff games for fifth on the team in playoff scoring.

Modano North Stars 2

After two seasons of knocking on the door, Modano had his first 30 goal season in 1991-92 with 33. He repeated his 33 goal total in 1992-93, while his 60 assists propelled him to a career high 93 points.

The North Stars franchise was moved to Dallas for the following season where Modano repeated his 93 points, only this time thanks to a career high 50 goals which no doubt helped sell the game of hockey to the fans in Texas thanks to his speed and flair.

Starting in 1995-96, Modano began a period of being a regular 30 goal scorer, hitting that mark in six of the next seven seasons and scoring in the 80's six of the next eight, a streak that coincided with him becoming an alternate team captain.

The Stars went a long playoff run in 1998 which served as a precursor for the 1998-99 season when the franchise won it's first Stanley Cup in over 30 years of trying. Modano contributed 23 points in 23 games to lead the team in playoff scoring.

Modano Stanley Cup

The Stars again returned to the finals the following season as Modano again tallied 23 points in 23 playoff games, one behind the team lead.

The 2000-01 season saw him score his 1,000th NHL point and he surpassed the 1,000 game mark in 2002-03. Modano was named team captain for the 2003-04 and 2005-06 seasons, with the 2004-05 season being lost to the NHL lockout.

Modano Stars C

He would play four more seasons in Dallas which included his 500th NHL goal on March 13, 2007 and his 503rd goal to pass Joe Mullen for the record for most goals by an American-born player just four days later.

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Modano celebrates his 500th NHL goal

Early in the following season Modano broke the record for most points by an American-born player when he passed Phil Housley with a shorthanded goal on November 7, 2007 for his 1,233rd point, a feat which was recognized by a phone call from the president!

At the conclusion of the 2009-10 season his 20 seasons with the Stars organization came to an end when it was announced he would not be re-signed. After much speculation concerning his possible retirement, Modano opted to sign with the Detroit Red Wings for the 2010-11 season but a deep cut from a skate severed a tendon in his hand, limiting him to just 40 games although he did return in time to participate in the playoffs.

Modano holds records for the Most Goals by an American-born player (561), Most Points by an American-born player (1,374), Most Playoff Points by an American-born player (146) and Most Games Played by an American-born player (1,499) as well as Dallas franchise regular season and playoff records for games, goals, assists and points.

Internationally, Modano played for the United States in the World Junior Championships in 1988 and 1989, the World Championships in 1990, 1993 and 2005, the 1991 Canada Cup, the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and 2004, winning the championship in 1996, and the Olympics in 2002, winning a silver medal, and again in 2006. In all, he would play 71 games, scoring 24 goals and 61 points for the United States.

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Modano's career achievements were recognized when he was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012, had his number 9 retired by the Dallas Stars in March of 2014 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November of 2014.

Today's featured jersey is a 1998-99 Dallas Stars Mike Modano jersey as worn during the only Stanley Cup championship of Modano's career which came after leading the team in playoff scoring.

This style Dallas Stars jersey was first worn as an alternate jersey during the 1997-98 season and mimicked the style worn in the 1994-1997 NHL All-Star Games. Even though it was an alternate jersey, Dallas opted to wear it during the playoffs and won the Stanley Cup while wearing this jersey.

Following their Stanley Cup championship, the Stars promoted this striking jersey to their primary road jersey and created a white version to be worn at home. This style remained in use through the 2005-06 season until being replaced by the new Reebok Edge jerseys. As great as a jersey as this jersey was, the ones that replaced it were among some of the worst of the new styles by far.

1998-99 Dallas Stars jersey
1998-99 Dallas Stars jersey

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2005 United States National Team Mike Modano jersey as worn during the 2005 World Championships where Modano was the US team captain.

In 2005 Nike revised all the jerseys for the teams participating in the IIHF World Championships, and the United States were given an entirely new look, retiring the style which was worn at the 2002 Olympics and 2004 World Cup. This template was based on the 1997-98 St. Louis Blues alternate jersey, which was late promoted to their primary jersey and used through 2006-07.

A classic and effective look for the USA, this jersey sadly was only used for the 2005 Worlds as the new Nike Swift template, fabric and construction was introduced for the 2006 Olympics the following year, giving this style an all too short lifespan.

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Our video section begins with a look at the career of Modano on the occasion of his jersey being retired by the Dallas Stars.

Here, Modano becomes the leading American scorer in the history of the NHL.

Finally, Modano's speech when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

1989 Czechoslovakia National Team Vladimir Ruzicka Jersey

Center Vladimir Ruzicka began his hockey career with HC Litvinov's junior team in the 1978-79 season, impressing with a goal just 10 seconds into his first game! He also made his first of many appearances for Czechoslovakia at the 1979 European Junior Championships that season, starting his international career in fine style with a gold medal.

In 1979-80 he played for both Litvinov's U18 team as well as making his debut with the senior squad, seeing action in nine games.

In 1980-81, he played 41 games for Litvinov's senior team, scoring 12 goals and 25 points while still just 17 years old, which allowed him to play in both the European U18 junior tournament as well as making his debut at the World Junior Championships, scoring 5 goals in 5 games for Czechoslovakia. At the U18 tournament, Ruzicka he led all scorers with 16 points and won a silver medal.

The 1981-82 season saw Ruzicka average more than a point per game in the Czech Extraliga when he scored 27 goals and 49 points in 44 games for Litvinov. He repeated that feat at the World Juniors with 8 goals and 9 points in 7 games, leading the tournament in goals and earning a silver medal.

Those flashy stats caught the attention of the NHL scouts, and Ruzicka was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the 73rd selection in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft. With the political situation as it was at the time, Ruzicka was not simply free to leave to play in the NHL if he wished, as Czechoslovakia was still under communist rule then. As late as January of 1989, Petr Nedved had to defect in order to come to North America.

With the NHL not an option, Ruzicka played five more seasons for HC Litvinov from 1982-83 to 1986-87. He then played two seasons for HK Dukla Trencin in 1987-88 and 1988-89. During this time period, his best season in the Czech Extraliga was the 1985-86 season with Litvinov when he scored 41 goals and 73 points in 43 games. His dependability was impeccable, as he never scored less than 22 goals and five times had 31 or more in 44 game seasons for 8 consecutive seasons.

While with Litvinov and Trencin, Ruzicka led the Extraliga in goals in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1989 and led the league in points in 1984, 1986 and 1989 and was named the Czechoslovak Player of the Year in 1986 and 1988.

During this time period after being drafted he was a regular for Czechoslovakia internationally as well. In 1983 he won a silver medal at the World Juniors, scoring 12 goals and a tournament leading 20 points in just 7 games! That earned him his senior level World Championship debut later that spring when he had a more human 3 goals and 4 points in 10 games on his way to a silver medal.

In 1984, he made his Olympic debut with 4 goals and 10 points in 7 games and another silver medal followed by making the Czechoslovakian roster for the 1984 Canada Cup. In 1985, Ruzicka had 8 goals and 11 points in 10 games while capturing gold at the World Championships. In 1986, he finished with 15 points in 10 games at the Worlds.

He played in the 1987 World Championships, earning a bronze, followed by competing at the 1987 Canada Cup. In 1988, he played in his second Olympics, scoring 4 goals and 7 points in 8 games.

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Ruzicka shoots against Grant Fuhr in the 1987 Canada Cup

Ruzicka was named the captain of the Czechoslovakian team for the 1989 World Championships and scored 7 goals and 14 points in 10 games as the Czechs brought home the bronze.

The political situation in Czechoslovakia was turned upside down late in 1989, as the Velvet Revolution saw an end to communist rule. Ruzicka had returned to Litvinov for the 1989-90 season and continued his goal scoring dependability with 21 goals and 44 points in 32 games.

With the Czech season now over, and the barriers to his departure to North America now removed, Ruzicka was free to join the Edmonton Oilers, who had acquired his rights from Toronto in December of 1989. In 25 games with the Oilers, he scored 11 goals and 17 points.

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Ruzicka made his NHL debut with Edmonton

Just prior to the 1990-91 season, Ruzicka was traded by the Oilers to the Boston Bruins. He was limited to just 29 games that season, scoring 8 goals and 16 points. He was healthy in time for the playoffs, where he appeared in another 17 games, scoring 13 points.

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Ruzick spent three seasons with the Bruins

His next season with Boston was his finest in the NHL, as he scored 39 goals and 75 points in 77 games. He returned to Boston for one more season in 1992-93, scoring 19 goals and 41 points in 60 games.

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Ruzicka in the Bruins 
1991-92 Turn Back the Clock jersey

He signed as a free agent with the Ottawa Senators for the 1993-94 season but was limited to 42 games and 18 points.

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Ruzicka's final NHL season was with the Senators

He returned to Europe at the end of the 1993-94 season and participated in 6 playoff games for EV Zug in Switzerland and then played 11 more for HC Slavia Praha in what was now the Czech Republic, helping the team earn a promotion from the second division to the top level of Czech hockey.

With his NHL run now at an end, Ruzicka had found a home with Slavia Praha and played the final six seasons of his career in the Czech capital, all as their team captain, from 1994-95 to 1999-00, including leading the league in points once again in 1996.

After nine years away from international play, Ruzicka was a member of the 1998 Czech Republic National Team at the Olympics in Nagano, Japan. He named captain of the team and contributed 3 goals in 6 games as the Czechs won a memorable gold medal to bring his international career to a close.

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Ruzicka captained the Czech Republic to a gold medal at the 1998
Olympics, his only major international tournament for the Czech Republic

At the conclusion of his playing days, he immediately became the Slavia's head coach for the next 15 seasons. He also became the head coach for the Czech Republic at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, the 2009 World Championships, the 2010 Olympics, the 2014 and 2015 Worlds and guided them to a gold medal at the 2005 and 2010 World Championships.

His final totals were 648 games in the Czech league with 403 goals and 808 points. While in the NHL, he appeared in 233 games with 82 goals and 167 points. Internationally, he won silver and gold medals at the European Juniors, two silver medals at the World Juniors, two bronze, a silver and a gold at the World Championships and a silver at the 1984 Olympics, all playing for Czechoslovakia, and a gold medal at the 1998 Olympics in his only major international appearance for the Czech Republic.

Ruzicka was inducted into the Czech Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.

Today's featured jersey is a 1989 Czechoslovakia National Team Vladimir Ruzicka jersey as worn the first time he captained the Czechoslovakia National Team.

This exact style was worn by Czechoslovakia just once, that being the 1989 World Championships when they earned a bronze medal. For the 1990 Worlds, the heraldic lion was replaced by the Czech flag, oriented vertically through the 1992 Olympics. For their final tournament as Czechoslovakia, they wore the logo of the Czech Ice Hockey Federation at the 1992 World Championships, all while using the same waving flag style of jersey.

This beautiful jersey features the vibrant colors of the dye-sublimation process and the arresting graphics of the era with the colors of the Czechoslovakian flag waving across the body and sleeves, as well as the distinctive Tackla diamond logos on the shoulders and drop shadow block font for the numbers. Note the unusual placement of the captain's "C".

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Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1991-92 Boston Bruins Vladimir Ruzicka jersey as worn during Ruzicka's finest season in the NHL when he had 39 goals and 75 points in 77 games.

The Bruins, along with the other five Original Six clubs, wore a Turn Back the Clock jersey for select games during the NHL's 75th Anniversary season, with the Bruins choosing their 1932-33 jerseys.

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Today's video segment is a great highlight package of Ruzicka's career. Be sure to note all the great jerseys Ruzicka wore throughout his international career. One can only hope that he got to keep a few of them.

Monday, June 5, 2017

1927-28 Ottawa Senators Harry "Punch" Broadbent Jersey

Born on July 13, 1892, Harry "Punch" Broadbent, after playing four seasons for various teams in the Ottawa city league, began his professional career with his hometown Ottawa Senators for the 1912-13 season when the Senators were members of the National Hockey Association, the forerunner to the NHL. Broadbent averaged more than a goal per game with 20 as well as being credited with a pair of assists for a total of 22 points from 18 games, good for seventh in the league as a rookie.

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Rookie Harry Broadbent in the short-lived Senators vertically striped sweater

The following season he was limited by injuries to 17 games of Ottawa's 20 games, scoring 6 goals and 13 points, but rebounded in 1914-15 with 24 goals and 27 points while playing in all of the Senators' 20 games, which placed him fourth overall in NHA scoring. The Senators would go on to win the league playoffs and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Pacific Coast Hockey Association's Vancouver Millionaires, where Broadbent would score 3 of the Senators 8 goals in their 3 game series.

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Broadbent in the Senators 1914-15 flag crested jerseys

It would prove to be his last hockey for some time, as he would miss three seasons while serving in the Canadian military during World War I, for which he was awarded the Military Medal. By the time he returned to the Senators, they were now members of the fledgling National Hockey League for it's second ever season, which at the time consisted of a mere three clubs, Ottawa, the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Arenas!

Broadbent eased back into hockey with only 4 goals in just 8 games and added 2 more in 5 playoff games. He returned to form in 1919-20 with 19 goals and 23 points in 20 games to finish in the top ten in NHL scoring. The Senators advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals by winning both halves of the split NHL season and captured the first Stanley Cup championship of Broadbent's career.

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The 1920-21 season was all but lost, as Broadbent's rights were dealt to the Hamilton Tigers, but he refused to report. After six days his rights were then sold to the Canadiens, but again he would not budge. Finally, seven weeks later, Broadbent's rights were transferred back to the Senators by the NHL. Eventually, he would play in just 9 regular season games and 6 playoff games as the Senators would defeat the Millionaires for their second consecutive Stanley Cup.

On December 24, 1921, just three games into the 1921-22 season, Broadbent scored his second goal of the season as well as racking up three assists, all of which came in a span of 3:15 of the third period in a 10-0 win over the Canadiens,

He scored the game winning goal on Dec. 28th in overtime to defeat the Canadiens again, only this time in Montreal. His fourth goal of the season helped Ottawa defeat Hamilton on New Year's Eve. He tallied another goal to open the scoring in a 3-2 loss to the Toronto St. Patricks on January 4th. Three days later he found the back of the net twice to defeat the Canadiens yet again, nudging his goal total to 7 and kicking his scoring pace into a higher gear.

Two goals and two assists followed on January 11th in a 7-2 defeat over Toronto before Broadbent added another pair of goals to close out the scoring in a 5-2 win in the return match against the St. Patricks in Toronto three days later. Montreal was on the receiving end of another beating, this one 10-6, as Broadbent registered a hat trick by the time the game was 23 minutes old. The spotlight was not all his though, as teammate Cy Denneny also had a hat trick while Sprague Cleghorn and Odie Cleghorn combined for 6 goals, with Odie netting 4 to take top honors in a losing effort.

A second hat trick followed on January 21, which included extended his scoring streak just 2:45 into the game, which was won by Hamilton 7-6 in overtime, who were led by Joe Malone's hat trick.

Broadbent's goal scoring streak reached ten games in Ottawa on January 25th when he scored twice in the first 2:30 of the third period in a 4-2 win over the Tigers. Goal #20 arrived on January 28th at the 12:00 mark of the second period, followed exactly two minutes later by goal #21 as the Senators held on to defeat Toronto 2-1, meaning Broadbent was a perfect eight for eight in scoring in Senators games in January.

The streak continued into February with another pair of goals against Montreal, a 4-2 win for Ottawa. While the Senators pounded Hamilton 10-6 on February 4th, Broadbent continued his goal scoring streak, extending his streak to 13 games and Ottawa's lead to 6-0 at the time, but his run of multiple goal games ended at eight and included 18 goals during that span dating back to January 7th.

While the Tigers exacted their revenge on the Senators with a 9-1 thrashing of the Senators, Broadbent's streak continued as he registered his 25th goal of the season just after the game's midway point.

The streak then reached 15 games at the 11:45 mark of the second period in a 4-4 tie at home against the St. Patricks. Broadbent's streak was pushed to 16 games with a pair of goals in another tie, this one 6-6 versus the Canadiens in Montreal.

Finally on February 18th, 1922, goaltender Howard Lockhart and the Tigers ended the longest goal scoring streak in league history, a record which still stands today, over 90 years later. During the 16 game goal scoring streak, Broadbent tallied 27 goals, an average of nearly 1.7 per game, a streak which included two hat tricks and nine multiple goal games.

Broadbent would follow being held off the scoresheet with three goals in his next two games to pass the 30 goal mark and finish the season with a staggering 32 goals and 46 points in 24 games to win the NHL scoring title by 7 points over teammate Denneny.

Broadbent would spend two more seasons in Ottawa, including winning another Stanley Cup in 1923, his third in four seasons, before being sold to the Montreal Maroons, along with goaltender Clint Benedict, just prior to the 1924-25 season. He would play for the Maroons for three seasons, which included winning his fourth Stanley Cup in 1926.

Broadbent Maroons 1924-25 photo BroadbentMaroons1924-25.jpg
Broadbent during his first season with the Maroons

For the 1927-28 season, Broadbent was dealt back to the Senators, but his return lasted only a single season that resulted in just 3 goals and 5 points in 43 games. Ottawa then sold Broadbent, now 36 years old, to the New York Americans for his final NHL season of 1928-29.

 photo BroadbentSensChampsJersey.jpg
Broadbent during his return season with the Senators

He would finish his career with 122 goals and 167 points in 302 games, four Stanley Cups. one NHL scoring title and one goal scoring record which has now stood for over 90 years and counting.

Broadbent was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on this date in 1962.

Broadbent autograph photo Broadbentautograph.png

Today's featured jersey is a 1927-28 Ottawa Senators Harry "Punch" Broadbent jersey from his final season in Ottawa. This sweater has the Stanley Cup Champions patch worn on the upper left chest to commemorate the Senators final Stanley Cup title in franchise history, a frequent practice of the Senators in the 1920's, as they also wore championship patches in 1921-22 and 1923-24. This patch was the inspiration for the sleeve patches on the current Senators alternate jerseys.

Ottawa Senators Jersey photo OttawaSenators27-28jersey.png

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1928-29 New York Americans Punch Broadbent jersey. This sweater is from Broadbent's final season in the NHL. The Americans wore their star spangled sweaters from their inaugural season of 1925-26 (pre-dating the New York Rangers by one season) through the 1937-38 season. The franchise would last through the 1941-42 season before folding, leaving the NHL with just six teams for the next 25 years.

New York Americans 1928-29 jersey photo NewYorkAmericans1928-29Fjersey.jpg
New York Americans 1928-29 jersey photo NewYorkAmericans1928-29Bjersey.jpg

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Reader Submission - 1976-77 Hampton Gulls Pat Donnelly and 1978-79 Hampton Aces Peter Jack Jerseys

Our 31st and 32nd reader submissions comes from friend of Third String Goalie Chuck Eckels as part of a look at the history of pro hockey in Hampton, Virginia.

Here is Chuck's story about pro hockey in Hampton, illustrated with a terrific pair of vintage game worn jerseys.
The city of Hampton has had 5 different hockey teams in residence. It started with the Virginia Red Wings of the AHL in 1973 and ended with the Hampton Roads Gulls of the ACHL in 1981. Only one of the five entries was successful in Hampton, Virginia. 

The Southern Hockey League was created in 1973 as an offshoot of the old Eastern Hockey League. The EHL was a place where "butcher shop" hockey reigned supreme. The lead bad boy of the EHL was John Brophy who lead the league in PIM's. I was told by another player if you put Brophy in a room with another player, no matter who the other player was, Brophy was the guy walking out of that room. Before a game Brophy would amp up on greenies so much so that he would have to get another player to lace up his skates for him. He would then go out and fearlessly dominate for the next three hours. 

The EHL was a wild and wooly league. Once the Charlotte Checkers were late getting to a game with the Long Island Ducks in New York. The concession stands ran out of beer while waiting for the Checkers to arrive. Arena management allowed the fans to leave the arena and purchase 12 packs of bottled beer. I can't imagine that happening today. By the time the Checkers arrived two hours later, the crowd was feeling no pain. As the game got underway, the 4000 or so referees in the stands took exception to a particular call. They started to throw brown glass beer bottles that were full onto the ice. The goalies hid in their nets as broken brown glass and yellow beer suds littered the white ice. Luckily no one was hurt.

This was one of the reasons the owners of the Southern teams wanted to pull away from the league. They wanted a " safer and calmer" league. There was too much "goonery " in the league for the Southern owners. They wanted it to be more family friendly. Another reason to pull away from the Northern teams was travel costs. The owners could save money by traveling just to Southern cities. The final reason was fan interest. Southern teams drew in more fans when facing other Southern teams. Southern owners thought these reasons would generate more revenue. 

From its inception during the 1973-74 season the SHL aligned themselves with the WHA (World Hockey Association). This league was created to rival the NHL by Dennis Murphy, Gary Davidson, and Edmonton hockey magnate Bill Hunter. The WHA was even crazier than the EHL if that was possible. The worst incident involved the Calgary Cowboy's Rick Jodzio who once skated for the SHL's Charlotte Checkers. Jodzio, whose hockey credentials are open to serious question as a hockey player, attacked Quebec Nordiques superstar Marc Tardif on April 11, 1976 for no apparent reason. Jodzio cross-checked Tardif in the face in the second period. He then dropped his gloves and threw bunches of punches into the face of the fallen star. Tardif was carried off the ice on a stretcher and suffered a brain contusion. He missed the remainder of the season. The bench clearing brawl was so intense that it took over 20 Quebec City police officers to restore order on the ice. Jodzio was banned from the WHA and while charges were filed against him he later pled guilty to a lesser charge and paid a $3000 fine. Years later Jodzio and his son met Tardif and his son where Jodzio offered up an apology. Tardif accepted that apology.

With help from their parent WHA clubs and playing under WHA rules the SHL got underway in the 1973-74 season with the Roanoke Valley Rebels winning the Crockett Cup. The Charlotte Checkers coached by Pat Kelly would go on to win the next two cups. The fourth season the league went dark as it had become too "soft." The SHL owners had forgotten the lesson of the Charlotte Clippers of the 1950's. The Baltimore Clippers had their barn burn down in the 1950's and they had no place to play. They relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina at the bottom of the state. The Charlotte Clippers had phenomenal attendance because they won and they played a very physical game. John Brophy skated for the Clippers and that lesson would not be lost on him. 

In the late 1960's the city of Hampton, Virginia built the Hampton Coliseum with a seating capacity of about 10,000 people. The Fayetteville Arsenal were set to begin play in the SHL in the fall of 1974. They had only one problem. There was no ice. (As a big fan of the SHL and former season ticket holder I have been asked if I have ever seen any Arsenal memorabilia like pucks or programs but I have not.) The team owners looked for a place to play and landed in Hampton. The team played for three years in Hampton before the league went dark in 1977. Coach John Brophy's Hampton Gulls were a very physical team that won. The worst finish they had in three years was second place. Curt Brackenbury, Dale Smedsmo, and Hal "Mad Dog" Willis led they way that first season with physical play. A real good example of the Gulls play was a game that took place in Hampton on November 13, 1974. The biggest line brawl of the season took place between Hampton and Charlotte. All 34 players were battling on the ice. The white ice was littered with brown sticks and black gloves. Even Coach Brophy and Coach Kelly were throwing down on each other in suits and ties. The battle lasted for an hour. The Gulls won that battle but lost the war 5-3 as both sides skated extremely short handed. 

The city of Hampton first leased the Coliseum to the Virginia Red Wings of the AHL in 1973-74. The Wings moved to Norfolk the following season then left the area in 1975. Charles Wornom, a local drug store magnate, had purchased the SHL Gulls and after the SHL went dark he moved them to the AHL. This proved to be a costly mistake as revenues were quickly consumed by travel expenses. The AHL Gulls went dark in the winter of 1978. The Hampton Aces lasted for two season 1978-80 in the reborn EHL after they relocated from New Jersey. The final hockey entry for the city of Hampton was the ACHL Hampton Roads Gulls. They didn't even finish the season. This was the final hockey team in residence as the Hampton Coliseum management decided they would generate revenue through concerts not hockey. The SHL Gulls were the only successful hockey entry in the city of Hampton because of their phenomenal attendance. All hockey is now played in Norfolk. 

Notable players for the Hampton Gulls SHL/AHL are Curt Brackenbury, Frank Beaton, William "Buzz" Schneider, Jamie Hislop, Dave Hanson, Jeff Carlson, Rod Langway, Paul Hoganson, Wally Olds, and Eddie Mio
First from Chuck is a 1976-77 Hampton Gulls Pat Donnelly jersey. The colors on this one are bold and effective, but the logo is rather sedate for a hockey team. It's got boldly executed two color numbers but what really stands out for us is the assistant captain's "A", thin with really large serifs, it has a rather out of place wild west look to it. It makes us wonder what would names on the back have looked like if they were worn?

 photo Hampton Gulls 1976-77 F jersey.jpg
 photo Hampton Gulls 1976-77 B jersey.jpg

Our second submission from Chuck is a 1978-79 Hampton Aces Peter Jack jersey. While the jersey itself is a simple Detroit Red Wings clone, the bold red and black logo is more attention getting than the Gulls logo and incorporates a stick and puck. 

 photo Hampton Aces 1978-79 F jersey.jpg
 photo Hampton Aces 1978-79 B jersey.jpg

Many thanks to Chuck for taking the time to photograph his rare jerseys and compose the detailed history of hockey in Hampton and some of the wild stories associated with it.

We really appreciate the work involved when our readers take the time and effort to share their jerseys through their writing and their photos.

If you have a jersey in your collection that you'd like to share with us and your fellow readers, please submit your pictures and a story to go with it, no matter how brief or detailed, to spyboy1@gmail.com and we look forward to seeing your favorites!

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