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Saturday, August 2, 2014

One Star, One Sheet - Mike Bullard

   Mike Bullard

50 goal scorer
100 points scorer
1984 All-Star

  After finishing third in league scoring in the OMJHL in 1979-80, which would be named the OHL the following season, Mike Bullard was selected 9th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Jimmy Fox, who led the OMJHL in scoring was selected immediately after Bullard with the 10th pick by the Los Angeles Kings.
  Bullard would play in 15 games for the Penguins in 1980-81.  In his rookie season, Bullard scored 36 goals.  Two seasons later in 1983-84, Bullard scored 51 goals and 92 points.  Which was 24 goals and 35 points more than the next best for the Penguins that season.  This was also the season the Penguins finished the year 3-15-0 to finish last/first in the NHL/Mario Lemieux Sweepstakes.
  Suddenly the 51 goal scorer found himself off the first line as Lemieux took over as the team's top centre.  In the following two seasons, Bullard scored 32 and 41 goals.  Bullard started slow in the 1986-87 season, only scoring two goals in the fourteen games.  An already strained relationship with Pens coach Bob Berry took a turn for the worst when Bullard, then team captain, found himself demoted to the fourth line.  A lively exchange during a team practice sealed Bullard's fate as a Pittsburgh Penguin.  
  By the next day, he was traded to the Calgary Flames for another disgruntled forward, Danny Quinn.  Bullard arrived in Calgary just in time to rock out in the Flames team music video.  It's easy to spot Bullard, he's probably the only Flame who appears to be actually enjoying it.

  Bullard had his best season with the Flames in 1987-88, scoring 48 goals and 103 points.  The Flames, who led the NHL in points, were swept in the second round by the eventual Stanley Cup champs, the Edmonton Oilers.  After two straight disappointing play-off results, the Flames sold high on Mike Bullard, shipping him to the St. Louis Blues in a deal that brought Doug Gilmour to Calgary.
  Bullard would only last 20 games in St. Louis before being traded to the Philadelphia Flyer in a straight-up deal for Peter Zezel.  Bullard would put up decent offensive number in Philadelphia, 113pts in 124 games but would leave the NHL after the 1989-90 season for Switzerland.
  Bullard would return to the NHL in 1991.  He had his worst season in the NHL.  Failing to top 20 goals or 40 points for the first time in his career.  In a strange twist, Bullard would find himself behind Doug Gilmour and Peter Zezel in the depth chart.  The last two players he was traded for.
  Bullard retired from the NHL in 1992, but would play professionally until 2003 in Germany.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

One Star, One Sheet - Michel Goulet

Michel Goulet

HHOF 1998
548 Goals
1152 Points
5x All-Star

  Michel Goulet was the youngest of the Baby Bulls.  The Baby Bulls were influential in merger of the WHA and the NHL.  John Basset the owner of the Birmingham Bulls of the WHA dreamed of owning a NHL team.  In 1978, when it became apparent that Birmingham would not be included in any WHA-NHL merger, Basset figured he would punish the NHL by signing underage star junior players.  This was a season after the controversial, and precedent setting Ken Linseman signing.
  The six Baby Bulls were scooped up by NHL in the first 33 picks during the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, including Michel Goulet to the Quebec Nordiques with the 20th overall spot.  Goulet is perhaps the only player to demand to be drafted by the Quebec Nordiques.  Goulet who could barely speak english, attempted to get a court order preventing any NHL team other than the Nordiques from drafting him.  That was after a contract clause in Goulet's contract with Bulls has deemed void by the NHL.  The clause would see Goulet automatically become property of the Quebec Nordiques after a NHL-WHA merger.  The tactics scared away the other teams and Goulet was available at 20th overall pick.  He then became the first NHL player to have his contract written exclusively in French.
  Goulet would be an All-Star in Quebec.  Quietly scoring 50 goals in four straight seasons and becoming a 1st or 2nd Team All-Star five times.  In 1984 he finished third in league scoring with 121 points.  He was never the star Francophones desired.  He wasn't flashy like a Guy Lafleur or dominant like a Maurice Richard.  A hold-out in 1985 didn't endear him to the fans either.  Also, looking back on the stats and player of the Nords through the 1980, you'd assume his centreman would have been HHOFer Peter Stastny, but it wasn't.  Dale Hunter was Goulet's centreman for the majority of Goulet's years in Quebec.  
  As the 1980s were nearing an end, the Nordiques and Goulet were both suffering from a decline in performance.  Goulet was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks in a deal that would see three prospects go to Quebec.  The three prospects would all be out of the NHL by 1992 and play less than 100 games combined for the Nordiques.
  Goulet was no longer the scoring threat he once was.  He rounded out his game with better defensive play.  In 1992, the Black Hawks were swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals.  It was the closest Goulet would come to a Stanley Cup Championship.   
  On March 16th, 1994, Goulet, along with his JOFA 235 helmet, also known as the eggshell helmet, lost an edge and fell awkwardly into the board.  Goulet suffered a third degree concussion.  He would never play another professional hockey game.
  A year later to the date, the Quebec Nordques retired Goulet's jersey number 16.  The following season, the Nordiques moved to Colorado and the number was unretired and taken by Warren Rychel.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

One Star, One Sheet - Shayne Corson

Shayne Corson

1156 Career Games
693 Career Points
3x All-Star Game

  Okay, so we might be stretching it with the star aspect on this one, but Corson did play in three All-Star games, was a member of Team Canada for the 1991 Canada Cup and was part of Team Canada in the 1998 Olympics.
  Selected 8th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1984 draft, Corson carved out a solid career for himself.  He played 1156 career games during 19 seasons in the NHL.  He brought a lot of grit to the table.  At age 15, he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which brought on panic attacks.  Corson also had a lengthy rap sheet off the ice, from arrests to rumoured adultery.
  Corson spent six season withe Canadiens, including his best offensive season by far in 1989-90, when he scored 31 goals and 75 points.  Unfortunately, Corson was adept at finding trouble off the ice as he was on the ice.  He was arrested in Winnipeg in 1990 for a bar fight and was involved in another bar fight in 1992 in Montreal.  The second incident led the to infamous Pat Burns quote, "Shayne Corson can go eat shit.Corson was traded the following offseason to Edmonton for Vincent Damphousse.
  Corson was a disappointment in Edmonton, as the once great Dynasty continued its nose dive.  The Oilers missed the play-offs all three seasons he played there including his time as captain.  Corson was selected as the Oilers captain to start off the lockout shortened 1995 season.  Corson was later stripped of his captaincy when he scuffled with Jason Arnott over an assist Corson felt he should have been credited with.  The following offseason, Corson was on the move.
  The St. Louis Blues signed Shayne Corson as a free agent.  The Blues coach Mike Keenan had coached Corson during the 1991 Canada Cup and was a big fan of grit and sandpaper type of players.  Early into the 1995-96 season, Keenan stripped Brett Hull of the team's captaincy and awarded it to Corson, who subsequently handed it over to Wayne Gretzky.  
  As the Blues failed to live up to expectations, and with Gretzky leaving via free agency in the offseason, Corson was traded early in the 1996-97 season to the Montreal Canadiens for playmaking centre, Pierre Turgeon.  The following season, Corson would find his offense, scoring 55 points in 62 games, including 22 points in the first 16 games.  The strong start helped Corson secure a spot on Team Canada for the 1998 Olympics.
  Corson's point totals would drop to 32 and then 28, the following two seasons.  In the 2000 offseason, Corson signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Corson's time in Toronto was marred by several events.  The Maple Leafs dressing room rumoured to divide into factions, with Corson, and his cousin, Darcy Tucker, labeled as troublemakers.  There were widespread rumours of an affair between Corson and Alexander Mogilny's wife.  Corson's panic attacks returned during his final season of the Leafs and while he credits Tucker for helping him get through the attacks, Corson's health was the official reason for walking out, and retiring, on the team. after being a healthy scratch, during the 2003 play-offs. 
  Corson would play again in the NHL.  He came out of retirement late in the 2003-04 season to sign with the Dallas Stars.  He would score 10 points in 17 regular season games but the Stars would lose in the first round of the play-offs.  
  Corson was a divisive player.  Many rumours point to him being a cancer in the dressing room and generally a terrible teammate, but at the same time he has been lauded for his leadership and sacrifices on the ice.  Corson went into the resturant business after re-retiring. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

One Star, One Sheet - Dino Ciccarelli

Dino Ciccarelli

2010 HHOF
608 Goals
1200 Points

  Dino Ciccarelli has a few distinct marks on his career.  A pesty, although some would say dirty, winger, Dino made a living parked just outside the opponents crease.  A two time fifty goal scorer, Ciccarelli became infamous for his altercation with Luke Richardson in 1988.  An eventful career for a player who went undrafted.
  In 1977-78, Ciccarelli led the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League with 72 goals, two more than some guy name Wayne Gretzky.  While in the Play-offs, Ciccarelli stepped on a broken stick in practice, slid into the boards and broke his leg.  Ciccarelli had planned signing with the WHA in 1978, but it was now doubtful he would ever play pro hockey again.  Dino rehabbed vigoursly and returned to the OMJHL the following year but was limited to 19 points in 30 games. 
  The 1979 NHL Entry draft is considered to be one of the deepest drafts in history, albeit aided by the influx of WHA underagers and a drop in the minimum age.  Ciccarelli, who fell off the scouts radars, went undrafted.  In September of 1979, the Minnesota North Stars signed Ciccarelli as a free agent.  Cicarelli would retire as the career leading scorer for undrafted players, who were draft eligible.
  Ciccarelli would make it to the NHL midway through the 1980 season.  He made an immediate impact scoring 30 points in 32 games but the best was yet to come.  The North Stars made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Finals.  Ciccarelli set a play-off rookie record with 14 goals as the Star fell to the New York Islanders in the Finals.
  Dino would set career highs in goals, 55, assists, 51, and points, 106, in 1981-82 and would be among the team leaders for several seasons.  He had his second 50 goals and 100 point season in 1986-87.  Ciccarelli scored 40 goals or more for five straigh seasons, from 85-86 to 89-90.
   At the start of the 1987-88 season, Ciccarelli held out for a new contract.  The North Stars were rumoured to be in talks with the Penguins and Kings.  You have to wonder what kind of numbers Ciccarelli would put up beside Mario Lemieux in Pittsburgh.  No trade was made and Dino ended his holdout three days before the start of the season. 
  It was January 6, of 1988 when Cicarelli would become infamous.  Cicarelli, feeling he was being abused by several Leafs players, snapped on Luke Richardson.  The NHL suspended Ciccarelli for 10 games.  The police also became involved.  Ciccarelli was charged and became the first NHL player to be convicted with assault stemming from an on-ice incident.  
  Ciccarelli was traded the following season in a deal that saw the North Stars acquire 50 goals scorer and future HHOFer, Mike Gartner, and another future HHOFer, Larry Murphy.  Ciccarelli would play three and a half seasons in Washington before being traded to the Detroit Red Wings.  Dino returned to the Stanley Cup finals as a Red Wing in 1995, but the Wings would get swept by the New Jersey Devil.  
  During training camp of 1996, Ciccarelli was traded to the Tampa Bay Lighting. He led the team with 35 goals that season.  The following season, a recurring theme occurred for Ciccarelli, he held out during training camp.  He had also done so before with the Stars and Capitals.  Ciccarelli eventually returned to the team but scored at much slower pace.  He was traded to the Florida Panthers partway through the season.  A back injury suffered in 1999 ended Ciccarelli's career.
  Ciccarelli now owns a chain of sportsbars in Michigan, called Ciccarelli's 22.  He was inducted into the HHOF in 2010. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

One Star, One Sheet - Chris Chelios

Chris Chelios

2013 HHOF
3x Stanley Cup
3x Norris Trophy

  Chris Chelios played 26 seasons in the NHL.  He is 5th all-time in career games played with 1651.  Chelios was selected 40th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1981 NHL Entry draft.  The 10 players selected above him played a combined 1734 career NHL games.
  Chelios joined the Montreal Canadiens late in the 1983-84 season.  He solidified his spot by scoring 10 points in 15 playoffs games.  In his rookie season of 1984-85, Chelios finished 2nd in Calder trophy voting, to Mario Lemieux.  Chelios became a star in Montreal, winning the Stanley Cup in 1986 and a James Norris Trophy in 1989.
  In the offseason of 1990, arguably the worst trade in the history of the Montreal Canadiens occurred.  The Canadiens traded Chris Chelios, and a draft pick to the Chicago Black Hawks for Denis Savard.  Yes, the Hawks never won a Cup with Chelios and the Canadiens would win a Cup in 1993 with Savard on the roster, but Savard was a third line center that season and missed all but one game of the Stanley Cup finals.  Official reason from the Habs for the Chelios trade was concerns over Chelios's knees, citing a doctor's report that Chelios would not last another 5 seasons.  The conspiracy theorist point towards Chelios's partying ways (some proven, some not) including an affair with the Habs President's wife, naked BBQing, prostitutes, underage lady friends, and public urination. Chelios was officially traded the day after the public urinating incident.
  In Chicago, Chelios won two Norris trophies, was a top six in Norris voting seven times in eight seasons and was a 1st or 2nd team All-Star five times.  Although Chelios helped the Black Hawks reach the Cup final in 1992, the Black Hawks never found much playoff success.  They missed the play-offs in Chelios final full season as a Black Hawk. 
  In March of 1999, with Hawks as sellers at the trade deadline, the Black Hawks would send the 37 year old Chelios to the Detroit Red Wings for two 1st round picks and young defenceman, Andres Eriksson.  Eriksson was a disspointment in Chicago and the two first round picks, which were late first round picks, were busts.  Chelios took on more of a defensive role in Detroit as he helped the Wings win two Stanley Cups.  Chelios played with the Wings until the leg injuries, predicted by Montreal doctors in 1990, forced him to miss the majority of the 2008-09 season.
  The 48 year old Chelios would attempt a comeback in 2009, signing with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL, before signing with the Altanta Thrashers for a seven game stint at the end of 2009-10 season.
  In 2013, in his first year of eligiblity, Chelios was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

One Star, One Sheet - Jimmy Carson

Jimmy Carson

100 point scorer
50 goal scorer
Part of the Gretzky Package

  Drafted 2nd overall in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, Carson made the jump straight to the NHL for the 1986-87 season.  Carson scored 32 goals and 79 points while finishing third in the Calder trophy voting, losing out to teammate Luc Robitaille.  In his sophomore season, Carson scored 55 goals and 107 points.  The early success of the young center made him the marque piece heading to the Edmonton Oilers in the Wayne Gretzky mega-blockbuster trade in the summer of 1988.
  Carson would finish in the top 10 in NHL scoring for the Oilers in 1988-89 with 100 points, but could never come close to replacing Gretzky.  He scored 3 points in a seven game Round one play-off lose to the Los Angeles Kings, while Gretzky had 13.  Carson, citing the "Gretzky Syndrome" left the team in October of 1989 and demanded a trade.  Carson was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a few key pieces of the Oilers 1990 Stanley Cup victory, Petr Klima, Adam Graves and Joe Murphy, whose was the 1st overall pick in the 1986 draft.
  Carson would soon find himself buried on the Red Wings depth chart at center behind HHOF Steve Yzerman and future HHOF Sergei Fedorov.  Carson became expendable and in January of 1993, he was traded back to the Los Angelese Kings, in a deal that involved Paul Coffey, to center the second line behind Wayne Gretzky.  Gretzky was reportedly "saddened" by the trade.  I have a feeling Gretzky is not on Carson's Christmas card list. Carson set an NHL record that season by playing in 86 regular season games.  The Kings would reach the Stanley Cup finals before losing to the Montreal Canadiens.
  Carson, only 25, was no longer an offensive threat.  Scoring only 11 points in 25 games to start the 1993-94 season, Carson was sent to the Vancouver Canucks.  The Canucks reached the Stanley Cup Finals, without the help of Carson.  Carson would only play 2 games in the first round, while being a healthy scratch for the rest.
  Signed by the Whalers in the 1994 off season, Carson missed the end of the season with a shoulder injury.  He would re-injure the same shoulder early in the 1995-96 season, costing him the rest of the season.  No longer an offensive threat and certainly not a 3rd or 4th line type pf player, Carson had played his last NHL game at age 27. 
  It is strange to think that a two time 100 point scorer can be considered a bust. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

One Star, One Sheet: Sean Burke

Sean Burke

324 Career Wins
3x All-Star
1992 Olympic Silver Medal

  Sean Burke burst onto the scene in the spring of 1988.  First he played with team Canada in the Olympics in Calgary and then he carried the lowly sad sacked New Jersey Devils all the way to the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals, then known as the Wales Conference Finals.  Burke helped catapult the Devils into th Play-offs by going 10-1-0 in 13 games at the end of the 87-88 play-offs.
  Burke would never tend another play-off run.  He retired with 38 career play-off games under his belt, with 17 of those coming in 1988.  Burke's honeymoon with the Devils was over by the 1990-91 season.  Burke, a restricted free agent in 1991, had lost his starting job to Chris Terreri in the 1990 play-offs.  Frustrated with playing second fiddle, Burke sat out the entire 1991-92 season.
  Sitting out, gave Burke another shot at an Olympic medal.  Burke helped the team make it to the Gold medal game, but were bested by the Unified Team, i.e. Russia and "friends" by a score of 3-1.   The Silver medal was Canada's first Olympic medal in Ice Hockey since 1960.
  During the 1992 offseason, Burke was traded to the Hartford Whalers.  Burke played in and won, the Hartford Whalers last game in the NHL.  He made the move with the team to Carolina but was traded twice during the 1997-98 season.  First to the Vancouver Canucks,  where he went 2-9-4 with a 3.51 GAA, and then to the Philadelphia Flyers.  While Burke performed well down the stretch with the Flyers, he was lit up by the Buffalo Sabres in the play-offs.  Burke was the first of many failed quick fix attempts by the Flyers for their goalie woes.
   Burke would sign as a free agent with the Florida Panthers and help keep the team competitive until an early season trade in 1999 would send him to the Phoenix Coyotes.  The Coyotes sent goalie Mikhail Shtalenkov went to the Panthers.  Mikhail would play 15 more career NHL games before returning to play in Russia.  Burke would have his best NHL seasons playing for the Coyotes.  In 2001-02, Burke was a finalist for the Vezina trophy, 4th in the Hart Trophy voting and also 3rd in the All-Star team voting, i.e. he was a 3rd team All-Star.
  In February of 2003, a struggling Coyotes team would send the aging Burke back to the Philadelphia Flyers.  In strange twist, Burke found himself backing up his back-up from the 2001-02 season, Robert Esche, while the Flyers went all the way to game Seven of the Stanley Cup semi-finals before bowing out.
  After the lock-out of 2004, Burke signed on with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team the Flyers had lost to the previous play-offs.  Burke would spend a mediocre season with the Lightning before playing a final mediocre season with the Los Angeles Kings. He retired at age 40.
  There was never a card produced of Sean Burke as a King.  I made one and shared it in an earlier post.  I also had success get Mr. Burke's auto TTM.  He is currently the goalie coach and assistant GM with the Phoenix Coyotes.