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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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

One Star, One Sheet: Ed Belfour

Ed Belfour

2011 HHOF
484 Wins
2 Vezinas
1999 Stanley Cup

Belfour is only one of four goalies to win the Vezina trophy and the Calder in the same season.  Can you name the others?  Belfour is well known for his Eagle mask, the source of his nickname.  Eddie is also known for his run-ins with the law.  Twice during his playing days, Belfour was charged with resisting an officer and allegedly offered an officer a $1 million bribe to release him.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

1987-88 OPC Dave Semenko

  The infamous Dave Semenko made space for Wayne Gretzky during the Great Ones early years in Edmonton.  If you messed with Gretz, you had to answer to Semenko.
  Semenko was originally drafted by the Minnesota North Stars in the NHL, but Semenko choose a more lucrative offer to play with the Edmonton Oilers in the WHA.  When the Oilers joined the NHL, the Stars claimed Semenko.  Semenko would never play a game with the North Stars, as the Oilers and Stars worked out a trade.  Ironically, Semenko was traded for two draft picks, and the North Stars used one of those picks on Neal Broten.  Gretzky only had three fighting majors in his career and one of those beatings fights was against Neal Broten.
  Semenko would played in Edmonton from 1977 to 1986, before being traded to the Hartford Whalers.  Semenko would spend one season in Hartford before playing a final season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
  Semenko only has four cards during his playing days, and none after the 82-83 set. Below is a1987-88 OPC custom made to represent Semenko's time in Hartford.

Friday, March 7, 2014