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Friday, December 26, 2014

I have been Wiki linked

  The main reason I continue to do this blog is for myself.  It gives me an opportunity to post various thoughts and projects I work on.  I have learned a lot about the history of hockey while doing research for some of my posts.  Doing it for myself helps to explain my posting frequency.  I do it when I wanna do it.
  But I have to admit, I get pretty pumped when I find links to my blog.  Last year a link to my post that imagined if a certain Seals-Canadien trade had never taken place.  I stumbled across it while reading the comments on a blog entry on a popular Montreal Canadiens blog.  They sued a tiny url to link it so if I had never stumbled across that particular post, read that particular comment and bothered to click the link, I would have never known.
  Another time while trying to do research for my Gordie Howe Hat Tricks blog, I found someone on a hockey forum posting a link to one of my blog posts to validate a point they were trying to make.
  Just recently, I was checking my site statistics when I notice I was getting hits from Wikipedia.  My Perry Berezan: The Lost Cards post is being used as a reference for the Steve Smith (ice hockey, born in Scotland) entry.  I have no idea why they would use my post.  It just proves you should double check anything you read on Wikipedia. 
  While finding links takes the cake, getting post-related comments are cool too.  For the bloggers out there, do you ever check your traffic sources for your blog?  Any in particular stand out to you?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Lost Cards: Marty Turco

  In a previous post, I mentioned that I was a passive player collector of Marty Turco.  One card that I did seek out, but never found, was of Marty Turco in a Bruins uniform.  I am pretty sure one was never made, or at least a base card was never made.  Turco, who was an unrestricted free agent, wasn't able to secure a deal with a NHL for the 2011-12 season.  After playing for Team Canada at the Spengler Cup, he signed on in Austria, which included an out-clause for any NHL team.
  During the 2011-12 season, the Bruins had a deadly duo of goalies in Tim Thomas, and Tuukka Rask.  Then Rask went down with an injury at the start of March.  The Bruins didn't have another goalie in their system who was NHL ready and they didn't want to overwork Thomas before the play-offs.  Unfortunately for the Bruins, the trade deadline was February 27th, which was a few days before Rask was injured, so Bruins had to look at free agents.  Marty got the call.
  Turco struggled with the Bruins.  He played in five games, winning two and losing two.  His 3.68 GAA and .855 save percentage were not in the same ballpark as the other Bruins goalies, 2.26 GAA and .926 Save percentage.  His brief time with the Bruins was not good.
  Turco was once again a UFA in the offseason, and once again, was unable to find work.  He held out hope until he finally announced his official retirement in January of 2013. 
  No card company bothered to make a Marty Turco Bruins card.  I figured Score would have been the best bet to have included Turco, so here`s my version of a 2012-13 Score Marty Turco card.

2012-13 Score #549 Marty Turco

Monday, December 15, 2014

So ugly, I ain't gonna buy it

  I am not much of a player collector, but I do passively collect Mike Bossy, Matt Martin and Marty Turco.  So when I recently found out that Marty Turco had a card in the 2013-14 Team Canada set, I was a bit excited.  Except imagine my horror when I saw the following.


  What an ugly card!  It's from the team picture for christ's sake.  If you can't find a decent picture, why even put they guy in the set?  There's pictures of Turco from the year he played in the Spengler Cup, couldn't they use that?  Or is the Spengler Cup not prestige enough when compared to cropping a team photo?  I am not buying that card.
  Have you refused to buy a card of player you collect, just cause it's too damn ugly?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lost Rookies: John Wensink

  By 1976, Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito had both played their last games as Boston Bruins.  Being unable to replace that level of skill, the Bruins head coach, Don Cherry, went in another direction, they became big and bad.  While not the biggest, John Wensink may have been the baddest.
  Wensink was drafted  by the St. Louis Blues in the 7th round, 102nd overall, in the 1973 draft.  Wensink played a total of three NHL games with the Blues.  A back injury, suffered in the minors, during the 1975-76 season sidelined Wensink for a season and a half.  The Blues would not resign Wensink, allowing him to become a free agent in 1976.
  Wensink never had a card with Blues.  Here's my version of a John Wensink rookie.

1974-75 OPC #397 John Wensink (RC)

  Wensink signed with the Boston Bruins prior to the 1976 season.  He previously played in Rochester of the AHL under Bruins head coach Don Cherry, becoming one of Cherry's favourite players.  Wensink scored his first career goal against the St. Louis Blues on February 1st, 1977.  Interesting fact, HHOFer Bernie Federko also scored his first career goal in the same game.  Wensink's signature moment came the next season against the Minnesota North Stars on December 1st, 1977.  Check out the recent ESPN's 30 for 30 feature covering Wensink and the incident.


  As mentioned in the video Wensink started scoring more goals and getting into less fights.  He scored 16 goals in 1977-78, and 28 in 1978-79 but would only score 22 in the next 211 games before retiring.  Cherry claimed that since Wensink fought less, opponents feared him less.  The space that opened up while opponents feared him, had now closed and that Wensink could never regain that edge that made him so feared.
  Before the 1980 season, he was claimed off waivers by the Quebec Nordiques.  Wensink was often a healthy scratch while in Quebec.  This led to a peculiar deal during the 1981 preseason.  The Nordiques loaned Wensink to the Philadelphia Flyers.  He played two preseason games with the Flyers before NHL deemed it to be illegal.  Wensink would be released and signed with the Colorado Rockies. 
  Wensink played two years for the franchise; one year in Colorado, and then a second year as the team moved and renamed themselves the New Jersey Devils.  After retiring from the NHL, Wensink was a player/coach in the Netherlands. Today, he is active with the St. Louis Blues alumni and coaching youth hockey.  Here's what a John Wensink final year card may have looked.

1983-84 OPC #397 John Wensink

Friday, November 21, 2014

One Star, One Sheet: Dale Hunter

Dale Hunter

1407 Career Games
1020 Career Points
3565 Career PIM



  Dale Hunter is one of those player you hate, until he's on your team.  Which becomes obvious once you know his nickname was "The Nuisance".  Hunter had eight seasons were he scored 20+ goals and had 200+ PIM - twice as many as any other NHL player in history. 
  Hunter was selected 41st overall in the 1979 draft by the Quebec Nordiques.  In his first NHL game on October 9, 1980 against the Calgary Flames, he notched two assists.  He added three more assists in the next game against the Edmonton Oilers.  Hunter scored his first NHL goal against Richard Brodeur of the Vancouver Canucks on October 29th, 1980.  Hunter finished his rookie season with 19 goals, 44 assists and 226 PIM.
  Hunter, born in Ontario, became a key figure in the Battle of Quebec.  In game five of the opening round of the1982 play-offs, Hunter scored 22 seconds into overtime against the Montreal Canadiens.  The goal gave the Nordiques its first NHL play-off series win.  The Nordiques would make the play-offs in all seven seasons Hunter played, including two trips to the Conference Finals.
  1983-84 would be an eventful season for Dale Hunter.  Hunter earned his first NHL suspension; three games for slashing Mike Ramsey in the face during the overtime on March 4, 1984.  The three game suspension would be the only three regular season games Hunter missing during his first six seasons.  Quite a feat for a player who played the style Hunter did.  Hunter set a career high in points with 79 during the 83-84 season.
  The Battle of Quebec reached it's boiling point during the 1984 play-offs with the Good Friday Massacre.  At the end of the second period, Hunter pushed Guy Carbonneau to the ice.  What started as a minor scrum turned into a bench clearing brawl and both teams joining the fray.  A Louis Sleigher sucker punch ended the first brawl.  The second brawl started with Dale's brother, Mark Hunter going after Sleigher.  This game gets replayed a lot as a "Classic" game, so there is a chance you might see this game on tv.  After the two brawls, seven goals are scored in the third period in this series clinching game, so it is a good game to watch on top of the brawling.  Do I have to mention that Dale Hunter, #32, is in the middle of both brawls?

   

   Hunter would play a few more seasons with Quebec before being traded, with Clint Malarchuk to the Washington Capitals for Alan Haworth, Gaetan Duchesne, and a 1st round pick.  While Haworth and Duchesne would play a combined three seasons for the Nordiques, the first round pick would score over 600 goals, win two Stanley Cups and enter the HHOF in 2012 for the Quebec/Colorado franchise. 
  Hunter played over 11 seasons with the Washington Capitals, including five as captain. His number 32 is one of four numbers retired by the Capitals.  One of the highlights of Hunter's time as a Capital would be his game 7 overtime goal versus the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1988 play-offs.  One of the lowlights would be his game 6 cheap shot on Pierre Turgeon.  Hunter claimed he thought the play was still on and he never saw the puck go into the net.  The NHL would suspend Dale Hunter for 21 games.  The longest suspension ever handed out by the NHL at that time.
  Hunter matched a career high with 79 points in 1992-93.  It was his last good offensive season, as he never had more than 46 in any future season.  In Hunter's last full season as a Capital, the team made it to the Stanley Cup final.  They were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.  
  During the 1998-99 season, Hunter's last, the Capitals traded him back to the franchise that had drafted him, although it was now located in Colorado.  Hunter was used sparingly in the play-offs, averaging under seven minutes a game, as the Colorade Avalanche lost in the Semi-Finals to the Dallas Stars.  Hunter retired in the offseason.
  Hunter, and his brother Mark (who is also prominent in the Good Friday Massacre) together bought the London Knights of the OHL.  Dale has coached the team since 2001, with a breif hiatus in 2011-12 while he coached the Washington Capitals.  The Knights won the 2005 Memorial Cup and set an OHL record by pulling off a 31 game unbeaten streak.

 
  Dale is perhaps the least offensively skill players to score 1000 points.  He never scored 80 points in a single season and has the lowest ppg of any 1000 point scorer.  What he can claim is to be the only 1000 point player with over 3000 pim.  In fact, his 3565 career PIM is second all-time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lost Cards: Butch Goring

  Butch Goring is often given credit for kicking off two things, the Islanders Dynasty and the Play-off Beard.  The New York Islanders were a 1970s version of the San Jose Sharks.  A team that would finish near the top of the standings in the regular season, but could never quite get it done in the play-offs.  They did fair better than the Sharks.  The Islanders made it to the semi-finals in four out of five seasons from 1975 to 1979.
  Late in the 1979-80 season, the Islanders traded, the original New York Islander, Billy Harris and Dave Lewis to the Los Angeles Kings for Butch Goring.  Goring, a first line player with the Kings, was now only expected to provide secondary scoring and leadership to a young Islanders team.  Goring provided both, as the Islanders would win four straight Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983.
  Along the way, Goring won a Conn Smythe trophy in 1981 and, according to Mike Bossy, started the tradition of the play-off beard.  Going played for the Islanders until 1985, until the Islanders put him waivers.  He was claimed by the Boston Bruins.  Goring finished the season, and his career with the Bruins.  Goring never had a Bruins or an 85-86 OPC card.  Here's how it may have looked.

1985-86 OPC 267 Butch Goring
  Of note is Goring's helmet.  Goring only used two helmets during his 16 year NHL career.  One was for home games and another for road games.  One he had been using since he was 12 years old.  When Goring joined the Islanders, they couldn't find the right paint to make the helmet match the Islanders colours, so instead, they used coloured tape.  In 2010, it won the dishonour of being selected Hockey's ugliest helmet.

Friday, November 14, 2014

One Sheet, One Star: Mike Gartner

Mike Gartner

2001 HHOF
708 Career Goals
17x 30 goal scorer



  I believe Mike Gartner heads up the list of players who were very good for a long time category in the Hockey Hall of Fame.  He only has one 50 goal season and one 100 point season.  He was a little better than a point-per-game during hockey's offensive heyday of the 1980s.  He never won an award or made a post season all-star team.  What he did do was score 30 or more goals in 15 straight seasons and netted 708 goals for his career.  
   Mike Gartner started his professional career with the WHA's Cincinnati Stingers.  The Stingers were one of two WHA teams that were not included in the NHL's absorption of the WHA.  That left Gartner eligible for the 1979 NHL Draft.  The 1979 draft was extremely deep due to the lowering of the age restrictions and the availability of several young stars who had played in the WHA the previous season.  Gartner was selected 4th overall by the Washington Capitals.


  Gartner's best season was with the Capitals in 1984-85, scoring 50 goals and 102 points.  His blazing speed and scoring prowess helped him get selected to the 1984 and 1987 Canadian Canada Cup teams. Gartner would call the 1987 Canada Cup the highlight of his career.  He was never able to win a Stanley Cup, but did win two Canada Cups.  Gartner had 9 points in 17 Canada Cup games.


  The Capitals were a very good regular season team, but could never make it our of the Patrick division in the play-offs, regularly losing to Islanders in post season play.  Near the 1988-89 trade deadline, the Capitals made a traded to get grittier.  They sent Gartner and Larry Murphy to the Minnesota North Stars for Dino Ciccarelli and Bob Rouse.  The following season at the trade deadline, Gartner was on the move again, back to the Patrick division, to the New York Rangers.
  Gartner would come close to scoring 50 again in 1990-91, making a serious push for it as he scored 8 goals in the last 7 games.  Instead he had to settle for hockey's Cy Young award, with 49 goals and  20 assists.  Things really started to look up for the Rangers as the "Messiah" Mark Messier was acquired for the 1991-92 season.  Messier did deliver the Stanley Cup to New York in 1994, unfortunately Gartner was a victim of the Oilerization of the Rangers.  The Rangers boasted six former Cup winning Edmonton Oilers on their Cup wining team.  Gartner was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 1994 trade deadline for Glenn Anderson
  While with the Leafs, Gartner made it out of the second round, as the Leafs lost in the semi-finals to the Vancouver Canucks.  Gartner never won a Stanley Cup during his career.  The following season marked the end of Gartner's 15 straight 30 goal seasons, since matched by Jaromir Jagr.  While the shortened lock-out season made getting 30 goals difficult, Gartner was only on pace for 26 goals over a full season.
  Mike notched two more 30 goal seasons, one with Toronto in 1995-96 before being traded to Phoenix, where he notched his last.  He retired as a Phoenix Coyote with a total of 708 career NHL goals.
  Gartner did win one award of note in the NHL.  In 1993, he was selected as the All-Star MVP after scoring a record four goals, which he shares with a few other players. Mike played in  seven All-Star games and won the fastest skater competition three times at the skills competition.

Hey Mike, where's your 'stache?
   So where does Gartner rank in terms of greatness?  He never had a high peak but played a very good level for a very long time.  Is he really deserving of the HHOF? 
 

Monday, November 10, 2014

One Star, One Sheet; Brett Hull

Brett Hull

741 career goals
1991 Hart winner
2 Stanley Cups
2009 HHOF


  Whoa, what's up with the Flames card?  I went a bit out of order on the release dates on this one.  That card is from a insert set from 2003 -04 Topps, called the Lost Rookies.  (*insert shameless plug* I do lost rookies too, check them out)  I included this post-pre-rookie (huh?) to have his Flames days represented.  I was a big Flames fan as a kid as Hull was blowing up in the early 1990s.
  Hull was drafted by the Flames 117th overall in the 1984 draft.  It's not like the Flames didn't know they had a future star on their hands.  He had the lineage, being Bobby Hull's son.  He scored 50 goals in 67 games in the AHL in 1985-86.  In 52 games with the Flames in 86-87, Hull scored 26 goals and 50 points in 52 games before being traded.  True, the Flames picked up two pieces of their 1989 Stanley Cup winning team in Rob Ramage and Rick Wamsley.  Still, you have to wonder what if the Flames kept Hull. 
  Hull would set the league on fire as a St. Louis Blue.  In 1988-89, he scored 41 goals in his first full season with St. Louis, and then followed it up with seasons of 72, 86, and 70 goals.  In 1990-91, Hull won the Hart Trophy as league's MVP.  It was Hull and Oates mania.  His 86 goals are the highest by a player not named Wayne Gretzky
  Hull scored 50+ goals in five consecutive seasons.  He only one of six players to have five consecutive 50 goal seasons and was also the last to do so.
 Gretzky and Hull would be united after the Blues won the Gretzky trade sweepstakes in late February of 1996.  The expected explosion of offense never materialized.  During 15 regular season games together, Gretzky only set up three Brett Hull goals.  The Blues lost in the second round of the play-offs in seven games to the Detroit Red Wings.  Gretzky left via free agency in the off-season.  Hull and the Blues would also be disposed of by the Red Wings in the play-offs in the two following seasons. 
  In 1998, Hull signed as a free-agent with the Dallas Stars.  For the first time in his career, his team would make it past the second round, and this time they would win the Stanley Cup, albeit on a questionable triple overtime goal.  At least Brett is above rubbing it in....


  Hull played three season with the Stars, winning one Stanley Cup.  He would repeat that with the Detroit Red Wings; three seasons, one Cup. After the lost season of 2004-05, Hull retired five games into the 2005-06 season as a Phoenix Coyote.  Making him the second 700 goal scorer to retire as a Phoenix Coyote. Any guesses on the other one?
  I don't have much to say on Hull since he was such a well covered player through out his career.  I guess I should mention that he is the son of HHOFer Bobby Hull and they hold the record for most career goals by a father and son.  Perhaps if the Flames never traded him I would be in the mood to go more in-depth on him. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Lost Rookies: Kirk McLean

  Kirk McLean was originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils 107th overall in the 1984 entry draft.  He made his NHL debut on April 5th, 1986, then got his first start the next night, both against the New York Islanders.  McLean would play in four more games the following season before being traded to the Vancouver Canucks.  McLean's rookie card came in the 1989-90 OPC Set.  If OPC was a bit more aggressive with its rookie cards, here's how a 1986-87 OPC Kirk McLean rookie card may have looked.

1986-87 OPC #266 Kirk McLean (RC)


Thursday, November 6, 2014

One Star, One Sheet: Jeff Hackett

Jeff Hackett

500 career games
3x 20 game winner
2nd best Save % 1995-98




  Once again we stretch the definition of a star.  Perhaps I should be calling this "One player I remember, One Sheet".  Hackett had some good years, but also had some historically abysmal years.
  Hackett played his junior hockey with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.  In 1986-87, he led the OHL in GAA, 3.05 and helped the team win the OHL championship.  Hackett and the Generals would lose in the Memorial Cup final.
  His performance made him the 4th goalie taken in the 1987 Draft by the New York Islanders and 34th player overall.  The first goalie taken was Jimmy Waite at 8th overall.  Hackett led all goalies from his draft class with 500 career games played.  The Islanders had lost their dynasty and were in the process of rebuilding.  Hackett would lose his first five decisions before winning his first in 1989.  A sign of things to come for Hackett. 
  Hackett spent the 1989-90 season in the AHL with the Springflied Indians.  He won the play-off MVP as the Indians won the AHL Calder trophy as play-off champs.  He returned to the Islanders for the 1990-91 season and get the back-up job, largely due to the previous year's starter, and former Memorial Cup nemesis, Mark Fitzpatrick, missing almost the entire season due to illness.  Hackett went 5-18-1 during his rookie season.
  With Fitzpatrick ready to play and starter Glenn Healy under contract, Hackett was left unprotected in the 1991 expansion draft.  He was the first player selected overall by the San Jose Sharks.  Hackett was the main starter for the expansion team and he severely outplayed the other Sharks goalies that season.  Hackett appeared in 42 games, go 11-27-1, .892 save percentage, with a 3.84 GAA.  The other four Shark, goalies would combine for a 6-31-4 record, with a .868 save percentage and a 4.82 GAA.  Hackett was arguably the Sharks MVP during their expansion season.
  The following season would be a different story.  The entire Sharks team would take a step backwards.  All the way back to being considered one of the worst teams ever in the history of the NHL.  The Sharks finished the season in last place overall with an 11-71-2 record for 24 points.  Hackett lost 30 games while only winning two.  He holds the record for least wins while losing 30+ games in a season.  He also has the second worst winning percentage in a single season, .076, of any goalie would played 20+ games in a season.  Worst is Michel Belhumeur, .056.
  One of the lowlights during the 1992-93 season was a 13-1 pounding of the San Jose Sharks by the Calgary Flames.   Six Flames scored 3 or more points that night, including Jeff Reese.  Reese's 3 assists are notable since it's the single game scoring record for a goalie. 
  With the emergence of Arthurs Irbe in San Jose, Hackett was deemed expendable was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks for a third round pick.  Even though Hackett was on a much better team, his performance continued to be abysmal.  Hackett went 2-12-3 in 1993-94.  His career record so far, 24-94-6, with a 4.09 GAA.  Amazing he was still in the NHL.
  He rode the bench for the majority of the 1994-95 lockout shortened season, only appearing in 7 NHL games.  His GAA, 2.13, and save percentage, 2.38, took remarkable jumps, which were a sign of things to come.  During the 1995-96 season, Hackett had his first winning season, going 18-11-4, and also recorded his first career shutout.  He played even better the following season, finishing second in save percentage, .927, and vastly outplayed the Hawks #1 goalie, and future HHOFer, Ed Belfour.  Belfour did not appreciate Hackett's success and reportedly was a bit of a bully towards HackettWith Hackett's excellent play, Belfour's attitude and contract demands, The Hawks shopped Belfour around until they found a suitor in Hackett's old team, the San Jose Sharks.
  Hackett finally found himself as a #1 goalie on a playoff contending team.  While Hackett continued to play well between the pipes, the Hawks could not score.  In 1996-97, the Hawks were the second lowest scoring team in the NHL and found themselves out of the play-offs.  From 95-96 to 97-98, only Domink Hasek, .927, posted a better save percentage than Hackett, .920, and only Martin Brodeur and Chris Osgood, besting Hackett in GAA.
  After a horrendous start to the 1998-99 season for Hackett and the Hawks, the team was on a 10 game winless streak, a six player trade was made with the Montreal Canadiens.  The main player heading to the Hawks was Hackett's replacement, Jocelyn Thibault.  Hackett's play bounced back and he was the #1 goalie in Montreal until the emergence of Jose Thoedore.  By the 2001-02 season, Thoedore had taken over the #1 gig.  Hackett watched from the bench as Thoedore won the 2002 Hart and Vezina Trophies.  Hackett  numbers had sagged over the past two season but he was having a bounce back season as a back-up in 2002-03, even outplaying Theodore.  Good enough for the impending unrestricted free agent to be trade bait.  Hackett landed in Boston, via San Jose, as part of a three team trade.  Joining a stable of Bruins goalies that included 28 year old rookie, Tim Thomas
  Hackett started the play-offs on the bench but started the last three game during a five game series loss to the New Jersey Devils.  Hackett only started 10 career play-off games, seven versus Patrick Roy, and three against Martin Brodeur.  How's that for drawing the short straw.
  Hackett signed with the original goalie graveyard, the Philadelphia Flyers for the 2003-04 season.  Hackett began the season with back-to-back shutouts and then posted a third in his ninth game of the season.  I am not sure when he first suffered from vertigo, but in his first 17 games, Hackett was 9-2-5 with a .931 Sv% and 1.71 GAA.  In his last 11 games, he went 1-8-1 with a .865 Sv% and a 3.44 GAA.  He officially retired on February 9th, 2004 due to vertigo.
  For Hackett's career is seemed to have a real roller coaster ride.  Some abysmal years to begin his career on some abysmal teams.  Then he seemed to get it together and actually be one of the best goalies in the NHL in the mid 1990s.  By the early 2000s, it seemed he was to fade away, only to have a incredible rebirth in Philadelphia, only to be taken away from him due to his health.  His career best single season GAA was 2.16, and his worst was 5.28.  That's a whole 3.12 difference.  I believe that is modern era record. 
  So who is Jeff Hackett?  A mediocre goalie who lucked into a few good seasons.  Or a star goalie who was had a very unlucky start to his career?  Is he a star, or a just a player I remember?

Monday, November 3, 2014

One Star, One Sheet: Dale Hawerchuk

Dale Hawerchuk

2001 HHOF
1409 Career Points
518 Career Goals
1982 Calder winner


    For a player who put up some gaudy numbers, Hawerchuk is not considered among the elites.  Perhaps it was because he wasn't flashy, played in a small Canadian market, or never had any play-off success.
   Hawerchuk had plenty of success in his pre-NHL days.  He led the Cornwall Royals of the QMJHL to back-to-back Memorial Cups championships in 1980 and 81.  His dominating play in junior, 183 pts in 73s games in 1980-81, made him the clear cut number one pick for the Winnipeg Jets in the 1981 draft.
   Aided by Hawerchuk, the Jets went from being worst in the league, with 32 points in 80-81, to a playoff team with 80 points in 1981-82.  At the time, it was the largest point increase by a team.  Hawerchuk became the 2nd rookie to score 100+ points and was awarded the Calder trophy.
  Dale would led the Jets in scoring every season he was a Jet, never averaging less than  a point per game in a single season.  Hawerchuk's best season came in 1984-85.  He scored 53 goals and 130 points to finish 3rd in the scoring race. He was voted to the 2nd team All-stars and was a runner up for the Hart trophy.  Another highlight for the Jets in the 1984-85 season was having six players score 30 or more goals.  The 1984-85 Jets are only one of three teams to have accomplished this.
  In terms of team success, the Jets only won two play-off rounds during Hawerchuk's years as a Jet, while losing eight, including five sweeps.  The Jets suffered from playing in the Smythe division during the 1980s which was owned by the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames during that decade.
     The hiring of Mike "Mikhail" Smith as GM of the Winnipeg in 1988, was the beginning of the end for Hawerchuk in Winnipeg.  According to Hawerchuk, “Mike Smith had come in and taken over as the GM in Winnipeg and was making some big changes, things were getting so bad in Winnipeg that I finally asked Smith to trade me.”  Which is a bit ironic since Mike Smith coached the 1980-81 Winnipeg Jets and helped cement the 1st overall choice in the 1981 draft for the Jets.  Smith went 2-17-4, as the third and final head coach of the Jets that season. 
  At the 1990 NHL draft, Hawerchuk and a 1st round pick, was traded to the Buffalo Sabres for a Phil Housley, Scott Arniel, Jeff Parker and the Sabres 1st round pick.  The Jets would select Keith Tkachuk and the Sabres took Brad May.
  Hawerchuk was no longer the 100+ point man he was in Winnipeg but still put up a point a game or better in his first four seasons with the Sabres until an injury plagued season in 1994-95.  Even though the Sabres were a more talented team than the Jets of the 1980s, with Pat Lafontaine, Alexandr Mogilny, Grant Fuhr and Dominik Hasek, they fared no better in the playoffs.  During Hawerchuk's five seasons in Buffalo, the Sabres won one play-off round while losing five.
  After the 1994-95 season, Hawerchuk signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Blues.  Hawerchuk was reunited with coach Mike Keenan, who had coached Hawerchuk in two Canada Cups and also in Junior B when Hawerchuk was only 15 years old.  Hawerchuk struggled to put up points with the Blues, netting 41 in 66 games before being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers.
  Hawerchuk played two season for the Flyers before retiring due to a losing battle to hip injuries, which had plagued him for a few seasons.  He finally played a NHL game in May, as the Flyers went all the way to the Stanley Cup finals in 1997, before getting swept by the Detroit Red Wings.
  Hawerchuk would later go into coaching and is currently the coach of the OHL's Barrie Colts.
  So once again, where does Hawerchuk rank in terms of greatness. If you consider his point totals and then consider the team he had to work with during his prime years with the Jets, you can't help but to be impressed with how many points Hawerchuk amassed.

RkPlayerFromToGPGAPTS
1Dale Hawerchuk19811990713379550929
2Thomas Steen19811990667186388574
3Paul MacLean19811988527248270518
4Laurie Boschman19821990526152227379
5Doug Smail19811990646178198376
6Brian Mullen19821987372124172296
7Dave Ellett1984199045891197288
8Dave Babych1981198632167210277
9Randy Carlyle1983199042469197266

 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

One Star, One Sheet - Domink Hasek

Dominik Hasek

2014 HHOF
6x Vezina 
2x Hart
2x Stanley Cup


  I am not going to write much about Dominik Hasek.  First off, I am going to claim he is the best NHL goalie of all-time.  If he had played for the Colorado Avalanche or Detroit Red Wings during the 1990s he would have had been the driver behind a dynasty.  He won two Hart Trophies, making him the only goalie to win more than one.  He was a 10th round draft pick in 1983 and played his first NHL game in 1990 at age 25.  He was once traded for Stephane Beauregard and a 4th round draft pick. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lost Rookies Tim Hunter

  For a player who played 16 NHL seasons, 815 career games,and over 3146 PIM, Tim Hunter was severely under serviced in the trading card market.  Hunter had a total of eight base cards made of him during his career, which included the hockey card boom of the early 1990s.  He played parts of nine seasons, 432 career games and led the NHL in PIM twice before Pro Set and OPC gave him a RC during the 1990-91 sets.  Here's my version of a 1984-85 OPC Tim Hunter rookie card.

1985-85 OPC Tim Hunter (RC)

  Hunter's best years were with the Calgary Flames.  He played a huge role in the Battle of Alberta and was a fan favourite during his time in Calgary.  We won a Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989.
  The hobby continued to ignore Tim Hunter later in the 1990s.  Hunter played for three teams after the Calgary Flames, and except for an insert card produced after the season after he retired, no cards were made of him.  Hunter was left unprotected in the expansion draft on 1992.  The Tampa Bay Lightning selected him but the next day traded him to the Quebec Nordiques for future considerations.
 
1992-93 Fleer Ultra Tim Hunter

    Hunter, who became the second player to ever to wear #65, only played half a season with the Nordiques before being picked up off the waiver wire by the Vancouver Canucks.  Hunter spent three and half season with the Canucks, including the 1994 Stanley Cup finals.

1992-93 Fleer Ultra Series 2 Tim Hunter

  Hunter finished his career with a season in San Jose.  His last career fight was against Ken Baumgartner of the Anahiem Ducks.  Hunter was third on the all-time career PIM list when he retired.  Currently he sits in eighth place.  After a decade of being an assistant coach in the NHL, Tim is now the head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL.


1997-98 UD Collector's Choice Tim Hunter

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.
 
 

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

Lost Cards: 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

Thursday, March 6, 2014

88-89 OPC Update: Martin St. Louis

 The recently disgruntled Martin St. Louis got his wish, as the Tampa Bay Lightning traded the reigning Art Ross winner to the New York Rangers.  It is only the second time in NHL History that the reigning Art Ross Winner has been traded.  Who was the other?  Hint: check out the previous post.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

88-89 OPC Update: Jaromir Jagr

  Jaromir Jagr recently scored his 700th career NHL goal and 1040th career assist.  Which puts him 7th all-time in goals and tied for 9th in assists.  If he plays another season, he could be top 5 in Goals and Points