Saturday, October 18, 2014

1987-88 Chicago Blackhawks Darren Pang Jersey

We're going to keep this one short today.

Goaltender Darren Pang was the first netminder ever drafted by the expansion Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League where the rookie immediately made 47 starts during the 1981-82 season. The following season the diminutive "Panger" played 12 games for the Bulls, with a poor 3-8 record and a goals against average of 4.63 prior to a trade to the Ottawa 67's, which allowed him to shine. In 47 regular season games for the 67's, the 5' 5" Pang posted a 28-14-3 record and a goals against average a full goal per game lower at 3.65.

His second season with Ottawa say Pang finish with a 29-10-1 record and a 3.03 goals against during the regular season. In the playoffs, Ottawa defeated the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL Finals to advance to the Memorial Cup, which was hosted by none other than Kitchener. After defeating the Mario Lemieux led Laval Voisins 6-5, they beat the Kamloops Junior Oilers 5-1 before losing to Kitchener 7-2 to close out the Round Robin portion. Their two wins placed them in the Semifinals, where they again soundly defeated Kamloops 7-2 to set up a final meeting with Kamloops for the championship. There, Pang and Ottawa turned the tables and captured the 67's first Memorial Cup with a 7-2 victory of their own. Pang was named the Best Goaltender of the tournament and named to the tournament All-Star Team.

Undrafted, Pang signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Blackhawks organization, who assigned him to the Milwaukee Admirals of the IHL for the 1984-85 season, where he saw action in 53 games. He also made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks, giving up four goals and taking the loss in his only start. By taking the ice in an NHL game, Pang became the second shortest goaltender in league history, after the 5' 3" Roy Worters, who played from 1925 to 1937 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Americans.

Pang would spend another season in the IHL, this time with the Saginaw Generals, going 21-21 in 44 games. He again played 44 games for Saginaw in 1986-87 with an improved record of 25-16-0 as well as 7 games, winning 4, with the Nova Scotia Oilers of the AHL.

Pang Sagninaw, Pang Sagninaw
Pang while with Saginaw

He made the Blackhawks roster out of training camp for the 1987-88 season and split time with Bob Mason. In all, Pang played in 45 games for Chicago, leading them in wins (17) and goals against (3.84) which included winning his first ever NHL game on this date in 1987 with a 6-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets at home in Chicago after making 39 saves on 43 shots.

Pang Blackhawks, Pang Blackhawks

Pang once again was a member of the Blackhawks for the 1988-89 season, but was unable to fully seize the reigns as a true #1 in an extremely muddled goaltending situation. While Pang led the club in appearances with 35 games, Alain Chevrier, who arrived in a trade from Winnipeg played 27 games, rookie Ed Belfour (23 games) and Jimmy Waite (11), both of whom spent time in the IHL with Saginaw and Chris Clifford (1) all saw time in goal for Chicago. The competition for playing time was intense and as a result Pang also did see two games in Saginaw, but returned in late February to finish the season with the Blackhawks which included two playoff games in relief of Waite.

Pang Blackhawks, Pang Blackhawks

The following season of 1989-90 was one of very limited action for Pang, as he would only see 7 late season games on goal for the Indianapolis Ice of the IHL, but with a strong 2,54 goals against and a 4-1-2 record. Additionally, he would go 3-1 in four playoff games, sharing time with Waite, who went 9-1 as the Ice would capture the Turner Cup as IHL champions.

Those playoff appearances would prove to be Pang's final games, as he would suffer a career ending knee injury during training camp the following season which sent him on a new path as a successful and popular broadcaster, which he is now better known for than being a goaltender.

Pang announcer, Pang announcer

Today's featured jersey is a 1987-88 Chicago Blackhawks Darren Pang jersey as worn during Pang's first full season with the Blackhawks when he led the team in appearances, wins and goals against average, which included his first NHL win on this day in 1987. This jersey is distinguished from the following season's jersey by the Gunzo's branding on the back, who were the customizers of the Blackhawks jerseys at the time.

During this time period there were a few other clubs who displayed logos from their customizers on their jerseys, such as the Minnesota North Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues.

Chicago Blackhawks 87-88 jersey, Chicago Blackhawks 87-88 jersey
Chicago Blackhawks 87-88 jersey, Chicago Blackhawks 87-88 jersey

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1985-86 Saginaw Generals Darren Pang jersey. The one feature of this jersey we noticed right away was how the numbers on the back are placed so high that it forces the nameplate up into the blue shoulder yoke.

The Generals relocated from their previous home in Flint in 1985 and changed their name to the Saginaw Hawks to strengthen their tie to their parent club, the Chicago Blackhawks, meaning the Saginaw Generals name only was used for Pang's two seasons with the Generals.

Saginaw Generals 85-86 jersey, Saginaw Generals 85-86 jersey
Saginaw Generals 85-86 jersey, Saginaw Generals 85-86 jersey

Extra Bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1988-89 Sagniaw Hawks Darren Pang jersey. Looking nearly identical to the parent club in Chicago, this jersey is set apart from the NHL's Blackhawks by the "S" logo with crossed tomahawks shoulder patches.

In addition, this jersey has been widened with fabric panels sewn into the sides of the body, which cause the waist striping to come to a halt on both sides rather than wrapping all the way around the jersey as it normally would. Unusually, the side panels to increase the body width also extend all the way down the length of the arms! This is especially evident with the wide black cuffs at the wrists coming to a halt.

We wonder just how small this jersey was to begin with that not only the body had to be modified for someone as small as Pang, even while wearing goalie gear, but that the arms needed the same treatment. It's certainly one of the most unusual modifications we've seen to a jersey.

Saginaw Hawks 1988-89 jersey photo SaginawHawks1988-89Fjersey.jpg
Saginaw Hawks 1988-89 jersey photo SaginawHawks1988-89Bjersey.jpg

In today's video segment, Pang shows he's still got the quick reflexes he displayed as a goaltender when he snares and errant puck while reporting from between the benches during a broadcast.


Here "Panger" demonstrates his fun personality that has made him so popular as a broadcaster as he embraces his small stature.


Friday, October 17, 2014

1989-90 Calgary Flames Doug Gilmour Jersey

On this date in 1989, the Calgary Flames travelled to Le Colisée to take on the Quebec Nordiques.

1989-90 Calgary Flames team photo 1989-90CalgaryFlamesteam.jpg
The 1989-90 Calgary Flames

Rick Wamsely got the start in goal for the Flames while Stephane Fiset was the starter for the home team.

Fiset Nordiques photo FisetNordiques2.jpg
Stephane Fiset got the start in goal for Quebec

The Nordiques opened the scoring at 4:26 with a goal from Darin Kimble, his first of the still early season from Claude Loiselle and Greg Adams. Just over three minutes later, Curtis Leschyshyn made it 2-0 for the Nordiques  from Marc Fortier and Daniel Dore at 7:31 on a power play. Less than one minute later Wamsley's night was over when he was pulled after Michel Goulet converted another power play opportunity from Joe Sakic and Mario Marios at 8:29. Mike Vernon then came on in relief of Wamsley, who had given up 3 goals and 6 shots.

Vernon Flames photo VernonFlames.jpg
Mike Vernon entered the game in relief

Gary Suter stopped the bleeding for Calgary at 9:44 from Joe Mullen and Doug Gilmour at even strength. Peter Stastny restored the Nordiques three goal lead when he beat Vernon at 15:03 from Michel Petit and Finland's Iiro Jarvi, also at even strength to close out a great first period for the host Nordiques, who led 4-1 at the break.

Calgary wasted little time in the second period letting the Nordiques they would not be going away quietly when Joel Otto scored after just 37 seconds from Suter and  Mullen. Joe Nieuwendyk then pulled the Flames within a goal when he beat Fiset at 6:13 from Al MacInnis and Soviet Sergei Makarov at even strength.

The Nordiques then capitalized on a five minute major and game misconduct to the Flames Theo Fleury for drawing blood while highsticking. First, Guy Lafleur scored at 14:31 from Jeff Brown and Joe Cirella followed by Stastny restoring the three goal lead for Quebec from Brown and Dore just 28 seconds later. The final five minutes passed with no additional goals, leaving the Nordiques ahead 6-3 after two.

At 7:35 of the third, Cirella put the Nordiques up by 4 before Brown made it a 5 goal lead at 11:27, with both goals being assisted by Stastny and Jarvi.

Now leading 8-3 with seven minutes remaining, things were looking good for Quebec, so there was likely little concern when Gary Roberts scored an even strength goal for the Fames from Makarov and Rick Nattress at 13:27 to cut the lead to 8-4. Eyebrows might have been raised when Roberts scored again 16 seconds later from Makarov and Nieuwendyk but when Jim Peplinski beat Fiset for the Flames third goal in just 27 seconds (from Paul Ranheim and MacInnis) to close the gap to 2, the Nordiques knew they once again had a game on their hands.

Roberts Flames photo RobertsFlames.jpg
Roberts scored twice in 16 seconds

When Cirella was whistled for a penalty for Quebec at 15:07, tensions must have risen among the home 15,391 fans, but throats must have really tightened when Marois was sent off while helping kill Cirella's penalty at 16:55, creating a brief two-man advantage for Calgary. Tables then turned when MacInnis found himself in the box for the Flames just as Cirella's penalty was set to expire, negating the Calgary advantage from Marios' penalty.

As time was winding down, the Flames hopes were dealt a severe blow when Roberts was given a double minor and a game misconduct at 19:41 while the Nordiques' Cirella received a single minor for his part in the fracas - leaving Calgary shorthanded for the final 19 seconds of the game and still trailing by 2.

Right off the ensuing faceoff and with Vernon having been pulled for an extra attacker, Gilmour lit the lamp from Otto and MacInnis at 19:45 - shorthanded - to reduce the once 5 goal advantage to 1 with 15 seconds to play.

Gilmour Flames photo GilmourFlames.jpg
Gilmour scored shorthanded for Calgary

Then, from a center ice faceoff, somehow, Gilmour won the draw and got the puck to Ranheim who beat Fiset with a wrist shot from the top of the slot - with the Flames still shorthanded -  for the fifth time in 2:22 just four seconds after Gilmour's goal to complete the amazing Flames comeback. The two goals four seconds apart not surprisingly set an NHL record for the Fastest Two Shorthanded Goals in league history.

Ranheim Flames photo RanheimFlames.jpg
Ranheim's goal tied the game and set an NHL record

The overtime passed without any additional scoring, leaving each team with a point from the unfathomable 8-8 draw, which no one saw coming with the road team down by 5 with under seven minutes to play.

None of the goalies acquitted themselves very well, with Vernon finishing with 17 saves on 22 shots in 56:24 and Fiset, who somehow managed to stay in the game after giving up three in 27 seconds, made 27 saves on 35 shots.

The Flames would go on to win the Smythe division with a 42-23-15 record but were bounced in the first round of the playoffs, while the Nordiques had a dismal season at 12-61-7 for 31 points, making them the doormat of the league, finishing a full 33 points back of the second worst team.

Today's featured jersey is a 1989-90 Calgary Flames Doug Gilmour jersey. That season was the Flames 10th season in Calgary and they marked the occasion by wearing a patch on their upper left arm.

The Flames moved to Calgary from Atlanta back in 1980. They simply retained the same jerseys worn in Atlanta, only with the logo changed from a flaming A to a flaming C. This style would remain unchanged through the 1993-94 season before being replaced with a new style after a long 14 year run.

This style was then revived by the club as a throwback jersey in 2009-10 for their 30th anniversary season a pleasing and well received return tat prompted the team to make it their alternate through the 2012-13 season.

Calgary Flames 1989-90 jersey photo CalgaryFlames1989-90jersey.jpg
Flames 10th Anniversary patch photo Flames10thpatch.jpg

Today's video selection is a compilation of goals by Glimour when he was a member of the Flames.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

1972-73 Toronto Maple Leafs Norm Ullman Jersey

After a single appearances in both the regular season and the playoffs as a 17 year old, Norm Ullman roared onto the scene in 1952-53 by scoring 76 points in just 36 games for the Edmonton Oil Kings. He raised his game to another level in 1953-54 with 56 goals and 101 points, again in just 36 games, an average of 1.5 goals and 2.8 points per game. Not content with those gaudy numbers, Ullman added another 11 goals and 37 points in 10 playoff games as the Oil Kings reached the Memorial Cup Finals.

Ullman Oil Kings photo UllmanOilKings.jpg
Ullman from his junior hockey days with the Oil Kings

After playing one season for the Edmonton Flyers of the Western Hockey League, scoring 59 points in 60 games, Ullman showed he was ready for the NHL and made his debut with the Detroit Red Wings in the 1955-56 season. He would play in 66 of the Red Wings 70 games, scoring a modest 18 points. He also appeared in an additional 10 playoff contests as Detroit made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Ullman Red Wings photo UllmanDetroit2.jpg

Ullman found his stride the following year with 52 points in 64 games and never looked back. The following season of 1957-58 saw Ullman's first 20 goal season with 23, beginning a streak of at least 21 goals which would eventually reach 11 consecutive seasons. In addition he led the Red Wings in goals in 1961, 1965 and 1966. He was known as an excellent stickhandler and a tenacious forechecker, which no doubt helped him in the scoring column.

Ullman Red Wings photo UllmanDetroit3.jpg

After seven seasons of scoring goals in the 20's, Ullman put together a career season in 1964-65 when he doubled his previous season's output with 42 goals to lead the NHL with three more than Bobby Hull and 13 more than third place and teammate Gordie Howe. In the overall race, Ullman came in second with 83 points to Stan Mikita's 87.

Ullman Red Wings photo UllmanDetroit1.jpg
Ullman faces off against fellow center Makita

While the Red Wings made it to the Stanley Cup Finals five times during Ullman's 13 seasons in Detroit, they were never able to win the cup, which was won by Montreal or Toronto all but one time.

Despite having 30 goals for Detroit after just 58 games in 1967-68, Ullman was traded to the defending Stanley Cup champions Toronto in a blockbuster deal that sent Paul Henderson and Floyd Smith to the Maple Leafs in exchange for star Frank Mahovlich, Pete Stemkowski, Garry Unger and Carl Brewer.

Ullman would score an additional 5 goals for the Maple Leafs in their remaining 13 games for a total of 35, the second highest of his career despite the shock of being traded. Another 35 goals followed in 1968-69 (when he led the club with 77 points) and he scored 34 more in 1970-71 when he set an NHL career best 85 points to lead the Maple Leafs in scoring for the second time, a season which included two assists on this date in 1971 to make him only the fifth player in NHL history to score 1,000 career points, joining Howe, Jean Beliveau, former Detroit linemate Alex Delvecchio, and Hull in the exclusive club.

Ullman Maple Leafs photo UllmanToronto.jpg

After eight seasons in Toronto, which concluded with a decidedly down season of just 35 points and 9 goals, which ended his streak of 20 goal seasons, Ullman's career came full circle as he returned to Edmonton in his native Alberta for 1975-76 when he signed to play for the Edmonton Oilers of the WHA who were more than happy to have the services of his veteran leadership.

Ullman Oilers photo UllmanOilers.jpg
Ullman back in Edmonton with the Oilers

The freewheeling style of the WHA rejuvenated Ullman's game and he immediately led the Oilers with 87 points from 31 goals and 56 assists. He would play one final season in Edmonton before retiring after 22 seasons as a pro. His final NHL totals were 490 goals and 739 assists for 1,229 points in 1,410 games. He added another 47 goals and 130 points in two WHA seasons and certainly would have been a 500 goal scorer in the NHL had he not switched over to the WHA.

Ullman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982.

Today's featured jersey is a 1972-73 Toronto Maple Leafs Norm Ullman jersey. The Maple Leafs adopted this style in 1970, only with a laceup collar. They changed to today's v-neck style for the 1972-73 season before returning to the laceup collar for the next two seasons as Ullman's career with the Maple Leafs concluded.

After Toronto returned to using the v-neck collar in 1975-76, the jersey continued a long run through the 1991-92 season with the only change being the contentious addition of names on the back of th e road jerseys in 1977 and the whites in 1978. Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard feared names on the back would harm program sales and famously protested the NHL rule by putting navy blue names on their navy blue jerseys!

 photo TorontoMapleLeafsjersey.jpg

Here is Ullman with Maple Leafs teammate Darryl Sittler in a commercial for some sort of breakfast sponge.


In this video, Tiger Williams, Lanny MacDonald and Ullman are honored in Toronto and conduct the ceremonial puck drop.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

1970-71 Buffalo Sabres Roger Crozier Jersey

The Buffalo Sabres were granted an NHL franchise in December of 1969 to begin play in the 1970-71 season. Punch Imlach was hired to build the team and immediately set out to assemble a scouting staff for the upcoming draft six months later.

Northrup and  Seymour Knox with Punch Imlauch photo NorthrupandSeymourKnoxwithPunchImlauch.jpg
Northrup and Seymour Knox with Punch Imlauch

On June 10, 1970, the Sabres and fellow expansion club the Vancouver Canucks participated in the expansion draft, which Imlach said "wasn't a very enticing prospect", as the existing 12 clubs could protect fifteen players plus two goalies, meaning the best the Sabres could hope for was the 16th best player from any club. To make matters worse, once a team lost a player, they could protect another, which meant the Sabres and Canucks would then be choosing the 18th best player at best. In addition, first-year players were exempt as well. Montreal, for an extreme example, was able to protect fifteen players and two goalies, plus an additional 12 players and Boston was in a position to protect eight additional beyond the prescribed 15, leaving nothing but scraps for the Sabres and Canucks in the first phase of attempting to put a respectable team on the ice.

Thus, their hopes of getting some noteworthy talent focused on the Amateur Draft held the next day. There was still the matter of deciding if Buffalo or Vancouver would have the first pick, which was usually decided by a coin toss, but Imlach explains in his book "Heaven and Hell in the NHL",
"For some reason, perhaps because it made better television, the NHL substituted a big jeezly wheel, the kind you see on the midway. It was numbered one to twelve.
 photo ClarenceCampbellspinsthewheel.png
Clarence Campbell and his big jeezly wheel 
I won a toss to see who picked what numbers for the main spin. I chose the top ones. There was a hell of a crowd in the ballroom at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, everyone in hockey there. When the first spin of the wheel stopped at eight, I had won first choice in the expansion draft. Everybody at our table cheered. But now came the big one."

Clarence Campbell spun the wheel. When it stopped, he looked at the winning number and announced "Number one! Vancouver wins first choice in the amateur draft!"

But I was on my feet and so was everybody at our table, pointing and yelling, "Eleven! Eleven!"

Clarence took another look. The digits in the double figures were one above the other.

It's always amused me that Clarence didn't say, "I've made a mistake." He said, "There has been a mistake. The winning number is eleven..." the rest was drowned out in the wild uproar, not only at our table, but through the room, with only Vancouver and it's supporters remaining quiet. Even glum."
Prior to the expansion and amateur drafts, the Sabres had acquired a few players, but no one anyone was interested in trading for. But now in position to pick first in the expansion draft, Sid Abel of the Detroit Red Wings approached Inlach with a proposal. Abel was coveting Tom Webster, a 21 year old right winger who the Bruins had left unprotected. Imlach continues,
"But this night when [Abel] saw me, it was only a few hours after I'd won first choice in the expansion draft. He hooked his arm though mine and said so the guys with me could hear, "Come with me, Punch. I want to give you something."

"I'll bet you do!" I said.

We walked to a quite corner.

"Look, you know Tom Webster?"

"Yeah." The protected lists were out and Webster was not protected. Detroit wanted him, badly. Obviously.

"If you'll pick Webster first, we'll trade you Roger Crozier for him," Abel said.

Music! Whatever else we got in the draft, we just had to come up with an NHL goalkeeper. But Crozier was beyond my wildest dreams. He had won the rookie award in his first full year, the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs a year later and had a low 2.65 goals against average in the season just ended. But he wasn't happy in Detroit and they though he was sick too much. That's when you can get a guy.

"You got a deal!" I told Abel.
With the goaltending position now addressed and his plan to select Gilbert Perreault in the amateur draft lined up, Imlach took defensemen with four of his next five picks before going after the best skaters and scorers he could get in an effort to provide the public in Buffalo an exciting as possible product.

The opportunity to provide the public in Buffalo that product finally arrived on this date in 1970, when the Sabres played their first ever home game in the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.

Buffalo Memorial Auditorium The Aud

"We hadn't been able to get the balcony built for that season. We didn't even have our own dressing room," Imlach recalled.

The Sabres had already won their debut game on the road in Pittsburgh 2-1 and lost in New York to the Rangers 3-0 before returning home to face the Montreal Canadiens.
"They played that funny game where they don't let you have the puck. I remember before the game, at the reception the Knoxes threw for opening night, somebody said that everybody there would do anything they could to help the Knoxes, except play goal. The game that night show how true that was. Roger Crozier was just magnificent in our goal, but they outshot us 44-14 and beat us 3-0."
While it may have been the Sabres first game in "The Aud", it was far from the first event ever held there, as Memorial Auditorium opened thirty years and a day earlier on October 14, 1940 and it's first tenant was the AHL's Buffalo Bisons hockey team until the arrival of the Sabres in 1970. Also calling The Aud home beginning in 1970 were the Buffalo Braves of the NBA as well as indoor lacrosse, soccer and roller hockey teams and the usual concerts, rodeos and circuses.

To accomodate the arrival of the Sabres and Braves, the roof of the arena was raised 24 feet to make room for a new upper level of seating which raised the capacity for hockey from 12,280 to 15,858. Later renovations pushed that total to 16,433 seats and air conditioning was added in 1990 to try to modernize the building until a new arena could be funded and constructed.

The air conditioning would also prevent another occurrence of an incident in 1975 when a playoff game in the spring was plagued by a thick fog forming on the ice as a result of a sold out building and the warm weather outside heating up the building too much.

1975 Buffalo Fog Game
"The Fog Game" during the 1975 playoffs

The Aud remained in use until 1996 and was not demolished until 2009.

Today's featured jersey is a 1970-71 Buffalo Sabres Roger Crozier jersey. The original Sabres jerseys featured a lace-up collar and no names on the back until mandated by the league in 1977. This style lasted as long as the Sabres played in The Aud, and were replaced by a new buffalo head logo as well as a radical change in color scheme from blue and gold to black and red with the move to their new arena.

Crozier had actually played for the Buffalo Bisons in the AHL prior to his making the jump to the NHL with the Red Wings in 1963. Following his trade to the expansion Sabres, he would return to Buffalo and The Aud for six seasons before closing out his career with a brief stint of three games with the Washington Capitals in 1976. He was the first member inducted in the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame in 1980.

Buffalo Sabres 70-71 jersey

Our first video today is the spin of the wheel that (eventually) landed Buffalo the rights to draft Gilbert Perrault - once Campbell corrected his mistaken announcement that the winning number was 1 and not 11, not coincidentally Perrault's eventual jersey number.


This video tribute to the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium includes footage of the game winning goal for the Sabres from "The Fog Game" and Wayne Gretzky breaking the single season goal scoring record of 76.


Our final video today is the final minute of the last game ever played at The Aud.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

1996-97 HC CSKA Moscow Alexei Kasatonov Jersey

Born on this date in 1959 in what was then known as Leningrad in the Soviet Union, Alexei Kasatononv played seven seasons in the NHL following a 15 year career in the Soviet Elite League.

His career began with SKA Leningrad in 1976-77 for two seasons after which the defenseman moved to CSKA Moscow, known more commonly to North American's as the Soviet Central Red Army Hockey Club, where all the finest players in the Soviet Union migrated towards.

Kasatonov played for CSKA Moscow from the 1978-79 season through 1989-90, winning 11 consecutive Soviet League Championships from 1979 to 1989 and 12 consecutive European Cups. While a member of Red Army, he scored a high of 18 goals in 1984-85 and a best 27 assists and 39 points in 1981-82 in a league where the season was between 40 and 50 games long.

Alexi Kasatonov
Kasatonov with CSKA Moscow

As a member of CSKA Moscow, he was also a long-time member of the Soviet National Team, which naturally was primarily comprised of players from the most dominant club in the land.

Kasatonov CCCP photo KasatonovCCCP.jpg
Kasatonov in the mid 1980's on the Soviet National Team

While playing for his country, Kasatonov won gold medals at the World Championships in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986 and 1989 and a silver medal in the 1980 and gold medals in both the 1984 and 1988 Olympics as a member of the famed "Green Unit" with Slava Fetisov, Sergei Makarov, Igor Larionov and Vladimir Krutov.

Soviet Green Unit
The "Green Unit"

Following the conclusion of the 1989-90 Soviet season, Kasatonov was allowed to join the New Jersey Devils of the NHL, where he would be reunited with former Red Army teammate Fetisov for the second half of the NHL sechedule. Kasatonov's first NHL season comprised 39 games in which he scored 6 goals and 21 points while acclimating to life in North America, which was often a difficult proposition for Soviet players in those days.

Kasatonov Devils photo KasatonovDevils.jpg

Kasatonov now in the NHL with New Jersey


The NHL game agreed with Kasatonov though, and he scored 41 and 40 points the next two seasons while playing 78 and 76 games, with 14 additional playoff games added on, for a total of 168 over two seasons, when compared to the perhaps 120 he was accustomed to. He was limited to 64 games and saw his point total drop precipitously to just 17 in 1992-93, which saw the 34 year old left unprotected in the 1993 NHL Expansion Draft and subsequently claimed by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Kasatonov played 55 games for the Mighty Ducks and appear in the 1994 NHL All-Star Game prior to being traded to the St. Louis Blues in late March of 1994 wher he would play just 8 games with the Blues.

He returned to CSKA Moscow for nine games during the work stoppage of 1994, and once the NHL season began, he began play with the Boston Bruins, with whom he had signed as a free agent. The following season Kasatonov played 19 games with Boston and 16 games with Providence of the AHL.

He returned to Russia for one last season with CSKA Moscow in 1996-97 before his retirement as a professional.

HIs final NHL totals were 38 goals and 122 assists for 160 points in 383 games, and combined, he scored 200 goals and 627 points in 1128 games.

Kasatonov was named a "Honored Master of Sport" in Russia and was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2009.

Alexi Kasatonov
Kasatonov's induction to the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2009

Today's featured jersey is a 1996-97 HC CSKA Moscow Alexei Kasatonov jersey. This jersey is from Kasatonov's final season when he returned to Russia following the conclusion of his NHL career. Note the name on the back in Cyrillic lettering.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the government funding of the once all-conquering CSKA Moscow disappeared and the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL entered into a business partnership with the club, which was often referred to as "the Russian Penguins" during this time period as a penguin was integrated into the club's identity.

After two seasons of attempting to run the once mighty Soviet club with their NHL marketing savvy, the Russians figured they had learned all they needed to know, and felt they could run the show themselves without having to give Pittsburgh a 50% cut of the profits. The North Americans were only too happy to head home, having had enough close calls with the meddlesome Russian Mafia, who not only kicked the team's sponsors out of their "Super Boxes", but were responsible for the assassinations of as many as three of the team's staff!

In 1995-96, all the multinational sponsors pulled out, CSKA were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round and the team had the water and electricity turned off before being locked out of their own arena. In the upheaval afterwards, long-time CKSA head coach Viktor Tikhonov was ousted and responded by forming his own, incredibly similarly named team, HC CKSA Moscow!

While the original CSKA Moscow "Red Army" club returned to their previous star logo, the upstart new HC CSKA Moscow adopted the "Russian Penguin" identity as their own, creating much confusion among jersey collectors, as the Penguin logo was used for eight consecutive seasons, but by two separate, but nearly identically named clubs.

The CSKA Moscow "Russian Penguins" jerseys were red with black and white trim. The HC CSKA Moscow "Russian Penguins" jerseys were also red with black and white trim with LG sponsorship and the letters XK (Cyrillic for HC to differentiate themselves from CSKA Moscow) added to the upper chest of the penguin logo before a change to red jerseys with blue and white trim as shown in today's featured jersey.

After six seasons of two separate "Red Army" clubs, they were merged for the 2002-03 season, bringing to an end the use of the Russian Penguins logo.

Russian Penguins 96-97 jersey
Russian Penguins 96-97 jersey

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1993-94 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Alexei Kasatonov jersey as worn during the Mighty Ducks inaugural season in which Kasatonov played 55 games before being traded to the St. Louis Blues.

Mighty Ducks 93-94 jersey
Mighty Ducks 93-94 jersey

In today's video segment, a look at Kasatonov's career and his life after retiring from hockey, which includes coaching hockey in America.


Here, Kasatonov discusses the "Miracle on Ice" 25 years later.


Finally, while playing for the Soviet National Team, Kasatonov scores against Grant Fuhr and the NHL All-Stars during Rendez-Vous '87.


Monday, October 13, 2014

1947 NHL All-Star Game Edgar Laprade Jersey

While there had been three benefit and memorial games held throughout the 1930's, the first official NHL All-Star Game took place on this date in 1947 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.

From 1947 through 1965 the game took place just prior to the start of the season, rather than it's current mid-season location adopted in 1967. The original format for the game, which featured the defending Stanley Cup champions taking on a team comprised of players from the other five clubs, was necessitated by the limited number of teams in the NHL at the time.

In honor of the occasion, the wire fencing surrounding the rink was replaced by glass and a new tradition was started where they defending champions were showered with gifts from sponsors and given lifetime passes to Maple Leaf Gardens. It didn't hurt that the defending champions that season were the Maple Leafs!

1946-47 Toronto Maple Leafs
The 1947 Stanley Cup Champion Toronto Maple Leafs

The All-Stars were comprised of four members of the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens and three each from the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Black Hawks and New York Rangers

1947 NHL All-Stars
The 1947 NHL All-Star Team

Harry Watson of Toronto opened the scoring at 12:29 of the first period and Bill Ezinicki extended their lead to 2-0 with assists from Syl Apps and Watson at 1:03 of the second.

Chicago's Max Bentley kept the All-Stars in the game with a response at 4:39 from Ken Reardon of Montreal only to have Apps restore the two goal margin just 22 seconds later on Watson's second assist of the period. Grant Warwick of the Rangers took the Toronto lead down to one when he scored at 9:25 of the second from Rangers teammate Edgar Laprade and Reardon.

The Canadiens' Maurice Richard's unassisted goal just 28 seconds into the third evened the score at 3-3 before Max Bentley's brother Doug Bentley, also from Chicago, put the All-Stars ahead to stay with his goal from Boston's Milt Schmidt and Richard at the 1:26 mark.

The remainder of the game would be played scoreless, giving Frank Brimsek of the Bruin's the win in goal while Turk Broda took the loss for the Maple Leafs in front of 14,169 fans.

1947 NHL All-Stars reunion in 2000
The reunion of the original All-Star Game players in 2000 at
the 50th NHL All-Star Game, also held in Toronto

Today's featured jersey is a 1947 NHL All-Star Edgar Laprade jersey. The All-Stars wore these red sweaters while Toronto wore their white ones. This style of All-Star jersey would remain in use through 1954 until a change in NHL policy saw the home teams now wearing their dark jerseys, which led to a change to a white version of this jersey for the All-Stars until a new design was finally adopted in 1960. This style jersey was revived for the 1993 NHL All-Star Game in Philadelphia during the NHL's 75th Anniversary season.

Laprade spent his entire NHL career with the Rangers from 1945 to 1955, which included winning the Calder Trophy in 1946 and the Lady Byng Trophy in 1950. His career highs were 22 goals in 1949-50 and 34 assists and 47 points in 1947-48. His 34 assists were third in the league that season. He led the Rangers in scoring in 1949-50 and was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.

NHL All-Star 1947

2000-01 Columbus Blue Jackets Lyle Odelein Jersey

Christopher Columbus left on his first voyage of exploration seeking a westerly route to southeast Asia on August 3, 1492 from Spain with three ships, the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, on a voyage which would first take him to the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa for supplies and repairs. This was followed by a five week voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, arriving in what is now The Bahamas near Florida and Cuba on October 12, 1492. In the United States, Columbus Day is now celebrated on the second Monday in October.

Christopher Columbus, Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus

Columbus continued to explore the region through the middle of January before returning to first Portugal and then Spain, having believed he had been in the East Indies off of southeast Asia the entire time, having both underestimated the size of the Earth and overestimated the size of Asia, partly due to different systems of measurement in use during his time, despite scholars having calculated the size of Earth as far back as 300 BC, 1800 years earlier,

1400 Map, 1400 Map
The world as it was known in the time of Columbus.
The land mass in the lower left is Antarctica.

He returned to colonize the region during his second voyage in late 1493, still believing that Cuba was a peninsula of the Asian continent, and made his third trip in 1498, which included his first stop on the mainland of South America. His fourth and final voyage took place in 1502, which included extensive exploration of the east coast of southern Central America. With his ships battered by storms and attacks by the natives, Columbus and his men were eventually stranded on Jamaica for a year before aid eventually arrive. He and his crew were finally able to return to Spain where he died on May 20, 1506 at the estimated age of 54.

While the North and South American continents were eventually named after Italian Amerigo Vespucci, Columbus was honored as a founding figure of the New World and many places were named either "Columbia" or "Columbus" in his honor following the American Revolution in the 1770's, including the District of Columbia, Columbia, the capital city of South Carolina, and the capital of Ohio, Columbus, which is now home to the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL.

Columbus Day became a federal holiday in the United States in 1937 in part due to the efforts of the fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus, although Columbus' arrival has been celebrated back to colonial times. It's particularly popular among Italian-Americans who see it as a celebration of their heritage, which dates back to 1866 in New York City.

Columbus Day Parade, Columbus Day Parade
The New York City Columbus Day Parade

In recent times, opposition has arisen to Columbus Day, as Columbus has come under not only criticism for his treatment of the indigenous people he personally encountered, but also due to his becoming symbolic of the devastating diseases brought to the New World by the Europeans and the treatment and genocide of the local populations by the Europeans who colonized the American continents following his arrival, despite Columbus never having stepped foot on the North American mainland.

The Columbus NHL franchise, founded in 2000, selected the name "Blue Jackets", a nickname for the Union soldiers in the Civil War, to honor the contributions made by the state of Ohio during the war, which included Ohio contributing more of it's population to the Union Army than any other state and the fact that many of the Union uniforms were manufactured in Columbus.

Life for the Blue Jackets in the NHL has been a rough go, as they finished last in the Central Division in each of it's first three seasons and averaging only 69 points in it's first seven seasons, missing the playoffs each time out.

After a 92 point season in 2008-09, the Blue Jackets made the playoffs for the only time in franchise history, only to be swept in four games by the Detroit Red Wings. That glimmer of hope was subsequently dashed as the franchise sank back to the depths of last place with 65 points in 2011-12, which was then followed by losing the draft lottery and missing out on the first overall pick in 2012.

The franchise's all-time leading scorer by far is Rick Nash, who arrived in time for the 2002-03 season after being drafted #1 overall in the 2002 Entry Draft. His 547 points are currently 230 more than David Vyborny and 349 more than third place R. J. Umberger's 198! Nash tied for the league lead in goals with 41 during the 2003-04 season, earning a share of the Rocket Richard Trophy. Goaltender Steve Mason earned the Calder Memorial Trophy for his stellar debut season in 2008-09.

Rick Nash, Rick Nash
The former face of the Blue Jackets franchise, Rick Nash

Today's featured jersey is a 2000-01 Columbus Blue Jackets Lyle Odelein jersey. It features the Blue Jackets Inaugural Season patch, as well as one of our custom made Hockey Fights Cancer patches. Odelein was selected by the Blue Jackets in the 2000 expansion draft and later named the first captain of the franchise.

The Hockey Fights Cancer patch was first worn by the captain of each team for one game only in January of 2001. The patches from 2001 do not carry the date, as they did in the subsequent three years of the program. Each specially patched game worn jersey would then be auctioned off for charity as part of the festivities at that year's NHL All-Star Game to raise money for cancer research.

Columbus Blue Jackets 2000-01 jersey photo ColumbusBlueJackets2000-01F-1.jpg
Columbus Blue Jackets 2000-01 jersey photo ColumbusBlueJackets2000-01B-1.jpg
Columbus Blue Jackets 2000-01 jersey photo ColumbusBlueJackets2000-01P1-1.jpgaaaColumbus Blue Jackets 2000-01 jersey photo ColumbusBlueJackets2000-01P2-1.jpg

Today's video section begins with highlights of the Columbus Blue Jackets in action.


Next up, the basics of the Christopher Columbus story as told by a real cool hep-cat.


 

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