Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fool's Day - 1994-95 Jokerit Helsinki Teemu Selanne Jersey

It only seems appropriate to feature a club on April Fool's Day named the "Jokers". 

Founded in 1967 in Helsinki, Finland when Aimo Mäkinen saw the opportunity to establish a semi-professional sports club following the demise of the Töölön Vesa sports club hockey team, Mäkinen paid half of Vesa's hockey related debts and received all the previous club's assets, including their junior players and a spot in the second highest Finnish league, the Suomi-sarja, for his new club which he named "Jokerit", which is Finnish for "Jokers" and whose name and logo were inspired by the joker from a deck of playing cards.

Jokerit Helsinki logo

Two years after it's founding, Jokerit would earn promotion to the top level of Finnish hockey, the SM-sarja. Once accomplished, Mäkinen began aggressively adding star players to his roster. With rules changing allowing bodychecking in 1969, hockey in Finland underwent a change to a more physical style, which then coach Matti Lampainen felt was unsuitable for the roster he had at the time. He guided his club toward a more clever and tactical style which paid off with a championship in 1973.

The club would pass through several ownerships during the 1980's and an infusion of young talent at the end of the decade, such as defenseman Waltteri Immonen, who would captain the team from 1991-1999, Mika Strömberg, the club's all-time highest scoring defenseman, Ari Sulander, their main goaltender from 1993-1998 and Teemu Selänne, who would go on to set NHL rookie scoring records and eventually score 600 NHL goals, would return the club quickly to the top level, now called the SM-liiga, after having been relegated in 1987.

With their ownership now settled by 1991, the club became the wealthiest in Finland, which led to a dynasty that captured the Finnish championship in 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1997.

Jokerit 1997 photo Jokerit1997.jpg
Petri Varis, Otakar Janecký and Juha Lind celebrate
Jokerit's league championship in 1997

In addition to their Finnish titles, the club has also captured the European Cup in 1995 and 1996 and moved into their new home, the Hartwall Areena in 1997.

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Kurri and Selänne hoist Immomen in celebration of the 1995 European Cup

The club's sixth championship would come in 2002 behind the goaltending of Kari Lehtonen.

When the Jokerit celebrated their 40th anniversary season in 2007-08 they retired the jersey of former star Jari Kurri, who originally played for the team from 1977-80 and again during the NHL lockout of 1994.

In addition to their six Finnish championships, Jokerit have finished second in 1971, 1983, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2007 and won the Continental Cup in 2003.

Jokerit has also left it's mark on the NHL, with the only two Finns in NHL history to have scored 1,000 points, Kurri and Selänne, having started with Jokerit.

Other Jokerit players to have gone onto NHL careers include, Ossi Väänänen, Lehtonen, Sean Bergenheim, Valtteri Filppula, Erik Karlsson, Ville Leino, Tuomo Ruutu, and Esa Tikkanen.

Valtteri Filppula Jokerit photo ValtteriFilppulaJokerit.jpg
Valtteri Filppula

With Russian investors now owning a 49% share of Jokerit, as well as now owning Hartwall Arena, Jokerit became the first club from Scandinavia to join the primarily Russian KHL for the 2014-15 season, which began not only a new era for the club, but the KHL itself.

Jokerit finished fourth in the Western Conference with a 40-20 record. They won their first KHL playoff series, defeating Dynamo Minsk 4 games to 1 before falling 4-1 to CSKA Moscow, the team which had the best overall record in the league.

Today's featured jersey is a 1994-95 Jokerit Helsinki Teemu Selänne jersey. Selänne returned to Jokerit during the NHL lockout, along with Jari Kurri, and was a part of the 1995 European Cup winning team.

This jersey has the Tackla diamond shapes on the shoulders and the usual European sponsorship logos along with the oh-so-1990's magenta and teal color scheme, not to mention the yellow numbers, which makes for a very distinctive and gaudy look - more fitting for a jester than a professional athlete. Still, the club enjoyed a terrific run of  success during the time of this color scheme, even if it did become dated very quickly.

The original jerseys were all dye-sublimated, but this replica example was expertly customized with the same and numbers in twill as well as the impressive rendition of the Karjala sponsorship on the back with heat-sealed material to match the font used on the front sublimated logo. The Carrols patch on the front was one of our custom made patches that was then also sewn on to complete the look of this most distinctive jersey.

On a personal note, we wore this jersey to a Anaheim Ducks game in the spring of 2013 and stood out enough in it's loud colors that we were given a puck by Selänne during warmups!

Finland Jokerit Helsinki 1991-92 jersey photo FinlandJokeritHelsinki1991-92F.jpg
Finland Jokerit Helsinki 1991-92 jersey photo FinlandJokeritHelsinki1991-92B.jpg

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2005-06 Jokerit Helsinki Tero Konttinen jersey. While the 1990's Jokerit jerseys may have been memorable for their garish coloring, the club did themselves a great favor at the turn of the century when they adopted navy blue, red and yellow as their color palette. After using the same striping pattern as the Russian National Team, in 2003-04 the club copied the NHL's Florida Panthers 1998-2003 alternate jerseys, sans waist striping to good effect. This jersey style remained in use, albeit with an ever evolving set of sponsorship logos, through the 2007-08 season.

Finland Jokerit Helsinki 2005-06 jersey photo FinlandJokeritHelsinki2005-06F.jpg
Finland Jokerit Helsinki 2005-06 jersey photo FinlandJokeritHelsinki2005-06B.jpg

Our first video of today is footage of Jokerit during the 1992 SM-liiga Finals.


Our second video features rabid Jokerit supporters in footage from 2006.

Friday, March 31, 2017

1972-73 Los Angeles Kings Butch Goring Jersey

Drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft, Butch Goring split his first two seasons between the Kings and their minor league affiliate, the Springfield Kings of the AHL. During his first season with Los Angeles Goring scored 13 goals and 36 points in 59 games and a whopping 8 penalty minutes, setting the tone for the remainder of his career.

In 1971-72, Goring became a full-time NHLer, playing 74 games exclusively with Los Angeles. He registered exactly 50 points that season and a mere 2 penalty minutes.

Goring Kings

He bettered his point totals in 1972-73 when he set new personal bests with 28 goals and 31 assists for 59 points and, on this date in 1973 in the Kings final game of the season, Goring scored a goal and an assist, but more notably, he was whistled for his only penalty of the entire season midway through the game!

1973-74 saw Goring better his point total by 2 with 61 and again received but one penalty the whole season, his third consecutive season with but a single penalty.

Over the course of the next five seasons Goring would remain a model of consistency, playing in 398 out of a possible 400 games while setting new personal highs in points three times, finally topping out at 87 in 1978-79, a season in which Goring would "goon it up" with a career high 16 penalty minutes, one of only three times in 17 seasons he would reach double digits in minutes served in the penalty box.

Prior to setting his career point and penalty minute highs in 1979, Goring established a career best mark with 37 goals scored in 1977-78, a season in which he would also win the Masterton Trophy as well as a long overdue Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play after being bypassed his previous six full seasons by players who had as many as 18 minutes in a season. Goring equalled a then career low with just 2 penalty minutes, the fourth time to date he would be whistled for just a single penalty during a season in which he played a minimum of 67 games.

Goring would play 69 games of the 1979-80 season with the Kings before being traded to the New York Islanders in March. He competed in the final 12 regular season games for New York and was regarded as a key element which put the Islanders over the top, as the club had made it as far as the playoff semifinals four times in the previous five seasons without having ever made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

With Goring on board, the Islanders not only qualified for the finals for the first time ever, they successfully defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4 games to 2 to capture the first of four consecutive Stanley Cups of the Islanders dynasty. The 21 playoff games Goring played during the 1980 playoffs compared to the 30 Goring had appeared in during his previous 10 seasons in Los Angeles and his 19 points during that playoff season eclipsed the 18 he had in all his years in Los Angeles combined.

Goring Stanley Cup
Goring celebrating with the Stanley Cup

The Islanders success following the acquisition of Goring is perhaps the one trade which began the current tradition of contending clubs looking to add key pieces to their roster in preparation for the playoffs that created the frenzy which the NHL trade deadline has now become.

During the final 12 regular season contests for New York, Goring received one penalty, which brought his career total in xx seasons up to 68, one more than the NHL single game record of 67 set by former Kings' teammate Randy Holt one year earlier.

In 1980-81, Goring played 78 games for the Islanders, scoring 60 points and competing the season without a single penalty for the only time in his career. Shockingly, Goring was passed over for the Lady Byng Trophy once more.

During the postseason, Goring scored 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points in 18 games. While he came in fourth in playoff scoring for the Islanders, 15 points behind team leader Mike Bossy, Goring's tireless efforts and stellar two-way play were recognized with the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Islanders repeated as Stanley Cup champions, perhaps making up for the injustice of not receiving his much deserved Lady Byng Trophy.

Goring Islanders

Goring's role would switch more towards the defensive side over the remainder of his time in the NHL, as his point totals would drop from the 60-80 point range to the 30-45 range, but he remained an integral part of the Islanders, as they still had two more Stanley Cups to capture in 1982 and 1983.

He would play one more full season with the Islanders in 1983-84, which included a fifth consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, only to see their dynasty come to and end with the rise of Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers dynasty of their own.

Goring's final NHL season began with 29 games with New York before he was released by the Islanders and picked up by the Boston Bruins, with whom he was a very effective player, scoring 34 points in 39 games, an average he had not achieved since his first season on Long Island.

The following season Goring was named the Bruins head coach, a position he held for all of the 1985-86 season and 13 games of 1986-87 before being relieved of his duties. Unusually, after losing his position as the Bruins coach, Goring returned to the ice as a player with the Nova Scotia Oilers of the AHL!

His stint with the Oilers lasted ten games and brought an end to his playing days. His final NHL totals were 1,107 games played, 375 goals and 513 assists for 888 points and 102 total penalty minutes over 16 seasons, a number which compares to the single season record of 472 by Dave Schultz and Tiger Williams career record of 3,996.

Despite his notable lack of penalty minutes, Goring is best remembered for wearing the same Spaps brand helmet since he was 12 years old, famous for it's small size and lack of gloss while with the New York Islanders.

Goring Islanders helmet
Goring and his distinctive small helmet with the dull finish

Goring actually had a pair of the helmets, one for at home and one for the road. They went through several color alterations as Goring moved from the Kings to the Islanders and later the Bruins and eventually the Nova Scotia to close out his career.

When Goring was traded from the Kings to New York, the Islanders equipment man didn't have the right color blue paint available and had to improvise while on the road to get Goring in line with the rest of the team, as his road helmet was currently painted Kings' purple while the other was painted gold. The solution was to cover one of the helmets with blue tape, giving the headgear it's distinctive flat appearance, as if it had been flocked.
"It looked pretty good, you couldn't tell the difference." Goring said. "The tape was light enough so it was no big deal, it did the job."

"I didn't wear it for the protection. It was almost why do you wear gloves, why do you wear pads? For me, it was like I didn't know any other way to play hockey other than with my helmet. I grew up in an era where helmets were mandatory as a kid and it just didn't make any sense to take it off because it wasn't anything cumbersome that I needed to get rid of."
"Hockey players are like any other athletes, they get attached to certain things and they had good success and the helmet for me and I actually had a couple of items I kept for a long period of time but I think it is just a comfort zone more than anything else," Goring recalled.

Today's featured jersey is a 1972-73 Los Angeles Kings Butch Goring jersey as worn the season Goring received his only penalty of the year halfway through the final game of the season.

The Kings began play in 1967 with gold jerseys with single color purple numbers, which became two color numbers in 1969-70 with the addition of white outlines, which was also added to the front crest at the same time. Names on the back of the gold jerseys would arrive in 1970-71. The following season the purple stripe on the gold jerseys would move down to the very bottom of the jersey, which would eliminate the gold stripe which previously existed beneath it. The Kings jerseys would exist in this configuration until being replaced after the 1979-80 season.

Los Angeles Kings 72-73 jersey
Los Angeles Kings 72-73 jersey
Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1981-82 New York Islanders Butch Goring jersey as worn the season Goring won his second of four Stanley Cups.

After starting life in the NHL in 1972-73 with very similar blue jerseys only with orange numbers and a lace-up collar, the Islanders reversed the colors of their numbers for the 1973-74 season, now white with a blue outline. For the 1977-78 season, the ends of the sleeves were no longer white and the collar style now became a v-neck. Finally, in 1978-79, the single orange arm stripe now had a narrower white one added directly above it and the waist stripes were finally changed to match the arms.

This style jersey would be the one worn for all of the Stanley Cup championships of their dynasty of the early 1980s and would remain in use through the 1994-95 season until it gave way to the ill-fated Fisherman jersey.


In 1998-99 the Islander brought their classic jerseys back, now modernized with a darker shade of blue and three color numbers, but still very much in the look of their beloved cup winning jerseys. These lasted through the 2006-07 season until their look was redone for the introduction of the Reebok Edge jerseys for 2007-08.

For the 2008-09 season, their 1973-74 jerseys were the inspiration for their new throwback alternate jersey, which then became the team's primary home jersey for the 2010-11 season, now paired with a white road version, and remain in use through today.

New York Islanders 1981-82 F jersey
New York Islanders 1981-82 B jersey

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1980 NHL All-Star Butch Goring jersey as worn the season Goring won his first of four Stanley Cups.

The NHL first used this style of All-Star jersey back in 1973. It was used through the 1981 season with the exception of 1979 when a different style was worn for a two game series when the NHL All-Stars took on the Soviet Union National Team. The eight years of use for this style of jersey for the All-Star Game is a thing of the past, as no style since then has been used for more than four years and no style has been worn more than twice since 1998.

NHL All-Star 1980 F jersey
NHL All-Star 1980 B jersey

Today's video selection is the Islander celebrating their 1981 championship, which includes the presentation of the Conn Smythe Trophy to Butch Goring.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Toronto's First Stanley Cup - 1917-18 Toronto Blueshirts Hap Holmes Jersey

Eddie Livingstone was the owner of the Toronto Shamrocks of the National Hockey Association (NHA). He had a contentious relationship with his fellow owners, primarily Sam Lichtenhein of the Montreal Wanderers, and the two often butted heads. At one point, Lichtenhein even offered Livingstone $3,000 to abandon his team and walk away, but the cheeky Livingstone countered with a $5,000 offer for Lichtenhein to do the same!

Eddie Livingstone
Toronto Shamrocks owner Eddie Livingstone

Prior to the 1915-16 season, Livingstone purchased the Toronto Blueshirts, giving him both Toronto NHA franchises - and an unwelcome two votes in league matters, which was a decided advantage when you consider the NHA consisted of just six clubs.

When Frank Patrick and Lester Patrick, owners of the Pacific Coast Hockey League (PCHA) Seattle Metropolitans raided the Blueshirts roster and signed away its players, Livingstone transferred the Shamrocks roster to the Blueshirts. The league seized the Shamrocks franchise from Livingstone a week after they demanded he sell the franchise, primarily because the other NHA owners did not want one owner, particularly one they did not get along with, having two votes. Livingstone was unable to comply with the demand he sell the Shamrocks because there was now nothing left to sell, since the club had no players.

It also angered the other owners that they were now a five team league due to Livingstone being unable to retain the Blueshirts roster and operate two clubs, not only forcing one club to be idle each week, but also meaning that road trips to Toronto would be for one game instead of the more economical two, as in the past.

In 1916-17, the 228th Battalion of the Canadian Army formed a team in the six team NHA, taking the place of the Shamrocks. Unfortunately, the 228th received their orders to head overseas to join the fighting in World War I and had to withdraw from the league during the season. This gave the other four owners of the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Quebec Bulldogs and Ottawa Senators the opening they needed, and they held a meeting without Livingstone and voted to suspend his remaining Blueshirts franchise with the excuse of wanting to keep the league with an even number of teams.

 photo 1917-18 228th Battalion Team.jpg
A rare shot of the 228th Battalion Hockey Team

Livingstone filed suit against the league as a result of the suspension of his lone remaining team. The Blueshirts home rink, the Arena Gardens, were then given three weeks to separate itself from Livingstone by the NHA or the other owners would operate without a club in Toronto, meaning the arena would lose its tenant. The feisty Livingstone of course refused to sell his club, and therefore, at their annual meeting in November, the NHA announced it was suspending league operations due to the difficulty of running a five team league while also blaming player shortages due to World War I.

 photo Mutual_Street_Arena_interior.jpg
The Blueshirts home rink, the Arena Gardens

A week later, all of the owners, minus Livingstone naturally, announced they had formed a brand new league, the National Hockey League (NHL), which consisted of the Montreal Canadiens, the Montreal Wanderers, the Ottawa Senators and the Quebec Bulldogs. The new league also claimed to have retained the contracts of the suspended Toronto Blueshirts players!

With the Quebec Bulldogs suspending operations due to financial difficulties before the new NHL could even begin the 1917-18 season, the Arena Gardens were awarded a temporary NHL franchise, managed by Charlie Querrie, making the fledgling NHL a four team league once again. The league also assigned the Blueshirts players on a lease basis to the temporary Toronto franchise. To further complicate matters, many of the players had signed contracts with both Livingstone and the Arena.

The season, and the league, would begin play on December 19, 1917 when the Ottawa Senators lost to the Montreal Canadiens 7-4 and Toronto lost to the Montreal Wanderers by a score of 10-9. The Canadiens would win the first half of the season to earn a spot in the postseason championship playoff, while the struggling Wanderers would cease operations following the fire that burned down their home, the Montreal Arena, on January 2, 1918 after having played just six games.

The Toronto Hockey Club had no official nickname, but the "Blueshirts" were successful on the ice, winning the second half of the season schedule, earning the right to play Montreal for the league championship.

Toronto was led by Reg Noble, who scored 30 goals and 10 assists in 20 games for 40 points, third overall in the league behind the prolific Joe Malone of the Canadiens who scored a spectacular 44 goals in just 20 games as part of his league leading point total. Corbett Denneny and Harry Cameron also were standouts for Toronto, with 29 and 27 points respectively, good for fifth and sixth in league scoring. Toronto's Harry "Hap" Holmes came in second to Georges Vezina of Montreal in the goaltending department with a goals against average of 4.80 in 16 games.

Toronto defeated the Canadiens for the league championship in a two games, total goals series 10-7, capturing the O'Brien Cup. Toronto then faced off against the Vancouver Millionaires of the PCHA for the rights to the Stanley Cup.

The best-of-five series was played entirely at the Arena Gardens. Game 1 took place on March 20th and was won by Toronto 5-3 playing under NHL rules. Game 2, under PCHA rules, which allowed forward passing and retained the use of the Rover position, delivered a 6-4 victory to Vancouver.

Toronto went ahead 2 games to 1 with a 6-3 win while back under NHL rules for Game 3. The subsequent Game 4 with PCHA rules resulted in the Millionaires tying the series at two games apiece after a humiliating 8-1 demolition of their NHL adversary, forcing a deciding fifth game.

The fifth game took place under NHL rules, which gave Toronto an apparent advantage while playing at home. Denneny eventually scored the game winning goal to clinch the Stanley Cup for Toronto in a narrow 2-1 win for the Blueshirts on this date in 1918, making them the first NHL team to ever win the Stanley Cup.

The 1917-18 Stanley Cup champion Toronto Hockey Club

The victory for the Blueshirts resulted in Livingstone again heading back to court, this time to file suit for the revenue earned by "his" championship squad of players.

As a result of this lawsuit, the Arena Gardens formed a new company, the Toronto Arena Hockey Club Company, to own and run a hockey team separate from the Arena Gardens business in order to protect the Arena business from Livingstone's lawsuits. The NHL then awarded a "new" franchise to the Hockey Club Company. This club was officially named the Toronto Arenas and, not surprisingly, was stocked with the same players from the 1918 championship club. When his players were yet again not returned to him for the 1918-19 season, Livingstone sued the Arena Gardens.

Once more, the players were uncertain who would prevail in the courts and covered their bases by signing contracts with both the Toronto Arena Hockey Club Company and Livingstone.

Livingstone did prevail in the courts sometimes, but not always. Two rulings in his favor of $20,000 and later $100,000 sent the Arena Gardens into bankruptcy. Despite the company's legal wranglings at the time, the arena would continue to operate for 77 years until closing in 1989.

When the Toronto Arenas did take to the ice in the 1918-19 season as Stanley Cup Champions, they did not play like it. Forced to sell most of their star players due to mounting legal bills, the Arenas record for the season was 5 wins and 13 losses, attendance was low and several players left the team. Finally, the team wrote to the league requesting that the season be ended when each of the three clubs had reached 18 games played and then officially withdrew from the league. This left only the Canadiens and Senators to play for the championship of the NHL and the right to meet the Pacific Coast Hockey Association champions for the Stanley Cup, which Montreal won 4 games to 1.

Meanwhile, Livingstone was busy was attempting to overthrow the NHA management, purchased the dormant Quebec Bulldogs franchise, and began an unsuccessful attempt to start a rival league, the Canadian Hockey Association and threatened to file an injunction to stop the NHL from operating. He also made unsuccessful attempts to start new leagues in 1920, 1924 and 1926, none of which ever played a single game.

Finally, the Toronto Arenas franchise was sold to the St. Patricks Hockey Club of Toronto, who ran the successful senior amateur St. Patricks team in the Ontario Hockey League, which included Arenas team manager Querrie in the four-man ownership group, in December of 1919.

The new owners renamed the club the Toronto St. Patricks and the $5,000 sale price was supposed to go to Livingstone to settle the purchase of his NHA club, for which he had once demanded $20,000 for after they had won the 1918 Stanley Cup. However, Livingstone never received the money, which many believe was kept by NHL president Frank Calder.

The Toronto St. Patricks were members of the NHL through the 1926-27 season, when Querrie, having been sued by none other than Livingstone, was forced to sell the St. Patricks. He reached an agreement to sell the club to Conn Smythe, who renamed the club the Toronto Maple Leafs and constructed Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931.

Today's featured jersey is a 1917-18 Toronto Blueshirts Hap Holmes jersey as worn during the inaugural season of the National Hockey League. Their jerseys would change for the second NHL season with the addition of white stripes around the arms and the word "Arenas" across the front, bisected by the large T crest from the previous season.

Holmes would win the Stanley Cup four different times, and with four different teams. He first joined Eddie Livingstone's Toronto Blueshirts of the NHA in 1912, winning the cup with them in 1914. He joined the Seattle Metropolitans of the PCHA in 1915 and won the cup with Seattle in 1917.

In his only season with the Toronto Blueshirts, he would win his third Stanley Cup before returning to Seattle the following season. After the Metropolitans folded four seasons later, Holmes would join the WCHL's Victoria Cougars in 1924 and go on to win his fourth Stanley Cup, the last cup won by a non-NHL team. After one more season in Victoria, the entire WCHL folded and the Victoria Cougars players were sold to the new Detroit NHL franchise, which took the name the Cougars as a tribute to the Victoria club before eventually becoming the Red Wings. Holmes would play his final two seasons in Detroit and conclude his career with 408 games played, 198 wins, 40 of which were shutouts, 192 losses and 14 ties.

Holmes was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972 and the American Hockey League award for the top goaltender each season is named the Hap Holmes Memorial Award.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

1928-29 Boston Bruins Harry Oliver Jersey

Charles Adams fell in love with professional hockey while attending the 1924 Stanley Cup Finals between the NHL's Montreal Canadiens and the Calgary Tigers of the WCHL. Wanting a team of his own, he convinced the NHL to expand into the United States for the first time for the 1924-25 season.

Charles Adams
Charles Adams

His first order of business was to hire Art Ross as his general manager, a post Ross would remain in for 30 years. It was Ross who coined the name "Boston Bruins" after being challenged by Adams to come up with a name of an animal for the team that would represent speed, agility and cunning. The club's original colors of brown and yellow were taken from Adams' grocery store chain, First National Stores.

1928-29 Boston Bruins logo

The Bruins played their first game on December 1, 1924 against their fellow expansion brothers that season, the Maroons, with the Bruins prevailing 2-1. The opening night victory flattered to deceive, as the Bruins would win just five more games that season on their way to a last place finish and a 6-24-0 record. Jimmy Herbert led the team in scoring by a wide margin, with his 17 goals in 30 games accounting for 35% of the Bruins 49 goals that season. His 22 points far outdistanced the next player who managed a paltry 8!

1924-25 Boston Bruins team
The inaugural 1924-25 Boston Bruins

The Bruins began life in the Boston Arena for the first four years of their existence prior to moving into their long time home, the Boston Garden. Of note: the Boston Arena would become property of Northeastern University and, while renamed the Matthews Arena in 1982, remains the oldest surviving indoor ice arena still in use in the world.

The Bruins improved during their second season 0f 1925-26 in the now seven team NHL, but still finished outside the playoffs by but a single point despite their winning record of 17-15-4. Carson Cooper, with 28 goals, and Herbert, with 26, tied for the team scoring lead of 31 points.

Bruins 25-26
The 1925-26 Boston Bruins

In 1926-27, the NHL divided itself into two divisions, with the Bruins in the new "American" division, with their success having opened the floodgates of the United States market with two teams now in New York, with both the Rangers and Americans sharing Madison Square Garden, and one each in Chicago, Pittsburgh and Detroit.

The Bruins came second in the division behind the Rangers with a 21-20-3 record, led by Harry Oliver's 18 goals and 24 points. A new arrival to the Bruins roster would come in the form of the legendary Eddie Shore, a rough and tough future Hall of Famer who would play for the club until 1940 while wreaking havoc across the league in the name of victories for the Bruins.

Shore Boston
Eddie Shore

In the playoffs for the first time, the Bruins would defeat the Chicago Black Hawks 6-1 and 4-4 to win their two-game, total-goal series 10-5. Playing the same format, they would eliminate the Rangers after a scoreless tie in Boston with a 3-1 win on the road to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first try.


1926-27 Boston Bruins team
The 1926-27 Boston Bruins

The finalsthe first contested by two NHL clubs, were a best-of-five versus the Ottawa Senators. However, the first game was played to a scoreless tie. Ottawa won 3-1 before another tie, this time 1-1. Ottawa wrapped up the championship with another 3-1 win, taking the best-of-five by the unusual margin of 2-0-2.

The Bruins captured their first division title in 1927-28 with 20 wins, 13 losses and 11 ties as Oliver again led the club in scoring with 18 points, one more than defenseman Shore at 17. Another legendary Bruin, Dit Clapper, would join the club that season and remain with the Bruins for 20 years. The Rangers got their revenge and knocked the Bruins out of the playoffs with a 1-1 draw and a 4-1 win in Boston.

1927-28 Boston Bruins team
The 1927-28 Boston Bruins

The Bruins again won the American Division in 1928-29 with a 26-13-5 record which included going undefeated for all of January (11-0-2). Oliver remained in his familiar place atop the scoring table with 17 goals and 23 points in 43 games.

1928-29 Boston Bruins team
The 1928-29 Boston Bruins

Their division title earned them a first round bye in the playoffs. In the second round, goaltender Tiny Thompson shut out the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 and again 1-0 in the first two games and the Bruins closed out the series with a 3-2 win.

Awaiting them in the finals were the Rangers, and the Bruins dispatched them with a 2-0 win at home in Game 1. Game 2, on this date in 1929, saw Oliver score the Bruins first goal and then he assisted on Bill Carson's game winner in a 2-1 win in New York to capture the first Stanley Cup in franchise history as Boston became the last team for 23 years to finish the playoffs undefeated.

Harry Oliver Bruins
Harry Oliver

Today's featured jersey is a 1928-29 Boston Bruins Harry Oliver jersey from the Bruins first Stanley Cup winning season.

Oliver played 16 seasons, five with the Tigers of the WCHL before joining the Bruins for the 1926-27 season. A right winger, he would play with Boston for eight seasons, scoring double digit goals for the first seven with a high of 18 his first season. He would finish his career with three seasons for the New York Americans and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987 having scored 127 goals in 212 games and won a Stanley Cup in 1929.

The Bruins began life with a brown jersey with two gold arm stripes and one waist stripe. They played their second season with a loud white jersey with wide brown and gold striping which was used only during the 1925-26 season.

By eliminating the white spaces between the brown and gold stripes, the jersey became much easier on the eyes and the Bruins agreed, sticking with this style from 1926-27 through 1931-32, which included winning the Stanley Cup on this date in 1929. After a change to a new style in 1932-33, the brown and gold colors would last two more seasons until the club changed to black and gold in 1934-35.

Boston Bruins 1928-29 F jersey
Boston Bruins 1928-29 B jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1929-30 Boston Bruins Eddie Shore jersey. Sharp eyed readers will notice a Boston Cubs patch on the left sleeve, as this particular sweater was worn by Shore for two seasons until being handed down to the Bruins minor league team, the Cubs and worn by player Byron Johnson, whose family retained possession of the jersey until recently, when it was auctioned off for $119,500.

Boston Bruins 1929-30 F jersey
Boston Bruins 1929-30 B jersey
photos courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Today's video section begins with a look back at the history of the Boston Bruins franchise.



Next, a 15 minute film on the career of Shore, a rich topic worthy of much more than we can provide here in this format.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The 1992-93 Winnipeg Jets Rookie Goal Scoring Records - 1992-93 Winnipeg Jets Teemu Selanne Jerseys

The Winnipeg Jets finished the 1991-92 season in fourth place in the Smythe Division with a record of 33-32-15, good for 81 points while scoring 251 goals for and allowing 244, third best in the NHL.

The team was led in scoring by defenseman Phil Housley, who had 23 goals and 63 assists for 86 points, 21 more than their highest scoring forward, Ed Olczyk, who led the team with 32 goals on his way to 65 points.

The Jets were paired with the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the playoffs. The Jets won the opening game on the road 3-2, but then lost the next one in Vancouver by the same 3-2 score. The Jets then put the Canucks on the brink of elimination by taking Games 3 and 4 back at home, 4-2 and 3-1. Vancouver stayed alive by hammering Winnipeg 8-2 back at home and then forced a Game 7 with another thrashing of the Jets 8-2 in Game 6. Demoralized, the Jets went out with a whimper when the Canucks whitewashed them 5-0 in Game 7 in British Columbia.

One of the first moves the Jets made for the 1992-93 season was to trade their 12th and 36th overall picks in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft to the Chicago Blackhawks for Chicago's 17th and 27th overall selections. With the 17th pick, the Jets took Russian Sergei Bautin, a defenseman from Dynamo Moscow, fresh of three consecutive Soviet championships.

Bautin Jets
The Jets 1992 first round draft pick, Sergei Bautin

With their 27th pick, third in Round Two, the Jets took another Russian fellow defenseman Boris Mironov from the CSKA Red Army club. In the true spirit of a sleeper pick, with the 204th selection in Round Nine, Winnipeg found a gem in goaltender, and yet another Russian, Nikolai Khabibulin, also from CSKA Moscow. Khabibulin would be the latest selection in the 1992 draft to go on to be an NHL All-Star, 87 picks later than the next closest future All-Star. In all, the Jets took seven Russians, an American, a Canadian, a Ukrainian, a Kazakh and a Finn.

An Olympic gold medalist, Bautin would make the Jets roster out of training camp and play in 71 games during the 1992-93 season.

Also joining the Jets for the 1992-93 season was Russian forward Alexei Zhamnov, who was coming off of four seasons as Bautin's teammate at Dynamo Moscow and a fellow gold medalist at the 1992 Albertville Olympics.

Zhamnov Dynamo
Zhamnov came to the Jets from Dynamo Moscow

The one name who would go on to have easily the most impact on the Jets 1992-93 season was 1988 draft pick, Teemu Selanne of Finland's Jokerit Helsinki. Selanne had caught the eyes of the Jets scouts with a 43 goal, 66 point season in 33 games of Jokerit's Junior A program, which concluded with a championship. Winnipeg's organizational philosophy was to allow their European draft picks to develop in their native countries, and by 1991 were working to bring him to North America.

Selanne Finland
Teemu Selanne at the 1991 Canada Cup

As Selanne had not yet signed a contract with the Jets, he was considered a restricted free agent, which led to the Calgary Flames signing him to a three year, $2.7 million offer sheet, $1.5 million more than the Jets had offered the Finn. Worried about paying such a high salary to a rookie, Winnipeg nevertheless exercised their right to match Calgary's offer and Selanne made his NHL debut with a pair of assists on October 6, 1992, scoring his first goal two nights later.

In addition to Selanne, Zhamnov and Bautin, other members of the Jets eligible for the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year were 1988 draft pick Evgeny Davydov, another Russian from CSKA Moscow and 1990 selection, American Keith Tkachuk of Boston University. Both Davydov and Tkachuk had played with the Jets the prior season, but were both under the 25 game limit which maintained their rookie status for 1992-93. Tkachuk had seen action in 17 games, while Davydov played in 12.

Davydov CSKA
Evgeny Davydov was a member of the powerful Red Army club

Tkachuk Boston University
American Keith Tkachuk while at Boston University

Selanne, coming off a 39 goal season with Jokerit in 44 games, wasted little time making his presence known in the NHL, scored his first career hat-trick in his fifth game and produced 11 goals in his first 12. Selanne hit the 20 goal mark in December 11th in style during 8-6 loss to the Washington Capitals and added his 21st goal a little over five minutes later and completed his hat trick just 40 seconds into the second period.

Selanne reached the 30 goal plateau on January 2nd when he scored his second goal of the night at the 14:50 mark of the third period against the New Jersey Devils Chris Terreri.

Davydov was the next to reach the 20 goal mark on January 22nd with an assist from Stu Barnes on when he beat Calgary's Mike Vernon at 10:52 of the third period during a 4-4 tie.

Davydov Jets
Davydov was the second Jets rookie to 20 goals

By the end of January the Finn Selanne was the talk of hockey world as he reached the 40 goal mark on January 30th in a 6-3 win over the Hartford Whalers.

On the final day of February, Selanne put on a spectacular display when he scored goals 48, 49, 50 and 51 in a four goal romp against the Minnesota North Stars and goaltender Darcy Wakuluk in a 7-6 Jets win.

During Winnipeg's next game on March 2nd, it was Tkachuk's turn to make it to the 20 goal level when he beat the Quebec Nordiques Stephane Fiset on a power play 1:26 into the third period with assists from Housely and Barnes.

Tkachuk Jets
Tkacuk's 20th goal was overshadowed by Selanne's record breaking hat trick

Tkachuk's accomplishment was completely overshadowed that night by the spectacular Selanne though, as the Finnish Flash recorded a second consecutive hat trick with goals 52, 53 and 54 to surpass Mike Bossy's NHL rookie goal scoring record of 53.


Selanne surpassed 60 goals on March 14th versus the Tampa Bay Lighting with two first period goals against Pat Jablonski to put him at 61. On March 23rd, the Finn netted goals 66 and 67 plus an assist of Zhamnov's 18th goal of the season to give him 110 points, breaking Peter Stastny's NHL rookie points record.

Selanne Jets
Selanne set rookie records for goals and points in 1992-93

During the Jets next game, Zhamnov scored his 19th goal against the St. Louis Blues and then, on this date in 1993, Zhamnov got his 20th goal of the season, beating the Los Angeles Kings Robb Stauber with just five seconds left in regulation from Selanne and Tkachuk to tie the game at 3-3.

Zhamnov Jets
Zhamnov scored his 20th goal on this date in 1993

Zhamnov's 20th goal, joining Selanne, Davydov and Tkachuk with at least 20 goals each, made the Winnipeg Jets the first team in NHL history with four 20-goal rookie scorers.

Selanne would finish with a league leading 76 goals while leading the Jets in scoring with 132 points, both rookie records which stand to this day, and was awarded a much deserved Calder Trophy as the NHL Rookie of the Year. Zhamnov was third on the team in points behind Housley's 97, scoring 25 goals and 47 assists for 72 points while Tkachuk and Davydov had 28 goals apiece, with Tkachuk finishing with 51 points and Davydov 49.

Of note, veterans Thomas Steen with 22 goals and Darrin Shannon at 20 would join the spectacular rookie quartet with 20 or more goals for Winnipeg that season.

The Jets would score 322 goals that season, 71 more than the previous season thanks in no small part to Selanne's exploits. Unfortunately, their goals against would rise by 76 and the Jets would once again be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, bowing to the Canucks again, this time in six games.

Zhamnov would play four seasons for the Jets with a high of 30 goals until being traded to Chicago. 1992-93 would be Davydov's last with Winnipeg, as he was dealt to the Florida Panthers prior to the following season.

Tkachuk would play five seasons in Winnipeg with a high of 50 goals in 1995-96 on his way to 98 points and would be named team captain in 1993. He would move with the franchise when they relocated and became the Phoenix Coyotes for the 1996-97 season during which he led the NHL in goals with a career high 52. He was again named team captain in 1996 and remained with the franchise for five seasons in Arizona. He would eventually score 500 goals, 1,000 points and play in over 1,000 games.

Selanne would play three more seasons for Winnipeg, never scoring more than 25 goals before a cost cutting trade sent him to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. After a lengthy NHL career, Selanne would finish with 684 goals and 1,457 points in 1,451 games played. He led the NHL in goal scoring again in both 1998 and 1999 and won a Stanley Cup in 2007.

Selanne Jets Rookie Record
Selanne's memorable trap shooting celebration after
breaking Bossy's rookie goal scoring record

Today's featured jersey is a 1992-93 Winnipeg Jets Teemu Selanne jerseys as worn the the season Selanne shattered the NHL rookie goal scoring and points record. Selanne entered the NHL wearing #13 for his first season, as Randy Carlisle was wearing his preferred #8. After Carlisle's departure after Selanne's rookie season, he subsequently changed to #8 for the remainder of his time in Winnipeg.

The Jets were formed as a founding member of the World Hockey Association in 1972-73 and made the move to the NHL for the 1979-80 season. They introduced today's feature style jersey for the 1990-91 season and wore it until the franchise moved out of Winnipeg after the 1995-96 season.

The Jets were responsible for one of the oddities concerning the Stanley Cup Centennial patch worn by all the players that season, as, for the first half of the schedule, Winnipeg wore a set of jerseys which had the white outline around their patches like the rest of the league, but for the second half of the season the white outlines vanished and they were the only team to not have the outline around their patches, which did not help them stand out from the jerseys like they did previously.

Selanne did not have the A on the first set of jerseys from the first half of the season where the white outlined patches were worn and did wear the assistant captain's "A" with the version of the patch that lacked the white outline for the season's second half, but there are photos showing Selanne with the borderless patch prior to being awarded the "A".

Winnipeg Jets 1992-93 F
Winnipeg Jets 1992-93 B

Winnipeg Jets 1992-93 home jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1992-93 Winnipeg Jets Keith Tkachuk jersey as worn the the season Tkachuk was one of four Jets rookies to reach the 20 goal mark, making Winnipeg the first team in NHL history with four 20 goal rookies.

Winnipeg Jets 1992-93 road jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1994-95 Winnipeg Jets Alexei Zhamnov jersey as worn the the season Zhamnov set a career high with 30 goals. 

Winnipeg Jets 1993-94 F jersey
Winnipeg Jets 1993-94 B jersey

Extra extra bonus jersey: Today's extra extra bonus jersey is a 1990-91 CSKA Moscow Evgeny Davydov jersey as worn during Davydov's final season in the Soviet Union prior to coming to the NHL. Davydov won three Soviet championships with the Red Army club in 1987, 1988 and 1989.

Unlike many of the sometimes paper thin mesh Soviet jerseys of the era with silkscreened or heat sealed graphics, this Red Army jersey is a top of the line, Canadian-made CCM jersey produced to the same standards as one would find in the NHL and very likely produced for use in the 1989, 1990 or 1991 Super Series which then had the English nameplates removed and Cyrillic names screened on as they were converted for use back home in the Soviet League.

CSKA 1990-91 F jersey
CSKA 1990-91 B jersey

Extra extra extra bonus jersey: Today's extra extra extra bonus jersey is a 1992 Unified Team Evgeny Davydov jersey as worn during the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. With the upheaval of the political situation in the Soviet Union in 1991, there was little time to sort out what kind of identity the brand new team made up of six of the 15 former Soviet republics would be represented by.

The Unified Team competed under the Olympic flag, and with just five weeks before the games were to commence, the jersey supplier to all the Olympic teams, Tackla of Finland, made up a set of the current Soviet Union jerseys, only without the "CCCP" lettering across the chest. Note they did not even alter the chest stripes, which were still notched on the left hand side for the curvature of the absent "P"!

92-unified-team-davydov
Davydov waving to the crowd during the 1992 gold medal ceremony

This was the one and only appearance for these stop-gap jerseys, as Russia wore a brand new set of jerseys at the 1992 World Championships held just two months later in April as an independent nation, separate from the other five countries of the Unified Team.

1992 Unified Team Davydov jersey
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's video section is all about Selanne's magical rookie season in 1992-93.




 

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