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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.

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