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Thursday, July 31, 2014

One Star, One Sheet - Michel Goulet

Michel Goulet

HHOF 1998
548 Goals
1152 Points
5x All-Star

  Michel Goulet was the youngest of the Baby Bulls.  The Baby Bulls were influential in merger of the WHA and the NHL.  John Basset the owner of the Birmingham Bulls of the WHA dreamed of owning a NHL team.  In 1978, when it became apparent that Birmingham would not be included in any WHA-NHL merger, Basset figured he would punish the NHL by signing underage star junior players.  This was a season after the controversial, and precedent setting Ken Linseman signing.
  The six Baby Bulls were scooped up by NHL in the first 33 picks during the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, including Michel Goulet to the Quebec Nordiques with the 20th overall spot.  Goulet is perhaps the only player to demand to be drafted by the Quebec Nordiques.  Goulet who could barely speak english, attempted to get a court order preventing any NHL team other than the Nordiques from drafting him.  That was after a contract clause in Goulet's contract with Bulls has deemed void by the NHL.  The clause would see Goulet automatically become property of the Quebec Nordiques after a NHL-WHA merger.  The tactics scared away the other teams and Goulet was available at 20th overall pick.  He then became the first NHL player to have his contract written exclusively in French.
  Goulet would be an All-Star in Quebec.  Quietly scoring 50 goals in four straight seasons and becoming a 1st or 2nd Team All-Star five times.  In 1984 he finished third in league scoring with 121 points.  He was never the star Francophones desired.  He wasn't flashy like a Guy Lafleur or dominant like a Maurice Richard.  A hold-out in 1985 didn't endear him to the fans either.  Also, looking back on the stats and player of the Nords through the 1980, you'd assume his centreman would have been HHOFer Peter Stastny, but it wasn't.  Dale Hunter was Goulet's centreman for the majority of Goulet's years in Quebec.  
  As the 1980s were nearing an end, the Nordiques and Goulet were both suffering from a decline in performance.  Goulet was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks in a deal that would see three prospects go to Quebec.  The three prospects would all be out of the NHL by 1992 and play less than 100 games combined for the Nordiques.
  Goulet was no longer the scoring threat he once was.  He rounded out his game with better defensive play.  In 1992, the Black Hawks were swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals.  It was the closest Goulet would come to a Stanley Cup Championship.   
  On March 16th, 1994, Goulet, along with his JOFA 235 helmet, also known as the eggshell helmet, lost an edge and fell awkwardly into the board.  Goulet suffered a third degree concussion.  He would never play another professional hockey game.
  A year later to the date, the Quebec Nordques retired Goulet's jersey number 16.  The following season, the Nordiques moved to Colorado and the number was unretired and taken by Warren Rychel.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

One Star, One Sheet - Shayne Corson

Shayne Corson

1156 Career Games
693 Career Points
3x All-Star Game

  Okay, so we might be stretching it with the star aspect on this one, but Corson did play in three All-Star games, was a member of Team Canada for the 1991 Canada Cup and was part of Team Canada in the 1998 Olympics.
  Selected 8th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1984 draft, Corson carved out a solid career for himself.  He played 1156 career games during 19 seasons in the NHL.  He brought a lot of grit to the table.  At age 15, he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which brought on panic attacks.  Corson also had a lengthy rap sheet off the ice, from arrests to rumoured adultery.
  Corson spent six season withe Canadiens, including his best offensive season by far in 1989-90, when he scored 31 goals and 75 points.  Unfortunately, Corson was adept at finding trouble off the ice as he was on the ice.  He was arrested in Winnipeg in 1990 for a bar fight and was involved in another bar fight in 1992 in Montreal.  The second incident led the to infamous Pat Burns quote, "Shayne Corson can go eat shit.Corson was traded the following offseason to Edmonton for Vincent Damphousse.
  Corson was a disappointment in Edmonton, as the once great Dynasty continued its nose dive.  The Oilers missed the play-offs all three seasons he played there including his time as captain.  Corson was selected as the Oilers captain to start off the lockout shortened 1995 season.  Corson was later stripped of his captaincy when he scuffled with Jason Arnott over an assist Corson felt he should have been credited with.  The following offseason, Corson was on the move.
  The St. Louis Blues signed Shayne Corson as a free agent.  The Blues coach Mike Keenan had coached Corson during the 1991 Canada Cup and was a big fan of grit and sandpaper type of players.  Early into the 1995-96 season, Keenan stripped Brett Hull of the team's captaincy and awarded it to Corson, who subsequently handed it over to Wayne Gretzky.  
  As the Blues failed to live up to expectations, and with Gretzky leaving via free agency in the offseason, Corson was traded early in the 1996-97 season to the Montreal Canadiens for playmaking centre, Pierre Turgeon.  The following season, Corson would find his offense, scoring 55 points in 62 games, including 22 points in the first 16 games.  The strong start helped Corson secure a spot on Team Canada for the 1998 Olympics.
  Corson's point totals would drop to 32 and then 28, the following two seasons.  In the 2000 offseason, Corson signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Corson's time in Toronto was marred by several events.  The Maple Leafs dressing room rumoured to divide into factions, with Corson, and his cousin, Darcy Tucker, labeled as troublemakers.  There were widespread rumours of an affair between Corson and Alexander Mogilny's wife.  Corson's panic attacks returned during his final season of the Leafs and while he credits Tucker for helping him get through the attacks, Corson's health was the official reason for walking out, and retiring, on the team. after being a healthy scratch, during the 2003 play-offs. 
  Corson would play again in the NHL.  He came out of retirement late in the 2003-04 season to sign with the Dallas Stars.  He would score 10 points in 17 regular season games but the Stars would lose in the first round of the play-offs.  
  Corson was a divisive player.  Many rumours point to him being a cancer in the dressing room and generally a terrible teammate, but at the same time he has been lauded for his leadership and sacrifices on the ice.  Corson went into the resturant business after re-retiring. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

One Star, One Sheet - Dino Ciccarelli

Dino Ciccarelli

2010 HHOF
608 Goals
1200 Points

  Dino Ciccarelli has a few distinct marks on his career.  A pesty, although some would say dirty, winger, Dino made a living parked just outside the opponents crease.  A two time fifty goal scorer, Ciccarelli became infamous for his altercation with Luke Richardson in 1988.  An eventful career for a player who went undrafted.
  In 1977-78, Ciccarelli led the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League with 72 goals, two more than some guy name Wayne Gretzky.  While in the Play-offs, Ciccarelli stepped on a broken stick in practice, slid into the boards and broke his leg.  Ciccarelli had planned signing with the WHA in 1978, but it was now doubtful he would ever play pro hockey again.  Dino rehabbed vigoursly and returned to the OMJHL the following year but was limited to 19 points in 30 games. 
  The 1979 NHL Entry draft is considered to be one of the deepest drafts in history, albeit aided by the influx of WHA underagers and a drop in the minimum age.  Ciccarelli, who fell off the scouts radars, went undrafted.  In September of 1979, the Minnesota North Stars signed Ciccarelli as a free agent.  Cicarelli would retire as the career leading scorer for undrafted players, who were draft eligible.
  Ciccarelli would make it to the NHL midway through the 1980 season.  He made an immediate impact scoring 30 points in 32 games but the best was yet to come.  The North Stars made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Finals.  Ciccarelli set a play-off rookie record with 14 goals as the Star fell to the New York Islanders in the Finals.
  Dino would set career highs in goals, 55, assists, 51, and points, 106, in 1981-82 and would be among the team leaders for several seasons.  He had his second 50 goals and 100 point season in 1986-87.  Ciccarelli scored 40 goals or more for five straigh seasons, from 85-86 to 89-90.
   At the start of the 1987-88 season, Ciccarelli held out for a new contract.  The North Stars were rumoured to be in talks with the Penguins and Kings.  You have to wonder what kind of numbers Ciccarelli would put up beside Mario Lemieux in Pittsburgh.  No trade was made and Dino ended his holdout three days before the start of the season. 
  It was January 6, of 1988 when Cicarelli would become infamous.  Cicarelli, feeling he was being abused by several Leafs players, snapped on Luke Richardson.  The NHL suspended Ciccarelli for 10 games.  The police also became involved.  Ciccarelli was charged and became the first NHL player to be convicted with assault stemming from an on-ice incident.  
  Ciccarelli was traded the following season in a deal that saw the North Stars acquire 50 goals scorer and future HHOFer, Mike Gartner, and another future HHOFer, Larry Murphy.  Ciccarelli would play three and a half seasons in Washington before being traded to the Detroit Red Wings.  Dino returned to the Stanley Cup finals as a Red Wing in 1995, but the Wings would get swept by the New Jersey Devil.  
  During training camp of 1996, Ciccarelli was traded to the Tampa Bay Lighting. He led the team with 35 goals that season.  The following season, a recurring theme occurred for Ciccarelli, he held out during training camp.  He had also done so before with the Stars and Capitals.  Ciccarelli eventually returned to the team but scored at much slower pace.  He was traded to the Florida Panthers partway through the season.  A back injury suffered in 1999 ended Ciccarelli's career.
  Ciccarelli now owns a chain of sportsbars in Michigan, called Ciccarelli's 22.  He was inducted into the HHOF in 2010. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

One Star, One Sheet - Chris Chelios

Chris Chelios

2013 HHOF
3x Stanley Cup
3x Norris Trophy

  Chris Chelios played 26 seasons in the NHL.  He is 5th all-time in career games played with 1651.  Chelios was selected 40th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1981 NHL Entry draft.  The 10 players selected above him played a combined 1734 career NHL games.
  Chelios joined the Montreal Canadiens late in the 1983-84 season.  He solidified his spot by scoring 10 points in 15 playoffs games.  In his rookie season of 1984-85, Chelios finished 2nd in Calder trophy voting, to Mario Lemieux.  Chelios became a star in Montreal, winning the Stanley Cup in 1986 and a James Norris Trophy in 1989.
  In the offseason of 1990, arguably the worst trade in the history of the Montreal Canadiens occurred.  The Canadiens traded Chris Chelios, and a draft pick to the Chicago Black Hawks for Denis Savard.  Yes, the Hawks never won a Cup with Chelios and the Canadiens would win a Cup in 1993 with Savard on the roster, but Savard was a third line center that season and missed all but one game of the Stanley Cup finals.  Official reason from the Habs for the Chelios trade was concerns over Chelios's knees, citing a doctor's report that Chelios would not last another 5 seasons.  The conspiracy theorist point towards Chelios's partying ways (some proven, some not) including an affair with the Habs President's wife, naked BBQing, prostitutes, underage lady friends, and public urination. Chelios was officially traded the day after the public urinating incident.
  In Chicago, Chelios won two Norris trophies, was a top six in Norris voting seven times in eight seasons and was a 1st or 2nd team All-Star five times.  Although Chelios helped the Black Hawks reach the Cup final in 1992, the Black Hawks never found much playoff success.  They missed the play-offs in Chelios final full season as a Black Hawk. 
  In March of 1999, with Hawks as sellers at the trade deadline, the Black Hawks would send the 37 year old Chelios to the Detroit Red Wings for two 1st round picks and young defenceman, Andres Eriksson.  Eriksson was a disspointment in Chicago and the two first round picks, which were late first round picks, were busts.  Chelios took on more of a defensive role in Detroit as he helped the Wings win two Stanley Cups.  Chelios played with the Wings until the leg injuries, predicted by Montreal doctors in 1990, forced him to miss the majority of the 2008-09 season.
  The 48 year old Chelios would attempt a comeback in 2009, signing with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL, before signing with the Altanta Thrashers for a seven game stint at the end of 2009-10 season.
  In 2013, in his first year of eligiblity, Chelios was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

One Star, One Sheet - Jimmy Carson

Jimmy Carson

100 point scorer
50 goal scorer
Part of the Gretzky Package

  Drafted 2nd overall in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, Carson made the jump straight to the NHL for the 1986-87 season.  Carson scored 32 goals and 79 points while finishing third in the Calder trophy voting, losing out to teammate Luc Robitaille.  In his sophomore season, Carson scored 55 goals and 107 points.  The early success of the young center made him the marque piece heading to the Edmonton Oilers in the Wayne Gretzky mega-blockbuster trade in the summer of 1988.
  Carson would finish in the top 10 in NHL scoring for the Oilers in 1988-89 with 100 points, but could never come close to replacing Gretzky.  He scored 3 points in a seven game Round one play-off lose to the Los Angeles Kings, while Gretzky had 13.  Carson, citing the "Gretzky Syndrome" left the team in October of 1989 and demanded a trade.  Carson was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a few key pieces of the Oilers 1990 Stanley Cup victory, Petr Klima, Adam Graves and Joe Murphy, whose was the 1st overall pick in the 1986 draft.
  Carson would soon find himself buried on the Red Wings depth chart at center behind HHOF Steve Yzerman and future HHOF Sergei Fedorov.  Carson became expendable and in January of 1993, he was traded back to the Los Angelese Kings, in a deal that involved Paul Coffey, to center the second line behind Wayne Gretzky.  Gretzky was reportedly "saddened" by the trade.  I have a feeling Gretzky is not on Carson's Christmas card list. Carson set an NHL record that season by playing in 86 regular season games.  The Kings would reach the Stanley Cup finals before losing to the Montreal Canadiens.
  Carson, only 25, was no longer an offensive threat.  Scoring only 11 points in 25 games to start the 1993-94 season, Carson was sent to the Vancouver Canucks.  The Canucks reached the Stanley Cup Finals, without the help of Carson.  Carson would only play 2 games in the first round, while being a healthy scratch for the rest.
  Signed by the Whalers in the 1994 off season, Carson missed the end of the season with a shoulder injury.  He would re-injure the same shoulder early in the 1995-96 season, costing him the rest of the season.  No longer an offensive threat and certainly not a 3rd or 4th line type pf player, Carson had played his last NHL game at age 27. 
  It is strange to think that a two time 100 point scorer can be considered a bust.