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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.


  1. I got Goulet's rookie card signed in person last summer.

    He saw it, smiled, and said "Hey, that's my rookie card," and asked what it was worth these days.

    I told him it was now priceless to me because he autographed it.

    1. I believe I bought one for a $1 last summer. Surprising how cheap some of those 1980 HHOF RCs can be had.