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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Lost Rookies: 1988-89 OPC Glenn Healy

  Glenn Healy has become more known as a hockey personality than as a hockey player.  Let's look a closer look at Glenn Healy the hockey player.  Healy attended Western Michigan University in the early 80s and went undrafted by the NHL.  He signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Kings in 1985.  Healy was called up to the Kings in November of 1985, as starter Bob Janecyk was out with injuries.  Healy played his first NHL game on Novermber 25, 1985, when entered the game in relief of Darren Eliot.  The Kings were down 3-0 to the Hartford Whalers when Healy entered the game during the 1st period.  The game ended 9-0.  Shortly after the Kings made a trade for new starter Roland Melanson and Healy was buried on the depth chart.
  Healy spent the majority of his first two professional seasons in the AHL.  In 1987, Healy broke camp as the back-up goalie for the Kings.  He won his first NHL game on October 28, 1987, a 5-2 victory against the New York Rangers.  His first career shutout was against the Vancouver Canucks on February 28th, 1987.  Healy was used sparingly down the stretch, playing 3 of the teams last 13 games, but took over the starting gig in the play-offs after Melanson gave up 9 goals in the play-offs opener against Calgary.  Healy went 1-3 during four play-off games as the Kings were eliminated in the first round.
  Healy began the 1988 season as the back-up but became the starter after Melanson gave up 11 goals to the Calgary Flames on October 16th.  The 1988-89 season was Wayne Gretzky's first season as a King.  As the season progress, there became a glaring weakness with the Kings - the goaltending.  On February 22nd, the Kings traded a package of players, including back-up Mark Fitzpatrick, to the New York Islanders for Kelly Hrudey.  Healy's days as the #1 in LA were over.

1989-90 OPC Glenn Healy

  And so were his days in LA.  Healy was a free agent in the 1989 off-season and was signed by the New York Islanders, who had to give up a 4th round pick as compensation.  The Islanders now had the Kings duo of goalies from the previous season.  Healy and Fitzpatrick, barring injuries, split the crease with the Islanders over the next four seasons.  Both goalies got rookie cards with the Islanders during the 1990 junk wax boom.  Although neither made the premier set of OPC Premier, who instead included Islanders rookie goalie prospect Jeff Hackett.  So I figure I will add an OPC Premier rookie of Healy for the high-end 1990 junk wax collectors.  Healy set a NHL record, since surpassed, by saving 51 shots in a shutout, against the Vancouver Canucks on January 16, 1990.

1990-91 OPC Premier Glenn Healy

  Healy was a key performer in my favourite all-time hockey moment - David Volek's 1993 game 7 overtime winner.  Healy was the Islanders starting goalie during their surprising run in the 1993 play-offs.  The Islanders 1993 Game 7 series win over the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champs Pittsburgh penguins is one of hockey's greatest play-off upsets. 
  Healy was a impending free agent in the 1993 off-season and was unlikely to resign with the Islanders.  Healy was left unprotected in the 1993 expansion draft was selected as the 3rd goalie overall by the Anahiem Mighty Ducks.  Then the next day there was another phase of the expansion draft.  This time, the three older expansion teams, the San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators, were able to pick players from the the two new expansion teams, Anaheim and the Florida Panthers.  This phase was added since the three older expansion teams were historical bad, and were somewhat screwed over in the previous expansion drafts compared to the Ducks and Panthers.  Healy was not protected by the Ducks and was picked up by the Lightning, who then immediately traded him to the New York Rangers, who had lost goalie John Vanbiesbrouck in the expansion draft.  That's four teams in two days for Healy.  He went East coast to West Coast to South Coast to East coast, and in the end just moved across town.
  It was a good move for Healy.  Although he returned to being a back-up goalie, he won a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994.  Healy spent four seasons with the Rangers.  He received his lone career Vezina vote in 1995, in a season he only played 17 games.  Healy signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1997 to serve as the team's back-up.  In 2000, Healy became a frivolity as he became the first known NHL player to be injured by bagpipes.  He was attempting to mend his bagpipes when he cut himself with a pair of scissors.  Healy retired after the 2000-01 season.  Healy was featured sparingly during his last few seasons with the Leafs.  He did get a career capper with Pacific, who were solid in giving players career cappers, in the 2001 set.  I figured I'd do a 2000-01 UD Vintage for Healy since it's a set I really like, and already have a template for.  Not the most flattering picture (someone must be winding up for a slapshot), but surprisingly there was not an abundance of full-body pictures of Healy as a Leaf.

2000-01 UD Vintage Glenn Healy 

  After retiring, Healy was a director in the NHLPA and then a colour commentator for Hockey Night in Canada with CBC.  I would say as a commentator, he was not beloved, but his opinions kept viewers tuned in and kept his career going.  As mentioned earlier, Healy never had a Kings card, so it's fitting that I made him a  Lost Rookie, and in the purple and gold no less.

1988-89 OPC Glenn Healy (RC)

1988-89 OPC Glenn Healy

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