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Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Lost Cards: 1988-89 Ed Hospodar

  Ed "Boxcar" Hospodar played 9 seasons in the NHL.  He racked up 1314 PIM in 450 games plus and additional 206 PIM in 46 play-off games.  He earned the nickname Boxcar due to his bodychecks.  It was like being hit by a Boxcar, and it rhymed with his last name.  It was in the play-offs that his more memorable moments occurred, the good and the infamous.
  Hospodar was drafted 34th overall by the New York Rangers in the 1979 Entry Draft, sandwiched between goalies Pat Riggin (Lost Cards), and Pelle Lindbergh, (Lost Cards).  Hospodar made his NHL debut on November 21, 1979.  It was a good debut as he notched an assist, and was a +3 in a 6-4 loss.  For the season, he played 20 games, had one assist, and 76 PIM.  Ed scored his first play-off goal against the Atlanta Flames in Game 4 of the first round.  It was the game-winning goal in the Atlanta Flames last game in Atlanta.  The team relocated during the summer.  Ed likes to joke that he knocked the Flames out of AtlantaHe received a rookie with OPC in the 1980-81 set.
  The 1980-81 season was Ed's best season.  He scored his first NHL regular season goal against Ron Grahame of the Los Angeles Kings in a 6-3 loss on November 2, 1980.  Ed finished the season setting career highs in goals, 5, assists, 14, points, 19, a plus 10 and 219 PIM.  He set a single period play-off record on April 9th, 1981 with 39 PIM in the first period against the Los Angeles Kings.  At the end of the first period a brawl broke out as the teams were leaving the ice.  As seen in the video, he escalates the brawl by fighting Marcel Dionne and later on takes on Dionne and goalie Mario Lessard at the same time.  As part of his 39 PIM, Hospodar received two game misconducts.  Hospodar set a Rangers play-offs record with 93 PIM in 1981.
  Hospodar continued to mix things up in the 1981-82 season, but added to Clark Gillies reputation as the leagues best fighter when Gillies broke Hospodar's jaw.  Hospodar missed almost 2 months.  When he returned, he mixed it up less and played some of his best hockey, notching 6 points in 11 games.
  The Rangers traded Hospodar in the offseason to the Harford Whalers for Kent-Erik Andersson.  Hospodar played two seasons with the Whalers.  He scored one goal, ten points and 362 PIM in 131 games as a Whaler.  Hospodar never had a Topps card and his last OPC card was in the 1981-82 set.  I wanted to feature Hospodar in the 83-84 OPC design but the Whalers wore the Cooperalls that season and I couldn't find a good picture of Ed in them.  So instead, he gets the 84-85 treatment.

1984-85 OPC Ed Hospodar

  Hospodar was released by the Whalers in the 1984 offseason.  He signed with the Philadelphia Flyers.  Hospodar fit in well with the Broad Street Bullies.  He played in the 1985 Stanley Cup Finals against the Edmonton Oilers, a series the Flyers lost in five games.  In the 1985-86 season, Hospodar exploded, by his standards, for four points in a five game stretch.  Immediately afterwards he was dealt to the Minnesota North Stars in a four player deal, Hospodar, and Todd Bergen (Lost Rookie) in exchange for Dave Richter (Lost Rookie) and Bo Berglund.  Hospodar played out the season in Minnesota before being released in the offseason.
  Hospodar re-signed with the Philadelphia Flyers during the 1986 offseason.  He had another Hospodarian season, 45 games, 4 points and 136 PIM.  He was used sparingly in the 1987 play-offs, playing only 5 games in first three rounds.  Although he was a scratch for the Wales Conference Finals Game 6 against the Montreal Canadiens, he played a major role in inciting a rule changing brawl.
  Shayne Corson and Claude Lemieux of the Montreal Canadiens had made a ritual out of staying on the ice during pre-game warm-up until the other team had vacated.  They then played a game of pass and shot the puck into the opponents empty net.  The Flyers felt this was disrespectful and warned Lemieux and Corson not to do it.  For the Game 6 warms-ups Hospodar and Chico Resch (Lost Cards), stayed on the ice until Corson and Lemieux left, without shooting the puck into the Flyers net.  It was a ruse.  As the two Flyers left the ice, Corson and Lemieux, who had been hiding in the hall, skated back on the ice and shoot the puck into the flyers net before Hospodar and Resch could stop them.  Hospodar was able to grab Lemieux and started wailing on him as Claude turtled.  Resch held off Corson.  It wasn't long until the players from both dressing rooms, in various states of undress, streamed onto the ice.  Doug Crossman, from the Flyers, was on the ice in his flip-flops.  The brawl went on for about 10 minutes.  At one point it was petering out until Corson jumped a Flyer and it started up again.  Eventually the players wore themselves out and the officials took the ice to facilitate the players returning to their dressing rooms.  One player who was notably missing in fracas was goalie Ron Hextall.  According to Keenan, he locked Hextall in the equipment cage once the brawl started.  The Flyers went on to win the game, and the series.  They lost in the Stanley Cup Finals in seven games against the Edmonton Oilers.

  Hospodar was suspended for the remainder of the play-offs.  In the off-season the NHL drafted new rules regarding leaving the bench and the number of players who can dress for pre-game warm-ups.  Mike Keenan, the Flyers coach had dressed 24 skaters, 6 more than needed, for the warm-ups.

1987-88 OPC Ed Hospodar

  The Flyers left Hospodar unprotected in the 1987 waiver draft and he  was selected by the Buffalo Sabres.  In 1987-88, his final NHL season, Hospodar had one point and 98 PIM in 42 games.  He started the 1988-89 season in the AHL, but retired after playing five games.

1988-89 OPC #272 Ed Hospodar 

1988-89 OPC #273 Ed Hospodar

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