How a series of backroom deals 40 years ago robbed the Quebec Nordiques of a future superstar — and gave the Chicago Blackhawks one of their all-time greats
Forty years ago today, on June 11, 1980, the NHL held its annual draft in Montreal. With the third overall pick, the Chicago Blackhawks selected Denis Savard, a skillful and speedy center who became the face of the franchise during the 1980s. Savard dazzled fans with his moves and was part of the team’s rebuild towards respectability. Any media guide or team-written biography will tell you of Savard’s offensive prowess. What is almost never mentioned is that Chicago’s selection of Savard was a perfect storm of backroom negotiations by the Blackhawks, a poor decision by the Quebec Nordiques, unfair rules against expansion teams – and the stellar play of a fellow Quebecor named Réal Cloutier.
Continue reading “What if…the Quebec Nordiques Drafted Denis Savard?”
Hey, guys I found another puck that was squashed and turned into a record. This time it’s the 1979 classic of legendary Hab-Dude Guy Lafleur, a.k.a. The Flower, teaching us how to hockey…to French-Canadian Disco! In the late 70’s there was nothing hotter that a dance beat and Les Habitants hockey in the bleu, blanc et rouge. Why not smoosh them together?
First and foremost, the packaging of this flattened biscuit is worth the price of admission alone. Continue reading “Lafleur! The Guy Lafleur Disco Album”
The story of the 1979-80 New York Islanders
“Dynasty” is a word that’s been tossed around in the hockey world a lot in the last decade. What does it take for a team to be a dynasty in the NHL today? Two Championships in three years like the L.A. Kings? Three Cups in six years like the Blackhawks? Two in back-to-back seasons like the Penguins? The fact that you can’t spell “dynasty” without “nasty” like the Bruins?
While we ponder this, it’s impossible to deny teams like the Oilers’ winning five Cups in seven years, and the Islanders gobbling up four in a row in the 1980s were clearly dynasties. When the Islanders won their first of four straight Stanley Cup Championships, did they know they were on the precipice of greatness? I guess it’s easy to look back and think they may have had an idea that something special was just beginning to brew, but every team that lifts the Cup probably thinks they’re going to repeat the feat next year.
When recently digging through a local record shop, I came across this “audio yearbook” from 1980 celebrating the New York Islanders first Stanley Cup Championship. Continue reading “Record: The Chemistry was Just Right!”
The gift that keeps on giving…even though no one asked for it!
Happy Holi-Chris-Kawan-Hana-whatever! I’m back to bring you hilarious joy as you decorate the domicile or as you just get around to throwing out the rotting Jack-o-lantern with some quality throw back “puck juck” from 1979!
These days, a lot of our hockey teams produce fun little videos celebrating the time of year and thanking the fans; it’s nice — and awkward as hell. The Boston Bruins put out a spectacular video in 2013, the San Jose Sharks owned 2014 with their ode to Holiday Sweaters, and the awkward nod to capitalism thanks to the Calgary Flames in 2015.
But, before we had the interwebs to entertain us with these holiday greetings, what cheer would we receive from our boys? Enter the 1979-80 New York Islanders! Continue reading “1979 N.Y. Islanders Christmas Album”
1979-80 Topps / O-Pee-Chee Dale McCourt – Card #63
One day while thumbing through my extra hockey cards, I came across this odd card – 1979-1980 Topps #63, Dale McCourt. This card featured McCourt in his L.A. Kings Jersey.
However, Dale McCourt was never a member of the L.A. Kings. And yet, this card clearly shows him as one. The back of the card even says “AQUIRED: Awarded from Red Wings”. But later cards never mentioned him playing for the Kings. Intrigued, I did some research, only to find that McCourt’s place of employment was, in the end, determined in a year-long legal battle. Continue reading “Card of the Week: King for a Day”