Showing posts with label cape codders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cape codders. Show all posts

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Joe Szura of the Cape Codders


joe szura 1972-73 o-pee-chee wha los angeles sharks
Joe Szura played just 14 total games in the NAHL. His NHL career consisted of 97 games with the Oakland Seals. Doesn't seem worthy of an article, huh? But, this guy did have some noteworthy success in the American Hockey League and I believe Szura's is an interesting story.

Joe Szura – NAHL


Joe played ten regular season games for the Cape Codders during the 1974-75 NAHL season. It was his last year in pro hockey and he contributed with three goals and two assists. The Codders finished fifth in the eight team league, 12 points behind the fourth place Johnstown Jets.

In the playoffs, the Codders lost in the opening round to the Jets, three games to one. Szura played in all four games, adding an assist. Done. That is the extent of Joe Szura's career in the North American Hockey League.

Here's a tidbit for those not familiar with the Codders. They played out of the Cape Cod Coliseum in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts. The venue opened in 1972 and seated 7,200 for hockey. Just 12 years later, in 1984, the arena was closed and converted to warehouse space.

Joe Szura – Junior and Minor Pro


Szura played his junior hockey with the Fort Williams Canadiens from 1956-57 to 1958-59. He followed that up with nearly nine full seasons in the minors before playing his first game in the National Hockey League, playing for teams in the EPHL and AHL.

He was a Calder Cup champion in 1963-64 with the Cleveland Barons. The Fred Glover coached team was lacklustre during the regular season, finishing third in the four team Western Division. Joe had a great year offensively with 23 goals and 44 assists for 67 points over 72 games.

It was in the Calder Cup playoffs in 1963-64 where Szura exploded to lead the Barons to one of the greatest playoff runs in hockey history. Over nine games, he scored 13 goals and assisted on six more for 19 points – numbers not normally seen in the defensive minded AHL. The Barons did the impossible and went undefeated through their three rounds. In the first, they knocked off the Rochester Americans in two games. In the semi-finals, they swept the Hershey Bears in three. In the finals, the swept the Quebec Aces in four for the championship.

Two years later with the Barons, 1965-66, Joe had the best offensive season of his pro career. He scored 46 goals and assisted on 30 for 76 points. He finished third in the league in goal scoring, one behind co-leaders Alain Caron of the Buffalo Bisons and Dick Gamble of the Rochester Americans. He was named a First Team All-Star but couldn't produce in the playoffs. Over 12 games, he scored just one goal and totalled just five points. Cleveland reached the Calder Cup finals but fell to Rochester.

Szura returned to the AHL after his very short career in the NHL to play three more years from 1969-70 to 1971-72. In the first year, played with the Providence Reds, his 46 assists tied for seventh in the AHL.

In 1970-71, Joe led the Reds offensively in the regular season and playoffs. His 53 assists were good for second in the AHL and his 74 points tied him for fifth. Providence finished first in the Eastern Division and reached the Calder Cup finals before losing to the Springfield Kings.

In his final year in the American Hockey League, 1971-72, Joe played for the Baltimore Clippers. He finished fifth in goal scoring with 38 and ninth in the race for the John B. Sollenberger Trophy with 76 points. Joe helped the Clippers to the Calder Cup finals before losing out to the Nova Scotia Voyageurs.

Joe Szura – Major League Hockey


joe szura 1968-69 o-pee-chee rookie card oakland seals
The career minor leaguer was saved by NHL expansion. The Oakland Seals took him in the ninth round of the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft, 53rd overall. At the time, he was property of the Montreal Canadiens. In Oakland's first season, Joe played just 20 games.

In 1968-69, Szura played 70 regular season games for the Seals. Once again, he had Fred Glover guiding him as head coach. Oakland qualified for the post season for the first time and faced off against the Los Angeles Kings in the opening round. Szura played all seven games for the Seals with the team coming up short. Oakland held a 3-2 lead in the series at one point and outscored the Kings 25-23 over the seven games.

When the World Hockey Association came along, Joe jumped at the chance to play in the big leagues again. In 1972-73, the WHA's inaugural season, he played for the Los Angeles Sharks. In 1973-74, he played alongside the Howe family with the Houston Aeros. In all, he appeared in 115 regular season WHA games, scoring 21 and assisting on 39. He played 12 playoff games for the Aeros but didn't register a point.


Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1960-61 Montreal-Hull/Ottawa EPHL 65 10 24 34 20
1961-62 North Bay Trappers EPHL 68 27 35 62 24
1962-63 Cleveland Barons AHL 72 15 29 44 20
1963-64 Cleveland Barons AHL 72 23 44 67 33
1964-65 Cleveland Barons AHL 67 32 30 62 26
1965-66 Cleveland Barons AHL 72 46 30 76 22
1966-67 Cleveland Barons AHL 68 27 42 69 32
1967-68 Buffalo Bisons AHL 43 13 22 35 16
1967-68 Oakland Seals NHL 20 1 3 4 10
1968-69 Oakland Seals NHL 70 9 12 21 20
1969-70 Providence Reds AHL 72 21 46 67 23
1970-71 Providence Reds AHL 70 21 53 74 39
1971-72 Baltimore Clippers AHL 72 38 38 76 20
1972-73 Los Angeles Sharks WHA 73 13 32 45 25
1973-74 Houston Aeros WHA 42 8 7 15 4
1974-75 Cape Codders NAHL 10 3 2 5 0

NHL Totals
90 10 15 25 30

WHA Totals
115 21 39 60 29


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bryan McSheffrey


bryan mcsheffrey vancouver canucks rookie hockey card
Bryan McSheffrey was a player that had a promising junior hockey career in the OHA with the Ottawa 67’s in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. McSheffrey looked to be off and running in the National Hockey League with the Vancouver Canucks, the team that made him a second round pick in 1972. However, by 1975, he was in the North American Hockey League, never to play in the NHL again.

Bryan McSheffrey – NAHL


McSheffrey played two years in the NAHL, 1975-76 and 1976-77. In his first year, he started out with the Guy Trottier coached Buffalo Norsemen. Over 46 games, he scored 27 goals and assisted on 31 for well more than a point per game at 58. Even with only playing 46 of 74 games, Bryan placed fourth on the Norsemen for assists.

Bryan was shipped to the fragile Cape Codders midseason. The Codders had folded before Christmas but were resurrected for a short period of time in the new year. McSheffrey played three games with the club, scoring just a goal. The Cape Codders folded for good on February 18, 1975.

McSheffrey finished off the 1975-76 season with the Mohawk Valley Comets, playing 12 games and adding seven points. The Comets lost in the opening round to the Syracuse Blazers.

In 1976-77, Bryan spent the whole season with the Comets, playing in 63 games and totalling 72 points on 29 goals and 43 assists. He placed third on the team for points. Mohawk Valley lost in the opening round to the Binghamton Dusters, three games to two.

Bryan McSheffrey – Ottawa 67’s


Bryan played four years with the Ottawa 67’s from 1968-69 to 1971-72. He appeared in one game with the Oshawa Generals in 1967-68. He was well over a point per game during his OHA career with 260 in 226 regular season games. He led the 67’s in goals in 1969-70 with 35 and placed second behind Blake Dunlop the following year for goals and points.

In his final year in the league, McSheffrey led Ottawa with 52 goals and 96 points. He placed fifth in the league for goals behind a group of four that went on to play in the NHL, including league leader and Hockey Hall of Fame member Steve Shutt.

Bryan McSheffrey – Pro Hockey


Bryan was a second round pick of the Vancouver Canucks at the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft. He had size and scoring ability and in the beginning the Canucks had big plans for him. McSheffrey played just 90 games in the NHL over his career, all between 1972-73 and 1974-75 with the Canucks and Buffalo Sabres. His time in Buffalo was limited to just three games. Bryan appears on just one hockey card. The Bryan McSheffrey rookie card is part of the 1973-74 O-Pee-Chee set.

McSheffrey finished his pro hockey career in the Netherlands Eredivisie with HYS Den Haag (The Hague). He was the league’s scoring leader, playing in 1978-79 and 1979-80. Over his time in the Netherlands, Bryan produced at over three points per game.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Nick Fotiu: 1st Year Pro With the Cape Cod Cubs


1977-78 o-pee-chee hockey card nick fotiu new york rangers
Nick Fotiu is among the top 100 New York Rangers of all time but probably not for his hockey skills. Fotiu was a fan favourite for being the first Staten Island born player to play for the Rangers and for his love of the fans in the cheap seats.

NAHL


It all began for Fotiu in the North American Hockey League. Nick played 72 of 74 regular season games for the Cape Cod Cubs in the NAHL’s inaugural season, 1973-74, his first year of pro hockey. He put up decent offensive numbers with 12 goals and 24 assists for 36 points. However, his claim to fame was leading the league in penalty minutes with 371, 55 more than second place Dave Ferguson of the Syracuse Blazers.

In that first year in the NAHL, Fotiu played 13 games in the playoffs, scoring four games and adding seven assists while sitting 80 minutes in the sin bin. The Cubs reached the semi-finals before falling to the Long Island Cougars four games to two.

In 1974-75, Nick started his season with the Cape Codders but was called up to the World Hockey Association after five games. In those five, it looks as though Fotiu was being used for his offensive abilities just as much as his toughness with three points and a relatively mild 13 minutes in penalties.

WHA / NHL


Nick played 110 regular season games in the World Hockey Association between 1974-75 and 1975-76 with the New England Whalers. In 1975-76, he sat 94 PIM over 49 regular season games and 57 in just 16 playoff games. The Whalers reached the WHA semi-finals before the Houston Aeros eliminated New England 4-3.

Fotiu played 646 regular season games in the National Hockey League from 1976-77 to 1988-89 with the New York Rangers, Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers and Edmonton Oilers. Over that time, he spent 1,362 minutes in the box. Most of his career was spent with the Rangers. The Whalers selected him in the 1979 expansion draft when they entered the NHL but traded him back to the Rangers in January, 1981.

His professional hockey career ended with a partial season in the American Hockey League in 1989-90 with the New Haven Nighthawks.

Coaching Career


Nick coached in the ECHL for five years. He was head coach of the Nashville Knights in 1992-93 and 1993-94, reaching the post season both years. He was head of the Johnstown Chiefs for three seasons from 1995-96 to 1997-98. In the final year with the Chiefs, he was replaced 30 games into the season.