Showing posts with label toronto maple leafs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label toronto maple leafs. Show all posts

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bruce Boudreau: A Pro Career That Started in the NAHL

bruce boudreau toronto maple leafs


Bruce Boudreau started his impressive minor pro career in the North American Hockey League with the Johnstown Jets in 1975-76. He played just 34 regular season games with the Jets and nine in the playoffs. Yet, he produced at nearly a point per game with 60 points on 25 goals and 35 assists. Boudreau played 30 games in the World Hockey Association with the Minnesota Fighting Saints, contributing just nine points.

At that pace, playing a full 74 game schedule, Boudreau was on pace for 54 goals and 131 points. Very impressive potential numbers, especially for a rookie, but a far cry from the league leaders that year with Alain Caron scoring 78 and Joe Hardy tallying 208 points. Both played for the Beauce Jaros. Bruce was coming off an Eddie Powers Trophy year in the OMJHL, leading the league with 165 points on 68 goals and 97 assists in 69 games for the Toronto Marlboros. It was his third of three years with Toronto.

Boudreau also appeared in nine games during the Lockhart Cup playoffs. The Jets finished the regular season in first place in the West Division but were knocked out of the playoffs in the second round.

Pro Playing Career

Bruce was taken in both the WHA and NHL Amateur Drafts. In 1974, the Minnesota Fighting Saints chose him in the first round of the WHA Amateur Draft, 14th overall. The following year, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected him in the third round of the NHL Amateur Draft, 42nd overall.

Boudreau played pro hockey from 1975-76 to 1991-92 in the NAHL, WHA, NHL, CHL, AHL and IHL, with also some time spent in Germany. He appeared in 141 NHL regular season games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Black Hawks. In 1987-88, Bruce was awarded the John B. Sollenberger Trophy as the American Hockey League’s top scorer, totalling 116 points for the Springfield Indians.

Coaching Career

Boudreau has been coaching since 1990-91 when he was player / assistant coach of the IHL’s Fort Wayne Komets. He has coached in the IHL, ECHL, AHL and is currently a head coach in the National Hockey League.

Although a Stanley Cup has eluded him since his NHL coaching career began in 2007-08, Boudreau won a Kelly Cup in the ECHL in 1998-99 with the Mississippi Sea Wolves and a Calder Cup in the AHL in 2005-06 with the Hershey Bears. Bruce is currently in his second year as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks after four and some years behind the bench for the Washington Capitals.

Monday, March 25, 2013

John Brophy: A Great Coaching Career Started in the NAHL

john brophy head coach long island cougars nahl

John Brophy spent just one year in the North American Hockey League and that came a year after his long playing career was over. Brophy was the head coach of the Long Island Cougars for the 1973-74 inaugural NAHL season.

The Cougars finished third overall in the seven team league, 20 points behind the second place Maine Nordiques and 39 behind the first place Syracuse Blazers.

The opening round of the 1973-74 playoffs featured a round robin with the top five finishing teams. Each team played the other four twice. The Cougars came out with 4-3 record, third among the five. Only one team was eliminated from the group and, ironically, it was the Maine Nordiques. Maine went a dreadful 1-7 after such a great regular season.

In the 1973-74 semi-finals, Long Island took out the Cape Cod Cubs in six games to earn a shot at the Syracuse Blazers in the Lockhart Cup finals. It was no contest. Syracuse swept the Cougars and outscored Long Island 27-5 over the four games.

John Brophy’s NAHL career ended with that series but a lengthy and successful coaching career had begun. It is suggested that his NAHL legacy lives on in theatre. Brophy is reported to be the model for the character Reggie Dunlop, played by Paul Newman, in the movie Slapshot.

Playing Career

John Brophy played 1,142 regular season games in the Eastern Hockey League from 1952-53 to 1972-73. The tough defenseman accumulated and astronomical 3,825 penalty minutes over that time. That number equates to nearly 64 hours or more than two and a half days.

He was EHL PIM leader in the following years:

·         1959-60. 190 PIM with the Charlotte Clippers.

·         1960-61. 290 PIM with the New Haven Blades.

·         1961-62. 281 PIM with the Long Island Ducks.

·         1964-65. 241 PIM with the Long Island Ducks.

Over his EHL career he played for the Troy Uncle Sam Trojans, Baltimore Clippers, Charlotte Rebels, Charlotte Clippers, New Haven Blades, Long Island Ducks, Philadelphia Ramblers and Jersey Devils. He was on one championship team during that time and two other teams that were finalists.

The 1956-57 Charlotte Clippers were first overall with a whopping 30 point lead over the second place Philadelphia Ramblers. In the semi-finals, the Clippers beat the New Haven Blades 4-2 in the semi-finals before facing the Ramblers in the finals. Philadelphia did all they could but fell to Charlotte in seven games.

The Clippers toned it down a bit the following season but still found success. The team finished first overall but just one point ahead of the Washington Presidents. Charlotte once again met New Haven in the semis with the Blades pushing the Clippers to the limit before succumbing. Charlotte then met the Presidents in the final series and fell to Washington in another series that went the limit.

In 1960-61, Brophy was with the New Haven Blades. The team finished first in the Northern Division and third overall. In the first round of the playoffs, New Haven beat the Greensboro Generals 5-4 in an unorthodox nine game series. The Blades earned a bye through the second round and landed directly in the finals against the Johnstown Jets. Johnstown took out the Blades 4-2.

Coaching Career

Brophy found himself behind one hockey bench or another from 1973-74 to 2006-07 and even found himself as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1986-87 to 1988-89.

John coached his first major league hockey in 1978-79 as head of the Birmingham Bulls of the World Hockey Association. The ‘Baby Bulls’ had an outstanding lineup of teenagers playing their first professional hockey. Rick Vaive, Michel Goulet, Craig Hartsburg, Rob Ramage, Gaston Gingras and Pat Riggin mixed with former NHL veterans like Paul Henderson and Ernie Wakely. If the WHA had survived past the 1978-79 season, this team had the makings of a powerhouse.

Birmingham finished the regular season sixth in the seven team league and did not qualify for the post season. The seventh team was the Indianapolis Racers, a team that folded after 25 games. Still, Brophy was the final recipient of the Robert Schmertz Memorial Trophy as the WHA’s coach of the year.

His true claim to fame, however, came after the WHA and after his tumultuous times in Toronto under Harold Ballard. John Brophy is an ECHL coaching legend. In the league that began play in 1988-89, no other head coach has won three Kelly Cup championships. All John’s post season success came behind the bench of the Hampton Roads Admirals.

In 1990-91, the Admirals took out the Greensboro Monarchs in five games to win the Kelly Cup. The following year, they swept the Louisville IceHawks for the repeat. In 1997-98, Brophy completed his triple as the Admirals shot down the Pensacola Ice Pilots in six games.

In 2003, the ECHL changed the name of the trophy for coach of the year to the John Brophy Memorial Award. Ironically, Brophy was never name ECHL coach of the year despite all his success. In 2009, he was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Guy Trottier: Coach and Star of the Buffalo Norsemen

guy trottier rookie hockey cards 1971-72 o-pee-chee toronto maple leafs
Guy Trottier played his last of 14 years in professional hockey with the Buffalo Norsemen of the NAHL. Trottier also acted as the head coach of the Norsemen, a team that finished fourth in the West Division with 30 wins and 60 points over the 74 game schedule. Buffalo met the Johnstown Jets in the opening round and lost three games to two. The final and deciding game of the series was a 1-0 win by the Jets. Trottier finished the year with a respectable 36 goals and 22 assists for 58 points over 56 regular season games.

Trottier played pro from 1963-64 to 1975-76, appearing in five different leagues, the IHL, AHL, NHL, WHA and NAHL. At the highest level, Guy played 115 games in the National Hockey League between 1968-69 and 1971-72 with the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. His World Hockey Association career lasted 174 games from 1972-73 to 1974-75 with the Ottawa Nationals, Toronto Toros and Michigan Stags.

guy trottier ottawa nationals hockey card 1972-73 o-pee-chee wha
In just his second year of pro hockey, Trottier tied for fourth place in the IHL with 46 goals as a member of the Dayton Gems. The following year, the numbers improved greatly with Guy placing third with 68 goals and tied for second with 132 points, just one off the leader. In 1966-67, He scored a career high 71 goals with the Gems to lead the IHL, 19 goals more than the second place finisher. His 135 point placed his second, four behind Len Thornson of the Fort Wayne Komets.

Trottier led the American Hockey League in goal scoring for the 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons with the Buffalo Bisons. In the first year, he scored 45 goals and in 1969-70, the final year of existence for the Bisons, Guy scored 55.

Only two mainstream hockey cards were ever produced featuring Trottier. His 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee rookie card is valued as a common. The card had him in a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey. His 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee card is valued at a whopping $8 as it’s part of the first set of WHA hockey cards that came at the back end of the 1972-73 NHL set. Guy is on the card as a member of the Ottawa Nationals.

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1957-58 Trois Rivieres Lions QHL 2 0 0 0 0
1963-64 Phila-.Greensboro EHL 27 14 16 30 38
1963-64 Port Huron Flags IHL 42 19 15 34 52
1964-65 Dayton Gems IHL 68 46 42 88 56
1965-66 Dayton Gems IHL 66 68 64 132 16
1966-67 Dayton Gems IHL 67 71 64 135 23
1967-68 Buffalo Bisons AHL 41 16 19 35 6
1968-69 New York Rangers NHL 2 0 0 0 0
1968-69 Buffalo Bisons AHL 72 45 37 82 21
1969-70 Buffalo Bisons AHL 71 55 33 88 8
1970-71 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 61 19 5 24 21
1971-72 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 52 9 12 21 16
1972-73 Ottawa Nationals WHA 72 26 32 58 25
1973-74 Toronto Toros WHA 71 27 35 62 58
1974-75 Dayton Gems IHL 20 12 5 17 6
1974-75 Toronto Toros WHA 14 4 4 8 4
1974-75 Michigan Stags/Baltimore Blades WHA 17 5 4 9 2
1975-76Buffalo NorsemenNAHL5636225859

NHL Totals
115 28 17 45 37

WHA Totals
174 62 75 137 89