Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bob Collyard


bob collyard philadelphia firebirds nahl
Bob Collyard played professional hockey from 1970-71 to 1982-83. Collyard spent three years with the Philadelphia Firebirds of the NAHL from 1974-75 to 1976-77. During his stay in the North American Hockey League, Bob put up great numbers in each season.

NCAA/WCHA


Collyard spent three years playing for Colorado College in the WCHA from 1968-69 to 1970-71. In his first year, he led the league with 31 goals and 48 points over just 25 games. In his first two years, Bob was selected to the NCAA 1st All-American Team.

Pro Hockey


After just his first year at Colorado College, Collyard was picked by the St. Louis Blues in the seventh round of the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft, 73rd overall. Bob went on to play pro hockey from 1970-71 to 1982-83 in the CHL, NHL, WHL, NAHL, AHL, Germany and IHL.
His National Hockey League experience consists of ten games with the Blues during the 1973-74 season. He was picked up by the Washington Capitals in the 1974 NHL Expansion Draft but never played for the Capitals.

Bob showed off his soft hands in 1972-73, leading the Central Hockey League with 50 assists as a member of the Fort Worth Wings. In his first year in the American Hockey League, 1977-78, with the Philadelphia Firebirds, Collyard finished second in the league with 62 assists, just one behind Joe Hardy of the Binghamton Dusters. That year, he finished fourth in points with 90, eight behind league leader and teammate Gord Brooks.

NAHL


Over his three years in the NAHL, Collyard scored 118 goals and assisted on 230 for 348 points over 216 regular season games. His playoff numbers were even more impressive with 18 goals and 30 assists for 48 points in 24 games. Most of those playoff numbers came in 1975-76 when the Firebirds won the Lockhart Cup. Bob scored 12 goals and assisted on 25 for 37 points.

In 1974-75, Collyard scored 42 and assisted on 61 for 103 points. He placed fourth in the league for goals, second for assists and tied for third in points. Bob led the Firebirds in all three categories and was named to the NAHL Second All-Star Team.

The following year, 1975-76, Bob’s numbers increased but so did everyone else’s in the NAHL. His 45 goals placed him eighth, his 84 assists were good for second and his 129 points put him in fifth among NAHL scoring leaders. He led Philadelphia in assists and points. As mentioned, he led the way in the playoffs as the Firebirds captured the Lockhart Cup championship. Once again, Collyard was named a Second Team All-Star.

In his final season, 1976-77, Bob’s goal total dropped to 31 but his assists increased to 85 for a total of 116 points. Collyard led the team in assists and finished second in the NAHL. His point total placed him seventh overall. Once again, Bob was a Second Team All-Star.

Collyard carried on as a member of the Philadelphia Firebirds for two more years in the American Hockey League after the demise of the NAHL.

USA National Team


Twice, Bob was a member of the United States contingent at the IIHF World Hockey Championships. In 1978, he scored a goal and assisted on five for six points over ten games. The tournament was held in Prague, Czechoslovakia and the U.S.A. finished sixth out of eight countries. That year, the Soviet Union won gold, Czechoslovakia won silver and Canada took bronze.

In 1979, Collyard played in eight games and scored two goals. The U.S. fell to seventh out of eight teams. The tournament was hosted in Moscow. Once again, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia took the first two positions with Sweden winning the bronze.

 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

NAHL 1975-76 Scoring Leaders


beauce jaros nahl north american hockey league
Hockey history was made in 1975-76 and probably went unnoticed by pretty much everyone. In the lowly North American Hockey League, the WHA farm league that the movie ‘Slap Shot’ was inspired by, the first professional hockey player scored more than 200 points in a single season.

Joe Hardy – Beauce Jaros


Jocelyn ‘Joe’ Hardy was the head coach of the Beauce Jaros but also the league’s offensive fireplug.  Hardy totalled 208 points on 60 goals and 148 assists in just 72 games to beat Wayne Gretzky to the punch by six years. Joe’s next highest total over his professional career was just 93 points in 1976-77. Hardy played 63 games in the NHL with the California Golden Seals and 210 games in the World Hockey Association.

Richard Grenier – Beauce Jaros


Richard Grenier, also of the Beauce Jaros, finished second with 160 points on 77 goals and 83 assists. It was a career year for Grenier who was a fifth round pick of the New York Islanders at the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft. Richard appeared in ten NHL games, all with the Islanders in 1972-73. He also dressed for 34 WHA games with the Quebec Nordiques in 1976-77. He finished his pro hockey career following the 1989-90 season after several years in Europe.

Luc Simard – Cape Codders, Beauce Jaros


Luc Simard was twice a 60+ goal scorer (67 and 73) in the NAHL, a 68 goal scorer in the EHL and a 90 goal scorer in the QMJHL. He led the QMJHL in the junior league’s inaugural season with 174 points on 90 goals and 84 assists in just 56 games. Guy Lafleur did not have more points than Simard that year but did score an amazing 130 goals. Luc finished third in 1975-76 with 149 points in a season split between the Cape Codders and the Beauce Jaros. It was Luc’s final year of professional hockey.

Alain Caron – Beauce Jaros


Alain Caron, in the last of his seventeen years in pro hockey, finished fourth with 137 points. Caron was yet another member of the Beauce Jaros. Caron scored 78 goals and assisted on 59. It was his third time scoring more than 70 goals in a season. In 1961-62 with the Amherst Ramblers of the NSSHL, he scored 76 in just 47 games. In 1963-64 with the St. Louis Braves of the CPHL, Caron scored 77 goals in 71 games. Alain appeared in 60 NHL games with the Oakland Seals and Montreal Canadiens, along with 195 games in the WHA with the Quebec Nordiques and Michigan Stags.

Bob Collyard – Philadelphia Firebirds


Bob Collyard of the Philadelphia Firebirds finished fifth with 129 points, 79 behind Joe Hardy, on 45 goals and 84 assists. Collyard was in his second of three years with the NAHL Firebirds and played two more with the franchise after they joined the AHL. Bob was a seventh round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 1969 and played ten games with the NHL club in 1973-74, his only NHL action.

 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dale MacLeish

dale macleish philadelphia firebirds nahl
Like many who played in the North American Hockey League, Dale MacLeish’s stay was relatively short. MacLeish, the older brother of NHL star Rick MacLeish, played for the Philadelphia Firebirds in 1974-75 and nine games into the 1975-76 season.

NAHL


In 1974-75, Dale played 48 games for the Firebirds, scoring 19 goals and adding 18 assists for 37 points. He played in all of Philadelphia’s Lockhart Cup playoff games that year, but contributed no points. The Firebirds bowed out in the opening round to the Long Island Cougars, three games to one. At the same time, in Philadelphia, Rick MacLeish was playing an integral part in the Flyers second consecutive Stanley Cup championship.

Nine games into the 1975-76 season, MacLeish moved on to the Roanoke Valley Rebels of the Southern Hockey League. He had previously spent time with the Rebels in the Eastern Hockey League. The Firebirds went on to win the Lockhart Cup that season, beating the Beauce Jaros in the finals, four to two.

Junior Hockey


MacLeish played two years of major junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey Association. In 1965-66 and 1966-67, Dale was a member of the Peterborough Petes. Brother Rick would join the club the following season and play three years with Peterborough.

In his second year with the Petes, the legendary Roger Neilson took over as head coach. Peterborough was led by Mickey Redmond, who would go on to injury shortened NHL stardom with the Detroit Red Wings. Mickey’s brother Dick was also on the team. Dick also went on to play in the National Hockey League.

Pro Hockey


Dale was a fourth round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 1966 NHL Amateur Draft, 22nd overall. At that time, the draft still didn’t mean anything. MacLeish played pro hockey from 1968-69 to 1975-76 in the Central Hockey League, EHL, SHL and NAHL.

It was in the EHL that MacLeish enjoyed his most success. Between the Jacksonville Rockets and the Roanoke Valley Rebels, he appeared in 270 regular season games, scoring 138 and assisting on 139 for 277 points.

Dale MacLeish played in the last ever Eastern Hockey League final series in 1972-73. Roanoke Valley lost to the Syracuse Blazers in six games. The Blazers outscored the Rebels 51 to 18. The following year, the teams from the EHL split up to create the NAHL in the north and the SHL in the south.

 

 

 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

1965-66 London Nationals to Play in the NAHL


london nationals 1965-66 program
The London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League began as the London Nationals of the OHA in 1965-66. The Nationals changed names to the Knights three years later and remain with that nickname today. Today, the London Knights are one of the most successful teams in, not only the OHL but, the entire Canadian Hockey League. In 1965-66, success was but a distant dream.

London placed ninth in the nine team league in their inaugural season and were the only team to not advance to the post season. The league was led during the regular season by the Peterborough Petes but it was Bobby Orr and the Oshawa Generals that took the Robertson Cup championship in the playoffs.

Four members of the 1965-66 London Nationals went on to play in the North American Hockey League.

Neil Clairmont


Clairmont played three years in the OHA from 1964-65 to 1966-67. In his first year, he appeared in just one game with the Toronto Marlboros. Neil’s 1965-66 season was played with the Nationals. In his final year, Clairmont split his season between London and the Peterborough Petes.

In 1963, Clairmont was a second round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the NHL Amateur Draft, 12th overall. He played in the NAHL from 1974-75 to 1976-77, all with the Binghamton Dusters.

Moe St. Jacques


St. Jacques played two seasons in the OHA, 1965-66 and 1966-67, all with the Nationals. He was a second round pick of the Montreal Canadiens at the 1966 NHL Amateur Draft, eleventh overall. Moe played with the Johnstown Jets in the NAHL during the 1974-75 season.

Jim Blain


Blain was a travelling man over his three years in the OHA. Between 1965-66 and 1967-68, he played for the Nationals, Toronto Marlboros, Ottawa 67’s and Niagara Falls Flyers. His experience with London consists of just four games played at the start of his junior career.

Jim played in the NAHL over the entire history of the league, 1973-74 to 1976-77. His first three years were with the Maine Nordiques and he played with the Beauce Jaros in 1976-77.  During the 1972-73 season, the first for the World Hockey Association, Blain played 70 games for the Quebec Nordiques, his only major league action.

Norm ‘Rocky’ Farr


Farr previously played eleven games with the Montreal Junior Canadiens in 1963-64 before playing in 47 of London’s 48 regular season games in 1965-66. The goalie then split his 1966-67 season between the Nationals and the Oshawa Generals. Rocky has a place in London Nationals / Knights hockey trivia, being the first in franchise history to be named an OHA All-Star.

Norm played 19 games in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres over a three year span. He played just one game in the North American Hockey League, with the Johnstown Jets in 1975-76. He allowed eight goals in that match.

 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Eddie Mio: 17 Games with the Erie Blades


eddie mio detroit red wings hockey card

Eddie Mio in the NAHL


Eddie Mio got his start in professional hockey with the Erie Blades of the North American Hockey League. Mio played 17 regular season games with the Blades during the 1976-77 season, the last year of the NAHL, recording a 3.27 goals against average. He also appeared in two Lockhart Cup playoff games as the Blades lost out in the opening round to the Philadelphia Firebirds, three games to one.

That season, Mio backed up Lynn Zimmerman, Erie’s main goalie for 1975-76 and 1976-77. Zimmerman played pro from 1966-67 to 1977-78 in a handful of leagues, including the EHL, AHL, CHL, WHL, NAHL and WHA. In the World Hockey Association, Lynn played for the Denver Spurs, Ottawa Civics and Houston Aeros.

Eddie Mio in Pro Hockey


During his four year stint at Colorado College from 1972-73 to 1975-76, both the WHA and National Hockey League came calling. Mio was taken in the seventh round of the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft, 124th overall, by the Chicago Black Hawks. That same year, he was also selected in the tenth round of the WHA Amateur Draft by the Vancouver Blazers, 138th overall.

Eddie played pro hockey from 1976-77 to 1985-86 on teams in the NAHL, WHA, AHL, CHL and NHL. He played in the World Hockey Association in 1977-78 and 1978-79 with the Indianapolis Racers and Edmonton Oilers. He followed the Oilers to the NHL after the demise of the WHA. Mio played in the NHL from 1979-80 to 1985-86 with the Oilers, New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings.

Mio was the number one goalie with the Oilers in 1980-81 and with the Rangers in 1982-83. In that 1980-81 season, Eddie was in the hunt for the Art Ross Trophy with five assists – not bad for a goalie. In both 1981-82 and 1982-83, Mio saw the bulk of his Stanley Cup playoff action, appearing in eight games each year with the Rangers. Each year, New York made it out of the preliminary round but in each year they fell to the powerhouse New York Islanders in six games.

In a bit of useless hockey trivia, The Rangers traded Eddie to the Red Wings, along with Ron Duguay and Ed Johnstone for Mike Blaisdell, Willie Huber and Mark Osborne. In his final year of pro hockey, 1985-86, Mio played 18 games for the Red Wings and posted a dismal 6.32 goals against average.