Saturday, April 12, 2014

Rejean Giroux: Maine Nordiques and Beauce Jaros

rejean giroux quebec nordiques wha
The hockey career of Rejean Giroux was compact with just eight years from his first year in the QMJHL with the Quebec Remparts to his final year in the NAHL with the Beauce Jaros. However, Giroux made the best of it, especially with the Maine Nordiques of the NAHL in 1973-74.

Rejean Giroux – NAHL

In 1973-74, Giroux played 68 games for the Maine Nordiques, scoring 64 goals and assisting on 58 for 122 points. He led the Nordiques in goals and points while finishing fourth on the team for assists behind Paul Larose, Michel Rouleau and Michel Archambault. His 64 goals placed him second in the league, three behind Luc Simard of the Cape Cod Cubs. Giroux was ninth in assists and just one point behind Simard for the overall lead in points.

Maine placed second overall but went 1-7 in the opening round round-robin playoff. Over the eight playoff games, Rejean scored three goals and assisted on four. Giroux also played 12 games for the Quebec Nordiques in the World Hockey Association that year.

In 1976-77, he returned to the NAHL to play for the Beauce Jaros. Over 13 games, he scored six and assisted on four. The Jaros folded 30 games into the season and Giroux didn’t catch on with another team.

Rejean Giroux – QMJHL

For three years from 1969-70 to 1971-72, Giroux played in the QMJHL for the Quebec Remparts. In his first year, he scored 38 and assisted on 43 for 81 points over 55 regular season games. His 175 penalty minutes placed him seventh in the league. Rejean was fourth on the team in scoring behind Guy Lafleur, Jacques Richard and Andre Savard. Lafleur had 103 goals and 170 points that year.

Quebec finished first overall and took the President’s Cup championship by sweeping the St. Jerome Alouettes in the finals. Giroux scored 16 and totalled 29 points over 15 playoff games, third on the team behind Lafleur’s 43 points and Paul Larose’s 30. The Remparts lost in the Memorial Cup semi-finals to the Montreal Junior Canadiens.

Giroux took a step back in his second year with the Remparts with 25 goals and 34 assists for 59 points over 50 regular season games. He was fifth on the team in points with Lafleur once again leading the way, this time with a record 130 goals and 209 points.

The Remparts once again finished first overall in the QMJHL, this time 32 points better than the second place Shawinigan Bruins. Quebec and Shawinigan met in the President’s Cup finals and the Remparts won the series in five games. The team then beat out the Edmonton Oil Kings for the Memorial Cup championship.

In 1971-72, Guy Lafleur was gone and it was up to Jacques Richard and Rejean to lead the team. Giroux scored 58 goals and assisted on 51 for 109 points, second on the team in each category to Richard. His 58 goals were also second in the QMJHL behind his teammate while he tied for eighth in points.

Quebec finished third overall and once again reached the President’s Cup finals. This time, the Remparts fell to the Cornwall Royals in six games. Giroux scored 16 and assisted on 15 for 31 points over 15 playoff games.

Rejean Giroux – Pro Hockey

The Chicago Blackhawks selected Giroux in the fifth round of the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft, 77th overall. He never played in the National Hockey League but did appear in 59 games in the WHA with the Quebec Nordiques in 1972-73 and 12 more with the club in 1973-74.

In 1974-75 and 1975-76, Rejean played for the Dallas Black Hawks of the Central Hockey League. In his first year, he was fourth on the team with 60 points over 68 games. His 27 goals were the second best on the Black Hawks. Dallas reached the finals before falling to the Salt Lake Golden Eagles in seven games. The Black Hawks outscored their opponents 28-24 on the series with games 1, 2 and 7 decided in overtime.

Alexandre Giroux

Rejean’s son has enjoyed maybe a bit more success in the world of pro hockey. Alexandre also spent three years in the QMJHL, from 1998-99 to 2000-01 with the Hull Olympiques and Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

In the American Hockey League, the younger Giroux led the league in goals scored in consecutive seasons, 2008-09 and 2009-10, earning him the Willie Marshall Award for his efforts. He scored 60 goals the first year and 50 the next, playing for the Hershey Bears in both seasons.

The veteran of 48 NHL games between 2005-06 and 2011-12 with the New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets has signed an extension in Switzerland’s National League A. 2014-15 will be his second year with Ambri-Piotta in the NLA.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Larry Gould: All-Time NAHL Buffalo Norsemen Scoring Leader

larry gould buffalo norsemen nahl
Larry Gould played just one season in the NAHL. It was his fourth year of pro hockey and his was playing with the Buffalo Norsemen. Gould made the most of his one season with 100 points over 71 games. He brought with him to Buffalo a tiny bit of National Hockey League experience. He went on to be a prolific scorer in the IHL for several years.

Larry Gould – NAHL

Gould played for the Buffalo Norsemen for the 1975-76 season. It was the only season the franchise played in the North American Hockey League. Larry’s 32 goals were good for second on the team, four behind player/head coach Guy Trottier. His 68 assists and 100 points led the Norsemen. His 68 assists also placed him eighth in the NAHL.

Larry Gould – Junior

Larry played three years of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey Association from 1969-70 to 1971-72. His first two years were spent with the Hamilton Red Wings. The team was full of future NHLers like Rick Kehoe, Pat Hickey, Jim Schoenfeld, Bob Neely and Mike Veisor. Yet, the Red Wings were not successful in the playoffs. That Hamilton franchise is the present day Erie Otters.

His final year in the OHA was spent with the Niagara Falls Flyers. Once again, there were numerous future NHL players including Don Lever, Jim Schoenfeld, Wilf Paiement and Eric Vail. Yet, the Flyers were ousted in the first round of the Robertson Cup playoffs. That version of the Niagara Falls Flyers is now the Sudbury Wolves.

Larry Gould – Pro Hockey

Gould went undrafted but played pro hockey from 1972-73 to 1981-82 in the IHL, NHL, WHL, CHL and NAHL. His two games with the Vancouver Canucks came during the 1973-74 season.

In his rookie pro year, Larry played for the Des Moines Capitols of the IHL. Over 73 regular season games, he scored 30 goals and assisted on 54 for 84 points. He tied for ninth in the league for assists.

After his stint in the NAHL, his scoring numbers continued to rise. In 1976-77 with the Port Huron Flags of the IHL, Gould scored 35 and assisted on 71 for 106 points. He was the bright spot on a team that finished dead last in the nine team league. Larry led the IHL in assists and was fifth for points.

The following year, he scored 36 and assisted on 69 for 105 points over 80 games with Port Huron. Gould placed second in the IHL for assists and third for points. The Flags improved to fourth in the North Division and sixth in the nine team league. In the playoffs, Larry scored 12 and assisted on 12 for 24 points over 17 games. Port Huron reached the finals before falling in seven to the Toledo Goaldiggers.

In 1980-81 and still with Port Huron, Gould placed sixth in the IHL with 63 assists and placed tied for tenth with 93 points. The following year, his last in pro hockey, Larry totalled 33 goals and 60 assists for 93 points. However, the IHL had moved on to a more offensive game and Gould was left out of the top ten in all three categories. He played 15 games with the Muskegon Mohawks and 59 with the Flint Generals. The two were the sixth and seventh place teams in the seven team league.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jim Stanfield: Short NAHL Stay With Buffalo Norsemen In 1975-76

jim stanfield buffalo norsemen nahl
Jim Stanfield was one of three brothers that all played junior hockey with the St. Catherines Blackhawks in the Ontario Hockey Association and all played in the National Hockey League for at least one game. Stanfield played in the NAHL towards the end of his pro hockey career with the Buffalo Norsemen during the team’s only year in the league.

Jim Stanfield – NAHL

Stanfield played for the Buffalo Norsemen for part of the 1975-76 North American Hockey League season. He appeared in 27 regular season games, scoring ten goals and assisting on 19 for 29 points with the Guy Trottier coached team. He also appeared in four Lockhart Cup playoff games, adding two points. Stanfield started the season in the WIHL, playing 33 games for the Spokane Flyers. Over his 33 games, he scored 33 goals.

The Norsemen finished the 1975-76 NAHL regular season fourth in the five team West Division and seventh overall in the ten team league. Buffalo lost in the opening round of the playoffs to the Johnstown Jets.

Jim Stanfield – Junior Hockey

Jim played three years of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey Association from 1964-65 to 1966-67. His first two years were spent with the St. Catherines Blackhawks. Stanfield’s final year was with the London Nationals in that franchise’s second year of existence. Jim finished second on the Nationals with 32 goals, six behind team leader Garry Unger. Turk Broda was in his first of two years as head coach of the team.

Jim Stanfield – Pro Hockey

Stanfield played pro hockey from 1967-68 to 1976-77. He appeared on teams in the CHL, NHL, AHL, WHL, WIHL and NAHL. Jim played in seven regular season games in the National Hockey League between 1969-70 and 1971-72, all with the Los Angeles Kings.

In 1968-69, he was part of Central Hockey League championship team with the Dallas Black Hawks. Dallas met the Oklahoma City Blazers in the finals and won the best of four series in five games.

The following year, Stanfield joined the Springfield Kings in the American Hockey League for the final 18 games of the regular season. He started the year playing 55 games with Dallas. In the Calder Cup playoffs, Jim led Springfield with eight goals and nine assists for 17 points over 14 games. The Kings reached the Calder Cup finals before being swept by the Buffalo Bisons.

In 1974-75, Jim scored 45 goals and assisted on 57 for 102 points over 47 games with the Spokane Flyers of the WIHL. He was second in the league in goals, tied for third for assists and led the league in points.

Jim’s brother Fred Stanfield played 914 regular season games in the NHL between 1964-65 and 1977-78 with the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, Minnesota North Stars and Buffalo Sabres. Brother Jack Stanfield played one Stanley Cup playoff game with the Blackhawks in 1965-66. All played junior hockey for the St. Catherines Black Hawks.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Louis Levasseur: The Real Life Denis Lemieux

louis levasseur
He’s the inspiration for the character of Denis Lemieux in the 1977 movie Slap Shot and the goalie that led the Johnstown Jets to a Lockhart Cup championship in 1974-75. Louis Levasseur played his first full pro season in the NAHL and went on to appear in the World Hockey Association. Levasseur even played one game in the NHL with the Minnesota North Stars.

Louis Levasseur – NAHL

Louis played goal for the Johnstown Jets for two seasons, 1974-75 and 1975-76. In his first year, he played in 26 regular season games, posting a 3.15 goals against average and one shutout. He also appeared in one game with the Springfield Indians in the American Hockey League.

The Dick Roberge coached Jets has a roster populated by the three Carlson brothers, Dave Hanson and Ned Dowd. Along with Levasseur, it was the basis for the story behind the Slap Shot movie. Johnstown placed fourth out of eight teams during the NAHL regular season. In the Lockhart Cup playoffs, the Jets swept the Binghamton Dusters in the finals for the championship. Levasseur played 12 games in the playoffs for Johnstown.

In 1975-76, Louis played 30 games for the Jets, posting a 3.04 GAA and one shutout. He also accumulated a whopping 41 penalty minutes over his 30 games. Levasseur was a callup to the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the WHA and appeared in four games. The Jets were not as successful as the year before despite having players like Bruce Boudreau, Galen Head and Paul Holmgren on the roster.
Like many of his teammates, Levasseur is credited for the 1977 Slap Shot movie. The Jets players played as 'doubles' for the hockey action scenes.

Louis Levasseur – Pro Career

Levasseur saw his first pro action way back in 1968-69, appearing in two games for the Nashville Dixie Flyers of the EHL. Over those two games, he allowed seven goals for a 3.50 GAA. He wouldn’t play pro again until 1972-73 when he played in four games for the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League.

1974-75 was his first full pro season. Louis played in the WHA between 1975-76 and 1978-79 with the Fighting Saints, Edmonton Oilers, New England Whalers and Quebec Nordiques. In 1977-78, he played 12 playoff games for the Whalers with the team losing in the Avco World Trophy finals to the Winnipeg Jets. He had backed up veteran Al Smith most of the season.

As mentioned, Levasseur played in one NHL games, with the Minnesota North Stars in 1979-80. That one game was less than stellar with Louis allowing seven goals. His pro career ended after playing for the Oklahoma City Stars of the CHL in 1980-81.

Levasseur was involved in some interesting trades during his WHA career. In January, 1977, Louis, along with Mike Antonovich, Bill Butters, Dave Keon, Jack Carlson, Steve Carlson and John McKenzie were traded to the Edmonton Oilers for cash after the Fightning Saints ceased operations. In September of the same year, Louis was traded to New England from Edmonton for Brett Callighen and Dave Dryden.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lorne Rombough: Long Island Cougars 1973-74

lorne rombough long island cougars
1973-74 was a great year for Lorne Rombough. He was a fifty goal scorer in his only year in the North American Hockey League and played his only three games of major league hockey with the Chicago Cougars of the World Hockey Association.

Lorne Rombough – NAHL

In 1973-74, Lorne played 68 regular season games for the Long Island Cougars in the inaugural season of the NAHL. Rombough scored 50 goals and assisted on 42 for 92 points on the John Brophy coached team. He led the Cougars in goals and points. Lorne’s 50 goals placed him fourth in the league and he was the last of four players to surpass the 50 goal plateau that season. His 92 points placed him tenth in the league.

As for the Cougars, the team placed third in the seven team league, one point below .500. Yes, just two of seven teams had winning records in the 1973-74 NAHL. This imbalance certainly showed in the playoffs. Long Island reached the Lockhart Cup finals before being swept by the Syracuse Blazers in four games. The Blazers outscored the Cougars 27-5 in the series.

Lorne Rombough – Pro Hockey

In 1967-68, Lorne was team captain with the State University of Buffalo in U.S. College Hockey. The team went undefeated during the 15 game regular season but fell to Oswego State in the playoffs, their only loss of the season.

Rombough played pro hockey from 1969-70 to 1979-80 in a handful of leagues that includes the IHL, EHL (2 versions), AHL, NAHL, WHA, SHL, PHL and NEHL. His actual first pro game came in 1968-69 when he appeared in a single game with the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL. Lorne scored a goal in that first taste of pro hockey.

Lorne played for the predecessor of the Cougars, the Long Island Ducks of the EHL. In 1971-72, he placed ninth in the Eastern Hockey League with 42 goals in 75 regular season games. He also assisted on 35 for a total of 77 points that year.

As mentioned, he got his lone shot at major league hockey in 1973-74. Rombough played three games with the Chicago Cougars of the World Hockey Association. His short stay was pretty impressive with two goals and an assist for the WHA club.

Perhaps, his best year in pro hockey came in 1974-75 with the Hampton Gulls of the SHL. Lorne scored 56 goals and assisted on 43 for 99 points over 72 regular season games. Rombough placed second in the league for goal, three behind league leader Andre Deschamps of the Charlotte Checkers. The two were the only players that season to surpass the 50 goal mark. Lorne’s 99 points placed him fourth in the SHL.