Showing posts with label rochester americans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rochester americans. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

3 Jack Adams Award Winners That Coached In The 1981-82 AHL

The American Hockey League in 1981-82 consisted of just eleven teams, five in the Northern Division and six in the Southern Division. Three head coaches from that AHL season went on to be Coach of the Year in the National Hockey League and were honoured with the Jack Adams Award.

Jacques Demers – Fredericton Express

jacques demers o-pee-chee hockey card
In his first two years as head coach in Fredericton, his only two in the AHL, Demers had a less than stellar season. The Express finished last overall and fifth in the Northern Division with a dismal record of 20 wins, 55 losses and five ties for 45 points over the 80 game schedule.

Just five years later, Jacques made history as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings. He won the Jack Adams Award in consecutive seasons, 1986-87 and 1987-88. He is one of just five to win the award more than once and the only man in history to win the Jack Adams in consecutive seasons.

In both years, the Red Wings reached the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. In 1985-86, the year before Demers arrives, Detroit was pathetic. The Red Wings finished last overall in the NHL that season with just 17 wins and six ties for 40 points while losing 57 of 80 games.

In 1986-87, the Red Wings placed second in the Norris Division and reached the Stanley Cup semi-finals before bowing to the mighty Edmonton Oilers in five games. The following year, Detroit improved to first in the Norris but once again fell to the Oilers in the semi-finals.

Mike Keenan – Rochester Americans

mike keenan khl all-star hockey card
In Iron Mike’s second of three years coaching the Americans, Rochester finished second in the Southern Division and fourth overall in the AHL. The team fell to the Binghamton Whalers in the Calder Cup semi-finals, losing four games to one.

Just three years later, in 1984-85, Keenan was coaching in his first NHL season. He led the Philadelphia Flyers to a first place finish in the Patrick Division and a first place overall finish in the NHL. The team won 53 games and totalled 113 points. It was plenty enough to earn him the Jack Adams Award. It was his first of four years with the club.

The Flyers swept the Rangers in three games in the first round of the playoffs. They then beat the New York Islanders in five and the Quebec Nordiques in six to earn a berth in the Stanley Cup finals. Like Demers, it was the Edmonton Oilers that got in the way of Keenan and the Flyers. Wayne Gretzky and the Oilers beat Philadelphia in the finals, four games to one, to capture the Stanley Cup.

Orval Tessier – New Brunswick Hawks

orval tessier boston bruins
Tessier made his only year in the AHL count. The Hawks finished first overall during the regular season. New Brunswick then plowed through the competition to capture the Calder Cup championship. In the final series, Orval’s boys took out the Binghamton Whalers in five games.

The following season, Orval Tessier was behind the bench of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. The 1982-83 Blackhawks finished first in the Norris Division with 47 wins and 104 points, good for fourth overall in the NHL.

In the first round of the playoffs, Chicago beat the St. Louis Blues three games to one. In the following round, it was another quick series as the Blackhawks downed the Minnesota North Stars in five. Like Keenan and Demers, the road block for Tessier was the Edmonton Oilers. The teams met in the semi-finals with the Oilers sweeping the series.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

1968-69 AHL Scoring Leaders

guy trottier ottawa nationals 1972-73 o-pee-chee
The American Hockey League in 1968-69 consisted of eight teams, a far cry from the 30 clubs today. The Hershey Bears won the Calder Cup with a 4-1 final series win over the Quebec Aces. There was just one player in 1968-69 to reach the 100 point plateau and the league lacked a 50 goal scorer.

Jeannot Gilbert – Hershey Bears

Jeannot Gilbert of the Hershey Bears led the league, and earned the John B. Sollenberger Trophy, with 100 points on 35 goals and 65 assists over 71 games. 1968-69 was Gilbert’s fourth of eight years in Hershey. He played nine games in the NHL over his career, five with the Boston Bruins in 1962-63 and four with the Bruins in 1964-65. Gilbert ended his pro career with two years in the World Hockey Association, 1973-74 and 1974-75, with the Quebec Nordiques.

Michel Harvey – Hershey Bears

Another member of the Hershey Bears finished second with 93 points. Michel Harvey scored 41 goals and assisted on 52 while playing the full 74 game schedule. A veteran of the AHL, playing eleven years in the league, Harvey got his chance at major league hockey in 1972-73 with the Quebec Nordiques of the WHA. 1973-74 proved to be his last year in professional hockey, playing 26 games for the Maine Nordiques in the North American Hockey League.

Guy Trottier – Buffalo Bisons

Guy Trottier of the Buffalo Bisons led the league in goals with 45 and finished third in points with 82. Trottier also played two games for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League in 1968-69. The following season, Guy led the AHL in goals again, this time with 55.

Ron Ward – Rochester Americans

Ron Ward of the Rochester Americans finished fourth with 78 points on 35 goals and 43 points over 73 games. Ward played 18 games in the NHL the following season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 1971-72, with the Vancouver Canucks, Ron played 71 games in what would be his last appearance in the NHL.

Ward played 359 games in the World Hockey Association between 1972-73 and 1976-77, contributing 380 points. In Ward’s first year in the WHA, he finished second in points with 118 as a member of the struggling New York Raiders. He would also play for the Vancouver Blazers, Los Angeles Sharks, Cleveland Crusaders, Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Fighting Saints and Calgary Cowboys during his WHA career.

Willie Marshall – Baltimore Clippers

Willie Marshall of the Baltimore Clippers also finished with 78 points but played one more game that Ron Ward. Marshall is one of the greatest players in the history of the AHL. He played 1,205 regular season games with the Pittsburgh Hornets, Hershey Bears, Providence Reds, Baltimore Clippers and Rochester Americans. He scored 523 career goals and totalled 1,375 points.

Marshall was a charter member of the AHL Hall of Fame in 2006. To date, no player has played more games or had more goals, assists and points over an AHL career than Willie. Since 2003-04, the Willie Marshall Award has been handed out to the AHL player with the most goals scored during the regular season.