Sunday, January 28, 2007

Gump Worsley

Gump Worsley died on Friday.
Hall of Fame goaltender Lorne (Gump) Worsley, a Montreal native who played 21 years in the NHL with the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota North Stars, died Friday.

He was 77.

"He was a terrific goaltender," former North Stars teammate Lou Nanne said. "If I could pick any goalie to win a big game, it would be Gump.

"He was one of the first real characters in the NHL. He had a lot of personality and really showed the human side of the game. He didn't look like an athlete and smoked like a chimney between periods, but he was terrific when he put the pads on."

Worsley was famous for not wearing a mask until the final season of his NHL career in 1973-74.

Worsley won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie in 1952-53 as a member of the Rangers and helped New York reach the playoffs in four of the 10 seasons he played there.

Worsley led the Canadiens to four Stanley Cups (1965, 1966, 1968 and 1969) in seven seasons with Montreal and won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goalie on two occasions (1966 and 1968).

After a retiring in 1969, Worsley came back and played four seasons with the expansion Minnesota North Stars.

Worsley posted a career record of 335-352-150 with 43 shutouts and a 2.77 goals-against average during his NHL career. He holds the NHL record for career losses.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980.
My connection to the Gump - other than the fact that I am a big Canadians fan - is I scored a goal on him. When I was young, we lived in Otterburn Park, just outside Montreal. Gump lived not too far away and I played road hockey against him & scored.

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