When my son Jim used to be a teenager, as a factor to do in combination we began to gather hockey playing cards. As a result of I taught on the College of Alberta and lived in Edmonton, it used to be a wonderful time for that passion. The Edmonton Oilers had been in the middle of their dynasty, with Wayne Gretzky and the standard suspects – Mark Messier, Glenn Andersen, Jari Kurri, and others.
As a result of my paintings, I even got here to satisfy defenseman Randy Gregg, who used to be additionally a scientific physician, and were given my image fascinated with the Stanley Cup. As I say, it used to be a wonderful time. Despite the fact that my son Jim (who writes the Rumors column for The Hockey Writers) kind of surrender gathering hockey playing cards till his personal son got here “of age,” I by no means did.
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Nearly 40 years later, I nonetheless promote hockey playing cards (and will’t lend a hand purchasing some as neatly – don’t inform my spouse) and now, as I am getting older, I’m hoping I will promote all of them earlier than I cross as a result of I don’t need my spouse’s ultimate considered me to be concerning the “mess” I left for her to scrub up.
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Lovers Nonetheless Love Felix Potvin
If you purchase and promote hockey playing cards for so long as I’ve, you get started to be told what sells. There are groups and avid gamers who at all times promote – irrespective of worth of the playing cards. The Maple Leafs’ goalie Felix Potvin is one among them. His Rookie Card (RC), which is the primary card revealed of him from 1990-91 Higher Deck #458 in a Crew Canada Global Juniors’ uniform, at all times sells.
However his different playing cards in a Maple Leafs uniform in the course of the early Nineties additionally promote. His later playing cards with the Vancouver Canucks, the New York Islanders, and his unmarried season with the Boston Bruins (2003-04) promote. The fanatics cherished Potvin, and that love hasn’t long gone away.
In reality, my Maple Leafs’ THW colleague Shaun Filippelli instructed this previous week that “Potvin is among the causes I fell in love with the Leafs and is why I put on #29 as a goalie myself.” Potvin had that affect.
Felix Potvin Got here at a Time When the Maple Leafs Wanted Some Good fortune
Potvin used to be by no means some of the NHL’s highest goalies’ statistics-wise, however the fanatics cherished him. A part of that adoration used to be that, after Johnny Bower retired on the finish of the 1969-70 season, the Maple Leafs went via a length of most commonly forgettable goalies. Once I regarded up the listing of Maple Leafs’ goalies, I didn’t keep in mind that Jacques Plante performed for the staff for 3 seasons. Bernie Guardian used to be even a backup goalie for a few seasons. By no means knew.
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The goalie I recall highest used to be Mike Palmateer, who performed for the staff for 4 seasons, from 1976-1980 (he used to be traded to the Washington Capitals in 1980, performed there for 2 seasons, and got here again to the staff in 1982-1984). Then there used to be Allan Bester and Vincent Tremblay, or even Grant Fuhr performed with Potvin for 2 seasons (1991-93).
However generally, the Maple Leafs goaltending wasn’t as robust all the way through the Seventies and Nineteen Eighties because it were up to now. By means of my depend, all the way through the last decade of the Nineteen Eighties the Maple Leafs performed fifteen other goalies with out many forged starters. Then got here Potvin.
Felix “The Cat” Received Over a Technology of Maple Leafs’ Lovers
Potvin used to be drafted all the way through the second one spherical of the 1990 NHL Access Draft (31st general) through the Maple Leafs. His first recreation with the staff got here all the way through the 1991-92 season and he changed into the starter all the way through the 1992-93 season. Right through the 1991-92 80-game season, the staff’s report used to be 30-43-7 (in the ones days there have been ties). Because of Potvin in web, issues modified.
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In his first season, he helped the staff give a boost to its report to 44-29-11 in 84 video games. Right through that 1992–93 season, Potvin performed 48 video games, compiled a goals-against-average of two.50, which used to be first within the NHL, and had a .910 save proportion. He completed 3rd within the Calder Trophy vote casting in his rookie season – being beat out through Teemu Selanne and Joe Juneau.
In reality that Potvin used to be thrown in too temporarily, given an excessive amount of paintings, and didn’t have the most powerful staff in entrance of him all the way through his seven seasons with the Maple Leafs. He didn’t win any trophies and his statistics weren’t wonderful, however neither used to be the staff’s protection. Consequently, he frequently stood on his head to stay the staff aggressive, and the ones more or less video games made Maple Leafs’ fanatics adore the younger goalie.
Many Present Maple Leafs’ Lovers Began with Potvin
Many present Maple Leafs’ fanatics, those that had been first offered to hockey all the way through the Nineties, have a distinct position of their hearts for “The Cat.” After a protracted length of deficient play Potvin used to be gold. From 1979-80 till 1992-93, the Maple Leafs didn’t have a successful season. All at once, with Potvin, long-suffering Maple Leafs’ fanatics had one thing to cheer for – a staff that in reality gained video games with a goalie who may lend a hand them win.
The staff used to be nowhere as just right because it used to be all the way through the Bower and Turk Broda eras, but it surely used to be such a lot higher than it were in seasons. Right through 1992-93 and 1993-94, Potvin helped his staff get to the convention finals. They misplaced, however nonetheless.
Potvin wasn’t the most productive goalie in Maple Leafs’ historical past. However he used to be the goalie who helped them emerge from the darkness of shedding season after season and struggling below the infamous Harold Ballard (who died in 1990). Consequently, Potvin has grow to be a part of the cultural alternate of the Maple Leafs right into a resurgent Maple Leafs staff with a resurgent spirit.
Maple Leafs’ fanatics know that and love him for his phase in that resurgence. He used to be wonderful, fast like a “Cat.”
The Outdated Prof (Jim Parsons, Sr.) taught for greater than 40 years within the School of Schooling on the College of Alberta. He’s a Canadian boy, who has two levels from the College of Kentucky and a doctorate from the College of Texas. He’s now retired on Vancouver Island, the place he lives together with his circle of relatives. His leisure pursuits come with taking part in together with his hockey playing cards and easily being a sports activities fan – hockey, the Toronto Raptors, and CFL soccer (thinks Ricky Ray personifies how a qualified athlete must act).
When you marvel why he doesn’t use his actual identify, it’s as a result of his son – who’s additionally Jim Parsons – wrote for The Hockey Writers first and requested Jim Sr. to make use of any other identify so readers wouldn’t confuse their paintings.
As a result of Jim Sr. had labored in China, he followed the Mandarin phrase for trainer (老師). The primary persona lǎo (老) method “previous,” and the second one persona shī (師) method “trainer.” The literal translation of lǎoshī is “previous trainer.” That changed into his pen identify. Lately, as opposed to writing for The Hockey Writers, he teaches graduate scholars analysis design at a number of Canadian universities.
He appears ahead to sharing his insights concerning the Toronto Maple Leafs and about how sports activities engages lifestyles extra absolutely. His Twitter cope with is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf