Monday, January 9, 2017

Gary Kurt: All-Star Goalie For The Syracuse Blazers

gary kurt new york raiders o-pee-chee hockey card
Gary Kurt played in the North American Hockey League for just the league's inaugural 1973-74 season. He lost to Bobby Orr and the Oshawa Generals in the 1965-66 OHL finals. He won the Harry Hap Holmes Memorial Award in the 1970-71 AHL for the lowest goals against. He played a short time in the NHL and a longer time in the World Hockey Association. Gary Kurt's was a not well known but fairly successful career in hockey.

Gary Kurt – NAHL


Gary Kurt played 24 games between the pipes for the Syracuse Blazers in 1973-74. His 2.94 goals against average and two shutouts earned him First Team All-Star honours. However, Gary did not play for Syracuse in the NAHL post season.

Syracuse finished first overall and were crowned playoff champions with a win over the Long Island Cougars in the finals. The Blazers playoff goaltending was split between Russ Gillow (9 games) and Ted Ouimet (six games).

Kurt ended up that 1973-74 season with 30 games in the World Hockey Association. He played for the nomadic New York Golden Blades, aka Jersey Knights.


Gary Kurt – Junior and Minor Pro


Gary Kurt played four years of major junior hockey with the Kitchener Rangers between 1963-64 and 1966-67. In 1965-66, he played in just nine regular season games for the Rangers and the team finished seventh in the eight team league.

When it came to the 1965-66 playoffs, Kurt was in net for all 17 post season games for Kitchener. The Rangers upset the third place Niagara Falls Flyers in the quarter-finals and upset the sixth place Toronto Marlboros in the semi-finals. When it came to the final series, Bobby Orr and the Oshawa Generals proved too much. Kitchener was led by Walt Tkaczuk, Tim Ecclestone and Don Luce.

From 1967-68 to 1971-72, Kurt played in the Central Hockey League and AHL. In 1970-71 with the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League, Gary posted a 2.76 GAA and a shutout over 42 games. He earned the Harry Holmes Memorial Award as the goalie for the team with the least goals against.

Parker MacDonald and John Muckler split head coaching duties for the Barons that year. Along with the top goalie honours, Gary Kurt was named a Second Team All-Star goalie.

Gary Kurt – Major League


Gary Kurt made his way to the National Hockey League in 1971-72 after his standout season in the AHL. He would play his only 16 games in the league that year, all with the California Golden Seals. Backing up Gilles Meloche, Kurt recorded a decent 2.94 goals against average, along with two shutouts.

Kurt played in the World Hockey Association between 1972-73 and 1976-77 with the New York Raiders/New York Golden Blades/Jersey Knights and the Phoenix Roadrunners. He was picked up by the Phoenix Roadrunners at the 1974 WHA Expansion Draft and didn't go all the way to San Diego with the once again relocated Knights franchise.

Over his WHA career, Kurt played in 176 games and recorded a 4.17 GAA with three shutouts. His best season came in 1974-75 when he appeared in 47 games for the Roadrunners. With Jack Norris backing him up, Gary put up a 3.29 GAA and two of his three career shutouts.

Gary Kurt - Hockey Cards



Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ray Adduono: Syracuse Blazers Star and Softest Hands in the EHL

ray adduono san diego mariners world hockey association
His time in the North American Hockey League wasn't long. But, that was the case for most of the great players that passed through the league. Ray Adduono had simply dominated the EHL from 1967-68 to 1972-73. His offensive numbers looked like something out of the 1970's QMJHL or from the back of Wayne Gretzky hockey card.

Adduono appeared in just 20 regular season games with the Syracuse Blazers in 1973-74. He went on to dominate in the playoffs, leading the team in scoring and helping the Blazers to a Lockhart Cup championship.


Ray Adduono – NAHL


Over his 20 regular season games with the Syracuse Blazers in 1973-74, Ray scored seven and assisted on 20 for 27 points. These were tame numbers compared with what Adduono had put up over the past half decade. He had also played 40 games for the Macon Whoopees that year in the Southern Hockey League.

The Blazers finished first overall in that first season of the North American Hockey League. The team then marched to the finals where they swept the Long Island Cougars for the title. Over 15 playoff games, Ray Adduono scored eight and assisted on 20 for 28 points, just short of two points per game.

His performance was enough to get him a full time job in the World Hockey Association for the following season and Adduono never returned to the NAHL.

The 1973-74 Syracuse Blazers were coached by Ron Ingram. Adduono's career would often see Ingram standing behind him on the bench. Ron coached the EHL Blazers in 1971-72 and 1972-73. He then coached Ray with the WHA's San Diego Mariners in 1975-76 and 1976-77. They were also together for Ray's short stint with the Indianapolis Racers in 1977-78. For an encore, the two teamed up with the San Diego Hawks in the PHL for 1978-79.


Ray Adduono – Junior


Adduono played five years of junior hockey in the TBJHL (Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League) from 1962-63 to 1966-67. His first three years were with the Port Arthur North Stars and the final two were with the Port Arthur Marrs.

In 1962-63, Ray was TBJHL rookie of the year. The following year, he was named a First Team All-Star and honoured as the league's most valuable player. Over the five years, he scored 131 and assisted on 169 for 300 points in just 138 regular season games.


Ray Adduono – Minor Pro


Ray Adduono played for the Syracuse Blazers of the Eastern Hockey League from 1967-68 to 1972-73, with exception of the 1968-69 season. That year, he split between the Amarillo Wranglers of the CHL and the Hershey Bears of the AHL.

In his rookie season, 1967-68, Ray finished second in the league with 101 assists and second with 146 points. Despite the offensive contributions, Syracuse finished last overall in the 12 team league.

He returned to the Blazers in 1969-70 and led the league with 92 assists and 134 points over 74 games. Adduono won the scoring title for the for the first of three times, earning the John Carlin Trophy. Syracuse was improved, reaching the post season but falling in the opening round.

The following year, the numbers were down with Ray scoring 31 and assisting on 70 for 101 points but playing just 63 games. He still finished third in the EHL for assists and tied for ninth in the overall scoring race. The team was coaching by hockey semi-legend Phil Watson.

1971-72 saw Addono explode offensively, mostly as a playmaker. Ray assisted on an amazing 122 goals and scored 43 himself for 165 points over 75 games. His goal total tied him for seventh but he led the league in assists by 52 over second place and won the scoring title with 36 more points than the next challenger. 
 
Syracuse finished first in the Northern Division in 1971-72 and reached the finals before losing to the Charlotte Checkers. Ray added 28 points in 17 playoff games.

Goal scoring took on a bigger role in 1972-73 with Adduono scoring 54, the fifth most in the EHL. He assisted on 116 for a total of 170 points, the most in the league by a 38 point margin. Ray was honoured also as the league's most valuable player. 
 
In 1972-73, Syracuse finished first overall with 63 wins and 130 points over 76 games. The won the championship, beating the Roanoke Valley Rebels in the finals. Over six games in the series, the Blazers outscored Roanoke Valley 51 to 18. Adduono put up nine goals along with 26 assists for 35 playoff points in just 14 games.

Ray Adduono returned to the minors for 1978-79, playing with the San Diego Hawks of the PHL. He finished tied for second with 61 assists and placed fourth with 75 points.


Ray Adduono – WHA


Between 1973-74 and 1977-78, Ray Adduono played in 221 regular season World Hockey Association games with the San Diego Mariners, Minnesota Fighting Saints and Indianapolis Racers. Over that time, he scored 45 and assisted on 152 for 197 points. In 28 playoff games, he added 30 points.

In 1974-75 with the Mariners, Ray finished ninth in the WHA with 59 assists. The Harry Howell coached San Diego squad finished fourth in the 14 team league. In the playoffs, the Mariners lost in the semi-finals, swept by the Houston Aeros.

The following year, 1975-76, Ray placed tenth in the league with 67 assists. Ron Ingram was now coaching the team and the Mariners had a mediocre regular season with 78 points in 80 games. They lost again in the playoffs to the Houston Aeros, this time in the quarter-finals.

On September 1, 1976, Adduono was traded to the Minnesota Fighting Saints with Bob Wall for Gerry Pinder and Paul Shmyr. He returned to San Diego during the 1976-77 season after the Fighting Saints folded 42 games into the campaign. He finished out 1976-77 with the Mariners and played just eight more WHA games in 1977-78 with the Indianapolis Racers.


Ray Adduono Career Stats


Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1967-68 Syracuse Blazers EHL 72 45 101 146 43
1967-68 Oklahoma City Blazers CPHL 1 0 1 1 0
1968-69 Amarillo Wranglers CHL 59 16 41 57 41
1968-69 Hershey Bears AHL 12 1 2 3 4
1969-70 Syracuse Blazers EHL 74 42 92 134 55
1970-71 Syracuse Blazers EHL 62 31 70 101 50
1971-72 Syracuse Blazers EHL 75 43 122 165 133
1972-73 Syracuse Blazers EHL 76 54 116 170 138
1973-74 Syracuse Blazers NAHL 20 7 20 27 10
1973-74 Macon Whoopees SHL 40 14 38 52 95
1973-74 Cleveland Crusaders WHA 2 0 0 0 0
1974-75 San Diego Mariners WHA 78 15 59 74 23
1975-76 San Diego Mariners WHA 80 23 67 90 22
1976-77 Minnesota Fighting Saints WHA 40 4 19 23 17
1976-77 San Diego Mariners WHA 13 2 5 7 5
1977-78 Indianapolis Racers WHA 8 1 2 3 0
1978-79 San Diego Hawks PHL 56 14 61 75 73



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Joe Szura of the Cape Codders


joe szura 1972-73 o-pee-chee wha los angeles sharks
Joe Szura played just 14 total games in the NAHL. His NHL career consisted of 97 games with the Oakland Seals. Doesn't seem worthy of an article, huh? But, this guy did have some noteworthy success in the American Hockey League and I believe Szura's is an interesting story.

Joe Szura – NAHL


Joe played ten regular season games for the Cape Codders during the 1974-75 NAHL season. It was his last year in pro hockey and he contributed with three goals and two assists. The Codders finished fifth in the eight team league, 12 points behind the fourth place Johnstown Jets.

In the playoffs, the Codders lost in the opening round to the Jets, three games to one. Szura played in all four games, adding an assist. Done. That is the extent of Joe Szura's career in the North American Hockey League.

Here's a tidbit for those not familiar with the Codders. They played out of the Cape Cod Coliseum in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts. The venue opened in 1972 and seated 7,200 for hockey. Just 12 years later, in 1984, the arena was closed and converted to warehouse space.

Joe Szura – Junior and Minor Pro


Szura played his junior hockey with the Fort Williams Canadiens from 1956-57 to 1958-59. He followed that up with nearly nine full seasons in the minors before playing his first game in the National Hockey League, playing for teams in the EPHL and AHL.

He was a Calder Cup champion in 1963-64 with the Cleveland Barons. The Fred Glover coached team was lacklustre during the regular season, finishing third in the four team Western Division. Joe had a great year offensively with 23 goals and 44 assists for 67 points over 72 games.

It was in the Calder Cup playoffs in 1963-64 where Szura exploded to lead the Barons to one of the greatest playoff runs in hockey history. Over nine games, he scored 13 goals and assisted on six more for 19 points – numbers not normally seen in the defensive minded AHL. The Barons did the impossible and went undefeated through their three rounds. In the first, they knocked off the Rochester Americans in two games. In the semi-finals, they swept the Hershey Bears in three. In the finals, the swept the Quebec Aces in four for the championship.

Two years later with the Barons, 1965-66, Joe had the best offensive season of his pro career. He scored 46 goals and assisted on 30 for 76 points. He finished third in the league in goal scoring, one behind co-leaders Alain Caron of the Buffalo Bisons and Dick Gamble of the Rochester Americans. He was named a First Team All-Star but couldn't produce in the playoffs. Over 12 games, he scored just one goal and totalled just five points. Cleveland reached the Calder Cup finals but fell to Rochester.

Szura returned to the AHL after his very short career in the NHL to play three more years from 1969-70 to 1971-72. In the first year, played with the Providence Reds, his 46 assists tied for seventh in the AHL.

In 1970-71, Joe led the Reds offensively in the regular season and playoffs. His 53 assists were good for second in the AHL and his 74 points tied him for fifth. Providence finished first in the Eastern Division and reached the Calder Cup finals before losing to the Springfield Kings.

In his final year in the American Hockey League, 1971-72, Joe played for the Baltimore Clippers. He finished fifth in goal scoring with 38 and ninth in the race for the John B. Sollenberger Trophy with 76 points. Joe helped the Clippers to the Calder Cup finals before losing out to the Nova Scotia Voyageurs.

Joe Szura – Major League Hockey


joe szura 1968-69 o-pee-chee rookie card oakland seals
The career minor leaguer was saved by NHL expansion. The Oakland Seals took him in the ninth round of the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft, 53rd overall. At the time, he was property of the Montreal Canadiens. In Oakland's first season, Joe played just 20 games.

In 1968-69, Szura played 70 regular season games for the Seals. Once again, he had Fred Glover guiding him as head coach. Oakland qualified for the post season for the first time and faced off against the Los Angeles Kings in the opening round. Szura played all seven games for the Seals with the team coming up short. Oakland held a 3-2 lead in the series at one point and outscored the Kings 25-23 over the seven games.

When the World Hockey Association came along, Joe jumped at the chance to play in the big leagues again. In 1972-73, the WHA's inaugural season, he played for the Los Angeles Sharks. In 1973-74, he played alongside the Howe family with the Houston Aeros. In all, he appeared in 115 regular season WHA games, scoring 21 and assisting on 39. He played 12 playoff games for the Aeros but didn't register a point.


Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1960-61 Montreal-Hull/Ottawa EPHL 65 10 24 34 20
1961-62 North Bay Trappers EPHL 68 27 35 62 24
1962-63 Cleveland Barons AHL 72 15 29 44 20
1963-64 Cleveland Barons AHL 72 23 44 67 33
1964-65 Cleveland Barons AHL 67 32 30 62 26
1965-66 Cleveland Barons AHL 72 46 30 76 22
1966-67 Cleveland Barons AHL 68 27 42 69 32
1967-68 Buffalo Bisons AHL 43 13 22 35 16
1967-68 Oakland Seals NHL 20 1 3 4 10
1968-69 Oakland Seals NHL 70 9 12 21 20
1969-70 Providence Reds AHL 72 21 46 67 23
1970-71 Providence Reds AHL 70 21 53 74 39
1971-72 Baltimore Clippers AHL 72 38 38 76 20
1972-73 Los Angeles Sharks WHA 73 13 32 45 25
1973-74 Houston Aeros WHA 42 8 7 15 4
1974-75 Cape Codders NAHL 10 3 2 5 0

NHL Totals
90 10 15 25 30

WHA Totals
115 21 39 60 29


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Garry Peters: Head Coach 1974-75 Syracuse Blazers

garry peters new york rangers 1965-66 topps hockey cards
Garry Peters had the scoring touch in junior with the Regina Pats and had some minor league glory, as well, in the CPHL and AHL. When it came to his respectable 311 games in the National Hockey League, he was anything but an offensive threat.

Peters found his way into NAHL history, taking the head coaching job for the Syracuse Blazers in 1974-75, the year after his final year of pro hockey as a player. It would be his only year as a head coach in pro hockey.

Garry Peters – NAHL


As mentioned, Garry was head coach of the Syracuse Blazers in 1974-75. Peters came into the season with no coaching experience, having retired after playing the previous season in the WHA. The Blazers were first overall in the eight team league during the regular season, finishing 12 points ahead of the second place Philadelphia Firebirds.

Bob Jones led Syracuse offensively, his 76 assists and 114 points leading the entire NAHL. Gary Sittler from the Blazers led the league with 262 penalty minutes. In the Lockhart Cup playoffs, Syracuse had a bye through the first round and came up against the Johnstown Jets in the semi-finals. The series was tight with the Jets coming out on top 4-3. Each team scored 26 goals over the seven games and the Blazers at one time held a 3-2 series lead.

Garry Peters – Junior / Minor Pro


Peters spent four years with the Regina Pats of the SJHL from 1959-60 to 1962-63. He was team captain for his final two campaigns. Over his junior career, Garry scored 127 and assisted on 160 for 287 points over 200 regular season games.

In his second year, 1960-61, the Pats swept the Estevan Bruins in four games to capture the SJHL championship. Regina then fell to the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Abbott Cup semi-finals.

The following year, Peters led the SJHL with 69 assists and 114 points over 56 games. He was selected as the First Team All-Star Centre. The Pats reached the finals again but this time fell to the Moose Jaw Canucks in seven games.

His final year in Regina saw him selected as a First Team All-Star again. The Pats lost to the Estevan Bruins in the semi-finals. Peters then joined the Bruins for the Abbott Cup playoffs but Estevan fell in six to the Edmonton Oil Kings in the semi-finals. That year, he saw his first pro action, appearing in four regular season and one playoff game in the EPHL with the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens.

Peters joined the Omaha Knights in 1963-64 for his first full year of pro hockey. He was named CPHL Rookie Of The Year, scoring 32 and assisting on 49 for 81 points over 72 games. Garry tied for fifth in goal scoring, tied for sixth in assists and placed fifth for points in the league. Alain Caron of the St. Louis Braves ripped apart the CPHL with 77 goals that year.

Teamed with future NHLers Barclay Plager, Claude Larose, Noel Picard and Ernie Wakely, Peters and the Knights finished first overall and won the playoff championship over the St. Paul Rangers. St. Paul managed one win but were outscored by Omaha 28-8 on the series.

In 1966-67, Garry returned to the CPHL with the Houston Apollos, a farm team of the Montreal Canadiens. In 50 games, he contributed 52 points. The team was heavy in future NHLers and even a few future members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Regular teammates included Andre Boudrias, Danny Grant, Jacques Lemaire, Serge Savard and Rogie Vachon. Pat Quinn, Carol Vadnais and Mickey Redmond played sparingly with the team.

His one last go in the minors was 1971-72 with the Boston Braves of the American Hockey League. Over 58 games, Peters scored 39 and assisted on 34 for 73 points. He was named a First Team All-Star and was honoured with the Les Cunningham Award as MVP. Garry's 39 goals placed him fourth in the AHL. On that farm team of the Boston Bruins were up and comers Terry O'Reilly and Dan Bouchard.

Garry Peters – Major League


Peters played 311 regular season games in the National Hockey League between 1964-65 and 1971-72 with the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins. He played sparingly with the Habs and was traded in June, 1965, along with Cesare Maniago, to the New York Rangers for Gord Labossiere, Noel Price, Earl Ingarfield and Dave McComb. He would end up back in Montreal a year later.

At the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers took Garry in the tenth round, 57th overall. It was with the Flyers that he saw the bulk of his NHL action. In 1972, Peters again took part in an NHL Expansion Draft, this time going eleventh overall to the New York Islanders. He would never play for New York.

Garry's time with the Boston Bruins was limited. He played just two regular season games for the club in 1971-72. He also dressed for one playoff game for the Bruins. Boston won the Stanley Cup championship that season, beating out the New York Rangers in the finals.

In the World Hockey Association, Peters appeared in 57 regular season games over the 1972-73 and 1973-74 seasons. In the first year, he played 23 games for the New York Raiders. The following year, he appeared in 34 games for the New York Golden Blades.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Henry Taylor: NAHL Rookie of the Year in 1975-76


henry taylor johnstown jets nahl
After scoring just 12 goals in 102 regular season games over two years as a junior with the Edmonton Oil Kings, Henry Taylor became a pro sniper with the Johnstown Jets in his rookie NAHL season. The U.S. born player from Oakland, California was a deep draft pick by the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the WHA and was undrafted to the NHL. His pro career was successful but fleeting, not lasting a full decade.

Henry Taylor – NAHL


Taylor played two years in the North American Hockey League, 1975-76 and 1976-77. Both years were spent with the Johnstown Jets. His rookie year was exceptional. His numbers dropped in his sophomore season but it was still a respectable year on a depleted Johnstown team.

Over 69 regular season games in 1975-76, Henry scored 50 and assisted on 43 for 93 points. He led the Jets in goals and points and was named NAHL Rookie of the Year. Overall in the league, he tied for sixth in goal scoring with Robbie Neale. Neale split his season between the Cape Codders and Erie Blades.

The Jets places first in the five team West Division and second overall in the ten team league. Johnstown reached the Lockhart Cup semi-finals before falling to the Philadelphia Firebirds in five games. Game five was an offensive affair with the Firebirds winning 14-10.

In his second season with the Jets, Taylor scored 42 and assisted on 25 for 67 points over 73 regular season games. He led the team in goal scoring and tied for sixth for the league in that department with Mike Zuke of the Mohawk Valley Comets. Johnstown finished seventh of eighth in the NAHL, ahead of just the Beauce Jaros. Beauce played just 30 games before folding midseason. The Jets reached the post season but were swept in the opening round by the Maine Nordiques.

Henry Taylor – Hockey Career


Taylor played two years in the WCHL with the Edmonton Oil Kings in 1972-73 and 1973-74. Over those two years, he played 102 regular season games and scored just 12 goals. The Minnesota Fighting Saints drafted Henry in the 14th round of the 1975 WHA Amateur Draft, 173rd overall after a year of junior in the state of Minnesota.

After his two years in the NAHL, Henry continued on in the world of minor pro until the 1982-83 season, appearing in the IHL, CHL, EHL and Switzerland’s National League B.

After the Jets, Taylor spent two years with the Grand Rapids Owls in the IHL. In his first season, he led the Owls with 36 goals. In 1978-79, the numbers were outstanding with 47 goals and 36 assists for 83 points over 80 games. He led the team in goals and finished tied for fourth in the IHL with Tom Ross of the Kalamazoo Wings. Not ever high on the helpers, Henry placed third in the IHL for assists. He was second in points behind just Terry McDougall of the Fort Wayne Komets.

The Owls placed first overall in the nine team IHL. Grand Rapids then reached the Turner Cup finals where they fell to the Kalamazoo Wings in seven games.

In 1979-80, Henry had a somewhat slow start with the Oklahoma City Stars of the CHL with eight points in 12 games. He then switched to the Baltimore Clippers of the EHL and the numbers took off. Over 64 regular season games, he scored 49 and assisted on 34 for 83 points. He finished third in the league for goals and seventh for points.

In 1980-81, the numbers dropped considerably. For the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons, Taylor moved to Europe to play for Olten in Switzerland’s NLB before retiring from the game.
 
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1972-73 Edmonton Oil Kings WCHL 35 8 11 19 17
1973-74 Edmonton Oil Kings WCHL 67 4 5 9 56
1974-75 St. Paul Vulcans MidJHL 56 50 57 107 118
1975-76 Johnstown Jets NAHL 69 50 43 93 33
1976-77 Johnstown Jets NAHL 73 42 25 67 15
1977-78 Dayton/Grand Rapids Owls IHL 79 36 34 70 47
1978-79 Grand Rapids Owls IHL 80 47 36 83 47
1979-80 Oklahoma City Stars CHL 12 2 6 8 0
1979-80 Baltimore Clippers EHL 64 49 34 83 105
1980-81 Oklahoma City Stars CHL 57 10 12 22 11
1980-81 Baltimore Clippers EHL 11 7 3 10 17