Showing posts with label beauce jaros. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beauce jaros. Show all posts

Monday, December 15, 2014

The 4 PIM Champs In NAHL History

gilles bilodeau beauce jaros nahl
The NAHL existed for just four years from 1973-74 to 1976-77. The league was the inspiration for the movie ‘Slapshot’, starring Paul Newman. It seems fitting that we look at the penalty minute champs over those four years. Each year brought a different PIM leader. Surprisingly, these four guys contributed with offense, as well.

Nick Fotiu – Cape Cod Cubs

Nick Fotiu led the NAHL in PIM in the league’s inaugural season. Over 72 regular season games with the Cape Cod Cubs, the future NHLer totalled 371 minutes in the sin bin. Suspensions were not readily handed out in the olden days, allowing Nick to play in nearly all of his team’s 74 games.

His PIM total was 55 more than second place Dave Ferguson of the Syracuse Blazers. Nick added 12 goals and 24 assists for 36 points. In the Lockhart Cup playoffs, Fotiu continued his sinful ways with 80 penalty minutes over 13 games. However, he was also nearly a point per game with eleven on four goals and seven assists.

Fotiu moved on to a fairly lengthy National Hockey League career. Nick played 646 regular season games in the NHL between 1976-77 and 1988-89 with the New York Rangers, Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers and Edmonton Oilers. Over that time, he contributed 137 points and sat 1,362 penalty minutes. Over 38 Stanley Cup playoff game, Fotiu added four assists and 67 PIM.

Nick also played in the World Hockey Association. He appeared with the New England Whalers during the 1974-75 and 1975-76 seasons.

Gary Sittler – Syracuse Blazers

With 109 minutes less than Nick Fotiu the year before, Gary Sittler led the NAHL in 1974-75 with 262 penalty minutes over 71 games with the Syracuse Blazers. His lead was just 12 minutes over second place Jeff Carlson of the Johnstown Jets. Gary added nine goals and 37 assists for a respectable 46 points. In the playoffs, he added four more assists over seven games while sitting 14 minutes.

The brother of Hockey Hall of Famer Darryl Sittler, Gary also played his junior hockey with the London Knights. Sittler played for Syracuse in three of the four NAHL seasons, excluding 1975-76. His major league action was limited to five games with the WHA’s Michigan Stags in 1974-75.

Gilles Bilodeau – Beauce Jaros

In 1975-76, Gilles Bilodeau set the eternal league record with 451 PIM over just 58 games with the Beauce Jaros. His margin of victory was a remarkable 140 minutes more than second place Dave Hanson of the Johnstown Jets. No superstar, Gilles did help out offensively with 25 points on eight goals and 17 assists. In his five playoff games, he assisted on one and sat 46 minutes.

Bilodeau’s lack of regular season games was due to the fact he played 14 games in the World Hockey Association with the Toronto Toros. 1975-76 was his first year of pro hockey and his only year in the NAHL. Gilles was a product of the Sorel Eperviers, a QMJHL team he played for in 1974-75.

Gilles played 143 games in the WHA with the Toros, Birmingham Bulls and Quebec Nordiques. He even got a cup of coffee in the NHL, appearing in nine games with the Nordiques during the 1979-80 season.

Rick Dorman – Erie Blades/Johnstown Jets

Rick Dorman was the final PIM leader in NAHL history and also the leader with the lowest total. Over 61 games, Dorman sat just 238 penalty minutes, just six more that second place Paul Stewart of the Binghamton Dusters.

In his first year of pro hockey after a junior career in the WCHL where he played for the Flin Flon Bombers and Winnipeg Clubs, Rick put up great offensive numbers, as well, with 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points. In the Lockhart Cup playoffs, he added four assists and 48 PIM over nine games. Dorman went on to play minor pro until the 1984-85 season in the IHL and AHL.

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.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

NAHL 1975-76 Scoring Leaders

beauce jaros nahl north american hockey league
Hockey history was made in 1975-76 and probably went unnoticed by pretty much everyone. In the lowly North American Hockey League, the WHA farm league that the movie ‘Slap Shot’ was inspired by, the first professional hockey player scored more than 200 points in a single season.

Joe Hardy – Beauce Jaros

Jocelyn ‘Joe’ Hardy was the head coach of the Beauce Jaros but also the league’s offensive fireplug.  Hardy totalled 208 points on 60 goals and 148 assists in just 72 games to beat Wayne Gretzky to the punch by six years. Joe’s next highest total over his professional career was just 93 points in 1976-77. Hardy played 63 games in the NHL with the California Golden Seals and 210 games in the World Hockey Association.

Richard Grenier – Beauce Jaros

Richard Grenier, also of the Beauce Jaros, finished second with 160 points on 77 goals and 83 assists. It was a career year for Grenier who was a fifth round pick of the New York Islanders at the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft. Richard appeared in ten NHL games, all with the Islanders in 1972-73. He also dressed for 34 WHA games with the Quebec Nordiques in 1976-77. He finished his pro hockey career following the 1989-90 season after several years in Europe.

Luc Simard – Cape Codders, Beauce Jaros

Luc Simard was twice a 60+ goal scorer (67 and 73) in the NAHL, a 68 goal scorer in the EHL and a 90 goal scorer in the QMJHL. He led the QMJHL in the junior league’s inaugural season with 174 points on 90 goals and 84 assists in just 56 games. Guy Lafleur did not have more points than Simard that year but did score an amazing 130 goals. Luc finished third in 1975-76 with 149 points in a season split between the Cape Codders and the Beauce Jaros. It was Luc’s final year of professional hockey.

Alain Caron – Beauce Jaros

Alain Caron, in the last of his seventeen years in pro hockey, finished fourth with 137 points. Caron was yet another member of the Beauce Jaros. Caron scored 78 goals and assisted on 59. It was his third time scoring more than 70 goals in a season. In 1961-62 with the Amherst Ramblers of the NSSHL, he scored 76 in just 47 games. In 1963-64 with the St. Louis Braves of the CPHL, Caron scored 77 goals in 71 games. Alain appeared in 60 NHL games with the Oakland Seals and Montreal Canadiens, along with 195 games in the WHA with the Quebec Nordiques and Michigan Stags.

Bob Collyard – Philadelphia Firebirds

Bob Collyard of the Philadelphia Firebirds finished fifth with 129 points, 79 behind Joe Hardy, on 45 goals and 84 assists. Collyard was in his second of three years with the NAHL Firebirds and played two more with the franchise after they joined the AHL. Bob was a seventh round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 1969 and played ten games with the NHL club in 1973-74, his only NHL action.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Beauce Jaros

beauce jaros north american hockey league nahl logo
The Beauce Jaros played just one full season in the North American Hockey League. In 1975-76, the Jaros set the NAHL on fire. In 1976-77, the team folded on December 22 after just 30 games. The team played their home games at the Palais des Sports in Saint-Georges, Quebec. The arena currently holds less than 2,500 spectators. Joe Hardy was the only head coach the franchise ever had. Hardy was also the team’s star player.


In their only full season, Beauce finished first overall in the ten team league and first in the East Division with 54 wins and 110 points over the 74 game schedule. The Jaros led the league in goals scored with 462, 89 more than the second place Philadelphia Firebirds. Beauce met the Firebirds in the Lockhart Cup finals and lost to Philadelphia in six games.

The offensive explosion was shared by four players with 60 or more goals. All four had more than 130 points. Alain Caron led the way with 78 goals, followed by Richard Grenier with 77, Luc Simard with 65 and Jocelyn ‘Joe’ Hardy with 60. Hardy led the NAHL with 148 assists and 208 points. Both will forever remain as NAHL single season records. The 208 points made Joe Hardy the first professional player to reach 200 points in a season.

Another league leader on the Jaros was Gilles Bilodeau. ‘Bad News’ Bilodeau led the league with 451 penalty minutes.


Beauce had won just six games and tied two in their first 30 games of the season when the franchise folded. Joe Hardy was again the player / head coach and was on pace for another great year with 43 points in 22 games. Hardy finished off his NAHL season with the Binghamton Dusters. He would play one more year with the Dusters in the American Hockey League before calling it quits.

The team was led offensively by Norm Dube. Dube had 52 points in 29 games for the Jaros. He also played with the Quebec Nordiques of the World Hockey Association that year. Over his pro career, Norm played 148 regular season games in the WHA, all with Quebec, and 57 regular season games in the National Hockey League, all with the Kansas City Scouts.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Reggie Lemelin: It All Began in the NAHL

rejean lemelin o-pee-chee rookie hockey card calgary flames
A true product of the North American Hockey League that went on to a lengthy NHL career was Rejean Lemelin. Better known as Reggie, Lemelin played three years in the NAHL with the Philadelphia Firebirds from 1974-75 to 1976-77.

Lemelin played two years of major junior hockey in the QMJHL, 1972-73 and 1973-74, with the Sherbrooke Castors (Beavers). He was selected in the seventh round of the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. He was the 12th goaltender selected in the draft and went on to play more games in the NHL than any of them. Included in that group above him was Mike Palmateer, selected in the fifth round by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Palmateer played 356 games in the NHL while Lemelin played over 500.

Reggie was also selected way down in the 13th round of the World Hockey Association Amateur Draft in 1974. He was taken by the Chicago Cougars 209th overall.

With the NAHL Firebirds, Lemelin was the team’s leading goalie for each of the three seasons. During his time with Philadelphia, Reggie collected eleven shutouts in what was a league with a heavy dose of offense.

In 1975-76, he shared goaltending duties with five others but still played more games at 29. The Firebirds won the Lockhart Cup championship with a 4-2 victory over the Beauce Jaros in the final series. However, Lemelin played just three games during the playoffs with Roger Kosar and Gaye Cooley sharing the bulk of the action.

With the end of the NAHL after the 1976-77 season, Lemelin continued on with the franchise in the American Hockey League for 1977-78 and part of 1978-79. His NHL start came in 1978-79 with the Atlanta Flames.

Reggie played in the National Hockey League from 1978-79 to 1992-93 with the Atlanta / Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins. Although he wears no Stanley Cup rings, Reggie and the Bruins came close in 1987-88. Lemelin appeared in 17 playoff games as the Bruins took out the Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils before being swept by the Edmonton Oilers in the finals.

His career year on an individual level came in 1989-90. Along with teammate Andy Moog, Lemelin was awarded the William M. Jennings Trophy for playing 25 or more games with the team in the NHL with the fewest goals against. Rejean played 43 games while Moog played in 46. Lemelin’s goals against average was slightly better than his counterparts at 2.80 to Moog’s 2.88.

For hockey card collectors, Lemelin did not appear on major cardboard until the 1981-82 O-Pee-Chee set. The Rejean Lemelin rookie card appears as number 44.

Find Rejean Lemelin rookie cards on eBay, right now!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Alain Caron: The Other "Boom Boom"

alain caron o-pee-chee hockey card quebec nordiques
At 38 years old, Alain Caron became a legend of the North American Hockey League in what would be his final year of professional hockey. Caron suffered a heart attack in the off-season and was forced to retire from the game.

A veteran of a pro hockey career that began in 1959-60, Caron played one game with the NAHL's Syracuse Blazers in 1974-75 before spending the full 1975-76 season with the Beauce Jaros. In 73 regular season games with the Jaros, Alain scored 78 goals and assisted on 59 more for 137 points. Uncharacteristic of the league, Caron accumulated just 26 minutes in penalties.

His 78 goals was the second highest single season total in NAHL history, behind just Dave Staffen who scored 87 the following season. He finished first in goal scoring in 1975-76 and his 137 points were good for fourth in the league. In the playoffs, he added 21 more goals and 13 assists for 34 points in just 14 games as the Jaros reached the Lockhart Cup finals before falling to the Philadelphia Firebirds.

His career from 1959-60 to 1966-67 was spent in the minor leagues. With expansion in 1967, Caron was finally able to make it to the big show. He was property of the Chicago Black Hawks when the Oakland Seals selected him in the expansion draft. He played 58 games with Oakland in 1967-68 and two more with the Montreal Canadiens the following year.

Alain played an additional 195 games of major league hockey in the World Hockey Association between 1972-73 and 1974-75 with the Quebec Nordiques and Michigan Stags / Baltimore Blades.

However, it was during his minor league days that Caron excelled. in 1962-63, with the St. Louis Braves of the Eastern Professional Hockey League, Alain was first in the league with 61 goals in just 54 games. An interesting bit of hockey trivia - second to Caron on the Braves was Phil Esposito in his first year of pro hockey. Esposito scored 36 goals and finished fifth in the league.

The following year, Caron was still with the Braves but the league had changed to the Central Professional Hockey League. He once again led in goals with 77. His 125 points were also the best in the league.

With the Buffalo Bisons in 1965-66, his goal total was a more down-to-earth 47 but it tied him for the Americna Hockey League lead with Dick Gamble of the Rochester Americans.

The man that was also named "Boom Boom" was dissed by the major hockey card companies, with exception of 1972-73. Alain Caron was included in the 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee NHL set that featured a selection of WHA players in the higher numbers. The Alain Caron rookie card (and only card) is number 324 in that set.

Find Alain Caron Rookie Cards at eBay, right now!

It was heart problems that forced Caron from the game and it was heart problems again in 1986 that ended his life at just 48 years old.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Gilles Bilodeau: NAHL Single Season PIM Record Holder

gilles bilodeau beauce jaros nahl
Perhaps, the North American Hockey League, as shown in the movie ‘Slap Shot’, is best represented by Gilles Bilodeau. Gilles ‘Bad News’ Bilodeau had little to do with hockey and a lot to do with fighting and other violence on the ice.

Gilles played one year of junior hockey in 1974-75 with the Sorel Eperviers (Black Hawks) of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The year before, Sorel provided the hockey world with offense like it had never been seen before.

The team in 1973-74, led by Pierre Larouche and his 251 points, had seven players total more than 100 points, two over 200. Three Eperviers scored more than 90 goals during the 72 game regular season. Sorel finished first overall in the 10 team QMJHL but fell in the playoff finals to the Quebec Remparts.

As is often the case in junior hockey, the offensive power moved on to the pro ranks and the 1974-75 Eperviers were left with a group better fit for the boxing ring. Bilodeau sat 377 minutes in the penalty box over 62 games. Although a high total, it was nothing compared to teammate Roger Seguin who accumulated 494 minutes while somehow playing the full 72 game schedule without suspension. The two finished 1-2 in the QMJHL for the PIM category that season.

There were, of course, no National Hockey League takers for Gilobeau at the NHL Amateur Draft. He did, however, fit a certain mold that the World Hockey Association was looking for and the Toronto Toros selected him in the ninth round of the 1975 WHA Amateur Draft, 121st overall. Over his pro hockey career, Gilles played 143 WHA regular season games between 1975-76 and 1978-79 with the Toros, Birmingham Bulls and Quebec Nordiques.

It was in his first year of pro hockey, 1975-76, that Bilodeau made his presence known in the North American Hockey League. Gilles played 58 games with the Beauce Jaros while also playing 14 games for the WHA Toros. In those 58 games, he scored eight goals and assisted on 17 more for 25 points. But, it was his penalty total that gave him ‘fame’.

The Jaros were first overall and had the first player in pro hockey history to total more than 200 points in a season on the roster. Joe Hardy led the league with 208 points. Bilodeau was in the sin bin for 451 minutes, a 7.8 PIM per game pace. He finished first in the NAHL in that category, 140 minutes ahead of the next contender, Dave Hanson of the Johnstown Chiefs. In the playoffs, he added 46 more PIM, playing just five games while the Jaros cruised to the Lockhart Cup finals before losing to the Philadelphia Firebirds.

In his second pro season, Gilles sat 242 PIM in just 28 games for the Charlotte Checkers of the SHL. He played pro from 1975-76 to 1980-81 and had a two game stint with the Birmingham Bulls of the ACHL in 1983-84. Over 374 pro regular season games, Bilodeau sat 1,763 minutes in the box, a 4.7 PIM per game pace.

Bilodeau actually saw action in the NHL. After playing with the Quebec Nordiques in the final year of the World Hockey Association, 1978-79, he moved with the franchise to the NHL for 1979-80. Gilles played a total of nine games in the NHL with the Nordiques. Unfortunately, Gilles Bilodeau passed away in 2008.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Joe Hardy: First Pro 200 Point Season

jocelyn hardy beauce jaros nahl
Jocelyn ‘Joe’ Hardy was one of the greatest to play in the NAHL. Wayne Gretzky is widely known as the first NHL player to achieve the 200 point plateau in a single season. A little known bit of hockey trivia is that Joe Hardy was the first professional player to reach 200 points and beyond in one regular season.

With the Beauce Jaros in 1975-76, Handy scored 60 goals and assisted on 148 for an incredible 208 points in just 72 games. Of course, the 148 assists and 208 points will always remain as NAHL records. Making this even more incredible is the fact that Joe also acted as the team’s head coach for the 1975-76 season. He led the Jaros to a first overall finish in the ten team league. Beauce reached the Lockhart Cup finals before losing to the Philadelphia Firebirds in six games.

Hardy played parts of three seasons in the NAHL from 1974-75 to 1976-77, appearing with the Long Island Cougars, Beauce Jaros and Binghamton Dusters. His pro career lasted from 1966-67 to 1977-78 with stops in six different leagues, including the NHL and WHA.

As the NAHL and the WHA went hand in hand, it’s not surprising that Hardy played 210 games in the Rebel League between 1972-73 and 1974-75. He was a regular with the Cleveland Crusaders in 1972-73, the World Hockey Association’s inaugural season. The following season, he saw 77 games with the Chicago Cougars. He split the 1974-75 season between the Cougars, Indianapolis Racers and San Diego Mariners.

Joe had stints in the National Hockey League in 1969-70 and 1970-71, playing a total of 63 games. In 1969-70, he played 23 games for the Oakland Seals, with an additional four games in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He also appeared in 46 games with the Providence Reds that year. The following year, he played 40 games with the same NHL franchise, although they were now known as the California Golden Seals.

In his final professional hockey season, 1977-78, Hardy played for the Binghamton Dusters, a franchise that made the move to the AHL with the demise of the NAHL. He finished first in the league with 63 assists and seventh in the league with 87 points. Joe returned the following season as head coach of the Dusters for one season.

His coaching career was resurrected in 1987-88 in the QMJHL. He coached the Shawinigan Cataractes for four years and the Beauport Harfangs for one.

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1966-67 New Haven Blades EHL 72 28 51 79 77
1969-70 Providence Reds AHL 46 11 27 38 44
1969-70 Oakland Seals NHL 23 5 4 9 20
1969-70 Seattle Totems WHL -- -- -- -- --
1970-71 California Golden Seals NHL 40 4 10 14 31
1971-72 Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL 65 18 42 60 105
1972-73 Cleveland Crusaders WHA 72 17 33 50 80
1973-74 Chicago Cougars WHA 77 24 35 59 55
1974-75 Long Island Cougars NAHL 4 1 2 3 2
1974-75 Chicago Cougars WHA 17 1 6 7 8
1974-75 Indianapolis Racers WHA 32 2 17 19 36
1974-75 San Diego Mariners WHA 12 2 3 5 22
1975-76 Beauce Jaros NAHL 72 60 148 208 98
1976-77 Beauce Jaros NAHL 22 7 36 43 30
1976-77 Broome County Dusters NAHL 28 22 28 50 19
1977-78 Binghamton Dusters AHL 73 24 63 87 56

NHL Totals
63 9 14 23 51

WHA Totals
210 46 94 140 201