|5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
180 lb (82 kg)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Oklahoma City Blazers
|Born||December 7, 1940,|
St. Catharines, ON, CAN
|Pro Career||1956 – 1980|
|Hall of Fame, 1985|
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Cheevers' professional hockey career began in 1956 at the age of 16 when he played for the St. Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey Association. He was owned by the Toronto Maple Leafs until the Boston Bruins drafted him in 1965. Cheevers still holds the American Hockey League single-season record for most victories by a goalkeeper. In 1965 he totaled 48 victories in leading the Rochester Americans to their first Calder Cup championship. He spent six years in all in the minors until, by 1967, he was Boston's number one goalie. He was a member of both the 1970 and 1972 Stanley Cup winning teams, gaining a reputation as a driven, "money" goaltender.
In 1972, he went undefeated in 33 consecutive games, a NHL record that still stands.
In the fall of 1972, he jumped to the fledgling World Hockey Association, playing three and a half seasons for the Cleveland Crusaders as one of the league's best goalies, winning First Team All-Star honors in 1973 and Second Team honors in 1974 and 1975.
His career NHL goals against average was 2.89. He recorded 230 NHL wins, played in 419 NHL games, and recorded 26 NHL shutouts. He was also second in the WHA's history in career GAA and shutouts, despite playing in only half the league's seasons.
Mask[edit | edit source]
Cheevers' iconic stitch-pattern goaltender mask came after a puck hit him in the face during practice. Cheevers, never one to miss an opportunity to skip out of practice, went to the dressing room. Bruins coach Harry Sinden followed him to the dressing room, where he found Cheevers enjoying a beer and smoking a cigarette. Sinden told Cheevers, who wasn't injured, to get back on the ice. In jest, John Forestall, the team trainer, painted a stitch mark on his mask. Ever after, any time he was similarly struck, he would have a new stitch-mark painted on. The mask became one of the most recognized of the era, and the original mask is now on the wall of his grandson's bedroom.
Cheevers was not afraid to stray from the crease both to cut down the shooter's angle and to act as a "third defenseman". He was very aggressive with opposing players who strayed into or near the crease. Many an opposing player who got too close to the goal crease got a quick smack from Cheevers' goal stick. Not a "stand-up" goalie, Cheevers could often be found on his knees or even his side. He perfected this "flopping" style while playing for Rochester during the 1962–63 season. Americans' coach Rudy Migay had Cheevers practice without his stick, thus requiring him to rely more on using his body and his pads. From that point on Cheevers became one of hockey's best goalkeepers.
Publications[edit | edit source]
Coaching Career[edit | edit source]
Cheevers' final season as a player came in 1980, when popular coach Don Cherry was replaced by Fred Creighton. After winning their division seven of the previous nine seasons, the Bruins were in third place late in the year, and general manager Harry Sinden fired Creighton, serving as interim coach for the remainder of the season himself. For the 1981 season, Cheevers was named as coach. Despite a shocking sweep in the 1981 playoffs to the Minnesota North Stars - the North Stars had never before won a game in Boston Garden in the sixteen years the team had been in the league - Sinden stuck with Cheevers, who led the Bruins to two first place and two second place finishes in their division, including to the league's best record in 1983, where the team fell only to the eventual Stanley Cup champion New York Islanders in the semifinals.
Cheevers was replaced by Sinden midseason two years later. With a record of 204-126-46, he ranks 7th in career winning percentage (.604) for NHL coaches with more than 250 games experience.
Retirement[edit | edit source]
After his departure as Bruins' coach, Cheevers served as a color commentator for the Hartford Whalers from 1986 to 1995 and the Boston Bruins from 1999 to 2002. From 1995-2006 he was a member of the Bruins' scouting staff. Cheevers has also devoted his time to his interests in thoroughbred horse racing, and has even tried Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment or WWE were he fought "The Bush".
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
Regular Season[edit | edit source]
|1956-57||Toronto St. Michael's Majors||OHA||1||0||0||0||60||4||0||4.00||—|
|1957-58||Toronto St. Michael's Majors||OHA||1||0||0||0||60||3||0||3.00||—|
|1958-59||Toronto St. Michael's Majors||OHA||6||0||0||0||360||28||0||4.67||—|
|1959-60||Toronto St. Michael's Majors||OHA||36||18||13||5||2160||111||5||3.08||—|
|1960-61||Toronto St. Michael's Majors||OHA||30||12||20||5||—||—||2||3.18||—|
|1961–62||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||EPHL||29||13||13||3||—||—||1||3.55||—|
|1961–62||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||2||1||1||0||—||—||0||3.00||.917|
|1965–66||Oklahoma City Blazers||CPHL||30||16||9||5||—||—||3||2.49||—|
|1966–67||Oklahoma City Blazers||CPHL||26||14||6||5||—||—||1||2.80||—|
Awards[edit | edit source]
- 1964–65 Harry (Hap) Holmes Memorial Award, which goes to the AHL goalie with the best goals against average.
- Played in the 1969 NHL All-Star Game.
- 1973 WHA First Team All-Star, won Ben Hatskin Award for best goaltender.
- 1979–80 Runner-up for the NHL's Vezina Memorial Trophy (Lowest goals against average).
- Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985.
- Inducted into the Rochester Americans Hall of Fame in 1987.
International Play[edit | edit source]
- 1974 Played for Team Canada at the Summit-74 series
- 1976 Spare goaltender for Team Canada in the Challenge Cup
- 1979 Played for NHL All Stars in the Challenge Cup vs. Team Soviet Union
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Goaltender. Dodd Mead. Retrieved on 2008-07-20.
External Links[edit | edit source]
- Gerry Cheevers Personal Site: http://www.gerrycheevers.com/
- Gerry Cheevers's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
|List of Boston Bruins head coaches
|Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award
|Boston Bruins Head Coaches|
|Ross • Denneny • Ross • F. Patrick • Ross • Weiland • Ross • Clapper • Boucher • L. Patrick • Schmidt • Watson • Schmidt • Sinden • Johnson • Guidolin • Cherry • Creighton • Sinden • Cheevers • Sinden • Goring • O'Reilly • Milbury • Bowness • Sutter • Kasper • Burns • Keenan • Ftorek • O'Connell • Sullivan • Lewis • Julien • Cassidy|
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Gerry Cheevers. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|