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File:Cheevers.jpeg

Gerry Cheevers
Position Goaltender
Shoots Left
Height
Weight
5 ft 11 in (1.8 m)
180 lb (82 kg)
Team NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs
Boston Bruins
WHA
Cleveland Crusaders
AHL
Pittsburgh Hornets
Rochester Americans
CHL
Oklahoma City Blazers
EPHL
Sudbury Wolves
Sault Thunderbirds
Nationality Canadian
Born December 7, 1946,
St. Catharines, ON Canada
Pro Career 1956 – 1980
Hall of Fame, 1985



Gerald Michael "Gerry" Cheevers (born on December 7, 1940, in St. Catharines, Ontario) is a former goaltender in the National Hockey League and World Hockey Association between 1961 and 1980.


== Playing career==


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.


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.


Returning to the Bruins during the 1976 season after financial disputes with Cleveland management, Cheevers finished out his playing career at the end of the 1980 season.


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===


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. Another version is on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame.


Cheevers was not afraid to stray from the crease both to cut down the shooter's angle and to act as a "third defenceman". 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.


In 2008, The Hockey News rated his mask the greatest ever with a wide margin. Cheevers received 221 of possible 300 points, while second-placed Gilles Gratton got 66.



== Coaching career==


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==


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 the Bruins' scouting staff. Cheevers has also devoted his time to his interests in thoroughbred horse racing.


== Regular season==

 

 


Season

Team

League

GP

W

L

T

MIN

GA

SO

GAA

SV%


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

Pittsburgh Hornets

AHL

5

2

2

1

0

4.20


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


1961–62

Rochester Americans

AHL

19

9

9

1

1

3.63


1962–63

Rochester Americans

AHL

19

7

9

3

1

3.95


1962–63

Sudbury Wolves

EPHL

51

17

24

10

4

4.15


1963–64

Rochester Americans

AHL

66

38

25

2

4359

195

3

2.84


1964–65

Rochester Americans

AHL

72

48

21

3

5

2.68


1965–66

Boston Bruins

NHL

7

0

4

1

0

6.00

.827


1965–66

Oklahoma City Blazers

CPHL

30

16

9

5

3

2.49


1966–67

Boston Bruins

NHL

22

5

10

6

1284

72

1

3.33

.923


1966–67

Oklahoma City Blazers

CPHL

26

14

6

5

1

2.80


1967–68

Boston Bruins

NHL

47

23

17

5

2646

125

3

2.83


1968–69

Boston Bruins

NHL

52

28

12

12

3112

145

3

2.80


1969–70

Boston Bruins

NHL

41

24

8

8

2384

108

4

2.72


1970–71

Boston Bruins

NHL

40

27

8

5

2400

109

3

2.73

.918


1971–72

Boston Bruins

NHL

41

27

5

8

2420

101

2

2.50


1972–73

Cleveland Crusaders

WHA

52

32

20

0

3144

149

5

2.84

.912


1973–74

Cleveland Crusaders

WHA

59

30

20

6

3562

180

4

3.03

.906


1974–75

Cleveland Crusaders

WHA

52

26

24

2

3076

167

4

3.26

.905


1975–76

Cleveland Crusaders

WHA

28

11

14

1

1570

95

1

3.63

.886


1975–76

Boston Bruins

NHL

15

8

2

5

900

41

1

2.73

.911


1976–77

Boston Bruins

NHL

45

30

10

5

2700

137

3

3.04


1977–78

Boston Bruins

NHL

21

10

5

2

1086

48

1

2.65


1978–79

Boston Bruins

NHL

43

23

9

10

2509

132

1

3.16


1979–80

Boston Bruins

NHL

42

24

11

7

2479

116

4

2.81



== Awards==


* 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==


* 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






Preceded by
Harry Sinden
Head Coaches of the Boston Bruins
1980–1985
Succeeded by
Harry Sinden
Preceded by
Roger Crozier
Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award
1964-1965
Succeeded by
Les Binkley
Boston Bruins Head Coaches
RossDennenyRossF. PatrickRossWeilandRossClapperBoucherL. PatrickSchmidtWatsonSchmidtSindenJohnsonGuidolinCherryCreightonSindenCheeversSindenGoringO'ReillyMilburyBownessSutterKasperBurnsKeenanFtorekO'ConnellSullivanLewisJulienCassidy




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