Stanley Cup Well Represented With These 3 Greats
The 1984 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees in the player category were a trio that really defined the National Hockey League in the 1970’s. For every Stanley Cup that was won from 1970 to 1979, one of these three players has their name engraved on the trophy.
Phil Esposito, in the way that Wayne Gretzky did in the 1980’s, obliterated the existing NHL scoring records. In 1970-71, he added nearly 60 points to the number that had stood as the record just a few years earlier. His 76 goals and 152 points in 1970-71 stood as records until Gretzky came along.
Phil played in the NHL from 1963-64 to 1980-81. He began play with the Chicago Black Hawks and was shifted to the Boston Bruins in 1967-68. It was with the Bruins between 1967-68 and 1975-76 that Esposito enjoyed his greatest success. He won the Art Ross Trophy five times as the league’s leading scorer. He added two Hart Trophies as the NHL’s most valuable player and won the Lou Marsh Award in 1972 as Canada’s athlete of the year, one of just eight NHL hockey players to be honoured.
Phil was the first to surpass 70 goals in a season and is still one of just eight to accomplish this feat. He was the first to reach 150 points in a season and only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bernie Nicholls and Steve Yzerman have done the same. The one major record of Esposito’s that still stands today is his 550 shots on net during the 1970-71 season. Phil ended his career with the New York Rangers but it was the Bruins that retired his number 7 in 1987.
Jacques Lemaire played 12 seasons in the National Hockey League, all with the Montreal Canadiens. In those 12 years, between 1967-68 and 1978-79, Lemaire was part of eight Stanley Cup winning teams. Jacques is one of just six players to score Stanley Cup winning goals on two different occasions.
Bernie Parent achieved success early, recording the lowest goals against average in the Ontario Hockey Association for both of the two years he spent with the Niagara Falls Flyers, 1963-64 and 1964-65. He was a major part of the Flyers winning the 1965 Memorial Cup.
Parent played in the NHL from 1965-66 to 1971-72 then again from 1973-74 to 1978-79. For the 1972-73 season, he was a member of the WHA’s Philadelphia Blazers. Although he played with the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs along the way, it was with the Philadelphia Flyers that he achieved his greatest success. In 1973-74 and 1974-75, Parent won the Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy both seasons as he led the Flyers to two consecutive Stanley Cup championships.