Hockey Gods



Uploaded By: PRESIDENT on September 28th, 2017

Lorne John "Gump" Worsley - Born May 14, 1929 in Montreal, Quebec – Died January 26, 2007 in Beloeil, Quebec was a professional ice Hockey goaltender.

Worsley played his junior Hockey for the Verdun Cyclones in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 1946 to 1948, and then for Montreal St. Francis Xavier in 1948-49, before turning pro late in the season with the New York Rovers.

Worsley played four years in the minor leagues, most notably for the New York Rovers of the Eastern Hockey League (EHL), the St. Paul Saints of the United States Hockey League / USHL, where he was named the top rookie and best goalie in the USHL for 1950-51. Then the Saskatoon Quakers of the Western Hockey League (WHL). For three straight seasons between 1950 and 1952, he achieved success with all three teams, garnering First Team All-Star and leading goaltender recognition.

In the fall of 1952 he was signed by the New York Rangers of the NHL; though playing for a last place team, won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year. However, after asking for a $500 a year pay increase, he was promptly returned to the minor leagues the following season. In 1953-54, playing for the Vancouver Canucks of the WHL, he won the league Most Valuable Player / MVP award.

In 1954, Worsley resumed as the Rangers starting goaltender, beating out future NHL star Johnny Bower. Wearing the traditional number 1 for goaltenders, he toiled for the Rangers for the next nine seasons, generally playing well for poor performing teams.

Early in his career with the Rangers, regularly facing 40–50 shots a night, he was asked: "Which team gives you the most trouble?" His reply - "The New York Rangers." Accused by Rangers' coach Phil Watson of having a beer belly, he replied, "Just goes to show you what he knows. I only drink Johnnie Walker Red."

In the summer of 1963, he became involved in a proposed players' union, and was promptly traded to the Montreal Canadiens. While he was relegated to the minor-league Quebec Aces for parts of two seasons — and characteristically winning First Team All-Star honors in the AHL in 1964 — Worsley played his best years for the Canadiens as a member of four Stanley Cup-winning teams: 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1969. His best season was 1968, where he followed up a Vezina-winning performance and a career-low 1.98 goals against average by going undefeated in the playoffs with eleven straight wins. In dispute with Sam Pollock, Montreal general manager, over refusal to be demoted to the minors, and coach Claude Ruel's consistent playing of Rogatien Vachon, he quit in the midst of the 1969–70 season. Suspended for not reporting to the Canadiens' Montreal Voyageurs farm team, Phil Myre was assigned to replace him.

Worsley was lured from retirement by the Minnesota North Stars to play in tandem with Cesare Maniago; he starred for parts of five more years, retiring at the age of 44 after the 1973–74 season. His best season with the North Stars was 1972, where he was second in the league with a 2.12 goals against average. Named to play in the 25th National Hockey League All-Star Game, Worsley was the first goaltender to have won 300 games and lost 300 games.

Worsley was vehemently opposed to wearing a mask. He was the second-to-last professional hockey goaltender to play without a mask. Andy Brown of the Indianapolis Racers was the last, the following season - wearing a mask in the last six games of his career. Asked about why he chose to go without, Worsley told reporters: "My face is my mask."

Worsley retired with a record of 335 wins, 352 losses and 150 ties, with 43 shutouts, and a goals against average of 2.91.

Gump Worsley was Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980 .

- Won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1953.
- Stanley Cup champion in 1965, 1966, 1968, and 1969.
- Won the Vezina Trophy in 1966 and 1968.
- Named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1968.
- Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1966.
- Played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1961, 1962, 1965, and 1972.
- Tied with Curtis Joseph for the second most career losses in the NHL with 352.


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