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Eddie Giacomin

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Eddie Giacomin
Eddie Giacomin
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Nickname(s) Fast Eddie
Height
Weight
5 ft 11 in (1.8 m)
180 lb (82 kg)
Teams New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born June 6 1939 (1939-06-06) (age 77),
Sudbury, ON, Canada
Pro Career 19661978
Hall of Fame, 1987


Edward Giacomin (born June 6, 1939 in Sudbury, Ontario) was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played for the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings in the National Hockey League, as well as for the Providence Reds of the American Hockey League.

Playing careerEdit

Despite suffering serious burns in a kitchen accident, Giacomin made the Providence Reds for good in the 1960-61 season. Unfortunately, in the Original Six days of the 1960s, with only six starting goaltending jobs in the NHL, positions were hard to obtain in the big leagues, and Giacomin starred for the Reds for five full seasons. Giacomin also served brief stints with the Eastern Hockey League's legendary Clinton Comets during the 1958-59 and the 1959-60 seasons.

NHL teams became interested in Giacomin, with Detroit and the New York Rangers expressing the most interest. New York, long one of the league's doormats, ultimately traded three players and starting goaltender Marcel Paille to the Reds for Giacomin in 1965. Giacomin was impressive in his first month as Rangers goaltender, but faltered thereafter, and lost his starting job in New York. The following season he improved markedly, leading the NHL in shutouts and backstopping the Rangers to only their second playoff berth in nine seasons.

A classic stand-up goaltender and a skilled stickhandler known for leaving the crease to play the puck, Giacomin would be the Rangers' starting goaltender for the next nine seasons, leading the league in games played four straight years from 1967, in shutouts in 1967, 1968 and 1971, and sharing the Vezina Trophy with partner Gilles Villemure in 1971. Typical of his bravery was in a game in the 1971 playoffs against Chicago when Bobby Hull skated over the back of his hand. Eddie did not leave the game, and when the Rangers won the game, even the Black Hawks used the word "guts" to describe his courage. During this stretch the Rangers had a string of success second only to the powerful Boston Bruins, the pinnacle of which was making it to the Stanley Cup finals in 1972, losing to the Bruins in a hard-fought six game series.

Giacomin's effectiveness was reduced in 1975 by injuries. The following season, the Rangers got off to their worst start in ten years (and indeed missed the playoffs that year for the first time in a decade) and the Rangers started getting rid of their high-salaried veterans, an aging Giacomin among them. Many fans were angered when he was waived to the Red Wings in October of 1975. Two nights later, he returned with the Red Wings to New York and the fans responded memorably for their old hero, giving Giacomin a prolonged standing ovation and cheering for him throughout the match. Rangers fans booed their own team chanting "Ed-die! Ed-die!". The evening was recently voted one of the 50 Greatest Moments in MSG history. [1]

He played three respectable seasons in all for Detroit before a youth movement in goal for the club took over. He retired on January 17, 1978, with a career record of 289-208-97 and a 2.82 GAA.

RetirementEdit

Giacomin spent the 1979 season as a broadcaster for the New York Islanders, who were ironically beaten in the playoffs by the rival Rangers that spring. Giacomin later served with the Islanders and the Red Wings as an assistant coach and two stints with the Rangers as a goaltending coach.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987. His #1 was the second jersey number retired by the Rangers, on March 15, 1989, joining Rod Gilbert.

Achievements and factsEdit

  • Named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1967 and 1971.
  • Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1968, 1969 and 1970.
  • Played in the All-Star Game in 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1973.
  • 25th in career wins by a goaltender with 289.
  • 19th in career shutouts with 54.

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Eddie, A Goalie's Story by Hugh Delano

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