Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Grant Fuhr Jersey Card

Ben Scrivens isn't doing so well manning the net for the Montréal Canadiens... perhaps they should consider giving another former member of the Edmonton Oilers a call in the person of Grant Fuhr, a Vezina Trophy winner in 1988 after two nominations (and five top-10s in his first six seasons in the NHL). It was his only one, but he was by and large recognized as the best Canadian goalie of the first half of the 1980s (say, pre-Patrick Roy), while Americans John Vanbiesbrouck and Tom Barrasso and Swede Pelle Lindbergh gave him a bit of a run for his money.

He accordingly suited up for Team Canada on a number of occasions, notably the 1984 (as a backup) and 1987 Canada Cups (as the starter), as well as on the silver medal-winning team from the 1989 World Championships. That's in addition to his five Stanley Cups with the Oilers.

He entered the Hockey Hall Of Fame in 2003 and still holds the NHL record for most assists in a single season (14) as well as most games by a goalie (79, achieved with the St. Louis Blues in 1995-96, the year Wayne Gretzky joined him at the trade deadline, 76 of them consecutively, which is also a record), finishing sixth in Hart voting in the process. He also played 75 with the Oilers in 1987-88, finishing second in Hart voting behind Gretzky.

He finished his career with 403 wins, 226 of them in Edmonton. His record's even better in the playoffs, standing at 92-50 in 150 games, with 6 shutouts - a terrific number, considering he only had 9 in 868 regular-season games.

He was one of the first goalies to wear coloured (i.e. "not brown") equipment, as can be attested from card #GJ-GF from Upper Deck's 2013-14 Series 2 set and UD Game Jersey sub-set:
It shows him wearing the team's classic blue (away) uniform, though it includes a white game-worn jersey swatch. That was a funky mask, as well.

He co-wrote his autobiography, which doesn't skip over his (past) cocaine use nor the racism he experienced in the U.S. when the Toronto Maple Leafs traded him to the Buffalo Sabres in 1992-93, as he was refused entry into a club because of the colour of his skin. He would share a Jennings Trophy win with Dominik Hasek in Buffalo the following year, ironically.

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