Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today in history: May 23-26

We're shifting into a bit of off-season mode, so the posts will be a bit more of a "catch-up" variety. So, here's a "catch-up" on the birthdays. We have a lot of them.

May 23
Vic Stasiuk: Winger who played eight games for the Capitals in their final season of 1951-52, but he wouldn't last in the minors long that year. He'd tally seven goals and an assist in those eight games, and quickly end up in the NHL, playing 58 games for the Red Wings' Stanley Cup champions that season. He split the next three seasons between Detroit and Edmonton -- the WHL team that replaced the Caps as the Wings' top affiliate -- before being dealt to the Boston Bruins in 1955. Vic played five and a half seasons in Boston -- tallying 20+ goals four times -- before going back to Detroit for two more full seasons. Ironically, he finished his hockey career in 1965-66 for the CHL's Memphis Wings -- a team whose life began two years earlier as the Indianapolis Capitols. He was a part of the Red Wings' 1952, 1954 and 1955 Stanley Cup champions, although his name was not on the Cup in 1954 because he spent the postseason in Edmonton. He tallied 183 goals in 745 NHL games between 1949-62. He would later spend several seasons as a coach, including stints as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, California Golden Seals and Vancouver Canucks. A native of Lethbridge, Alberta, he is 82.
Gary Moscaluk: Defenseman who played 31 games for the Ice in 1989-90 at the end of his pro hockey career. He had four assists. A native of Waskatenau, Alberta, he is 44.
Jeff Buchanan: Defenseman who played 102 games for the Ice between 1994-96. An enforcer, he had seven goals, 23 assists and 340 penalty minutes in that stretch -- including 277 in the 1995-96 season. Buchanan would play three more years in the IHL and AHL after his stint in Indianapolis, and eventually get the call-up to the NHL in 1998-99 -- his final pro season -- playing six games with the Colorado Avalanche. A native of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, he is 40.

May 24
Garry Lacey: Left wing who played the full 1984-85 season with the Checkers, potting 14 goals and 21 assists in his first of two pro seasons. He was a third-round pick of the Islanders in 1982. A native of Falconbridge, Ontario, he is 47.  
Tom Karalis: Defensmean who played 26 games for the inaugural Ice team in 1988-89, totaling eight assists and 132 PIMs. He was one of 12 players on that legendarily-penalized team to total the century mark in the penalty box. Karalis split that year between Flint, Indy and AHL New Haven. His pro career began in 1984 and he played with several IHL, AHL, CHL and European teams in that time frame, playing his last year in 1997-98 with the Tulsa Oilers. A native of Montreal, he is 47.
Alain Lemieux: A fifth-round pick of the Blues in 1980, Lemieux is probably best known as the older brother of former Pittsburgh Penguins star -- and current team owner -- Mario Lemieux. Alain arrived in Indianapolis as part of the inaugural Ice team in 1988-89. He provided some offensive punch, totaling 18 goals and 26 assists in just 29 games. Before arriving in Indy, he had been a veteran of 119 NHL games over seven NHL seasons with the Blues, Nordiques and Penguins, although he spent a lot of time in the minors over that time frame. Although Alain played one game with the Penguins, he never did play with his brother, as he was actually replacing Mario in the lineup that day. He retired in 1991, but came out of retirement in 1997-98 to play eight games with the WCHL's Tucson Gila Monsters. A native of Montreal, he is 50.
Doug Altschul: Left wing who played two games for the Ice in 1999-2000. He would eventually play 56 games over seven pro seasons with nine different teams in five different leagues. A native of Chicago, he is 37.

May 25
Fred Weaver: Diminutive (5-6, 160) winger who played for the Capitals in the 1942-43 season, the start of a 17-year long pro/senior hockey career. He had seven goals that year, splitting time between Indianapolis and the Washington Lions. A native of Saskatoon, he was born in 1924.
Dick Kowcinak: Left wing who played 84 games for the Capitals between 1943-45, totaling 28 goals and 47 assists. Kowcinak played one more year in the AHL after his stint in Indy, with the St. Louis Flyers -- a team that included several ex-Caps -- before four years in the upstart IHL, leading the league in scoring twice. He was also part of the Trail Smoke Eaters team that won the Allan Cup and the World Championship in 1939. He also won the Allan Cup one more time in 1940, and was part of the 1937 Memorial Cup championship team. He is a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. Kowcinak played at 5-8, 155 pounds. A native of Winnipeg, he is 94, and currently resides in Sarnia, Ontario.
Gary Bredin: Right wing who played 10 games for the inaugural Racers team in 1974-75, totaling three goals and two assists. He would total 26 goals in two full WHA seasons, also playing for the Michigan/Baltimore franchise, San Diego Mariners and the Denver Spurs/Ottawa Civics franchise between 1974-76. A native of Edmonton, he is 62. 

May 26
Cody Bradley: Current member of the Ice, this 5-9, 160-pound forward totaled 11 goals and nine assists in his first USHL season in 2010-11. A native of Tampa, Florida, he is 17 today.


  1. I have to say this about Alain Lemieux: anybody who scored 44 points on Archie's team was trying really hard. There was precious little offensive talent that year.

  2. I have to let you know, Dick Kowcinak, my grandfather, passed away on September 6, 2011. There will be a celebration of his life in Sarnia at the Royal Canadian Legion on Saturday, October 1, 2011 from 1-4pm. He was 94 years young!