Monday, June 27, 2011

Today in history: June 27

Lou Jankowski: Right wing who played for the Capitals in their final season -- 1951-52. It was the first of 18 professional seasons for the Saskatchewan native. He was considered one of the fastest skaters in the world. Jankowski was a prolific scorer in junior, setting an Ontario Hockey Association record with 124 points in a season, including 65 goals. He was paired with Alex Delvecchio on the same line in Oshawa, and they were teammates in Indianapolis for only six games before Delvecchio got the permanent callup to the NHL. Jankowski actually played his first pro (and NHL) game in 1950-51, got back to Detroit in 1952-53 for 22 games, and in all played 130 NHL games for the Red Wings and Blackhawks prior to the 1954-55 season. He had 15 goals and 13 assists for Chicago in 1953-54, his best NHL season. He became a fixture in the AHL and later, the Western Hockey League. He had a 21-26-47 season with the AHL Buffalo Bisons in 1957-58, then became a prolific scorer in the WHL, putting in 45 goals the next year for Calgary, the first of four straight 40-goal seasons. In 1960-61, he scored 57 goals and totaled 99 points and was the WHL's MVP. He was the league's Most Gentlemanly Player in 1964. After retiring from playing in 1969, he became a scout for the St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, NHL Central Scouting Bureau and New York Rangers from 1972-93. A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, he was born in 1931, and passed away in 2010.
Red Laurence: A prolific scorer for the Checkers from 1981-84. In those three seasons, he played in 228 games, scored 127 goals and added 147 assists. He ranks 10th all-time among Indianapolis pro hockey players in goals scored and 12th in both assists and points. In addition, he scored 30 goals and 20 assists in 33 playoff games as a Checker, leading the team to the Adams Cup in 1982 and 1983 and the Adams Cup Finals in 1984. He won the Adams Cup four straight years -- also winning it with Salt Lake in 1980 and 1981, scoring the game-winning goal in Game 7 in 1980. Laurence played two seasons in the NHL, totaling 15 goals and 22 assists in 79 games with the Atlanta Flames and St. Louis Blues between 1978-80. In Atlanta, he was coached by Fred Creighton, with whom he would be reunited in Indianapolis. He was the 28th overall selection in the 1977 NHL Draft by Atlanta, and was also the Winnipeg Jets' fourth-round pick in the WHA Draft the same year. He won the CHL's Ironman Award and was a Second Team All-Star in 1983. In 1982 and 1983, he led the Checkers with identical 43-55-98 seasons, and was also the leading scorer the following year with 41 goals and 37 assists. He also was the CHL's leading playoff scorer in 1983 and 1984, with 22 and 13 points, respectively. After his stint in Indianapolis, he played in Europe for several more seasons. A native of Galt, Ontario, he is 54.
Sean Toomey: Center who broke into pro hockey with the Checkers in 1986-87, playing 13 games at the end of the year after finishing his collegiate career at Minnesota-Duluth that spring. He had three goals and three assists -- as well as two goals and two assists in the five-game playoff loss to Fort Wayne. Toomey also earned a callup to the Minnesota North Stars that spring, when he played his only NHL game. Toomey would play one more year in the minors -- splitting the next season between AHL Baltimore and IHL Milwaukee, as Indianapolis was in-between the Checkers and Ice at the time -- and one year in Europe. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, he is 46.

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