Sunday, August 28, 2011

Today in histor: August 25-28

Catching up a few dates on TIH: 
August 25
John French: Left wing who played 74 games for the Racers in 1977-78, scoring nine goals and eight assists. It was the last of six WHA seasons -- he would play 420 games in the league, with 108 goals and 192 assists. His best year was 1975-76 with San Diego, in which he had a 25-39-64 line. He played the following season in the AHL before retiring. A native of Orilla, Ont., he is 61.
Jacques Demers: Racers coach from 1975-77. He led the team to a record of 71-76-14 and the only two postseason appearances in team history. In 1976, the Racers won the WHA's West Division title. The following year, the swept the Cincinnati Stingers in the opening round of the playoffs before falling to eventual Avco Trophy champion Quebec in the division finals. Demers had been the Racers' player personnel director before being promoted when Gerry Moore was fired early in the 1975-76 season. After his stint with the Racers, he coached the Cincinnati Stingers, brought the Quebec Nordiques into the NHL, and also served as the head coach of the St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning. He led the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup title in 1993. Three other times, he took teams to the conference finals -- the 1986 Blues and the 1987 & 1988 Red Wings. He was the NHL's Coach of the Year in 1987 and 1988, and the American Hockey League's top coach in 1983 with Fredericton. Demers currently serves as a member of the Canadian Senate. A native of Montreal, he is 67.
Monty Trottier: Center who played parts of five seasons with the Checkers, starting in the 1981 CHL Playoffs -- shortly after finishing his junior career. He played four full seasons with the Checkers -- 1981-84, and then again in 1985-86. He totaled 73 goals and 99 assists in 285 games with the Checkers, with his best year coming in his final season, where he had 27 goals and 38 assists. He was a part of the Adams Cup champions in 1982 and 1983. He had seven goals and 16 assists in 42 playoff games, including a 1-7-8 line in leading a young squad to the 1984 Adams Cup finals. He also had 452 PIMs. The Islanders' fourth-round pick, Monty is the younger brother of six-time Stanley Cup champion and Hockey Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier. He remained in Indianapolis after his retirement from hockey and has been active as a hockey coach and instructor, running TNT hockey camps with his brothers Rocky and Bryan. A native of Val Marie, Sask., he is 50.
Frank Bialowas: A popular enforcer who joined the Ice late in the 1998-99 season and played 16 games. He scored one goal and had 27 PIMs. "The Animal" also played professionally from 1991-2000 and again from 2004-06, totaling 200+ PIMs in seven different seasons. He played four NHL games with Toronto in 1993-94. A native of Winnipeg, he is 41.

Aug. 26
Bryon Baltimore: Defenseman who played for the Racers from 1975 through the aborted 1978-79 season. He played 116 games for the Racers, totaling three goals and 33 assists. He also played all 16 playoff games in Racers history, with one assist. Baltimore played 333 WHA/NHL games, also playing for the Chicago Cougars, Denver Spurs, Cincinnati Stingers and Edmonton Oilers between 1974-80. He retired as a player after the 1980-81 season, and later coached the CHL's Montana Magic in 1983-84. A native of Whitehorse, Yukon, he is 59.

Aug. 27
Don Perkins: Member of the Checkers in 1986-87 and Ice in 1988-89. The defenseman graduated from Ohio State University in 1986 and played three pro seasons. He totaled two goals and 15 assists, as well as 118 PIMs, in his 51 games with the Checkers & Ice. In-between, he played 33 games for the Fort Wayne Komets and the AAHL's Virginia Lancers. In 1989, he retired from hockey and began coaching the Brebeuf high school team, which he continues to do. A native of Whitby, Ontario, he is 48.

Mario Doyon: Defenseman for the Ice at two ends of his career -- playing 66 games in 1989-90 and 63 games in 2003-04. He totaled 32 goals and 56 assists in those 129 games with the Ice. He came to the team in 1989 as a Blackhawks farmhand -- he was drafted by them in the sixth round in 1986 -- and he played  28 NHL games with the Blackhawks and Nordiques between 1988-91, scoring four goals. After his short NHL stint, he played several yeras in the AHL and IHL before moving to Europe after the 1995-96 season. He returned to play for the Ice in 2003 -- the team's final CHL season -- and retired after playing one game the following year in Corpus Christi.  While he played much of the 1990 championship season with the Ice, he was traded to Quebec partway through the year. Since retiring, he has settled in Indianapolis and has served as a hockey coach, including with the Indiana Junior Ice. A native of Quebec City, he is 43.
Craig Mills: Winger who played for the Ice from 1996-99, playing 134 games, totaling 22 goals, 21 assists and 332 penalty minutes. His best year came in 1996-97, when he had 12 goals to help the Ice win an IHL division title. After his stints with the Ice, he played four more years in the AHL and three in Europe before retiring in 2006. He also played 31 NHL games for the Jets (in 1995-96) and Blackhawks (1997-99). A native of Toronto, he is 35.
Pat Leahy: Forward who played three games for the Ice in 2001-02, totaling one assist. He had played at the NCAA Div. III level and briefly in the UHL prior to joining the Ice. A native of Canton, Mass., he is 35.
Eddie DelGrosso: High-scoring defenseman for the Ice from 2004-06. He played 116 regular-season games with the Ice, totaling 34 goals and 51 assists. He also had a goal and six assists in eight playoff games. He was one of several ex-Ice players who played at Nebraska-Omaha, where he was a blueline mainstay for four years before turning pro in 2010. He has played professionally in the AHL, in Finland and with the ECHL Las Vegas Wranglers. A native of Las Vegas, he is 26.

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