Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Today in history: January 18

January 18 in Indianapolis hockey history
Mark Messier: Racers forward in 1978-79, beginning his pro career on a five-game tryout contract. He was scoreless with the Racers, but joined the Cincinnati Stingers after the Racers folded, playing 47 games. Messier became one of the most prolific players and leaders in NHL history. He joined the Edmonton Oilers after the WHA-NHL merger in 1979 and had a 50-goal season by 1981-82. He followed it up with five 100-point seasons in the next eight years. Messier won six Stanley Cups in his career -- with Edmonton in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990 and with the New York Rangers in 1994. He also appeared in the 1983 finals, a loss to the New York Islanders. Messier played 26 pro seasons, retiring in 2004 as a Ranger. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1984, and won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP and the Lester B. Pearson Trophy as the NHLPA MVP both in 1990 and 1992. He played 1808 NHL/WHA games, with 695 goals, 1,203 assists and 1,998 points. In the playoffs, he had 109 goals and 186 assists in 239 total games. He is second in NHL history for regular-season points (1887), playoff points (295) and regular season games (1756). His number 11 has been retired by both the Rangers and Oilers. He was a four-time First Team All-Star and played in 15 NHL All-Star Games. He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, inducted in his first year of eligibility in 2007. A native of Edmonton, he is 51. 
Tim Lockridge: A perennial Checkers defenseman, he played for the team in all five CHL seasons from 1979-84, the full 1984-85 season in the IHL, and a few games the following year. He played in 393 games with the Checkers -- the only pro team he ever suited up for. He had eight goals and 67 assists as a Checker. He was a strong right-handed shooting defenseman. He is third all-time on the Indianapolis hockey games played list, behind longtime Checkers teammates Kevin Devine and Garth MacGuigan. He is the only player to suit up for six consecutive Checkers seasons. The Islanders' fourth-round pick in 1979, he was born in Barrie, Ont. he is 53. 
Jocelyn Perreault: Ice goaltender for five games in 1988-89, going 0-3-0 with a 6.17 GAA. He played parts of four pro seasons in the AHL, IHL and ECHL, and then played several years of senior hockey in Quebec. A native of Montreal, he is 46. 

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