My favorite thing to write at Grantland every week is the Grab Bag. I’ve been doing it for two seasons now, and it gives me an excuse at the end of every week to ramble about current stories, spend way too much time on YouTube, and make a bunch of jokes about stuff that happened 25 years ago that nobody will get.
One of my sections is the Obscure Former Player of the Week. So I pretty excited to get an email from a reader this week who was a fan of the feature, and had taken the time to crunch some numbers about the various players who’ve been mentioned. Obscure players and overly complicated statistical analysis? Count me in.
So even though I suspect it may not interest anyone but me, I’m going to repost it here. A big thanks to reader Mitchell for putting this together, and congratulations to him on his appointment to the unpaid position of official historian of the obscure player section. Everyone go follow him on Twitter at howintensive.
- There have been 51 Obscure Former Player sections, with 52 players total. (The only double-up: Greg Adams and Greg Adams)
- There have been two Grab Bags with no Obscure Player section. (11/1/13 & 11/8/13).
- Position breakdown: 14.5 right wingers, 9 left wingers, 11 centers, 10.5 defensemen, and 7 goaltenders (All positions based on hockey-referece.com, with half points awarded for players listed at multiple positions)
- Most represented season: 1991-92, with 22 Obscure Players playing at least one game that year
- Most common reason for being chosen: Name oddities and/or puns accounted for 17 selections
- Homer watch: Of the 52 Obscure Former Players, only nine played for the Leafs at some point. (I was shocked by this. I would have put the over/under at 20, easily.)
And here's the full list, and their reason for being selected:Rick Vaive - RW '79-'92 (5/16/14) - Stripped of his captaincy with the Leafs.
Jimmy Mann - RW '80-'88 (5/9/14) - Jets draft bust
Stephane Quintal - D '89-'04 (5/2/14) - New head of Player Safety
Sergei Krivokrasov - RW '93-'02 (4/25/14) - Every playoff goal was an OT game winner
Frank McCool - G '45-'46 (4/18/14) - Historic shutout streak, won a championship, and disappeared.
Ted Irvine - LW '64-'77 (4/11/14) - Father of Chris Jericho
Todd Okerlund - RW '88 (4/4/14) - Father was "Mean" Gene Okerlund
Val Fonteyne - LW '60-'74 (3/28/14) - Full season without a penalty
Pat Falloon - RW '92-'00 (3/21/14) - Draft bust
Bill Derlago - C '79-'87 (3/14/14) - "Builder Lego"
Alan May - RW '88-'95 (3/7/14) - Most-traded player at the deadline
Larry Goodenough - D '75-'80 (2/28/14) - Good enough name.
Norm Maracle - G '98-'02 (2/22/14) - Do you believe in Maracles?
Kelly Kisio - C '83-'95 (2/14/14) - Valentine's Day pick
Dave Silk - RW '80-'86 (2/7/14) - Miracle on Ice player
Bronco Horvath - C '56-'68 (1/31/14) - In honor of Denver playing in the Super Bowl
Shawn Chambers - D '88-'00 (1/24/14) - Rated 1/100 in NHLPA '93
Larry Playfair - D '79-'90 (1/17/14) - Did not actually play fair
Rob Zamuner - LW '92-'04 (1/10/14) - Made Canadian Olympic Team instead of Mark Messier in 1998
Fred Sasakamoose - C '54 (1/3/14) - Born on Christmas; first Native Canadian to play.
Herb Cain - LW '34-'46 (12/20/14) - Led NHL in scoring but is not in HOF
Corey Millen - C '90-'97 (12/13/13) - Forgotten part of the Iginla-to - Calgary blockbuster.
John Albert - C '14 (12/6/13) - ALBERT ALBERT ALBERT.
Vincent Riendeau - G '88-'95 (11/22/13) - Another goalie nicknamed “Red Light”; gave up Lidstrom's first goal.
Terry Yake - C '89-'01 (11/15/13) - Was not pronounced "Teriyaki"
No section (11/8/13)
No section (11/1/13)
Jim Boo - D '78 (10/25/13) - Halloween name
Vic Lynn - LW/D '43-'54 (10/18/13) - Played for all 6 Original Six teams
Don Murdoch - RW '77-'82 (10/11/13) - “The Tomas Hertl of the 1970s”
Chris Terreri - G '87-'01 (10/4/13) - Devils' starter who lost his job to Martin Brodeur
Hugh Jessiman - RW '11 (6/28/13) - Draft bust in ultra-deep 2003 draft.
Blaine Lacher - G '95-'96 (6/21/13) - Had a good lockout-shortened season w/ Bruins; also a cool nickname
Darin Kimble - RW '89-'95 (6/14/13) - Enforcer who played for both Blackhawks and Bruins
Bill Muckalt - RW '99-'03 (6/7/13) - Forgotten piece of Alexi Yashin trade; went through entire NHL season without a goal.
Bill McCreary - RW '81 (5/31/13) - Not the referee; once flattened Gretzky
Per Djoos - D '91-'93 (5/24/13) - Was named Pear Juice
Lonny Bohonos - RW '96-'99 (5/17/13) - Was on line with Mats Sundin during playoffs for some reason
Chris Kontos - LW/C '83-'93 (5/10/13) - “The guy who had that one really crazy playoff run. No, not John Druce. The other one.“
Manon Rheaume - G (5/3/13) - Female goalie who played for the Lightning in an exhibition game.
Tony Twist - LW '90-'99 (4/26/13) - Do not mess with Tony Twist, on the ice or in the courtroom
Neil Sheehy - D '84-'92 (4/19/13) - Wore number 0
Greg Adams - LW '81-'90 & Greg Adams - LW '85-'01 (4/12/13) - Two different players on same team, same name.
Marc Bergevin - D '85-'04 (4/5/13) - Got traded 7 times, plenty of own goals, now Habs GM
Mike Sillinger - C '91-'09 (3/29/13) - Owns the record for most times being traded
Harold "Mush" March - RW '29-'45 (3/22/13) - March Madness
Phil Bourque - LW '84-'96 (3/15/13) - Did the upside down blade on breakaway before Kaspar Daugavins
Steven Halko - D '98-'03 (3/1/13) - Never scored despite many SOG and lots of ice time
Kari Takko - G '86-'91 (2/22/13) - Part of the Takko-Bell trade
Chris Valentine - C '82-'84 (2/15/13) - Only Valentine to play in NHL.
Reggie Savage - C '91-'94 (2/8/13) - Scored first career goal on a penalty shot; great name
Nolan Baumgartner - D '96-'10 (2/1/13) - Part of 2 big trades- Eric Lindros draft trade, and Clark-Sundin.
Dave McLlwain - C/RW '88-'97 (1/25/13) - Played in all four divisions in one season