Eddie Giacomin

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Eddie Giacomin
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1987
Born (1939-06-06) June 6, 1939 (age 74)
Sudbury, ON, CAN
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career 1959–1978

Edward "Ed" Giacomin (born June 6, 1939 in Sudbury, Ontario) is a retired professional ice hockey goaltender who played for the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings in the National Hockey League, as well as for the Providence Reds of the American Hockey League.

Playing career[edit]

Despite suffering serious burns in a kitchen accident, Giacomin made the Providence Reds for good in the 1960–61 season. Unfortunately, in the Original Six days of the 1960s, with only six starting goaltending jobs in the NHL, positions were hard to obtain in the big leagues, and Giacomin starred for the Reds for five full seasons. Giacomin also served brief stints with the Eastern Hockey League's legendary Clinton Comets during the 1958/59 and the 1959/60 seasons.

NHL teams became interested in Giacomin, with Detroit and the New York Rangers expressing the most interest. New York ultimately traded three players and starting goaltender Marcel Paille to the Reds for Giacomin in 1965. Giacomin was impressive in his first month as Rangers goaltender, but faltered thereafter, and lost his starting job in New York. The following season he improved markedly, leading the NHL in shutouts and backstopping the Rangers to only their second playoff berth in nine seasons.

A classic stand-up goaltender and a skilled stickhandler known for leaving the crease to play the puck, Giacomin would be the Rangers' starting goaltender for the next nine seasons, leading the league in games played four straight years from 1967, in shutouts in 1967, 1968 and 1971, and sharing the Vezina Trophy with partner Gilles Villemure in 1971. Typical of his bravery was in a game in the 1971 playoffs against Chicago when Bobby Hull skated over the back of his hand. Eddie did not leave the game, and when the Rangers won the game, even the Black Hawks used the word "guts" to describe his courage. During this stretch the Rangers had a string of success second only to the powerful Boston Bruins, the pinnacle of which was making it to the Stanley Cup finals in 1972, losing to the Bruins in a hard-fought six game series.

Giacomin's effectiveness was reduced in 1975 by injuries. The following season, the Rangers got off to their worst start in ten years (and indeed missed the playoffs that year for the first time in a decade) and the Rangers started getting rid of their high-salaried veterans, an aging Giacomin among them. Many fans were angered when he was waived to the Detroit Red Wings on October 29, 1975 as the result of a youth movement that resulted in John Davidson taking over in goal. In a twist of fate, the next Red Wings game after Giacomin was claimed off waivers would be in New York on October 31, and as Giacomin made his debut for the Red Wings, fans responded memorably for their old hero, giving Giacomin a prolonged standing ovation and cheering for him throughout the match. Rangers fans booed their own team chanting "Ed-die! Ed-die!"; Giacomin would win that game for the Red Wings. The evening was recently voted one of the 50 Greatest Moments in MSG history. [1]

He played three respectable seasons in all for Detroit before a youth movement in goal for the club took over. He retired on January 17, 1978, with a career record of 289-208-97 and a 2.82 GAA.

Retirement[edit]

Giacomin spent the 1979 season as a broadcaster for the New York Islanders, who incidentally were beaten in the playoffs by the rival Rangers that spring. Giacomin later served with the Islanders and the Red Wings as an assistant coach and two stints with the Rangers as a goaltending coach.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987. His #1 was the second jersey number retired by the Rangers, on March 15, 1989, joining Rod Gilbert.

Achievements and facts[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1958-59 Washington Presidents EHL 4 4 0 0 240 13 0 3.25
1959-60 New York Rovers EHL 51 3060 206 3 4.04
1959-60 Providence Reds AHL 1 1 0 0 60 4 0 4.00
1960-61 Providence Reds AHL 43 17 24 0 2510 183 0 4.37
1960-61 New York Rovers EHL 12 2 10 0 720 54 0 4.50
1961-62 Providence Reds AHL 40 20 19 1 2400 144 2 3.60
1962-63 Providence Reds AHL 39 22 14 2 2340 102 4 2.62
1963-64 Providence Reds AHL 69 30 34 5 4140 232 6 3.37
1964-65 Providence Reds AHL 59 19 38 2 3527 226 0 3.84
1965-66 New York Rangers NHL 35 8 20 6 2036 125 0 3.68
1965-66 Baltimore Clippers AHL 7 3 4 0 420 21 0 3.00
1966-67 New York Rangers NHL 68 30 27 11 3981 173 9 2.61
1967-68 New York Rangers NHL 66 36 20 10 3940 160 8 2.44
1968-69 New York Rangers NHL 70 37 23 7 4114 175 7 2.55
1969-70 New York Rangers NHL 70 35 21 14 4148 163 6 2.36
1970-71 New York Rangers NHL 45 27 10 7 2641 95 8 2.16
1971-72 New York Rangers NHL 44 24 10 9 2551 115 1 2.70
1972-73 New York Rangers NHL 43 26 11 6 2580 125 4 2.91
1973-74 New York Rangers NHL 56 30 15 10 3286 168 5 3.07
1974-75 New York Rangers NHL 37 13 12 8 2069 120 1 3.48
1975-76 New York Rangers NHL 4 0 3 1 240 19 0 4.75
1975-76 Detroit Red Wings NHL 29 12 14 3 1740 100 2 3.45
1976-77 Detroit Red Wings NHL 33 8 18 3 1791 107 3 3.58
1977-78 Detroit Red Wings NHL 9 3 5 1 516 27 0 3.14
AHL totals 258 112 133 10 15,397 912 12 3.55
NHL totals 609 289 209 96 35,633 1672 54 2.82

Playoffs[edit]

Season Team League GP W L MIN GA SO GAA
1962-63 Providence Reds AHL 6 2 4 359 31 0 5.18
1963-64 Providence Reds AHL 3 1 2 120 12 0 4.00
1966-67 New York Rangers NHL 4 0 4 246 14 0 3.41
1967-68 New York Rangers NHL 6 2 4 360 18 0 3.00
1968-69 New York Rangers NHL 3 0 3 180 10 0 3.33
1969-70 New York Rangers NHL 5 2 3 280 19 0 4.07
1970-71 New York Rangers NHL 12 7 5 759 28 0 2.21
1971-72 New York Rangers NHL 10 6 4 600 27 0 2.70
1972-73 New York Rangers NHL 10 5 4 539 23 1 2.56
1973-74 New York Rangers NHL 13 7 6 788 37 0 2.82
1974-75 New York Rangers NHL 2 0 2 86 4 0 2.79
AHL totals 9 3 6 479 43 0 5.37
NHL totals 65 29 35 3838 180 1 2.81

References[edit]

  • Eddie, A Goalie's Story by Hugh Delano

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tony Esposito
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
with Gilles Villemure

1971
Succeeded by
Tony Esposito
and Gary Smith