Mar 2, 2009 - 1978-79 - Garry Monahan
(Note: Mondays, we'll have players from the 1978-79 team, 30 years ago this year. They'll appear in alphabetical order.)
The season must really be getting on. This is the 100th LotD of the year. Normally, a playoff-less season ends up having about 125, so we're really into the home stretch. Ideally, I'd have liked to ramble for this one, but it's Monday and it's Garry Monahan, and I don't have a ton to say. Not Garry's fault, particularly, but he's just someone for whom I don't have much by way of anecdotes.
Garry made a solid career for himself as a checker with decent hands. His biggest Leaf years were during his first go-round, from 1970-74, then it was on to Vancouver. In 1978-79, the Leafs brought him back for a second try, but he only had 4 goals and 11 points in what was his last NHL season.
Garry is interesting for a couple of other reasons, though. He was the first player ever taken in an NHL entry draft, going #1 to Montreal in 1963. That's one you could probably win a bar bet with. He's also the only player I've seen that finished his playing days not in Europe, but Japan. Happens all the time in baseball. In hockey? Well, I didn't know they even PLAYED hockey in Japan in those days.
Garry Monahan knew, though. Got three seasons out of it.
|1963-64||St. Michael's Buzzers||OHA-B|
|1969-70||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||51||3||4||7||24||-6|
|1969-70||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||21||0||3||3||12||-6|
|1970-71||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||78||15||22||37||79||+11||6||2||0||2||2|
|1971-72||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||78||14||17||31||47||+2||5||0||0||0||0|
|1972-73||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||78||13||18||31||53||-3|
|1973-74||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||78||9||16||25||70||+4||4||0||1||1||7|
|1974-75||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|1978-79||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||62||4||7||11||25||+4|
- Traded to Los Angeles by Detroit with Matt Ravlich and Brian Gibbons for Dale Rolfe, Gary Croteau and Larry Johnston, February 20, 1970.
- Traded to Toronto by Los Angeles with Brian Murphy for Bob Pulford, September 3, 1970.
- Traded to Vancouver by Toronto with John Grisdale for Dave Dunn, October 16, 1974.
- Traded to Toronto by Vancouver for cash, September 13, 1978.
As a junior player, Garry Monahan displayed an offensive prowess that never followed him to the NHL. But he enjoyed it while it lasted. In 1966-67, he finished fourth in OHA scoring behind Derek Sanderson, Mickey Redmond, and Jim Lorentz.
But well before his scoring burst, the former Peterborough Pete became a ripe commodity for trivia buffs when he was selected as the first-ever draft choice in the NHL. The Montreal Canadiens picked him up in the league's first talent-fest in 1963.
But making it with the Habs would be nigh impossible. Over his two seasons with the organization, he spent most of his time in the minors. When he wasn't down below, he was vying against newcomer Jacques Lemaire for the only position available at the time. Needless to say, Monahan moved on to the Detroit Red Wings for a brief stop before heading west for a tiny stint with the L.A. Kings in 1969-70.
During the summer that followed, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs where he finally got his NHL career on solid footing. He was immediately cast in a role as the club's designated checker on a line with Billy MacMillan and Dave Keon. Over the four seasons that followed, Monahan plugged away as a hard-working, defensive forward who was good for his 30-plus points per campaign.
In 1974, however, he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks where he continued to perform his usual role with the same, solid results until 1978. At that time, he was sent to the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL for a brief time before rejoining the Leafs. He played one final big-league campaign in Toronto before heading to Japan. There he managed to sustain his career for three additional seasons with Seibu, a corporate-sponsored team, until his retirement in 1982.