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Leaf of the Day - Mar 2, 2009 - 1978-79 - Garry Monahan

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.)

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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.

Garry's stats:

1963-64  St. Michael's Buzzers   OHA-B                      
1964-65  Peterborough Petes  OHA-Jr.  55 12 16 28 28 12 1 2 3 11
1965-66  Peterborough Petes  OHA-Jr.  46 6 10 16 43 6 0 3 3 9
1966-67  Peterborough Petes  OHA-Jr.  47 30 54 84 79 6 2 2 4 20
1966-67  Houston Apollos  CPHL  3 1 0 1 0
1967-68  Montreal Canadiens  NHL  11 0 0 0 8 -2
1967-68  Houston Apollos  CPHL  56 17 31 48 86
1968-69  Montreal Canadiens  NHL  3 0 0 0 0 0
1968-69  Cleveland Barons  AHL  70 18 26 44 81 5 2 0 2 10
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          
1974-75  Vancouver Canucks  NHL  78 14 20 34 51 -10 5 1 0 1 2
1975-76  Vancouver Canucks  NHL  66 16 17 33 39 +1 2 0 0 0 2
1976-77  Vancouver Canucks  NHL  76 18 26 44 48 -1
1977-78  Vancouver Canucks  NHL  67 10 19 29 28 +2
1977-78  Tulsa Oilers  CHL  7 3 2 5 0
1978-79  Toronto Maple Leafs NHL  62 4 7 11 25 +4          
1979-80  Seibu-Tetsudo Tokyo  Japan  20 13 17 30
1980-81  Seibu-Tetsudo Tokyo  Japan  20 12 14 26
1981-82  Seibu-Tetsudo Tokyo  Japan  20 17 19 36
Leaf Totals    375 55 80 135 274 +18 15 2 1 3 9
NHL Totals  748 116 169 285 484 -4 22 3 1 4 13
- Traded to Detroit by Montreal with Doug Piper for Pete Mahovlich and Bart Crashley, June 6, 1969.
- 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.


the HHOF take on Garry: 

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.

78monahan2_medium

via img294.imageshack.us


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