Sunday, August 11, 2013

'DID YOU KNOW' - Mike Rogers

When I was on my way to the good ol' monthly trade night earlier this week, I was listening to my local sports radio station and there was a great interview being conducted with a guy that I'm a big fan of.

note: I'm still trying to track down the audio from the interview as I think it's a quality listen.  If I find it, I'll add it.

For those of you who don't listen to Calgary Flames radio, the name Mike Rogers might not mean much.  But he had been the Flames color guy for the past 12 seasons - and a darn good one if you ask me.

Honest, knowledgeable and most of all zero ego.  Rogers showed that you can have class and professionalism and still be a gravitating force.

It was recently announced that he would be retiring from the color slot next to Hall of Fame broadcaster Peter Maher and they will be big shoes to fill.

But the talk during my drive was less about his broadcasting career (at least the section I was listening to) and more about his hockey career.  Believe it or not, Mike Rogers had a pretty solid pro hockey go.

Born and raised in Calgary, he played his junior hockey for the Calgary Centennials of the WCHL - putting up some very good offensive numbers. Back in the mid-70's, there were options when going pro and for Mike, the road was pointed towards the WHA.  He played 5 seasons splitting his time between the Edmonton Oilers and New England Whalers.

When the WHA folded and four teams were merged into the NHL, Mike found himself (literally) in a whole new league of players.  He was recently at WHA Day here in Calgary and mentioned that transition to me. He said that he was unsure if he could play at that level but decided to just stay the course.

And what ended up happening is something that only three other players in history have done.

'DID YOU KNOW': Mike Rogers is one of only four NHLers to start their career with three straight 100-point seasons?

Four guys - EVER.  Try naming the other three.

Now some may say that it's a bit of a tainted record since he had a handful of seasons in the WHA.  But to me....it's legit.  If the NHL doesn't want to consider the WHA for squat, then in NHL terms Rogers first three seasons sit 105, 105 and 103.

Gotta love the Whalers uniforms eh?  Think about that fact as well.  Can you even name another player from the Whalers at that time?  Ron Francis wasn't drafted yet.  Guys like Dineen and Turgeon weren't on the radar.

How about Pat Boutette?  Blaine Stoughton?  Slim pickings.

To me, that's what makes the accomplishment all the more impressive.  He played for (as he put it) a horrible team.

And to make things even more impressive, he was traded after his second season to the New York Rangers.

Traded...and still hit the century mark.

And the Rangers weren't much better back then.  Ron Duguay and Mark Pavelich.  Names you're not writing home about and have (other than Ron's hair) become a fairly forgettable part of hockey history.

Yet Mike Rogers posted three straight 100-point seasons.

Yeah......this guy.

He finished off his career after the 1986 season with 519 points in 484 NHL games.  One can only imagine where his numbers would be if he would've played his entire career in the NHL.

He soon after was asked by the local Flames radio station if he'd be interested in doing some hotstove lounge work and he found he loved the work.  He was with the Flames for over 20 years in total.

Congrats to Mike Rogers on your retirement.  I'll miss hearing ya'.

So......figure out who the other three guys are?  Two might be easy.

Gretzky & Lemieux.  The third knocks a lot of amazing players off the list.

Crosby?  Nope.  Ovechkin?  Nope.  Orr?  Nope.

Selanne?  Thornton?  Sakic?  Bossy?  Dionne?  Hull?  Jagr?  Lafleur?

Nope.  None of 'em.

Peter Stastny is the other guy.

So let's recap....

Wayne Gretzky

Mario Lemiuex

Peter Stastny
.
.
.
Mike Rogers

NOW YOU KNOW

3 comments:

  1. Rogers should have been a Vancouver Canuck. He was Canuck property except Canucks GM Harry Neale, who coached Rogers for a bit in the WHA, didn't think Rogers was NHL calibre. So they didn't bother exercising their right to keep Rogers, a 5th round pick by the Canucks in 1974.
    I would like to object about Blaine Stoughton being slim pickings. 2x 50 goal man and tied for NHL lead in Goals in 79/70.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right. Would've been interesting to see Rogers as a Canuck.

      Maybe Stoughton and "slim pickings" don't go hand in hand, I think my point is more that he didn't have much of a support system in Hartford compared to Gretzky in Edmonton or Lemieux in Pittsburgh.

      Looking at the Hartford scoring leaders from back in the early 80's didn't exactly look pretty.

      Delete