Thursday, February 01, 2007


Everybody knows Molly Ivins died, but let's not forget Gump Worsley, the maskless NHL goalie.
MONTREAL - Gump Worsley, the Hall of Fame hockey goalie who didn't wear a mask until the final season of his 21-year NHL career, has died. He was 77.

Born Lorne John Worsley in Montreal in 1929, he was tagged with the "Gump" moniker as a child because his hair stuck up like Andy Gump, the comic strip character.
He was a hell of a player:
The 5-foot-7 Worsley began his NHL career in 1952-53, winning the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year with the New York Rangers.

He helped his hometown Montreal Canadiens win four Stanley Cup titles in a five-year span and finished his career with the Minnesota North Stars in 1973-74 - playing only his final six games with a mask.

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980, Worsley was 335-352-150 with a 2.88 goals-against average and 43 shutouts in 861 regular-season games. In the playoffs, he was 40-26 with a 2.78 GAA and five shutouts.

Acquired by Montreal from the Rangers in a 1963 trade that sent fellow Hall of Fame goalie Jacques Plante to New York, Worsley won 29 of 36 playoff games in helping lead the Canadiens to Stanley Cup titles in 1965, '66, '68 and '69.
The AP story doesn't have a picture of Gump, and one naturally wondered why, so one found a couple:

Artist's conception of Gump (after the manner of Jimmy Kirkland and the Plot for a Pennant).

Gump at the end of his career.

AP doesn't say how many times Gump took slap shots to the beezer, and it's hard to tell from this how dented up he was, but I'd bet anything those aren't his teeth.

Update: By "aren't his teeth," I certainly don't mean to imply that Gump stole somebody else's teeth and stuck them in his mouth for the picture.

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