Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jack Egers

Jack Egers was once a promising prospect who unfortunately never fulfilled his potential due to a rash of injuries.

Egers quickly developed a reputation for his wicked slap shot. In fact, he was given the moniker "Smokey" because supposedly could "knock the sap out of the wood of his stick with his rocket of a slap shot."

"That boy can kill somebody," said Emile Francis, his coach with the Rangers.

GM Jake Milford even dared to compare his goal scoring prowess to that of Maurice Richard.

And Boston goaltender Gerry Cheevers even predicted Egers would be a 50 goal scorer. Cheevers made the prediction when Egers was just a rookie in his first NHL playoffs. Cheevers gloved down the Egers missile, but it left a welt on his hand.

But injuries really wreaked havoc on his hockey career. Early in his career he quite infamously smacked his head on the ice, resulting in a severe concussion that re-sparked the helmet debate. Egers even admitted he would have used a helmet if it was not for the unspoken peer pressure about not wearing a helmet. Egers also nearly ended up swallowing his tongue and went into convulsions.

Originally a draft pick of the New York Rangers, it wasn't until Egers joined the St. Louis Blues in the 1971-72 season that he began to blossom. Back to back 20 goal seasons earned him a spot in the National Hockey League.

Things started falling apart in 1973-74, Egers was traded back to the Rangers in exchange for Glen Sather. However in 34 injury plagued games, he scored just 1 goal. The true statistics to sum up his season were 1 surgery on his right leg, 1 surgery on his left knee and 1 injured shoulder. In a word - ouch!

After that disaster of a season, Egers was exposed in the expansion draft and was selected by the Washington Capitals.

"He's a tall rangy kid with a good shot," explained Caps GM of the time Milt Schmidt. "There's definitely an injury factor with him. But you know the potential is there."

Unfortunately, the potential was never realized. Egers, who was known to use excessive amounts of tape on his stick, played in just 26 games over the next two years before retiring from pro hockey. He scored 6 goals and 5 assists in his time with the Caps, but clearly he couldn't get past his assortment of serious injuries.

In 284 career NHL games, Jack Egers scored 64 goals and 69 assists for 133 points.

Egers joined the fire department after hockey, rising all the way to the title of captain of the Kitchener, Ontario fire department.


  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP