This beautiful replica sweater is of Gilles Meloche from the 1976-77 Cleveland Barons.
The Cleveland Barons are no longer, of course. They became the Minnesota North Stars, who later became the Dallas Stars after spawning the San Jose Sharks, which is kind of fitting since the Barons were originally known as the California Golden Seals/Oakland Seals.
In the 1970s Gilles Meloche was a very good goalie for the Seals, Barons and North Stars, and later in the 1980s with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Unfortunately for Meloche his teams in front of him were usually down right horrible. History has all but dismissed Meloche as a result. Had he played for stronger teams he would likely be remembered as one of the better goalies of that era.
One guy who does remember him is Jeff Barak, which is why I'm bringing this whole story up today. Jeff runs a fairly new blog that I'm really enjoying. As students of hockey history, I think you will too.
Third String Goalie is Jeff's passionate website. He collects hockey sweaters, with over 450 in his collection to date. He is posting photos of a sweater each day, tying it in nicely with current news. He not only talks about the sweaters, but about the players, the teams, and/or about the event. It makes for some very informative and uniquely entertaining reading.
Check out Third String Goalie today.
didn't the Barons merge with the existing North Stars, and not become them?
Funny thing about Meloche; he played for horrific teams as a goalie, and as a Pens fan I like to doubt his ability as a truly beneficial goaltending coach on a regular basis, however along with Mario Lemieux, and possibly Kevin Stevens, he is one of the only people who will have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup in all three Penguins victories to date.
In his lengthy travels Gilles must have picked up some good hockey karma along the way.
I have been enjoying the Third String Goalie Blog. Very knowledgeable and entertaining.
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