Skip to main content

Gene Achtymichuk

Gene Achtymichuk's tongue-twister last name left everyone to call him by his obvious moniker - "Acky."

Acky, a 5'11" 170lbs center from Lamont Alberta was a well travelled minor league star, posting some Gretzky-like assist totals late in his career with the EHL's Knoxville Knights and Long Island Ducks.

But at one time he was a prized prospect in Montreal's farm system. In fact, he was called up in the 1957-58 season to replace the injured Jean Beliveau. Talk about big skates to fill! Acky scored 3 goals and 8 points in 16 games with Beliveau's linemates, Boom Boom Geoffrion and Bert Olmstead.

Life is funny sometimes. When Beliveau returned from injury Acky was to be returned to the minor leagues, but his replacement during his absence, a young center named Ralph Backstrom, had played so well that Acky had lost his spot on the team. Montreal would solve the problem by selling Acky and two other minor league players to Detroit for the 1958-59 season.

Acky had a 12 game audition with the Wings, playing with a couple of guys you may have heard of - Alex Delvecchio and Gordie Howe. But Acky failed to pick up a point and was sent to the minor leagues.

Acky may not have minded his minor league assignment too much as he was able to return home to Alberta and play with the Edmonton Flyers for parts of three seasons before becoming a minor league vagabond for most the 1960s. For a time he would even be a playing coach for the Long Island Ducks, replacing coach John Muckler.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M