February 05, 2016

Chris Worthy

Goaltender Chris Worthy was born in Bristol, England in 1947, but he and his family grew up Ontario. That is where he fell in love with the great game of hockey.

He was really good at it, too. By 1965 he left home to play for the Flin Flon Bombers in the western junior leagues. The Bombers were a power house team, with Bobby Clarke and Reggie Leach being notable players.

While those two future NHL superstars were busy scoring goals, Worthy was busy stopping pucks at nearly as an impressive rate. In 1967-68 his record setting season saw him named as the WHL goaltender of the year while setting shutout records that would remain unbroken for decades.

NHL success was not to follow Worthy's career like it did Clarke's and Leach's. Worthy, originally a Detroit prospect, was dealt to the expansion Oakland Seals. In three years in California Worthy would only get to play in 26 games, winning just five of them.

The Seals really rushed Worthy. He was a rare goaltender who, at the age of 20, jumped immediately from junior to the National Hockey League. He was only used in 14 games that first year.

Worthy grew disillusioned with his status as basically a practice goalie and actually left the team for half a season in 1969-70. He did return but somehow knew his NHL career would not materialize as he had always dreamed. "

After spending some time finding his game in the minor leagues, Worthy re-emerged in Western Canada with the Edmonton Oilers of the newly founded World Hockey Association. He would get into 81 games, winning 27 of them. He generally served as a back up to names like Dave Dryden and an aging Jacques Plante.

After hockey Worthy attended universities in Seattle and Edmonton to earn his Bachelor of Commerce degree. He then achieved his chartered accountant status soon there after. He went on to a very successful business career which included founding his own private investment firm.

At the age of 59, Chris Worthy passed away in Vancouver on August 2nd, 2007.

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