June 5th: Barilko, Boom Boom and Potvin

June 5th: Who wore #5? There were several notable players who wore #5 in hockey. Bill Barilko, Boom Boom Geoffrion, Denis Potvin and recently retired Nik Lidstrom.

What could I write about these guys that would make this post interesting? Well I have Nik Lidstrom to thank for this idea. Nik Lidstrom played almost 20 years in the NHL. Considering the average age in the NHL is around 28, he has played well above average in this dept. Only Gordon Howe has him beat. Well Gordie has most beat LOL.

Boom Boom played for 16 years with the famed Montreal Canadiens. What I find neat is that he played with the Rocket. So “Boom Boom” and the “Rocket” on the same line. That must have been a dream scenario for a radio NHL broadcaster. I wonder what Jean Beliveau’s nick name was? Fire? Haha! Boom Boom in my mind was the first prince in his family. His father-in-law was a King in his own right: Howie Morenz! That for you young folks would be akin to having Sidney Crosby having Wayne Gretzky as a father-in-law! Pretty wild. Mind you that could technically happen? Does Mario have a daugher?
Boom Boom’s progeny also includes the likes of Blake Geoffrion, who oddly enough now plays for the Canadiens. Was it an ode to bring back some glory? Who knows.. Montreal needs all the help they can get right now.
Back to the topic! Boom Boom played 16 years, Nik played 20, Denis Potvin played for 15 seasons and won 4 Stanley Cups. Bill Barilko only played for 5 seasons as his life was cut short by an unfortunate plane crash. The Tragically Hip dedicated a song in the memory of Barilko titled “50 Mission Cap”.

According to NHL hockey stats:

  1. The average career length of an NHLer is 28.
  2. The average number of years played in the NHL is 5.8

Each of the players above with the exception of Barilko are wayyyyy above average. Bill would have surely played a few more years if his life had not been cut short.

According to NHL Hockey Stats, the average number of points per player is 113 over their career. Nik had 1142 points, Boom Boom had 822, Barilko had 62 (career cut short) and Denis Potvin had 1052. Pretty nifty! They were the original nifty mittens!

In short, Nik, thanks for giving me some inspiration to find a post worth writing about! And for you stats junkies, check out quanthockey.com.. this is where I got all my stats!

Normally I would attach scans of the cards featuring some of these players. Unfortunately I hurt my knee and can’t lift any boxes. I will update these later to include pictures if I remember to. I did manage to find Nik in one of my scans. See below.

Ironman warrior?


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