Monday, January 28, 2013

Absurd Goalie Monday: Jim McLeod

It's getting harder and harder to find unique stories, but this week's could be one for the archives. This week's AGM was bounced around at the beginning and ending of his career, but when he found stability-- he shined. With a lot of team and personal awards at the end-- it's a shame he doesn't get more recongition. This week, the profile of Jim McLeod.

McLeod started in the 1955-56 season with the semi-pro Port Arthur Bearcats, then moved onto the Vernon Canadians from the 1956-57 season until the 1959-60 season totalling up 56 games in the span (no records given), then was loaned out to the Kelowna Packers for the 1960 Allan Cup playdown rounds, where he would go 0-3 in those games.

Turning pro in the 1960-61 season, McLeod played for the IHL's Muskegon Zephyrs for 62 games (no record), then would go 5-8 in 13 playoff games. McLeod got called up by the WHL's Seattle Totems for seven games with a 5-2-0 record. Returning to Muskegon for the 1961-62 season, McLeod would play 47 games, then go 8-1 in the playoffs-- helping Muskegon to the Turner Cup. McLeod again went to play for the Totems, going 6-6-0 in 12 games.

McLeod would roam around the WHL for the next two season, playing in the 1962-63 season with the San Francisco Seals and finished with a 43-23-1 record, then he would go 10-7 in 17 playoff games, helping them win the Lester Patrick Cup. The 1963-64 season had McLeod go down the coast to play for the Los Angeles Blades in the 1963-64 season, finishing 18-15-6 in 38 games, then going 2-2 in five playoff games.

Getting some stability for the time, McLeod would play for the Seattle Totems again in the 1964-65 season, where he would go 35-27-3 in 65 games, then 3-4 in the playoffs. McLeod would win the Leading Goaltender Award in the WHL. With the Totems in the 1965-66 season, McLeod would play in 46 games and post a 20-23-2 record, while going 26-11-4 in 42 games for the 1966-67 season, then 6-2 in the playoffs, leading the Totems to the Patrick Cup. McLeod would win another Leading Goaltender Award after the season.

The Totems traded McLeod before the 1967-68 season, to the Portland Buckaroos, where McLeod would go 18-10-4 in 33 games, then 4-3 in the playoffs on his way to another Leading Goaltender Award, splitting with Marv Edwards. McLeod got back into it with Portland in the 1968-69 season, playing in 42 games and registering a 23-9-8 record, then 4-3 in the playoffs. Another split Leading Goaltender Award, this time with Dave Kelly was to be had. Playing only 33 games in 1969-70, McLeod went 21-9-0 before going 5-4 in the playoffs; while during the 1970-71 season, McLeod had a 32-10-3 record in 47 contests, then 8-3 in the playoffs helping Portland to win the Patrick Cup. McLeod and Kelly would split the Leading Goaltender Award that year.

During the 1971 Intraleague Draft, the St. Louis Blues picked up McLeod to go with the rest of their goalie in their system. McLeod did get into 16 games for the Blues in the 1971-72 season and put up a 6-6-4 record. McLeod would return to Portland later in the season and play 13 games with a 9-3-0 record, before going 5-6 in the playoffs.

With the WHA coming around, McLeod got swiped up by the Chicago Cougars in their Draft and would go 22-25-2 in the 1972-73 season. The Cougars would trade McLeod to the New York/New Jersey Raiders for the 1973-74 season, where McLeod posted a 3-7-0 record in 10 games before being traded to the Los Angeles Sharks, in which McLeod posted a 4-13-0 record in 17 games.

The 1974-75 season was a wild one for McLeod-- the Sharks relocated to Michigan and became the Stag, where he would go 3-6-1 in 16 games. Then McLeod moved to the North American Pro League's Syracuse Blazers when the Stags moved to Baltimore and with the Blazers, McLeod played in three games, winning them all. Finally that year, McLeod played two games with the Greensboro Generals of the Southern Hockey League, but no record is provided.

While he was bounced around from team to team at the beginning and end of his career, McLeod did win multiple top goalie awards, won the same championship with three different teams, and still managed to get some professional games in, as short of a time that it was. Not so bad for a guy who will go under the radar for most people out there.

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