Monday, February 18, 2013

Absurd Goalie Monday: Pierre Hamel

There were a good amount of odd names when it came to the NHL expansion era and this is another one. While he was destined for minor league purgatory, this week's AGM was able to latch on with an expansion team and get some time in the NHL, even though it didn't show off his best skills. This week, the profile of Pierre Hamel.

Hamel started off in the 1969-70 season, playing for a Junior B team in Quebec, St-Victor Voisons, before getting called up to the QMJHL's Verdun Maple Leafs-- appearing in 15 games and posting a 4-9-0 record. Playing 46 games for Verdun in 1970-71 yielded a 19-25-1 record for Hamel. In the 1971-72 season, Hamel was moved to the Laval National, going 3-12-0 before being traded to the Drummondville Rangers, where Hamel would pick himself up finishing with a 23-9-1 record in 36 games, then going 4-4 in the playoffs.

Graduating from Junior hockey, Hamel moved to the senior ranks with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the WIHL. Hamel will spend the 1972-73 and 1973-74 seasons there, before getting a professional chance during the 1973-74 season with the Central Hockey Leagues Salt Lake Golden Eagles, where he would lose the only game he appeared in.

During the fall of 1974, Hamel signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but would spend the majority of the season in the CHL with the Oklahoma City Blazers, going 22-12-6 in 44 games, while also going 1-2-0 in four games with the Maple Leafs. Full time in Oklahoma City in the 1975-76 season, Hamel played in 39 games and posted a 14-12-6 record while going 0-2 in the playoffs. With the Blazers in the 1976-77 season, Hamel finished with a 5-19-4 record in 33 games.

Hamel was moved to the Dallas Black Hawks in the 1977-78 season, going 15-16-1 in 36 games. However, for the 1978-79 season, Hamel got a promotion to the AHL with the New Brunswick Hawks and posted a 18-12-5 record in 37 games, then 1-2 in the playoffs. Hamel also made an appearance for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but didn't factor in the decision.

Left exposed in the Expansion Draft, the Winnipeg Jets picked up Hamel for the their inaugural roster, where he would go 9-19-3 in 35 games for the Jets. Back in Winnipeg for the 1980-81 season, Hamel only went 3-20-4 in 29 games and would be sent down to CHL's Tulsa Oilers for nine games and posted a 2-5-1 record. Hamel spent five games with Tulsa in the 1981-82 season and going 3-1-0 before moving to the AHL's Fredericton Express and go 5-15-3 in 29 games.

While Hamel played two games for the Sherbrooke Jets of the 1982-83 season in the AHL (1-1-0), he would go overseas to play for Dusseldorfer EG of the West Germany Division 2 league.

Hamel came back to North America for the 1983-84 season with the Atlantic Coast Hockey League and the Carolina Thunderbirds, as well as in the 1984-85 season-- playing a combined 74 games for Carolina before hanging up his pads in retirement.

Even when he was just supposed to be roster spot filler for the Jets, Hamel did get to see some time in front of a poor expansion team. Overall, it seemed that mediocre performances with mediocre teams was the undoing of Hamel, even in the climate of NHL expansion.

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