Monday, April 22, 2013

Absurd Goalie Monday: Mike Moffat

Talking about going with a hot hand into the end of the season and into the playoffs, that's what this AGM did right out of the gate. However, through some happenstance and just mental drain, he was not able to fully have a lasting career. This week, the profile of Mike Moffat.

Moffat made his mark on the junior scene starting in the 1979-80 season with the OHL's Kingston Canadians, going 7-7-1 in 21 appearances, then losing one of the two playoff appearances he had. Moffat jumped into the starting role in the 1980-81 season, playing in 51 games, finishing 33-21-3 while going 6-6 in 14 playoff games. During the 1981-82 season, Moffat played in 46 games for Kingston, pacing himself to a 19-21-4 record, then 0-1 in four playoff games.

However, the peak of the 1981-82 season was Moffat's selection to the Canadian World Juniors team and being the starting goalie. Moffat would go 3-0-1 in four games on the way to a Canadian gold medal. Moffat was named Best Goaltender in the tournament and to the All-Star Team in the tournament.

A draftee of the Boston Bruins in 1980, Moffat was called up after the 1982 playoffs by the Bruins and he was thrown into the cage immediately, going 2-0-0 in his two games of the 1981-82 season, then posted a 6-5 record in 11 playoff games with the Bruins. During the 1982-83 season, Moffat only played 13 games with the Bruins and put up a 4-6-1 record. The other half of that season, Moffat was with the AHL's Baltimore Skipjacks, going 5-8-3 in his 17 appearances.

The bulk of the 1983-84 season saw Moffat in the AHL with the Hershey Bears, playing in 30 games and finishing with a record 8-13-4, while also going 1-1-1 in four games of action with the Boston Bruins. Staying in the AHL in the 1984-85 season, Moffat was playing for the Cape Breton Oilers and would lose the only game he played in. After that, he announced his retirement from professional hockey.

Hockey wasn't done overall for Moffat, as he would go to play Canadian college hockey with Wilfrid Laurier University in the 1985-86 season, finishing with a 5-1-0 record in six games. During the 1986-87 season, Moffat took his turn at the Canadian National Team in hopes of trying out for the 1988 Olympics. Moffat went 2-3-1 in six games and did not play beyond that stint, retiring for real after that.

It wasn't until later that it was made public that Moffat wasn't able to handle the nerves and pressure professional hockey brought. Moffat was homesick, dealt with insomnia, and chronic headaches. After getting out of hockey, Moffat turned to Canadian hardware store Rona, where he is an outside sale representative for the company. Moffat stills played in an Over-40 league, but never in goal.

Moffat said himself that if you didn't want the job, a dozen goalies were waiting in the wings. Especially in the 1980s, it was probably much more horrifying than it is today. Though he was able to show signs of greatness, Moffat wasn't able to take the grind-- probably one of the few to actually admit that.

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